Fewer skills more relevant to the family with a hectic schedule than taking time to pressure-can healthful foods for last-minute meals. One jar of ground beef can create fifteen different meals in fifteen minutes or less.
Many of these meals allow for working ahead, either over the weekend to prepare for the upcoming train about to hit you come Monday morning. Sometimes, I just spend 10-20 minutes the night before prepping, so that it’s as easy as popping it into the oven (which someone else can do without me, even).
Not sure about canning ground beef? You can learn how here. We have been doing this for about 7 or 8 years, and these are some of my favorite last-minute dinners!
#2) Spaghetti with meat sauce in 15 minutes.
#3) Sloppy Joes (add onions, chopped green pepper, spices, and tomato sauce)
#4) Make chili: use pressure-canned beans, add dehydrated onion, spices, and your other secret ingredients in the time it takes to warm it up (5-10 minutes). Or, if using dry beans, make chili in your pressure cooker (cooker, not canner) in 10 minutes!
#5) Nachos—arrange chips on a baking dish. Add refried beans if desired, ground beef, salsa, and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.
#6) Shepherd’s pie. Saute onions, mushrooms, and add your favorite vegetables. Warm up the beef in the concoction and add tomato sauce. Once mixed, put into a dish and top with mashed potatoes and bake for 20-30 minutes—but to make this faster, you will need to use last night’s leftover mashed potatoes, warm everything sufficiently in the skillet, and broil for 10 minutes so that potatoes brown and get crisp (without fully baking).
#7) Beefy Enchiladas. They will require tortillas, enchilada sauce, chili peppers, cheeses, and your other favorite ingredients on-the-ready. But once you’re ready for the assembly line, you can make them in about 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Be generous with the sauce and cheese on top!