Warm, Comforting Meals That Start With a Can
In your pantry, half the battle for delicious weeknight meals may already be won. Sponsored by Campbell's®
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When shadows are long, temperatures are low, and your fridge is empty, cans of soup and cartons of broth hold keys to a perfect dinner. If you have these, you’re well on your way to comforting casseroles, savory pot pies, and satisfying soups. When you want hot, soothing foods that keep kitchen-time to a minimum, those cans and cartons already contain ample flavor and creaminess, fast-forwarding sauces, fillings, and casseroles to get you to comfort food, fast.
To make these cozy foods even easier to throw together, stock your freezer and pantry with clever shortcuts like pre-made biscuit dough, instant potatoes, puff pastry and frozen vegetables. With so much legwork already behind you, feel free to take on the following comfort dishes in minutes flat.
Rich, creamy shepherd’s pie seems intimidating to assemble, but it’s easy to throw together when you use cream of mushroom soup and instant mashed potatoes. These make for a buttery, nourishing dish that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Simply brown beef in a skillet, add soup, ketchup, and vegetables, and spoon your prepared mashed potatoes on top. Feel free to add as many vegetables and seasonings as you like. After 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven, dinner is ready.
Casseroles are, in my opinion, seriously underrated. They almost always result in delicious leftovers, taste yummy, and combine what you are looking for in a meal: vegetables, protein, and starch. They’re a way of playing the long game with cooking throughout the week — make one and you’re set for a while. In this creamy, cheesy chicken version, cheese quickly takes broccoli from maybe-not-a-fave veggie to irresistible comfort food while still delivering crucial fiber and vitamins. Start with shredded, cooked chicken, and cooked, chopped broccoli, combine with cheddar cheese, cream of chicken soup, and seasoning, and bake in a casserole dish for up to 30 minutes. The best part? It requires just 5 minutes of hands-on time.
Ground beef, picante sauce, tomato soup, tortillas, and cheddar cheese create a complete meal that comes together in just 25 minutes. This is the kind of easy, tasty main dish that will motivate you to cook during the midweek slump. I love that it only takes 5 minutes to prepare — brown beef, and then stir in the soup, sauce, tortillas, and some water. Bring it to a boil, then cook gently for a few minutes before topping with cheese. From pantry to table in mere minutes, this flavorful skillet is a winner.
Vegetable broth, cream, and crushed tomatoes make up the base of this hearty soup, which turns plump, chewy tortellini into the star of your meal in just 20 minutes. Low on ingredients? Consider swapping in tomato soup instead. You can also make this process super easy by using frozen tortellini, which you can drop straight into the soup. If you prefer fresh tortellini, cut your cooking time by a few minutes. Either way, you’ll end up with an impressive and delicious meal.
Luscious beef stroganoff is the dish you make when you want dinner to be both homey and special. Pair it with vegetables and a starchy component such as egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or rice for a classic pleasure. To make, sauté onions and mushrooms, brown beef, add seasonings, and bake for a few hours. Then stir in sour cream, and ladle it over your carbohydrate of choice. If the aroma of beef baking for hours doesn’t comfort you, the satisfaction of eating it will.
If I had all the time in the world, I'd love to make chicken pot pie from scratch. But now I know there is an easier way: Instead of wearing yourself out with a big project, you can make a flaky, creamy chicken pot pie in just 30 minutes! Enrobe your leftover chicken or turkey with a savory, velvety sauce, courtesy of cream of chicken soup. Add buttery, crumbly biscuit mix topping, and enjoy!
A tater tot hotdish is the casserole that dreams are made of. This mouthwatering combination of crispy tater tots, nutritious green beans, filling ground beef, cheddar cheese, and cream of mushroom soup defines comfort food. It’s also quite easy to whip together, since you only need to brown beef, mix in soup and seasonings, top with tater tots and cheese, and bake. Feel free to adjust the items to your liking — you could change the flavor of the soup, swap in turkey instead of beef, or use sweet potato tots instead of the classic kind, if you’d like. No matter what tweaks you make, take it from this Midwesterner: There is no messing up a tater tot hotdish.