There are many economical meals that families ate during the Great Depression using simple ingredients that are probably already in our pantries.



Butter, flour, milk and for meat shaved baked ham, ground beef, a pkg of Buddig beef,  or can of tuna.

The recipes are all pretty much the same but if you want…. add some extras such as mushrooms, peas,   chicken base,  Teriyaki or Worcestershire sauce and spices like, nutmeg, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or cayenne pepper)


      • Creamy Chipped Beef Fondue  often served on Christmas Eve is a hearty appetizer that requires very little work. (Milk, cream cheese, dried beef,green onions, ground mustard and French bread


GOULASH FROM THE DEPRESSION ERA- American goulash is also called by some ‘American chop suey’ or ‘Slumgullion’.

Goulash is one  that you can make a big pot and stretch to feed a LOT.

The above recipes all contain:

      • ground beef (or Italian sausage can be used, instead )
      • garlic
      • onion
      • tomatoes- such as condensed tomato soup, stewed or diced tomatoes, a rich zesty tomato sauce or paste, jarred pasta or marinara sauce, V8, or tomato juice.
      • elbow macaroni, small shells, bowties or egg noodles
      • Worcestershire sauce
      • Italian seasoning
      • water or beef broth for extra flavor.
      • Cheddar, (Parmesan, or Mozzarella, instead of cheddar.)
      • salt or seasoned salt
      • black pepper


      • Vegetables: Green pepper, shredded carrots, green beans, mushroom stems and pieces, celery, red bell peppers for a bit of sweetness in the zesty sauce or frozen mixed vegetables,
      • Spices– chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, oregano, bay leaves, parsley, red pepper flakes; from dried hot peppers
      • Stretch out the meal with extra pasta, refrigerated mashed potatoes or a can of your favorite kind of drained beans.
      • olive oil

To make the above more like Hungarian goulash, increase the amount of broth and add vegetables such as peas, spinach, and carrots. Add more tender vegetables toward the end so they don’t get mushy.

Hungarian goulash is different. A robust beef and onion soup seasoned with Hungarian paprika it is often made without vegetables. (Other recipes call for potatoes and/or carrots,onions,  green peppers, beef stew meat, salt, pepper, olive oil, beef broth, flour, paprika, tomato paste, caraway seeds, garlic, sugar, egg noodles,and sour cream.)



All the above recipes contain:

      • ground beef or ground chuck
      • onion (can be dried minced)
      • eggs
      • milk
      • salt and pepper
      • ketchup
      • garlic
      • green pepper
      • chili pepper
      • Worcestershire sauce
      • rolled oats or bread or very dry white bread crumbs or soda crackers/saltines
      • tomato soup or tomato paste


      • fresh flat-leaf parsley
      • celery
      • Parmesan cheese
      • olive oil
      • Seasoning options: ground mustard, Montreal Steak Seasoning, poultry seasoning, rubbed sage, cayenne pepper

Some use a cast iron skillet.

1/3 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 3 strips bacon (or butter)


Haluski-Cabbage and noodles

      • Haluski (Buttery egg noodles and fried cabbage – the perfect recipe to use up leftover cabbage.)
      • Haluski–  with  onion, and for For protein, add ham, bacon, or sausage.
      • Haluski -with kielbasa or sausage, onion, cabbage, garlic and frozen peas



  • Meat and Potato Patties
  • Meat and potato patties
  • Ham and Potato Patties   mix together about 1 1/2 cup of leftover mashed potatoes with 1 egg. Add some chopped onion, and ham if using or have on hand. Form into a patties, dip lightly in flour, and fry like you would a pancake!
    During World War II, when meat was rationed and had to be purchased with tokens, this recipe went a long way in feeding a family and children love them.

see casseroles



Notes for Chocolate chip cookies:

  • Brown  and cool the butter before creaming it with the sugar and give the cookies a toasty, nutty flavor.
  • a high-proportion of brown sugar,  produces a chewy center.
  • smoked salt, adds to both the texture and flavor and is also a trend in chocolate drinks and desserts for the last few years.
  • Dark chocolate-cookies use dark or bittersweet chocolate chips.
  • double dark” cookies  have chocolate chips as well as a 100 percent unsweetened, or dark, cacao powder — in other words, cacao powder that has had no sugar added and thus offers an intense hit of chocolate.
  • Nobody likes  them burnt or dry. We do like them buttery and chocolatey.
  • Always wait until your oven is preheated
  • Make sure your cookies bake evenly by rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time.
  • If your cookies are getting too crisp on the edges, it’s likely that the butter in the dough is melting. Briefly refrigerate the dough, about 10 to 15 minutes, before scooping onto trays.
  • Even when you’re in a hurry, wait until your oven is preheated before popping in the cookie sheet. Because of their quick cooking time, cookies need an immediate blast of heat.
  • Burned bottoms can ruin a good cookie. Dark cookie sheets often over-brown the bottoms of cookies. But, line the dark sheet with parchment paper and it won’t absorb as much heat.
  • Can’t tell when your cookies are done? Press lightly with your finger. If it leaves a slight indentation, it’s done.
  •  chocolate chip, white chocolate and pecan cookie melts in your mouth.
  •  an oatmeal cookie   full of dried cranberries drizzled with white chocolate and and pieces of sweet coconut or  oatmeal cookie with white chocolate and wild blueberries.
  • another oatmeal chocolate chip cookie says omit the    1/2 cup chocolate chips and use   1/3  c dried cranberries .
    Instead of paying $22.99 at the mall for a 12 inch cookie, here is how to save a lot of money over what the bakeries charge. Giant chocolate chip cookie:

    • grab a 16.5 oz log of  refrigerated cookie dough.
    • press the cookie dough into a throw-away pizza pan and bake til done.  Decorate it  or leave it looking like the giant chocolate chip cookie it is.



To make

  • Cream Puffs drop by spoonfuls on a greased baking sheet 1½  in apart and shape round with the handle of  a spoon.
  •  Eclairs, put the paste in a pastry bag and force through a round tube ½ in in diameter for small Eclairs, and 1 in. in diameter for large ones, making the 3 ½  to 4 in long.

Bake either Cream Puffs or Eclairs to in a hot oven of 400 F. for 35 min.



Yield: About 15 servings

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or lightly dust with flour), and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add butter and allow to melt, stirring to mix. Lower heat. Add flour, all at once, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly until dough pulls away cleanly from side of pan and forms a ball; do not overcook or dough will not puff when baked.

3. Remove from heat and add 1 egg; quickly work egg into mixture. Continue adding 1 egg at a time, working in each totally before adding another. If necessary, use a whisk to break up any lumps in the dough.

4. Using a tablespoon or a pastry bag, place small mounds of dough about 11/2 to 2 inches high on prepared baking sheet (make them all the same size so they bake evenly). Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown; do not open oven door during first 20 minutes of baking. Cool on a rack.  Allow the cream puffs or Eclairs to cool thoroughly.

5. Whip cream in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in powdered sugar and vanilla. Slice or cut the puffed buns in half, so there is a top and bottom. Spoon or pipe cream mixture into the bottom of each bun and replace the bun tops. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.

To fill:  Cut a slit in the side of each and put filling in with a spoon, or insert the end of a pastry tube and force the filling in. Use sweetened and flavored whipped cream, custard or ice cream to fill the shells.  – fill your cream puffs or tart dough with pastry cream and top with fruit and you have a classic French fruit tart.Frost with a  thin uncooked icing or serve with crushed berries, chocolate or caramel sauce.
Pastry cream   “Everyone should learn to make pastry cream. You just have to stir. This is a recipe that, learn how to do it and the world is yours. So you can fill your cream puffs with the pastry cream.  And pastry cream is the basis for the best, best chocolate pudding.”


  • Ganache “It’s not really baked. Essentially it is an emulsion of heavy cream and chocolate. You just have to stir. It’s something as a baker you really want to know how to make. It can be a filling for a cake. Poured into that beautiful tart shell you just baked and it becomes an elegant tart. You can make a thin ganache and use it as a glaze on a cake.   Dip cookies  or tops of cupcakes in ganache. It’s also the basis of chocolate truffles.
  •  GANACHE9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped and placed in a medium bowl.
    1 c. heavy cream heated in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, (watching carefully because if it boils for just a few seconds it will boil out of the pot.) When it comes to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth.
    Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake.Ganache is typically used as a glaze on top of an already-frosted cake or cupcake, and rightly so because it can be quite rich. However, it can be used as a frosting alternative. This works particularly well on a bundt cake. For this to work as a glaze, you need a cake that will allow for the ganache to really shine. A chocolate cake often works best, but only if it is not a rich cake like devil’s food. However, a white, vanilla or butter cake can work, too. Even though a strawberry cake with chocolate ganache might sound tempting, the chocolate actually does not complement the strawberry here, especially because the strawberry box cakes are often on the fluffy side.Pro tips: If you are wanting this as a glaze, try spreading it around to coat the cake evenly. Start from the inside and work outward. Because it is really sweet, a lot at once can be overpowering. This frosting can also be converted into a whipped frosting. Let the ganache cool until it has thickened and then whip it with a whisk or hand mixer.
  • Creme caramel    No thermometer is needed. Just cook the sugar and watch the color and say, ‘I like that color. That’s enough.’ The cream you mix into it is simple. You just mix it in. It’s a great introduction to caramel.”







      • Apples
      • Bananas   very ripe bananas  thrown in the fridge will keep a couple extra days.   The skins might get dark and ugly looking, but the bananas the texture and flavor are usually just fine.If they brown just freeze whole as soon as they brown to use in smoothies or to make banana bread. Simply pull a couple out, let them defrost, and with the peel still on, squish them up real good. Snip the end off and squeeze the mashed banana out.
      • Black Beans
      • Bread
      • Broccoli
      • Butter
      • Butternut Squash
      • Cabbage
      • Cauliflower
      • Carrots
      • Celery
      • Cereal (unsweetened)
      • Cheese
      • Chicken (fresh & canned)
      • Corn
      • Corn Meal
      • Cream of Wheat
      • Cucumbers
      • Eggs
      • English Muffins
      • Fish Sticks
      • Flour
      • Frozen Veggies
      • Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
      • Grits
      • Ground Turkey
      • Honey
      • Hot Dogs
      • Knorr Sides
      • Lemons
      • Lentils
      • Lettuce
      • Mac & Cheese- Shells and White Cheddar 3-ingredient Mac & Cheese
      • Milk
      • Oatmeal
      • Onions
      • Pancake/Waffles – 3-ingredient Pancakes
      • Pasta
      • Peanut Butter
      • Peppers
      • Popcorn Kennels
      • Potatoes
      • Powdered Milk
      • Ramen Noodles
      • Rice
      • Rolled Oats
      • Salsa
      • Sausage (frozen)
      • Spinach- for a salad or to put in soups
      • Squash
      • Sweet Potatoes
      • Tortillas- add cheese, thinly sliced onion, some chicken(or other meat) and toast til cheese melts. Top sour cream and salsa.
      • Tuna Fish
      • Zucchini- Zucchini Casserole

start start With few ingredients


  • SALMON With few ingredients
      • Clean Eating Blackened Thai Salmon   Put some green beans on the tray while the salmon roasts for a whole meal.
      • Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze  Quick, easy, and flavorful. Brown sugar, dijon mustard, and salmon are all you need to make this 15 minute dinner (looks and tastes like it takes much longer).
      • 3-Ingredient Maple-Cardamom Salmon A quick marinade of maple syrup and cardamom pods infuses this salmon with sweet, complex flavor.
      • Oven-Roasted Salmon   Roasted salmon is super tender,   has a delicate sweetness and is a fast meal.
      • Grilled Teriyaki Salmon The super-fast marinade for this   recipe combines maple syrup and teriyaki sauce which also creates a delicious sweet-and-sour glaze. The salmon stays extremely moist and is really yummy.
      • Salmon souffle


CHICKEN With few ingredients

      • Crunchy French Onion Chicken    Dress up plain chicken breasts with French-fried onions. smash  fried onions in a plastic bag, no mess, Baked until perfection, crunch and very flavorful!
      • Barbeque Bacon Chicken Bake    the family all loved it! Added thighs to the mix. Use whatever barbecue sauce you have on hand for this easy recipe.
      • Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs     a wonderfully simple and delicious recipe to use for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, says recipe creator John Goddard. Garlic powder, salt, and pepper are spice-cabinet staples that season chicken thighs to simple perfection.
      • Three-Ingredient Baked Chicken Breasts
        Amp up plain ol’ chicken breasts with a little butter and salt.  I use this as a basic baked chicken recipe when a recipe calls for cooked chicken. Works great for everything and is super customizable. Sometimes I use garlic salt or other seasonings, depending on what I’m using it for.
      • Pesto Chicken A simple way to prepare chicken that looks like you spent a lot of time preparing. It can also be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until baked    Be sure to use a good quality pesto for best results. I like to serve it with pasta, but it is also nice sliced and served on a green salad. Chicken breasts are covered in pesto and wrapped in prosciutto.
      • Pesto Cheesy Chicken Rolls  Use up leftover pesto and mozzarella cheese to make these elegant chicken rolls.
      • Bacon Wrapped Pesto Chicken    Chicken breasts are dressed up with basil pesto and bacon.  A tasty dish  a bit more unique for the not-so-everyday dinner
      • Fiesta Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos   Add chicken breasts, chicken broth, and taco seasoning to the slow cooker for a flavorful taco filling that’s completely hands-off.  Simple and delicious  chicken tenders were cooked in about four hours on low.
      • Roast Chicken  as simple as it gets. Place a whole chicken into a roasting pan and insert lemon halves into the cavity. Sprinkle with kosher salt and roast and you’ve got a dinner that will last several days. — straight forward, crispy skin and moist, tender meat
      • 3-ingredient Teriyaki Chicken
      • Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
      • Chicken Caprese Salad 
      • Teriyaki Chicken   (assuming you have garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.) A little sweet, a little spicy, a whole lot of flavor.
      • 3 Ingredient Chicken Salad
      • 3-Ingredient Chicken Wings with Herbs and Honey 
      • 2-Ingredient Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken (Super easy) Counting the tortillas and avocado, this is five.
      • Parmesan, mayo and chicken
      • BBQ  potato chips butter and chicken

VEGETABLES  With few ingredients

SALAD With few ingredients

  • 3-Ingredient Grilled Watermelon, Feta, and Tomato Salad  Grilling the watermelon adds a savory depth to the fruit, giving this refreshing summer salad much more flavor than you’d imagine from this simple combination.
  • Orange and Olives Salad looks so pretty on our holiday table every year. It’s so light and simple to make.
  • Cornbread Salad- In a large bowl combine coarsely crumbled cornbread, diced tomato,diced green pepper, chopped green onions,chopped celery,mayo,bacon cooked and crumbled.

NOODLES With few ingredients

  • Fried Cabbage and Egg Noodles  German recipe from   Grandmother.  cabbage that is lightly browned in butter and mixed with egg noodles and browned lightly for a wonderful, hearty, and fast dish
  • Bacon, Cabbage and Noodles   Hungarian food. After one taste, they always come back for seconds…and thirds!


PASTA  With few ingredients

BREAKFAST  With few ingredients

ICE CREAM SYRUP  With 3-4 ingredients

  • Hot Fudge Sauce  (Sugar,cream, cocoa & butter)
  • Chocolate syrup    (Sugar,  cocoa, vanilla extract) No butter or milk, You can use honey or maple syrup in place of the sugar.)
  • Mother’s Chocolate Syrup is 1 c. sugar, 1/4 c. cocoa, 1/4 c. butter, 1/4 c. milk. Bring to boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Add 1 t. vanilla
  • Caramel Sauce      (Butter, brown sugar, cream) in the microwave… for ice cream or pancakes, or stirred into your morning cup of coffee.

NO CHURN ICE CREAM  AND SHERBET   As few as three ingredients that start with sweetened condensed milk.

LIQUID NITROGEN ICE CREAM- Start with heavy cream, liquid nitrogen, condensed milk and add one more thing to make:

ICE CREAM PIE  With three ingredients

ICE BOX CAKE  With 3 ingredients

  • Gingersnap Icebox Cake Heavy cream, gingersnaps and your choice of jam, marmalade, or fruit preserves. Raspberry or cherry would be especially nice.
  • Strawberry Icebox Cake Whipped cream, graham crackers and strawberries
  • Chocolate and cream Ice Box Cake – so easy to make yet fancy enough for company. Heavy Cream, powdered sugar, chocolate wafer cookies. (Store-bought caramel sauce and frozen puff pastry are the secrets to a delicious dessert that you can make in under an hour.)

BROWNIES  With few ingredients

CREPES  With few ingredients

APPLE DESSERTS  With few ingredients


THANKSGIVING  FOODS With few ingredients

MOZZARELLA STICKS  With few ingredients

CHICKEN With few ingredients



MOUSSE With few ingredients



Pineapple Dole whip dessert– 3-ingredient recipe! Vanilla ice cream and frozen pineapple and pineapple juice or orange juice.


EGGS With few ingredients


Use  leftover chocolate by spearing pineapple chunks and mandarin orange segments  with toothpicks, or dip Oreos in the leftover chocolate!

3 Ingredient CANDY

Fudge made with frosting

  • 2 ingredient peanut butter fudge made with vanilla frosting (video) She shows how to use parchment paper correctly!!
  • Reese’s Fudge: vanilla frosting, peanut butter chips, mini Reese’s Pieces ice cream topping…Smooth, creamy,  delicious  and easy

Fudge with a few ingredients

  •  White chocolate cranberry fudge   (white chocolate chips, vanilla extract, dried cranberries and sweetened, condensed milk)
  •  Peanut Butter Fudge   Sugar, Evaporated Milk, Corn Syrup, Butter, Peanut Butter, Vanilla Extract
  • Maple-Pecan Fudge  ultra-rich, pecan-studded fudge with the flavor of pure maple syrup—there’s no additional sugar…simply, pecans, pure maple syrup heavy cream, kosher salt and unsalted butter (for pan)

Fudge with 3 ingredients and one of those is  sweetened condensed milk




  • French Fries  This recipe is so much better than any fast-food or frozen variety.
  • Oven Fries jazz up  with paprika and garlic powder. the combination of spices packs a punch. The leftovers are even good cold!
  • Air-Fryer Potato Chips  simple to make and are a crispy side for lunch.
  • Home Fries  Sunday morning awaken to the tempting aroma.
  • Secret ingredient at a restaurant known for their fries…they dipped them in soft serve ice cream before frying!

BISCUITS, ROLLS, BREAD  With few ingredients

  • 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits recipe calls for cutting chilled shortening into the dough as you would with cold butter.
  • 2-Ingredient Biscuits a satisfying accompaniment to any meal. I never made biscuits until I tried this recipe, now my husband wants them all the time!
  • Air-Fryer Onion Crescent Rolls French fried onions aren’t just for green bean casserole. Sprinkle them onto crescent roll dough before rolling up and you’ll end up with a crunchy treat inside flaky pastry.
  • Corn Pone Originally always made it with bacon drippings, which is heavenly, but  you can use canola oil or a combination of the two. I cook it until it’s crisp almost all the way through. It’s delicious hot, warm or cold.
  • Dutch Oven Bread Crackling homemade Dutch oven bread makes an average day extraordinary. beautiful crusty bread  that you can stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits.
  • Rustic Bread An overnight rest and fresh cake yeast help this simple, easy-to-make loaf develop the flavor and texture of traditional sourdough.
  • Cloud Bread
  • Italian Bread tender loaves never last long. served the bread with Italian meal. Great toasted, too.
  • Fry Bread  delicious,very easy to make  recipe from a small cafe  on the Navajo reservation.
  • Ice Cream Bread Ice cream gets a whole new use in this tender bread recipe that I pared down to serve two. Be sure to use full-fat ice cream for best results.

CINNAMON ROLLS  With few ingredients

  • Banana Cinnamon Rolls: These mini cinnamon rolls are healthier because they are made with only fruit. You’re going to love them.
  • Easy, Three Ingredient Cinnamon Rolls: Your family will fall in love with these cinnamon rolls for breakfast. They are fluffy, sweet, and mind-blowing delicious.

DRINKS  With few ingredients

  • Guinness Float   quick and easy dessert.  freshly poured draft  combine the two in a Guinness float.
  • Homemade Limoncello This limoncello recipe makes a drink better than any store-bought version. It’s perfect as an after-dinner treat on its own, or whipped up in a cocktail.
  • Screwdriver a mixed drink that is easy on your budget, is this screwdriver recipe. With just two simple ingredients, vodka and orange juice, you’ll have a classic drink that’s a real crowd-pleaser.
  • White Russian This creamy coffee-flavored drink is a star at any occasion and perfect for any season. A White Russian is equally appropriate before or after dinner.
  • Manhattan This Manhattan on the Rocks recipe makes a substantial drink. It can be served straight up in a chilled cocktail glass or over ice in a rocks glass.
  • Classic Margarita A classic margarita recipe doesn’t need anything other than tequila, Triple Sec and fresh lime juice. When you’re making the cocktail, make sure you squeeze the limes correctly for the ultimate freshness.
  • Rum Orange 

COFFEE  With few ingredients

  • Cold-Brew Coffee Cold brewing reduces the acidity of coffee, which enhances its natural sweetness and complex flavors. Even those who take hot coffee with sugar and cream might find themselves sipping cold brew plain.

STEAKS  With few ingredients

RIBS  With few ingredients

BBQ  PULLED PORK  With few ingredients

PORK CHOPS  AND HAM  With few ingredients


NAAN (Italian food) With few ingredients



  • Homemade Tortillas I usually have to double this flour tortilla recipe because we go through them so quickly. The homemade tortillas are so tender and chewy, you’ll never use store-bought again.
  • Cheesy Quesadillas serve them as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter.

SHRIMP AND FISH  With few ingredients

      • Spicy Lime Grilled Shrimp is jazzed up with a little cajun seasoning and lime juice. Delicious and easy! Substituting Creole seasoning for the Cajun also works well. Grilled the shrimp on skewers and squeezed a little lime juice on them after removing from the grill


More With few ingredients

This entry was posted in Food, Military families, Money Found, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, Recipes, Saving Money, Veterans. Bookmark the permalink.

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