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Cheat Versions of Your Favorite Dinners

When you're tired, and pressed for time you might need a little extra help in the kitchen. I'm not talking about a butler -- what I mean are recipes that make things easier for you! Recipes that use a jar of salsa or spaghetti sauce can be a big help when you've got to get dinner on the table quickly.  It's not cheating, it's just improvising :) Here are some tasty classics that are full of shortcut ingredients to make dinner prep a little easier on you.

Randy's Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna

I bet you've never prepped a lasagna in 15 minutes! Store-bought cheese ravioli, and a jar of pasta sauce make this the easiest lasagna you'll ever make. According to L K, " This is one of my favorites and I probably will never make 'real' lasagna again."


Randy's Slow Cooker Ravioli Lasagna

Photo by lutzflcat

Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan

Love Eggplant Parmesan, but hate how much time it takes?  It's a super labor intensive dish  with all that slicing and frying. This genius recipe is so easy to put together as all the ingredients are baked inside the eggplant without any layering or frying.


Stuffed Eggplant

Photo by Meredith

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

A tasty pot roast dinner with veggies that can be prepped in 15 minutes -- yes, please!  This slow cooker winner is extra tasty with the help of a few store-bought packets.


Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Photo by Jenn Marie

Cheater Baked Ziti

Alfredo and spaghetti sauce save the day, and make this delicious baked ziti  that's ready in 40 minutes.


Cheater Baked Ziti

Photo by Baking Nana

The Best Parmesan Chicken Bake

This chicken Parmesan recipe is made in a casserole which means no messy breading and frying in hot oil. It's great for a crowd, and you still get that crunch thanks to store-bought garlic croutons.

Pita Pizza

Some frozen pita breads, cheese, and store-bought pizza sauce, and you've got a delicious home-made pizza ready in 20 minutes.


Pita Pizza

Photo by Jaana Smith Bauman

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Your slow cooker does the magic with this rich Italian classic that just takes 15 minutes to put together. So, sit back, and enjoy that aroma while dinner cooks.

Cheater's Chicken Chili

Who knew that you could make homemade chili in less than 30 minutes. This cheater's chili is made with leftover rotisserie chicken, beans, and a jar of salsa.


Cheater's Chicken Chili

Photo by Deb C


About Vicky McDonald

Always looking for more cheese! I love to bake, potter about the garden, and drink lemony gin & tonics in the sun. I also blog at