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Smart Meals for Busy Families

07/31/2017 03:32AM ● Published by Family Features

Ease your way into a busy new school year with easy dishes you can prepare and serve in minutes. Time-saving and delicious dinners allow you to enjoy valuable family meals without sacrificing precious time in the kitchen.

One smart way to pull together flavorful meals when you’re pinched for time is to keep versatile ingredients on hand that you can use in a variety of ways. For example, pre-sliced pepperoni is perfect for quick snacks, but it’s also great for do-it-yourself pizzas, casseroles and even a fresh take on grilled cheese sandwiches. An option like Armour Turkey Pepperoni can brighten up any appetizer or dish with 70 percent less fat and 25 percent less sodium than the Original variety.

Another “A-plus” idea: keep frozen meatballs handy, but think beyond traditional spaghetti. Not only do fully cooked meatballs save plenty of time, they make for a fun way to add protein and bring great flavor to kid favorites like macaroni and cheese.

Find more easy recipes for family meals this fall at ArmourMeats.com.

Cheesy Mac and Meatballs

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 12        ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1          package (14 ounces) Armour Original Meatballs, thawed
  • 12        ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1          cup milk
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Cut meatballs in half.
  2. In large saucepan over medium heat, combine shredded cheddar cheese and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in meatballs; cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until meatballs are hot.
  3. Drain macaroni; stir into meatball mixture. Top with cheddar cheese, if desired.

Grilled Cheese and Pepperoni Sandwiches

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2          tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 8          slices white or whole-grain bread
  • 8          slices cheddar or American cheese
  • 32        slices Armour Original or Turkey Pepperoni
  • 1          cup roasted red pepper strips or 4 thin tomato slices (optional)
  1. Spread butter over one side of each piece of bread. Put four slices of bread on sheet of waxed paper, buttered-side down.
  2. Top each slice of bread with one cheese slice, eight slices pepperoni, 1/4 cup peppers or sliced tomato, if desired, and additional cheese slice. Top sandwiches with remaining bread, buttered-side up.
  3. Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add two sandwiches; cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until cheese is melted and sandwiches are golden brown. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Alternate preparation tip: Cook sandwiches in two batches in heated panini maker or well-oiled waffle iron 3-4 minutes.

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