Monday, August 4, 2014

Easy Pantry Friendly Stroganoff

Back in the day Señor Hotness and I lived off of convenience foods. Why you might wonder?  Its probably because I was a teenage bride that knew how to cook three things.  The first was spaghetti, but who can't make spaghetti.  The second was homemade yeast rolls, and my love for bread is still strong.  The last thing I could make was a pot of truly kick-butt chicken and dumplings (recipe to come).  Man, however, was not meant to live on chicken and dumplings alone.  So in those days my idea of a home cooked meal was browning up some ground meat and making a box of hamburger helper.  I shudder now to even think about eating it.  Fast forward a couple of years, and I was a stay at home mom.  Budget living took on a whole new meaning then.  I soon realized its WAY cheaper to buy ingredients to make my own casseroles and pasta dishes than it is to buy them ready made.  So a few years ago I realized that I hadn't bought a box of hamburger helper in a few years.  I started feeling nostalgic.  You can see where this is going right?  So which one did I get? The stroganoff.  It had always been our favorite.  It was awful.  I discovered that I preferred my recipe better.  The best thing about it is that its cheaper, and is made entirely out of what, to most, are stock pantry items.

The white bucket is what I use to keep my flour in.  I only buy it in bulk.  I'm working on a more reasonable everyday storage system.

You'll need:
1 lb ground sausage (we use turkey)
1/2 onion, (chopped or diced)
1 small can of mushrooms (drained)
1 package cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
1/4 cup flour (I really like to use wheat, but white works too)
6 cubes of beef flavored bouillon
4 cups of water
Worcestershire sauce (just a dash)
2 lbs of elbow macaroni pasta (any kind works well)
2 tsp basil (optional)

In a pan sauté the onions with a little bit of oil for a few minutes.  I only use extra virgin olive oil, but any kind will do.

The strange looking utensil is actually a pampered chef product that I LOVE.  It breaks up the meat so well.  So you don't have big clumps of meat.  I'm very anti-clumps.
Then add in the sausage, and cook until browned.

In a large liquid measuring cup drop the 6 bouillon cubes, and then microwave for a minute.  This will help the bouillon to start breaking down.

 My daughter thought this picture of it degrading was really cool.
As you can see it will start to break apart on it own.  If you want to give it a stir it will help the process along, or you could choose to substitute beef broth for this portion.

When the meat is all browned drain off the fat.  It is best to put your colander in a big bowl to catch the dripping versus draining directly into the sink because it will ruin your plumbing.

Using the same pan that you used for your meat mixture, place the 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat to melt, and slightly brown.

Lets all agree to not talk about how fat my hand is.

When your butter is melted, and slightly browned whisk in the 1/4 cup of flour.  It will be clumpy.

Slowly whisk in your water and beef bouillon mixture.  If you add the water to quickly your sauce will get super lumpy.  So it is super important to pour only a small bit of liquid at a time, and make sure to fully mix it with the whisk before add any additional liquid.

After all the liquid is added let it simmer for a few minutes while you constantly stir.  It will allow it to thicken further.

Then add the mushrooms.

The cream cheese I took out that morning to sit on the counter to soften.  You can also throw it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.

Mix the softened cream cheese into the sauce.  It helps to cube the cream cheese before hand.  When the cream cheese is fully incorporated stir in your meat mixture.  Add a dash of worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.  I personally prefer using garlic salt, but regular salt will do well do.  A little will go a long way since the bouillon is rather salty already.

While the sauce was coming together.  I had the pasta on to boil.  We used elbow macaroni this time which only takes about 6 minutes. 

After the pasta has fully drained pour the sauce over the top.

Mix until the sauce has been fully distributed to all the noodles.

Another beautiful shot from my twelve year old Miss E.

Miss P. was feeling excessively impatient while I was trying to get pictures of the food.

Miss J. aka Destructo Girl took a much cuter, and sweet approach to getting her food.

Miss A. just wanted her picture taken...

and, in the end, Miss P. finally got in the spirit of using charm instead whining to get her food.

The stroganoff sauce itself is incredibly yummy on pasta, rice or potatoes all of which are usually standard pantry items.  This is a favorite at our house to eat on Sunday evenings after church when we aren't wanting to make a big effort on dinner.  This is also a great main dish to be paired with green beans, broccoli or even salad.  This is a super easy and versatile recipe, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.  Happy Eating!

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Disclaimer: Most of the photos used, were taken by my 12 year old who is in love with photography.  So some pictures she thinks are super cool, but aren't necessarily all that great for a photo tutorial.

Linked up at: Daily Cup with Mrs.


  1. I want one of those cool utensils to break the meat up...nifty!! I use to eat stroganoff all the time when I was young. Haven't had it for awhile...but I need too ;)

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  2. It is super yummy. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I have never used sausage in stroganoff, but I know my husband would love it! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. And, thanks for linking up at Happiness is Homemade. Hope to see you next week!

  4. Can you believe that I have never bought a box of Hamburger Helper? I make a from scratch stroganoff that we love. It's similar, but I always like trying new things so I will give yours a whirl sometime. Thanks for sharing it with SYC. Your little ones are so cute!!