5 Cheap Recipes Using Chef Boyardee

How To Eat Cheaply

I’ve made it my mission to help you, the citizens of Humbleville, learn how to save your money.  Basically, my goal is to show you how to be as efficient as possible with your income.

Which brings me to today’s lesson:  How to eat cheaply.  To demonstrate this, I want to introduce you to my friend, “Chef Boyardee.”

I used to love Chef Boyardee when I was a kid, my favorite being spaghetti and meatballs.  But now that I’m older, I just don’t appreciate the stuff like I used to.

Now that I’ve got a household of my own to run and a budget to stay within, my interest in the canned pasta has been sparked again.  But it’s different this time, I don’t plan on just putting it in a bowl and heating it up.  I plan on cooking with it!

That’s right folks!  I’m taking your regular, everyday can of Chef Boyardee and turning it into a dish you’d never recognize as canned anything!  Sounds absurd right?

These meal ideas are easy, insanely cheap, and surprisingly delicious!  Don’t believe?  Try one, what do you have to lose?  $1.00?

For measurement purposes, use 1 can of Chef Boyardee for each person.  All of the following recipes make 4 servings.

Chef Boyardee Lasagna Bake


  • 4 cans of Chef Boyardee Lasagna
  • 1/2 lb. cooked ground beef
  • 15 oz. container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzerella
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  1. Open all cans of lasagna in a large bowl and mix in cooked ground beef.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.  Add Italian seasoning to cheese mixture
  3. Pour half of the lasagna mixture into a baking dish.  Spread with half of the ricotta mixture.  Repeat this step again over first layer.
  4. Evenly sprinkle mozzarella over the top ricotta layer.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

Mexi-Mac and Cheese


  • 4 cans of Chef Boyardee Cheesy Nacho Rotini
  • 1 lb. cooked ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup salsa (or leftover Taco Bell Border sauce packets)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream (as desired)
  • tortilla chips
  1. Mix together cooked ground beef, salsa and taco seasoning in a large bowl.
  2. Open and empty all cans of Chef Boyardee and half of the cheddar cheese into the beef mixture.  Stir until combined.
  3. Pour Mixture into a baking dish and evenly sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  5. Serve with a dollop of cool sour cream and tortilla chips for scooping.

Fried Chef Boyardee Ravioli


  • 4 cans of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar marinara sauce


  1. Open all cans of ravioli into a strainer and rinse away all tomato sauce.  Discard any torn raviolis.
  2. Combine milk and eggs in a small bowl.  Place bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl.
  3. In a large pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat.
  4. Dip each ravioli in the milk egg mixure.  Then coat each ravioli in the bread crumbs.
  5. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with hot marinara sauce.

Touchdown Chili Mac


  • 4 cans of Chef Boyardee Chili Mac
  • 1/2 lb. cooked ground beef
  • 1 stalk of celery (diced)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the ground beef, onion and celery and saute for 10 minutes, or until meat is browned.
  2. Add the kidney beans, salsa, and spices to the ground beef.
  3. Stir in the 4 cans of Chili Mac and the cup of cheddar cheese.
  4. Cook together for another 10 minutes or until the cheddar cheese and thoroughly melted.
  5. Serve with your favorite chili fixin’s!

Simple Pasta Fagioli Soup


  • 2 cans of Chef Boyardee Mini Pasta Shells and Meatballs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15oz. can cannellini beans
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 15oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • freshly grated Parmesan (as desired)


  1. Saute onion, celery and carrot in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. In a stock pot, combine sauted vegetables, chicken stock, cannellini beans, kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, and spices.
  3. Bring to a boil before turning it to low. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove thyme and rosemary springs, as well as the bay leaf.
  5. Add Chef Boyardee and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve soup with freshly grated Parmesan on top.