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What to Make for Dinner When Your Fridge is Bare

You're pondering what to make for dinner. You open the refrigerator and...nothing! But a tasty dinner can emerge from an almost-empty kitchen.

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Chicken With Rosemary Butter Sauce Exps Ft20 44349 F 0123 1 2

Chicken with Rosemary Butter Sauce

This elegant rosemary chicken requires minimal effort but will win you major compliments. You'll love the mellow sauce! —Connie McDowell, Greenwood, Delaware
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Special Pork Chops

I work nine hours a day, so I need delicious and simple recipes like this one. My husband thinks I work hard fixing meals, but this dish is good and easy. In summer, I can my own salsa and use some to top these chops. —LaDane Wilson, Alexander City, Alabama
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Quick Tater Tots Bake

I like to make this dish when time before supper is short. If we have unexpected company, I just double the ingredients and use a 13x9-in. pan. I call it my Please Stay Casserole! —Jean Ferguson, Elverta, California
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Pan Burritos

Our family loves Mexican food, so this flavorful, satisfying casserole is a favorite. It’s nice to be able to get the taste of burritos and cut any serving size you want. —Joyce Kent, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Lasagna Rolls

My Italian lasagna roll-ups are not complicated; they require only basic ingredients to assemble. Prepared spaghetti sauce helps me save time and get dinner on the table sooner. —Mary Lee Thomas, Logansport, Indiana
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Fast Baked Fish

We always have a good supply of fresh fish, so I make fish recipes often. This recipe is my favorite because it is moist, tender and flavorful. —Judie Anglen, Riverton, Wyoming
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Easy Beef Pies

We make a lot of French dips and always have leftover roast beef. Here's how I put it to good use. For these pies, use any vegetables you like. They're extra awesome drenched in cheese sauce. —Jennie Weber, Palmer, Alaska
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Biscuit Turkey Bake

Biscuit Turkey Bake

As a college student, I go for stick-to-your-ribs foods that are also easy on the budget. Here's one that fits the bill. I like to bake this casserole for friends' birthdays. —Stephanie Denning, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
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Simple Chicken Enchiladas

Simple Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is so quick and easy, and I always receive a ton of compliments. It quickly becomes a favorite of friends whenever I share the recipe. Modify the spiciness with the intensity of the salsa and the green chilis to suit your taste. —Kristi Black, Harrison Township, Michigan
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Black Bean and Beef Tostadas

Just a handful of ingredients add up to one of our family’s favorites. Also easy to double for company! —Susan Brown, Kansas City, Kansas
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Slow-Cooked Ham

Slow-Cooked Ham

Entertaining doesn't get much easier than serving this tasty five-ingredient ham from the slow cooker. And the leftovers are delicious in casseroles! —Heather Spring, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
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Saucy Skillet Lasagna

Saucy Skillet Lasagna

Thanks to no-cook lasagna noodles, this skillet lasagna makes a fresh, filling, flavorful and fast entree for any Italian meal. —Meghan Crihfield, Ripley, West Virginia
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Easy Glazed Salmon

It only takes four ingredients and a few moments of time to make this delightful main dish. —Tara Ernspiker, Falling Waters, West Virginia
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Hot Dog Roll-Ups

Not only do my grandchildren love these cheese-and-bacon filled hot dogs, but they enjoy helping put the meal together, too. It's the perfect solution to a last-minute lunch. —Lyletta Searle, Morgan, Utah
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Red Pepper Chicken

Chicken breasts are treated to black beans, red peppers and juicy tomatoes in this Southwestern supper. We love it served with rice plumped up in chicken broth. —Piper Spiwak, Vienna, Virginia
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Fiesta Ravioli

I adapted this recipe to suit our taste for spicy food. The ravioli taste like mini enchiladas. I serve them with a Mexican-inspired salad and pineapple sherbet for dessert. —Debbie Purdue, Freeland, Michigan
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Beef in Onion Gravy

I double this super recipe to feed our family of four so I'm sure to have leftovers to send with my husband to work for lunch. His co-workers tell him he's lucky to have someone who fixes him such special meals. It's our secret that it's an easy slow cooker dinner! —Denise Albers, Freeburg, Illinois
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Sloppy Joe Pasta

Since I found this quick-to-fix recipe a few years ago, it's become a regular part of my menu plans. Everyone loves the combination of sloppy joe ingredients, shell pasta and cheddar cheese. —Lynne Leih, Idyllwild, California
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Breaded Ranch Chicken

A crunchy coating of cornflakes and Parmesan cheese adds delectable flavor to this zesty ranch chicken. The golden, crispy chicken is a mainstay dish I can always count on. —Launa Shoemaker, Landrum, South Carolina
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Dijon Pork Chops

A crumb coating is all you need to turn pork chops into a wow-worthy family dinner. Try the breading on chicken breasts, too. —Chris Rentmeister, Ripon, Wisconsin
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Red Pepper & Parmesan Tilapia

My husband and I are always looking for light fish recipes because of the health benefits. This Parmesan tilapia is a hit with him, and we've tried it for dinner parties, too. It's a staple! —Michelle Martin, Durham, North Carolina
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Southwest Tuna Noodle Bake

Southwest Tuna Noodle Bake

None of my co-workers had ever tried tuna noodle casserole, and since we live near the Mexican border, they challenged me to make a Southwest version. After trying the tasty results, everyone wanted the recipe! —Sandra Crane, Las Cruces, New Mexico
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Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Beefy Tortellini Skillet

This skillet wonder is a tortellini dish the family craves. From browning beef to cooking the pasta and melting the cheese, everything happens in one pan. You can add basil or chives for a touch of freshness. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia
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Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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Creamy Beef & Potatoes

One of my husband's favorite childhood memories was eating his Grandma Barney's Tater Tot Casserole. It's just as much fun making with O'Brien potatoes, too. — Heather Matthews, Keller, Texas
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Parmesan Fish Sticks

I wanted a healthier approach to fish sticks and developed a baked tilapia with a slightly peppery bite. My husband and sons love the crispy coating. —Candy Summerhill, Alexander, Arkansas
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Ham & Swiss Stromboli

This is an excellent dish to take to someone for dinner. It's also easy to change up the recipe with your favorite meats or cheeses. —Tricia Bibb, Hartselle, AL
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Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs with tomatoes, onion and cumin. I learned about it while traveling through Southeast Asia, and it's been my favorite way to eat eggs since. —Ezra Weeks, Calgary, Alberta
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The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
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Quick Chicken Piccata

Quick chicken recipes make dinner a breeze. Laced with lemon and simmered in white wine, this stovetop entree is super easy and elegant. Almost any side—noodles, veggies or bread—tastes better next to this lovely chicken. —Cynthia Heil, Augusta, Georgia
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Penne with Tomatoes & White Beans

I learned how to make this dish from friends in Genoa, Italy, where they're known for creating tasty combinations of veggies, pasta and beans. You can sub feta cheese to give this a Greek twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Contest Winning Broccoli Chicken Casserole Exps37392 Th143193b04 22 3bc Rms 5

Contest-Winning Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole recipe is a twist on chicken divan that came from an old boss. It’s quick, satisfying comfort food. —Jennifer Schlachter, Big Rock, Illinois
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Garlic Toast Pizzas

Between working full-time, going to school and raising three children, finding time-saving recipes that my family likes is one of my biggest challenges. These quick pizzas pack a huge amount of flavor. —Amy Grim, Chillicothe, Ohio
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My Mother's Mac and Cheese

I remember my mother sending me to the store for 15 cents worth of cheese. The butcher would cut off a slice from a gigantic wheel covered with a wax-coated cloth. Mother would then blend that cheese into this tasty dish. Today, the memory of her cooking is like food for my soul. —Phyllis Burkland, Portland, Oregon
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it's time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli solves everything. —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri
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Mediterranean Chickpeas

Add this to your meatless Monday lineup. It's great with feta cheese on top. —Elaine Ober, Brookline, Massachusetts
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No-Fuss Chicken

No-Fuss Chicken

This recipe could hardly be simpler to prepare. The chicken gets a wonderful tangy taste, and no one will know you used convenient ingredients like a bottle of salad dressing and onion soup mix...unless you tell them. —Marilyn Dick, Centralia, Missouri
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Basil Pork Chops

Just a few ingredients give a tender pork loin chop all the glazed goodness it needs. Serve with your favorite roasted veggies and you’ve got a meal bursting with flavor. —Lisa Gilliland, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Stuffed Pasta Shells

These savory shells never fail to make a big impression, even though the recipe is very easy. One or two of these shells makes a great individual serving at a potluck, so a single batch goes a long way. —Jena Coffey, St. Louis, Missouri
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Cheese Ravioli with Veggies

When pasta and veggies are on the menu, my sons get to the table fast. The frozen medley is so convenient, but sometimes I throw in peas, corn, broccoli or zucchini instead. —Amy Burns, Charleston, Illinois
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Spaghetti with Bacon

As children, we always requested this dish for our birthday dinners. Our mother got the recipe from her grandmother. Now I pass on our tasty tradition. —Ruth Keogh, North St. Paul, Minnesota
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Parmesan Chicken Nuggets

My 3-year-old is going through a stage where he'll eat only chicken nuggets and French fries. I like to make these golden nuggets for him so I know what he's eating. They're so good, we like them, too! —Amanda Livesay, Mobile, Alabama
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Au Gratin Sausage Skillet

Using frozen vegetables and a package of au gratin potatoes, I can get this satisfying stovetop supper on the table in no time. Even our oldest daughter, who can be a picky eater, loves it - and it is an excellent way of getting her to eat her vegetables. —Penny Greene, Lancaster, Ohio

Rachel Seis
As senior editor for Taste of Home magazine, Rachel has her hand in everything you see from cover to cover, from writing and editing articles to taste-testing recipes to ensuring every issue is packed with fun and fabulous content. She'll roll up her sleeves to try any new recipe in the kitchen—from spicy Thai dishes (her favorite!) to classic Southern comfort food (OK...also her favorite). When she's not busy thinking of her next meal, Rachel can be found practicing yoga, going for a run, exploring National Parks and traveling to new-to-her cities across the country.

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