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Cooking Up Big Savings

Looking for a dish that is easy on the wallet? Try some of these recipes that make great leftovers.

As part of the 2010 Savings Challenge, host Jeff Yeager asked the online community to channel their savings and culinary skills and submit their favorite "big batch recipe."

Experienced cheapskates know that batch cooking is a great way to save. You can buy ingredients in larger quantities and defrosting fully cooked leftovers is more convenient and a lot less expensive than dining out.

The rules for this challenge were simple. The batch recipes needed to provide at least 8 servings and could be any type of dish: breakfast, appetizer, entree or dessert. The dish also needed to freeze or store well for future use.

Here's a sampling of some of the dishes our Savings Challenge group members submitted. You can see more of them in the Savings Challenge group.

Mimi1921's Broccoli Cornbread (Winner of the big batch recipe challenge)

Serves 8


· 8 oz cottage cheese

· 2 sticks butter or margarine, melted

· 8 eggs

· 2 10 oz. boxes frozen chopped broccoli or 1 reg. size bag

· 1 large onion, diced

· 2 boxes corn muffin mix


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs and onions. Mix well. Cook broccoli in microwave only long enough to thaw, then mix butter or margarine, broccoli and corn muffin mix into the cottage cheese and egg mixture. Pour mixture into a well-greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake in a 400-degree preheated oven for 30 minutes or until done and top springs back in the middle.

slee15's Banana Split Cake

Serves 8


· 9 x 13 yellow cake (either mix or from scratch)

· 2 small packages instant banana pudding mix

· 1 8 oz. package cream cheese

· 1 1/2 cups milk

· 3 ripe bananas

· 1 large can crushed pineapple (drained)

· 1 8 oz. whipped topping (thawed)

· 1 jar maraschino cherries

· 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

· 1/4 cup chocolate syrup


Bake yellow cake per instructions. Cool completely and slice off top. Whip softened cream cheese with milk until smooth, then add banana pudding mixes. Spread pudding mixture on top of cake. Thinly slice bananas on top of pudding layer. Then spread pineapple over bananas and top with the thawed whipped topping. Garnish with maraschino cherries and drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle on chopped walnuts. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

ZONIE's Montana Cilantro Beef

Serves 8-10


· 3 lbs. of sale beef such as London broil or round steak cut in julienne strips about 2 or 3 inches long.

· 1 large onion

· 1 Tbsp of olive oil

· 1 tsp of minced garlic (fresh or in the jar)

· 1 can of whole tomatoes

· 1/2 cup of pepperoncini or jalapeno juice (from jar)

· 1 can (or two if you love 'em) of green chilies (mild)

· 1 cup of medium salsa (your own level of "hot" is fine, too)

· 1 Tbsp of chili powder

· 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup water

· 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro


Brown the onion in olive oil and add cut up beef and garlic. Transfer meat and all ingredients except the cornstarch and cilantro into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 hours (or for your work shift or overnight). When ready to eat, add the cornstarch and cilantro and reheat to bubbly. Salt to taste. Serve over brown minute (or Uncle Ben's) rice or with microwave baked potatoes and your favorite veggie.

Neesy57's Eggs Taos

Serves 8


· 4 tablespoons butter
· 1 dozen eggs
· ¼ cup water
· ¼ teaspoon salt
· ¼ teaspoon pepper
· 1 jar Stokes Green Chile Sauce with Pork
· 2 packages shredded cheese; Cheddar/Jack
· 6 large flour (or corn) tortillas
· 1 jar salsa
· sour cream (optional)

avocado (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large baking dish with Pam, melt butter in oven. In a bowl, beat eggs and water with fork and pour over melted butter, and cook until eggs start to puff (12-15 minutes). Take out of oven and with kitchen scissors or knife, cut tortillas in quarters to cover bottom of dish. Spread one package of shredded cheese over top of tortillas. Spread Stokes Green Chile Sauce with Pork over cheese. Spread jar of salsa over chilies. Top off with one package of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with dollop of sour cream and/or slices of avocado.

carose1's Corn Chowder

Serves 12-14


· 1 cup diced onion

· 6 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

· 4 16 oz. cans creamed corn

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1/2 teaspoon pepper

· 4 large cans evaporated milk

· 1/2 stick butter


Cover potatoes with water, add onion and salt. Boil gently until potatoes are tender. Pour off half of the water, mash the potatoes. Add corn, milk, pepper and butter. You may need to add more liquid, salt and pepper to your liking. When serving the soup, you can top it with leftover chopped ham, bacon or cheese. May freeze, thaw and heat on low.

anspacc's Quinoa and Black Beans

Serves 10


· 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

· 1 onion, chopped

· 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

· 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

· 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

· salt and pepper to taste

· 1 cup frozen corn kernels

· 2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

· 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

· 1 or 2 limes squeezed for juice


Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro. Splash with lime juice and enjoy.