Poverty Meal

"When I was a child, my family used to eat this at least once a week due to the fact that it is inexpensive and a little goes a long way. We also added fresh herbs or sometimes whole kernel corn. Its even better the next day and it freezes well."
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F.
photo by Cheyenne L. photo by Cheyenne L.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by Swirling F. photo by Swirling F.
photo by knit_witch_8088511 photo by knit_witch_8088511
Ready In:




  • Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
  • Brown ground beef and drain.
  • Add ground beef, tomatoes, water, raw macaroni, salt and pepper to the onion and garlic mixture.
  • Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
  • If desired, top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

Questions & Replies

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  1. ~*Miss Diggy*~
    Whether you are in no money times, or not, this is a SUPER MEAL TO HAVE! My hubby was so excited to try it, and I have to admit while cooking I ate a little here and there! LOL I did use ground turkey and put in an extra clove of garlic and 1 tsp basil. It was so good. I thank you for this wonderful meal that will come in good use at our home!
  2. Nougat
    I've been making a one dish meal similar to this for years. It too, was my mom's go to supper for us girls when we were children. We called it goulash, but whatever you call it, it makes a wonderful meal. I made this exactly as written with the exception of using regular cheap tomato juice in place of the water, I've found that this one addition makes a big difference in the flavor. Which means DH doesn't feel compelled to pour ketchup all over his, (that used to irritate me). This is also an easy recipe to dress up any way you want, ie. italian seasonings, mushrooms, peppers, hot pepper flakes etc. This is really good, and leftovers are better!
  3. Darlene Summers
    hi Kari, This recipe reminds me of some of the wonderful concoctions we put together as kids,there were 10 of us kids so we lived very frugal,the only change I made was to add a can of kidney beans,it was delicious!!! Thanks for reminding me of my childhood. Darlene Summers
  4. Rae912
    Yummy and filling. I used Morningstar Meal Starter Crumbles to make it vegetarian and topped it with shredded mozzarella .
  5. Denise!
    We really enjoyed this recipe! I browned the ground beef with the onion and added more garlic and quite a bit of salt and pepper. Simple and homestyle goodness in one pan. I served this with crusty rolls and a tossed salad and there wasn't a bit left! Nice on the budget, great comfort food. Thanks, Kari!


  1. A B.4619
    Sauteed raw macaroni and onions in a small amount of the leftover fat from the meat until browned before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Cappy P.
    Tweak the name of this!
  3. Summer W.
    Great recipe!! Easy too and I did use beef broth instead of water!
  4. River C.
    First of all, I have never seen a 16 ounce can of stewed tomatoes - all the soup-size cans of tomatoes are 14.5 ounces. No big deal, just some minor adjustments to consider when making this recipe. Also, water brings nothing to the party, so I used beef stock instead. Otherwise, great comfort food.
  5. JONRP
    Very good recipe. I usually take this recipe and add half again as much of each ingredient. This will make 2-2.5 quart casseroles. I add cheddar cheese to the top and bake until cheese melts. I freeze the other casserole for future use.


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