Aunt Linda’s Mess, this recipe has been in my family for at least 50 years. When I was a kid we ate it at least once a month. My mother was born on her Aunt Linda’s birthday. Aunt Linda and her husband live in Minnesota, where the majority of my mother’s family still lives today. This dinner is what is referred to in the midwest as a “hotdish” and is frequently prepared in an electric skillet. This recipe serves 6-8 with a side dish, like a green salad, or steamed veggies.
This cheesy delicious mess is a great meal for kids and grown ups alike. I’ve modified it a bit from it’s original form (which calls for Velveeta and canned mushrooms).
I’m not sure if Aunt Linda invented this dish or if she inspired this dish- and no one knows why it’s called a mess. It reminds me of a cheesy stroganoff. Regardless- No one can say no to this dish!
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1C chopped mushrooms (fresh are better, but you can used canned mushrooms if you prefer- just remember to drain them!)
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup (you can use low fat/low sodium if you prefer)
- 1/2C+ shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 carton sour cream (or plain Fat free Greek yogurt)
- 1 package cooked spaghetti (you can use any kind of pasta or macaroni- you want 6-8 cups of cooked pasta)
- Brown and crumble beef.
- Add onion and mushrooms. Sauté until onions are transparent and mushrooms have softened (about 10 minutes).
- Add canned soup and cheese.
- Cook until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
- Add the cooked, drained pasta and toss to coat the pasta.
You can omit mushrooms if you don’t care for them. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there are any vegetarian or vegan work arounds for this recipe, since it’s mostly meat and dairy products!
I’ll be posting more family recipes over the next few weeks.
My Dad made this for us a lot when my mom worked late. I love it because it’s got chicken, onions, cheese, and pasta in it. Pretty much everything I like in life. AND when I was pregnant with Lil’ Man I had such horrible morning sickness round the clock, it was pretty much the only food I could eat. This is a great hot dish, perfect for a family dinner or make a bigger batch for a potluck. It’s a hit with kids and grown ups!
I try to make adaptations for many differing diets, but sadly, this recipe cannot be adapted for Vegans or be made gluten free (unless there is GF Cream of Mushroom soup I don’t know about).
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 t. butter
- 1-2 c cooked shredded or cubed chicken (I usually cook a batch of chicken breasts in the crock pot and then portion it up for later use)
- 1 can Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup (if you can’t find it, stick with Cream of Chicken)
- I can of water
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ cup cheese (you favorite kind- I like sharp cheddar!) You can use more cheese if you like.
- 1 lb pasta, your choice
- Start a large pot of water on the stove and cook pasta as directed.
- While Pasta is cooking In a saucepan, saute the onion in butter, until the onions are clear, about 10 minutes.
- To the onions, add chicken, soup, water, Italian seasoning. Cook until bubbly, stirring to combine ingredients.
- Add cheese and stir until smooth.
- Add pasta and stir to combine.
- If you want to make this a one pot dish, add 1-2 cups steamed veggies, such as broccoli, peas, or asparagus.
- You can use the vegetarian “chicken” pieces in place of the chicken. You can also use leftover Turkey or rotisserie chicken!
- You can also add 1 cup sliced mushrooms and/or 1/2 cup celery while you are sautéing the onion.
- My dad likes the dish topped with butter bread crumbs or slivered almonds.
- To make this dish a little richer, stir in 1/2 cup sour cream (the real stuff, no imitation sour cream) when you add the cooked pasta.