Hunk of Meat Monday: Hurried Mom’s Hotdish

Every mom has those days where you want a quick supper to serve with out much time or preparation. You are tired. You don’t have time. You have a hungry family. 
You resort to Applebee’s or the McDonald’s drive-thru. Unless of course you live 85 miles from either of those options and your local restaurant closed this winter. You have two local pizza shops and a bar and grill. But honestly going out is sometimes more work with kids than it is easy. Plus you have a budget. Maybe pizza night is Friday night like it is often at our house. Certainly not a Monday night like I was faced with tonight. 
So what do prairie dwelling woman make in a hurry with out a drive-thru handy and knowing her family has about 25 minutes in between hurried schedules to sit down and eat together?
Prairie women make hotdish. 
It’s not a casserole. It’s hotdish.
It’s not fancy. All pretentious food critics would turn up their noses at hotdish. 
But the bottom line is hotdish is a staple food. It’s cost effective, budget friendly, time saving, feeds your family and makes all of you happy. Thousands of different hotdish recipes fill our prairie church cookbooks. 
No matter what the recipe they almost all have similar staple ingredients.
Your basic hotdish ingredients almost always include: meat, starch, vegetable and sauce to hold it together. 
It’s a meal. And it’s exactly what I turned to tonight.
2 lbs of browned and drained lean hamburger along with 1 1/2 cup of skim milk
Seasoning of your choice.
2 cans of your choice of cream soup. I usually use Cream of Celery or Mushroom and a Cheddar Cheese. Then I added a bag of steamed peas and a can of corn.
There’s your hotdish base. Meat, vegetables and sauce.
Then add your starch.
Potatoes, pasta or rice.
Tater tots work. 
Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Or just crank it up to 425F and get it done as fast you can like I did tonight.
Martha, you may not be proud. But with fresh blueberry yogurt smoothies, Nana’s homemade buns and Tater tot hotdish, my family was fed tonight. 
All I needed was a few cans, a plan and a hunk of meat….
because it’s
Hunk of Meat Mondays
What are your go-to quick meals? I need ideas.
After reading this blog post…my husband just told: “You should add when I was a little boy, I went to restaurants and ordered hotdish. Not knowing I would be laughed at and never served elbow macaroni, hamburger, tomato sauce and mixed with corn.” The sweet story just melted me so I had to share.


  1. Haha, I love it! We had a gourmet meal tonight too, sloppy joe’s and tater tots!! Love the new header!

  2. Thanks for the “hotdish” moniker! OMG! I haven’t heard that in years! My Wis. family made hotdishes too!!!

  3. Love that you cranked it to 425. We used to do that at 4-H House when supper wouldn’t be done in time for the house girls. College girls learning to improvised on meal time! Thanks for linking up!

  4. Katie- 10 years ago, after my husband and I were married for a couple of years, I made him tator tot hotdish. His exact words were “You are the best wife in the world!” With that said, it is a favorite, and I guess I should make it more often! ~ Lisa

  5. I’m putting this on my list of things to try! Looks good! Not sure if I will be able to meet with you when you are in state. Just need to see where we are with all the farm fun spring brings.

  6. LOVE IT! Since moving from Minnesota to Indiana we are back in Casserole territory…but I still like to call them hotdishes just for kicks! My husband could easily move in with you and enjoy your cooking! I think you just inspired me to whip up a hotdish this week! ~Kimberly 🙂