Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

Student “Stroganoff”


I spend a bit of time on planes going back and forth between Toronto and Calgary to see Pete and Toronto and Italy to see the house. There are times when I come home and there is nothing in the fridge. This is one of the dishes I make when I come home from travelling and there isn’t a lot to work with. I usually have the tinned items I need in the pantry. While this may not be “gourmet”, it is a meal that can get pulled together quickly!

I struggled with what to call this dish. Should I call it “One Pot Pasta”; “The Student Supper Saver”? “Pantry Pasta”? “Fake Hamburger Helper?” I used to tell Christian I was making “Fake Stroganoff” for dinner when I made this, but “Student Stroganoff” kind of stuck. Whatever the name, this is an easy dinner that you can vary depending on your mood and cupboard. It is good for students (as it is budget-friendly), or a quick after work whip-up.

You can switch the canned beans or the soup around to vary the meal. If you want to make a vegetarian version, remove the ground beef and use extra beans or lentils. Leftovers microwave well for lunch the next day and it also freezes well. The added bonus is that it all gets cooked in one pot, so cleanup is a breeze.

Prep time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 40 minutes; Serves: 4 people

What you need:


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 19 oz can white kidney beans, drained (or pinto or kidney beans, or chickpeas)
  • 1 10 oz can cream of  mushroom soup
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp crushed garlic)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (you can add more if you want a little more zip)
  • 1 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire (yes, you can use another Worcestershire sauce, but the original one really is the best)
  • 20 oz (2 soup cans) water
  • 10 oz (1 soup can) uncooked macaroni
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • hot sauce to taste

What to do:

  • On medium-high heat in a deep frying pan, add ground beef. Break up the ground beef. Cook until brown, approximately 5 minutes.
Add ground beef to pot, break up and brown
  • Add the garlic and onions, stir,
Add onions and garlic
  • Cook until translucent
  • Add the Worcestershire
Add the Worcestershire
  • Add the Dijon Mustard and stir
Add the Dijon mustard
  • Add the can of drained beans
Add the beans
  • Add the Cream of Mushroom soup, stir
Add the can of Cream of Mushroom soup
  • Add 1 soup can of macaroni, stir
Add 1 soup can of macaroni
  • Add 2 soup cans of water, stir
Stir in 2 soup cans of water, bring to a boil then turn the heat down and simmer
  • Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed and pasta is cooked (about 20 minutes)
Cook until the water is absorbed
  • Season with salt, pepper, extra dijon and hot sauce
Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce (If desired) – photos topped with dried parsley
  • Enjoy dinner tonight and leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

I’ve also made a variation on this by substituting Bean and Bacon soup for the mushroom soup and adding 2 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, and 1 tbsp paprika instead of the mustard to make a fast chili bean beef and pasta.



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