Friday, 25 March 2016

Cheap dinner for many!

When our budget needs a little relief from the never ending stretching this is one of our standby meals.  I find it helpful to have a variety of frugal recipes on hand that can be included in the monthly meal plan so it's not as noticeable when the budget is tighter for whatever reason.  This is a favourite with many of the children and I think they would have it everyday if it was available.  Also as I have stated before some of our children have swallowing challenges, this is a meal they find easier to manage which is a win because it doesn't require any additional preparation for them.

When I make this meal, I always make extra for lunch for the next day.  We enjoy this as a casserole but it can also be used as a filling in burritos or quesadillas to mix it up a bit, so it doesn't feel like the same meal again.

This recipe is adapted from the orginal recipe found in the "Easy Beans" cookbook by Trish Ross and Jacquie Trafford.

Mexican Lentil Casserole

serves 24

vegetable oil (enough to saute vegetables)
6 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
3-4 grated carrots
6 cloves garlic pressed
16 cups water
4 cups dried green lentils
9 cups cooked rice (preferably brown for nutritional value but white does work)
5 cans tomato paste
4-5 tbsp taco seasoning (you can make your own if desired)
4-6 tsp chili powder (use your judgement how spicey you would like it)

Optional 1 bag crushed taco chips and 2 cups grated cheese

In large saucepan, saute onions, celery, carrot and garlic in oil over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Add water and lentils then bring to a boil.  Stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Do not drain, add rice, tomato paste, taco seasoning and chili powder.  Stir well.  At this point you can serve directly from sauce pan or transfer to a slightly oiled casserole dish.

If serving from a casserole dish top with crushed taco chips and grated cheese, then bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Do you have any meals that you use to stretch your budge?  Please feel free to share.


  1. This sounds really delicious. I co-host a blog party on Monday called Cooking and Crafting with J&J Link Up at Julie's Lifestyle. I would love to have you share this recipe with us. Thanks.

  2. This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us at #Snickerdoodle Sunday! Pinned and tweeted to share :)

  3. This looks yummy, as well as, inexpensive! What a great way to get kids to appreciate lentils. BTW I'm visiting today from Mom's the Word. Blessings!

  4. Thanks for joining and sharing this recipe with us at Cooking & Crafting with J&J. We hope to see you again!

  5. I'm liking this recipe! It's inexpensive, delicious, and easy to make. Sounds like a win on all fronts. :)

  6. I love lentils, this sound like a delicious casserole!

  7. Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday this week!

  8. made from scratch: love this. i would even like to make my own spice combo because it turns out i;m allergic to those mixes filled with 'stuff'. Thank you so VEYR MUCH for joining us this week at the Fine Craft Guild's linky party SHARE IT. A new party will open tomorrow (later in the day) - yahoo - and i hope to see you there again

  9. Wow, this sounds frugal, filling, tasty and healthy! Excellent recipe! Thank you for sharing it on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

  10. What a creative recipe!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the Merry Monday party. We look forward to seeing your tutorial projects and recipes at the new party beginning tonight.

  12. Good morning! Just a little note to let you know that this post has been FEATURED today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Thank you for joining us and do come again soon! :)

    1. Thank you so much for featuring this recipe.

  13. Mexican lentil casserole looks delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

  14. This was the most viewed post from last week's Try a New Recipe Tuesday. Congratulations! Be sure to stop by and grab an "I've been featured" button from my sidebar for your blog. The post with your feature will go live shortly.

    1. Thank you so much for featuring this recipe

  15. Yum!! This was the Most Viewed last week and will be featured this week!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!!