Some New Twists on Comfort Food Favourites


Comfort FoodTHUNDER BAY – Food Now – Fall is in the air, the first frost warnings have been issued, and the children and teens are headed back to school. What better time to plan out some tasty meal ideas?

Here are some suggestions taking some traditional favourites and building on them.

Ah, comfort food. Simple, hearty dishes full of flavor and good memories. There’s nothing quite like sitting down to one of these family favorites after a long day. Somehow, it just makes everything seem better.

These recipes take some classic comfort foods and make them a little easier to prepare — which means you get to enjoy them even more.

No-Fuss Italian: Everybody’s favorite pasta dish gets an easy makeover with this Slow Cooker Lasagna. No fussing with cooked noodles, no layering, no worries. Put the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and sit down to a delicious Italian dinner once everybody’s home.

Wake-Up Call: Biscuits with Sausage and Gravy is a classic weekend breakfast or brunch. Using flavorful Bob Evans Sausage, you can have a hearty breakfast ready in just minutes.

Lip-Smacking Lunch: Forget about a plain sandwich — warm things up with tasty BBQ Quesadillas.

Simple Supper: The humble Shepherd’s Pie gets even easier to make with this Shepherd’s Pie Skillet recipe. One quick-fix secret? Using Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes means no peeling, no boiling and no mashing.

Weeknight Special: When the kids are craving something warm and cheesy, this Cheesy Chili Mac really hits the spot.

Slow Cooker Tips: To cook food safely, manufacturers and the USDA recommend that the slow cooker be filled between half- and two-thirds full. Ground meats, poultry and sausage must be completely cooked before you place them in the slow cooker. Brown in a skillet over medium heat.

Don’t open the lid during the cooking process — each peek adds an additional 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time.

Dairy products tend to break down in a slow cooker, so only add them during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

For high altitude cooking, add an additional 30 minutes for each hour of time specified in the recipe.

Slow Cooker Lasagna
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 to 6 hours
Makes 6 servings

  • 1 pound Bob Evans Italian Sausage Roll
  •  1 package no-boil lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces (9 ounces)
  •  12 ounces ricotta cheese
  •  3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (12 ounces)
  •  2 jars pasta sauce (26 ounces each)
  •  1 tablespoon dried parsley

Spray interior of slow cooker with non-stick vegetable spray.

In medium skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage until brown. Place in slow cooker. Add noodles, ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, pasta sauce and parsley. Stir gently to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

Five minutes before serving, top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover to melt cheese.

Sausage Gravy
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 pound Bob Evans Original Recipe Sausage Roll
  •  ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  •  2 cups milk
  •  Salt and black pepper to taste
  •  8 prepared biscuits

Crumble and cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot over biscuits. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cheesy Chili Mac
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound Bob Evans Original Recipe Sausage Roll
  •  1 small onion, diced
  •  ½ cup green pepper, diced
  •  1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  •  1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  •  1 ½ cups water
  •  2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  •  1 tablespoon chili powder
  •  1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  •  1 cup elbow macaroni
  •  1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  •  1 bunch green onions chopped (optional)

In large saucepan, over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage, onion and green peppers until sausage is browned.

Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, water, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add elbow macaroni and stir well. Recover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.

Serve topped with cheddar cheese.
Shepherd’s Pie Skillet
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  •  1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn)
  •  1 cup beef gravy
  •  1 package Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes (24 ounces)
  •  ¼ pound Velveeta Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into ½-inch cubes (4 ounces)

Heat oven to 375°F.
Brown meat in heavy medium ovenproof skillet; drain. Return meat to skillet; stir in frozen vegetables and gravy.
Combine potatoes and cheese; spread over meat mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.
Serving suggestion: Serve with a mixed green salad and your favorite fresh fruit.

Substitute: Substitute 1 pound Bob Evans Original Roll Sausage for the ground beef.

BBQ Quesadilla
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound Bob Evans Zesty Hot Sausage
  •  ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  •  ½ cup Bob Evans Wildfire BBQ sauce
  •  4 10-inch flour tortillas
  •  1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  •  Sour cream
  •  Salsa

In skillet over medium heat crumble and cook sausage and onions until brown. Stir in BBQ sauce. Lay 2 tortillas on a flat surface. Top each with ¼ cup cheese.

Divide sausage mixture between the two. Sprinkle each with ¼ cup cheese.

Top with remaining tortillas. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil to coat bottom of skillet. Cook one quesadilla at a time until golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cut into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa.

For additional simple comfort food recipes, visit

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