Not Your Mama's 30-Minute Meals

Rewind, then fast-forward with these updates on classics from back in your mama's (or her mama's) day!
By Rachael Ray ,

Old School: Tuna Casserole 

New School: Fresh Tuna in Creamy Sauce with Egg Noodles & Garlicky Breadcrumbs

Photography by Tara Donne

Back in the day, moms might have had a little too much help from condensed soups. But that doesn’t mean the dish they were making wasn’t a bright idea. Tuna casserole gets a bad rap, but tuna is high in protein and is absolutely delicious bathed in a creamy, buttery sauce.

Recipe: Try Rach's Fresh Tuna in Creamy Sauce with Egg Noodles & Garlicky Breadcrumbs

Old School: Pepper Steak 

New School: Shaved Flank Steak with Sweet Peppers over Pink Peppercorn Rice

Photography by Tara Donne

I remember a friend’s mom trying to pass off freezer-aisle pepper steak served on one of her best platters. Mine is easy to make—and it’s definitely tastier.

Recipe: Try Rach's Shaved Flank Steak with Sweet Peppers over Pink Peppercorn Rice

Old School: Chicken Divan

New School: Chicken Mornay with Broccolini on Toast Points

Photography by Tara Donne

Switch up your veggie side routine by popping broccolini right on your toast.

Recipe: Try Rach's Chicken Mornay with Broccolini on Toast Points

Old School: Hamburger Helper 

New School: Ground Sirloin & Porcini Stroganoff with Buttery, Herby Egg Noodles

Photography by Tara Donne

Who needs Hamburger Helper when it's this easy to make this flavorful meal from scratch? Plus, you can't beat the umami flavor from porcini mushrooms. 

Recipe: Try Rach's Ground Sirloin & Porcini Stroganoff with Buttery, Herby Egg Noodles

Old School: Chipped Beef on Toast 

New School: Philly Steak with Onions & Provolone Gravy

Photography by Tara Donne

Creamy chipped beef on toast has an infamous reputation and a terrible nickname ("$#!* on a shingle"), but shaved beef in creamy gravy is crazy good, especially if you add cheese.

Recipe: Try Rach's Philly Steak with Onions & Provolone Gravy

Old School: Croque Madame 

New School: Chicken Paillard Croque Madame with Asparagus

Photography by Tara Donne

In this riff on a classic, croque madame gets a protein boost by swapping out the bread for chicken breast. I’d make this one for brunch, lunch, or dinner. 

Recipe: Try Rach's Chicken Paillard Croque Madame with Asparagus

Old School: Salisbury Steak 

New School: Knife & Fork Burgers with Onion-Mushroom Gravy & Garlicky Smashed Potatoes

Photography by Tara Donne

You won't miss the bread with these decadent knife-and-fork burgers.

Recipe: Try Rach's Knife & Fork Burgers with Onion-Mushroom Gravy & Garlicky Smashed Potatoes

Old School: Swedish Meatballs

New School: Turkey Meatballs with Currants in Ginger Gravy

Photography by Tara Donne

Put meatballs on the menu and we'll be happy campers. You'll want to make this ginger gravy again and again.

Recipe: Try Rach's Turkey Meatballs with Currants in Ginger Gravy

Old School: Hot Turkey Sandwich 

New School: Garlic Toasts with Wilted Spinach, Turkey, Gravy, Tomato & Provolone

Photography by Tara Donne

There's something about an open-faced sandwich that makes it feel special and totally dinner-worthy.

Recipe: Try Rach's Garlic Toasts with Wilted Spinach, Turkey, Gravy, Tomato & Provolone

Old School: Rice-a-Roni 

New School: Rice Pilaf with Crab, Leeks, Asparagus & Peas

Photography by Tara Donne

My mom used to buy rice pilaf in a box. Very tasty stuff, I admit. But it’s just toasted broken pasta and rice. I don’t know about you, but I always have both in the house. So why not make it yourself?

Recipe: Try Rach's Rice Pilaf with Crab, Leeks, Asparagus & Peas

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