Easy Hamburger Skillet Meal
This hamburger skillet meal is one of my “go-to” meals when I want something quick and easy for dinner. Many times all that I have to do is open a few jars, heat in a skillet, and I have a meal ready to go in no time at all. So stick with me while I present a few options for getting this hearty meal on the table in “two shakes of a lamb’s tail”.
Since I like things easy, I make up a bulk batch of the seasoning to keep at the ready. To the left is the recipe that I follow. It has onion flakes, oregano, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper. Feel free to tweak your version as you see fit. This recipe produces enough mix for me to do 3 or 4 meals using about two tablespoons of the mix with each meal that I make.
If you don’t wish to make the mix up ahead of time and would prefer to do it as you make your meal, the recipe for doing it on an individual basis is as follows:
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
This meal works great as part of the #threeriverschallenge2022. It uses everything that I already have in my pantry. Today I will be using a pint of canned ground beef, but many times I use 1 cup of previously browned and frozen ground beef. Both work equally well in this recipe. Today I happened to be out of the frozen precooked ground beef, so I am using up a jar from the pantry. You can also use 1 pound of ground beef, brown it, and drain the grease before adding the other ingredients. For me that is just too much work when I want something quick and easy. I prefer to have ground beef precooked and either frozen or canned for easy to whip up meals. With the exception of the necessary water, what you see in the above photo is all that you need to put this meal together. Pasta, diced tomatoes, ground beef, and the seasoning mix. Easy-peasy!
Assuming that your beef is already cooked, add 3 1/2 cups of water to a skillet and bring to a boil. Add 8 ounces of your favorite pasta. Any kind works, but I tend to use the kind that will soak up and hold the liquid such as elbow, penne, cavatappi or rigatoni. Add one 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes and the seasoning mix. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir often so that the pasta will not stick and will soak up the liquid. Once the pasta has been cooked to your liking (al dente or soft), remove from heat and add grated or shredded cheese if you so desire. This should serve 4. With salad and bread, it makes a hearty meal.
Instead of diced tomatoes, I have used tomato paste and tomato sauce. Depending on whether you use paste, sauce, or diced, note that the consistence of the final product will be different. I prefer a final dish with tomato pieces and a more liquid consistency – the shredded cheese soaks up some of the liquid, adding great flavor, AND I like to dip homemade bread to soak up some of the sauce as I am eating. It is all what you prefer. Play with a bit and see which version you and your family like. If you prefer a “tighter” tomato sauce, go with a paste. You can almost see the steam rising off of the pan as I prepare to put dinner on the table in under thirty minutes.
I hope this helps you get dinner on the table without a lot of muss or fuss. Please let me know how you took this recipe and made it your own. As always, thank you for visiting the farm today.