Beef , Vegetable & Cheese Casserole


Let’s talk about diet food. Bland, gross and yucky diet food.

Have you ever seen this site: Weight Watchers Recipe Cards Circa 1974

Absolutely horrendous!

Luckily, we’ve realized that diets with gross food don’t work any better then diets with perfectly tasteful food. That’s a big time relief for me, since I like my food to taste good! (luckily my Nutrisystem food tastes GREAT!)

I’m a big big fan of casseroles and this one is one of my absolute all time favorites. It is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe (thankfully NOT circa 1974), but tweaked with my own families preferences.

I hope you enjoy!

Beef , Vegetable & Cheese Casserole


  • 12 oz lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 zuchinni sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow squash sliced thinly
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta (or you can use cottage cheese; picture has cottage cheese…but we do prefer ricotta)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup low fat cheddar shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Cooking Spray


  1. First pre heat your oven to 500. Spray your baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange the zuchini, squash and tomatoes on the tray. Roast for about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat your ground beef and onions in a pan. I usually cook the onions first until they are just about translucent and then add in my meat. Drain the fat off the meat and onions and put back in the pan. Stir in the tomato sauce once the meat is browned and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Now you’ll want to mix together your ricotta or cottage cheese, cheddar, egg yolk and seasonings in a bowl.
  4. In a casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray: 1. Add the meat mixture 2. Followed by the veggies 3. Spread the cheese mixture on top
  5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes.
  6. This serves 6 easily

This casserole is SO good. It might not sound like much, but it’s a real treat!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Today’s recipe proves that it’s really okay to detour from the original recipe. Maybe you don’t have all the ingredients on hand. Maybe you can’t stand mushrooms or chicken or sour cream. The truth is, you can really custom make any recipe into a dish your family will love.

When I flipped over my bag of egg noodles the other day, I was hoping to find a stroganoff recipe. I have yet to make one I really enjoyed, and this was the first time I had purchased this brand of egg noodles. I was hoping for the stroganoff recipe to end my quest. Instead, there was a rather bland recipe for Creamy Chicken Noodle Bake. It didn’t use cream of mushroom/chicken/broccoli soup though, so I was interested (nothing against the cream of soups…I just get sick of every casserole recipe including them!), but it looked pretty boring.

The other problem was that it called for 4 cups of chicken, which is a lot of chicken for this frugal girl to dump into a measly casserole. AND it was devoid of any veggies. When I make a casserole, I want it to be all in one. Our meat, our veggies and our starch.

So I decided to manipulate this recipe a bit, and the finished result was just lovely! Know that you can change this up however you like. It’s a great basic recipe that you can really change up to suit your families tastebuds!

Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole

adapted from the back of a noodle bag <—Classy!


  • About 8 oz of egg noodles (cooked until al dente)
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken (diced)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1 16 oz bag of chopped broccoli (drained completely and thawed)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat butter in a deep pot and mix in flour, salt, pepper and italian seasonings. Heat through until the mixture starts to brown (you’ll want to be on medium to low heat to be sure you don’t burn it!)
  3. SLOWLY add your chicken broth to the pot, letting each little bit incorporate before adding more. This is the most important part! If you don’t do this slowly enough and without constant stirring, you will have a lumpy base.
  4. Add cooked noodles, chicken and broccoli to the pot and stir
  5. Pour into a 13x9x2 inch casserole dish that you have sprayed with non stick spray
  6. Place in the oven for around 35 minutes
  7. Take out and add cheese over the top and put the casserole back in the oven for 10 minutes
  8. Let sit for a bit after you take it out of the oven so it has time to thicken

You might want to add some parsley or cracked pepper to the finished product, but I loved it straight from the oven!


Be sure to check out my other frugal recipes here: Frugal Recipes


Weight Watchers Friendly Chicken Divan

So as you know, I’m on Weight Watchers (are you sick of me talking about it yet?) and I’m searching for some staple recipes to round out my menus from week to week. I like my eating to be as thoughtless as possible, so you’ll see me testing a lot of recipes for awhile and after that it will probably die down a bit (unless you all just beg me for more, well I’d have to do it! Anything for my readers!).

The most recent obsession of mine is Gina’s Skinny Taste website. Not only do her recipes look gorgeous, they also taste amazing.

I love chicken paired with broccoli, and this recipe adds oodles of cheese (I’m sure oodles of cheese is a keyword, best bold it so all the search engine peeps can find it.)…so it sounded like a dream come true.

Gina’s Chicken Divan is divine, but next time I do think I’ll leave the wine out of it. It was too strong paired up against the swiss cheese (which isn’t a flavor that I love to be honest), so next time I’ll just use chicken broth (did you know you can substitute chicken broth for white wine in most cases? Unless you are looking to get intoxicated, in which case…chicken broth will NOT work.)

So here’s my latest weight watchers recipe in pictures. You can see the full directions and ingredient list on Skinny Taste. I made no substitutions in this one, so I don’t feel right posting the recipe here (also I like to share the link love). I do have to admit that I could not find the low fat versions of the cheeses though, so I had to adjust the points accordingly.

Chicken Divan courtesy of Skinny Taste

Lots and Lots of chopped up broccoli. Chopping up broccoli is messy.
My mother in law gave us an electric grill for Christmas. It gets a lot of work nowadays. Love those grill marks. They make even plain old chicken look delicious!
Don't have a way to measure 2 ounces of wine? Grab an old baby bottle, make your husband take a picture and sit back and wait for CPS.
While you are pouring wine into baby bottles, your daughter gets stuck in a laundry basket (of course you have to grab the camera before you help her out).
And your son flashes you those big hazel eyes and says "Can I just eat candy instead?"
Anything topped with breadcrumbs AND cheese has to be good...right?
Melty, bubbly goodness. Yum.

This recipe was awesome as is, and I definitely will be changing it up a bit next time…maybe subbing the swiss cheese for something else as well? Regardless, a hit in my book.

You can read the full recipe right here.


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