Put it in a Pie for Fast, Frugal Food
Are you running out of fresh ideas for supper? Are you also running out of meat and fresh veggies? Pie shells are the best trick for putting a new spin on some old ideas. You’d be surprised what you can get away with putting in there!
The cheapest way to make a pie shell is to do it from scratch. Here is my favorite, simple pie crust recipe:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup water
- In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Roll out dough on a floured counter. Don't over work it. Use as directed in pie recipe.
If that’s too much work, you can use a pie crust mix from Jiffy, which will usually run you no more than 40 cents for a top and bottom crust. If you’re desperate for time and space, however, it is still alright to use a pre-made pie crust from your grocer’s fridge or freezer section. (You will be paying more for this convenience.) Pillsbury is by far my favorite, but it will cost at least $2.50 for the roll-out variety.
Now that you have your crust, you can begin planning on what to put in it! The possibilities truly are endless. Feel free to stray from the traditional chicken or beef pot pie recipes, and think of any meat or veggie combo that would be easily contained in a pie crust.
Here are my favorites:
Cowboy Pie – 1 can of baked beans (brown sugar variety), 2 strips of crisp crumbled bacon, 1/3 pound browned hamburger, ½ cup sautéed onions, ½ cup sautéed green onion
Runza Pie – 1.5 pounds of browned hamburger, ½ cup sautéed onions, 2 cups steamed shredded cabbage, 1 cup shredded cheese of your choosing
Breakfast Pie – 8 eggs scrambled, 3 strips of crisp crumbled bacon, ½ pound browned breakfast sausage, 1 cup shredded cheese of your choosing
Taco Pie – 1 pound browned hamburger (seasoned with taco seasoning), ½ cup sautéed onions, 1 can black or red beans, 1 cup fresh/frozen/canned corn, 1 small can diced green chili peppers, 1 cup shredded cheese or your choosing (This is also great with cornbread mix substituted for the pie crust – add two tablespoons of honey or maple syrup for a great flavor combo!)
Supper pies just need to be filled and baked at 350 degrees until the pie is a nice golden brown and the insides are hot! We have been known to fill pies with leftover stews, chilis, casseroles, or anything seemingly inedible or boring on its own. Recycle all kind of foods in a snazzy new pie shell!
Dinner for one? Avoid waste by snipping off part of the pre-made crust with some kitchen shears and folding it over a small amount of filling for a tasty “pie pocket” for a super single meal. (These are also great for brown bag meals.)
What can you put in a pie? Just about anything. We’d love to hear what you’ve baked up lately!