Are you tired of ordering takeout or eating the same old boring meals? It’s time to get creative in the kitchen! Even when your pantry seems bare, there are plenty of delicious dishes you can whip up with just a few basic ingredients. In this article, we’ll explore some simple and tasty recipes that you can make when you feel like you have nothing to cook at home. Get ready to impress yourself (and maybe even your family or roommates) with your newfound cooking skills!
10 easy pasta recipes that require only pantry staples
Pasta is a versatile ingredient that can be transformed into a variety of delicious dishes with just a few pantry staples. Here are 10 easy pasta recipes that you can whip up in no time:
- Garlic and Olive Oil Pasta: Cook spaghetti according to package instructions and toss with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Tomato and Basil Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss with canned diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil.
- Lemon and Parmesan Pasta: Cook spaghetti or linguine according to package instructions and toss with lemon juice, olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Chili Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss with canned chili, chopped onion, garlic, and olive oil.
- Spaghetti Carbonara: Cook spaghetti according to package instructions and toss with beaten eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped cooked bacon, and black pepper.
- Ketchup Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
- Tuna and Tomato Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss with canned tuna, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, and fresh parsley.
- Pesto Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss with store-bought pesto, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped roasted almonds.
- Alfredo Pasta: Cook fettuccine according to package instructions and toss with store-bought Alfredo sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, and black pepper.
- Peanut Butter and Soy Sauce Pasta: Cook your favorite pasta and toss with peanut butter, soy sauce, minced garlic, and sesame seeds.
These pasta recipes are easy to make and require only pantry staples, making them a great option for when you have nothing else to cook at home.
5-minute microwave meals that are surprisingly delicious
When you have a busy schedule and no time to cook, microwave meals can be a lifesaver. However, the idea of microwave meals often conjures up images of bland and unappetizing food. But fear not, there are plenty of microwave meals that are surprisingly delicious and can be made in just 5 minutes or less!
One such meal is a microwaved sweet potato. Simply prick the sweet potato with a fork a few times, wrap it in a damp paper towel, and microwave for 5 minutes. Top with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet and satisfying meal.
Another option is a microwaved omelet. Whisk together eggs, milk, and your favorite toppings in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Serve with a slice of toast for a quick and easy breakfast.
So next time you’re short on time, don’t underestimate the power of your microwave!
|Microwave Mac and Cheese||Macaroni, water, milk, shredded cheese, salt, pepper||Cook macaroni in water until tender, drain. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix macaroni, milk, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through.|
|Microwave Baked Potato||Potato, butter, salt, pepper, toppings of your choice (sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, chives)||Pierce potato several times with a fork. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Cut a slit in the top of the potato and add butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Add desired toppings.|
|Microwave Omelette||Eggs, milk, salt, pepper, shredded cheese, vegetables or meat of your choice||In a microwave-safe bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add shredded cheese and desired toppings. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until set.|
|Microwave Quesadilla||Tortilla, shredded cheese, vegetables or meat of your choice, salsa or hot sauce (optional)||Place tortilla on a microwave-safe plate. Add shredded cheese and desired toppings. Fold tortilla in half. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and tortilla is heated through. Serve with salsa or hot sauce if desired.|
|Microwave Rice Bowl||Rice, water, frozen vegetables, soy sauce or other seasoning||In a microwave-safe bowl, mix rice, water, and frozen vegetables. Microwave for 10-12 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until rice is tender and vegetables are heated through. Add soy sauce or other seasoning to taste.|
|Microwave Baked Apple||Apple, cinnamon, sugar, butter, whipped cream or ice cream (optional)||Core apple and cut into slices. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Add butter. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until apple is tender. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.|
|Microwave Tuna Melt||English muffin, tuna, mayonnaise, shredded cheese||Split English muffin and place on a microwave-safe plate. Mix tuna, mayonnaise, and shredded cheese. Spoon mixture onto English muffin halves. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and muffin is heated through.|
|Microwave Sweet Potato||Sweet potato, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon||Pierce sweet potato several times with a fork. Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Cut a slit in the top of the sweet potato and add butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste.|
|Microwave Chicken and Broccoli||Chicken breast, broccoli, garlic powder, salt, pepper||Cut chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix chicken, broccoli, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Microwave for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and broccoli is tender.|
|Microwave Nachos||Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, black beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole (optional)||Place tortilla chips on a microwave-safe plate. Add shredded cheese and black beans. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chips are heated through. Top with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole if desired.|
|Microwave Popcorn||Popcorn kernels, butter (optional), salt (optional)||Put popcorn kernels in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until popping slows down. Add butter and salt if desired.|
|Microwave Spaghetti Squash||Spaghetti squash, water, butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, grated Parmesan cheese (optional)||Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash halves in a microwave-safe dish with a small amount of water. Microwave for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Remove squash from microwave and let cool. Scrape squash flesh with a fork to create spaghetti-like strands. Add butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan cheese if desired.|
|Microwave S’mores||Graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows||Place graham cracker halves on a microwave-safe plate. Top each half with a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow. Microwave for 10-15 seconds, or until marshmallows are melted. Top with remaining graham cracker halves.|
|Microwave Egg Sandwich||English muffin, egg, cheese, ham or bacon (optional)||Split English muffin and place on a microwave-safe plate. Beat egg in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave egg for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until set. Add cheese and desired toppings. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds, or until cheese is melted and muffin is heated through.|
|Microwave Meatloaf||Ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, salt, pepper||In a microwave-safe bowl, mix ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, ketchup, salt, and pepper. Form mixture into a loaf shape. Microwave for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.|
Creative ways to use leftover vegetables for a healthy meal
Tired of throwing away leftover vegetables? Get creative with your meals and put those leftover veggies to good use! You don’t need to follow a recipe to create a healthy and delicious meal. Try making a stir-fry with a variety of veggies, or add them to a soup or salad. If you have a lot of different vegetables, consider making a vegetable curry or vegetable lasagna. You can also roast them in the oven and use them as a healthy side dish with your main course. The possibilities are endless! Don’t let your leftover vegetables go to waste, experiment with different combinations and see what works best for you and your taste buds. Happy cooking!
One-pot wonders: hearty soups and stews for a cozy night in
One-pot wonders are a great way to cook at home when you have nothing. These dishes are easy to make and require minimal cleanup, making them perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. Some popular one-pot wonders include chili, stew, soup, and pasta dishes. One of the great things about one-pot wonders is that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. So, whether you have a bunch of vegetables that need to be used up or some leftover meat, you can throw it all in a pot and create a delicious meal. Plus, since everything cooks together in one pot, the flavors really meld together, creating a depth of flavor that is hard to achieve with other cooking methods. So, next time you’re feeling uninspired in the kitchen, try making a one-pot wonder!
|RECIPE||INGREDIENTS||PREPARATION TIME||COOKING TIME|
|Chicken and Rice Casserole||chicken thighs, rice, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper||10 minutes||1 hour|
|One-Pot Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil||pasta, canned tomatoes, garlic, onion, chicken broth, basil, salt, pepper||5 minutes||20 minutes|
|Beef Stew||beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, beef broth, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, pepper||15 minutes||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Baked Ziti||ziti pasta, ground beef, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper||20 minutes||30 minutes|
|Turkey Chili||ground turkey, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper||15 minutes||30 minutes|
|Sausage and Potato Skillet||sausage, potatoes, onion, garlic, bell pepper, salt, pepper||10 minutes||35 minutes|
|Vegetable Fried Rice||rice, soy sauce, vegetable broth, oil, onion, garlic, frozen mixed vegetables, eggs, salt, pepper||15 minutes||25 minutes|
|Creamy Tomato Soup||butter, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, cream, basil, salt, pepper||10 minutes||30 minutes|
|Spanish Rice||rice, chicken broth, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, bell pepper, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper||15 minutes||25 minutes|
|One-Pot Lemon Chicken and Rice||chicken thighs, rice, chicken broth, lemon, garlic, onion, salt, pepper||10 minutes||45 minutes|
DIY takeout: homemade versions of your favorite fast food meals
Have you ever found yourself craving takeout but not wanting to deal with the expense or wait time? DIY takeout is the answer! With a little creativity and some basic ingredients you can recreate your favorite takeout meals at home. Start with some basic pantry staples and build from there. For example, if you have rice, soy sauce, and frozen vegetables you can easily make your own fried rice. Add in some scrambled eggs, sesame oil, and green onions for extra flavor. For a burger craving, make your own patty with ground beef or turkey and add your favorite toppings. Feeling like Italian? Try making your own pizza from scratch with a simple dough recipe and your favorite toppings. The possibilities are endless with DIY takeout, so get creative and start cooking!
|Fried Rice||Rice, Eggs, Vegetables, Soy Sauce||30 minutes||Easy|
|Pad Thai||Noodles, Shrimp or Chicken, Bean Sprouts, Peanuts||30 minutes||Medium|
|Beef and Broccoli||Beef, Broccoli, Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar||25 minutes||Easy|
|Sushi Rolls||Sushi Rice, Nori, Avocado, Cucumber, Crab Meat or Shrimp||45 minutes||Hard|
|Butter Chicken||Chicken, Tomato Sauce, Garam Masala, Butter, Cream||45 minutes||Medium|
|Pesto Pasta||Pasta, Pesto Sauce, Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan Cheese||20 minutes||Easy|
|Chicken Tikka Masala||Chicken, Tomato Sauce, Yogurt, Garam Masala||35 minutes||Medium|
|Stir Fry Vegetables||Vegetables, Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, Garlic||20 minutes||Easy|
|Hamburger||Ground Beef, Hamburger Buns, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cheese||20 minutes||Easy|
|Vegetable Fajitas||Bell Peppers, Onions, Tortillas, Salsa, Sour Cream||25 minutes||Easy|
|Spaghetti and Meatballs||Pasta, Ground Beef, Tomato Sauce, Bread Crumbs||30 minutes||Easy|
|Chicken Alfredo||Pasta, Chicken, Alfredo Sauce, Parmesan Cheese||30 minutes||Easy|
|Shrimp Scampi||Pasta, Shrimp, Butter, White Wine, Garlic||25 minutes||Medium|
|Chicken Quesadillas||Tortillas, Chicken, Cheese, Salsa, Sour Cream||20 minutes||Easy|
|Taco Salad||Ground Beef, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cheese, Tortilla Chips||20 minutes||Easy|
Budget-friendly recipes using canned goods
Here are three budget-friendly recipes that you can make using canned goods:
Chili con carne
- 1 can of kidney beans
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of corn
- 1 can of beef broth
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tuna pasta salad
- 1 can of tuna, drained
- 1 can of peas, drained
- 1 can of corn, drained
- 1 can of diced carrots, drained
- 1 pound of pasta
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup of sour cream
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken and vegetable soup
- 1 can of chicken breast meat
- 1 can of mixed vegetables
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of chicken broth
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain excess fat and set aside.
2. In the same pot, sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
3. Add the kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, and beef broth to the pot.
4. Stir in the chili powder and add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
6. Serve hot with your favorite toppings, such as shredded cheese, sour cream, or chopped onions.
1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, peas, corn, and diced carrots.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper.
4. Add the cooked pasta to the bowl with the tuna and vegetables.
5. Pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well until everything is evenly coated.
6. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.
1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
2. Add the chicken breast meat, mixed vegetables, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and dried thyme to the pot.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for at least 20 minutes.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve hot with your favorite bread or crackers.
Simple and satisfying salads with just a few ingredients
Do you ever find yourself staring into your fridge, wondering what to cook at home when you have nothing? Well, why not whip up a simple and satisfying salad with just a few ingredients! Not only are salads a great way to use up any leftover veggies or herbs, they’re also a healthy and refreshing option for any meal. Try mixing up some crisp lettuce leaves with juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado and tangy feta cheese, drizzled with a zesty lemon vinaigrette. Or, if you’re in the mood for something a bit heartier, toss together some protein-packed quinoa, roasted sweet potato and crunchy kale, topped with a spicy peanut dressing. With just a bit of creativity, you can make a delicious salad that will leave you feeling full and satisfied without breaking the bank or spending hours in the kitchen. So next time you’re feeling stumped on what to cook at home, give these simple salads a try – your taste buds (and wallet) will thank you!
Quick and easy breakfast ideas for any time of day
Are you tired of eating the same old breakfast every day? Do you want to switch things up but don’t know where to start? Look no further! Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas that you can enjoy any time of day:
- Breakfast Burrito: Scramble some eggs, add black beans, cheese, and wrap it up in a tortilla for a tasty and filling meal.
- Yogurt Parfait: Layer yogurt, fruit, and granola in a jar for a healthy and delicious breakfast on the go.
- Smoothie Bowl: Blend your favorite fruits, milk, and ice, and top it with granola, nuts, and seeds for a refreshing and nutritious breakfast.
- Avocado Toast: Mash avocado on top of toast and add your favorite toppings like eggs, bacon, or cheese for a savory breakfast treat.
- Pancakes: Mix up some pancake batter and add chocolate chips, blueberries, or bananas for a sweet and satisfying breakfast.
These quick and easy breakfast ideas are perfect for any time of day and are sure to satisfy your cravings. Give them a try and see which one becomes your new favorite!
Comfort food classics made with basic pantry ingredients
Whether you’re stuck at home due to bad weather or just don’t feel like going to the grocery store, you can still enjoy some tasty comfort food classics made with basic pantry ingredients.
Start with a simple tomato sauce made from canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil. Use it to make spaghetti with meatballs or lasagna with layers of noodles, cheese, and sauce. For a heartier meal, try making beef stroganoff with egg noodles, sour cream, and canned mushrooms. Or, whip up a batch of creamy mac and cheese with elbow noodles, butter, milk, and cheddar cheese.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with classic chocolate chip cookies made with flour, sugar, butter, and chocolate chips. With a little creativity, you can turn your basic pantry ingredients into delicious comfort food dishes that will warm your soul.
|Macaroni and Cheese||Macaroni pasta, butter, flour, milk, shredded cheddar cheese, salt, black pepper||https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/stove-top-mac-n-cheese-recipe-1947367|
|Spaghetti and Meatballs||Spaghetti pasta, ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, onion, canned tomatoes, olive oil, salt, black pepper||https://www.delish.com/uk/cooking/recipes/a31059398/spaghetti-and-meatballs-recipe/|
|Chili con Carne||Ground beef, canned kidney beans, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper||https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/72671/chili-i/|
|Shepherd’s Pie||Ground beef, frozen mixed vegetables, onion, garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, butter, milk, mashed potatoes, salt, black pepper||https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_shepherds_pie/|
|Fried Rice||Cooked rice, scrambled eggs, frozen mixed vegetables, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onion, vegetable oil, salt, black pepper||https://www.food.com/recipe/fried-rice-8342|
|Grilled Cheese Sandwich||Bread, sliced cheese, butter||https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/katie-lee/grilled-cheese-recipe-1946362|
|Tuna Casserole||Egg noodles, canned tuna, canned cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas, breadcrumbs, butter, salt, black pepper||https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tuna-casserole/|
|Potato Soup||Potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, milk, butter, salt, black pepper||https://www.food.com/recipe/potato-soup-16410|
|Beef Stroganoff||Beef sirloin, egg noodles, sliced mushrooms, onion, garlic, sour cream, beef broth, flour, butter, salt, black pepper||https://www.delish.com/uk/cooking/recipes/a31482168/beef-stroganoff-recipe/|
|Meatloaf||Ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, garlic, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper||https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/basic-meatloaf-recipe-1913763|
Healthy snacks to make when you’re running low on groceries
When you find yourself running low on groceries, it can be tempting to reach for unhealthy snacks out of convenience. However, there are plenty of healthy snack options you can make with just a few simple ingredients.
One easy option is to make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
Another idea is to slice up some fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, and bell peppers and pair them with hummus or another healthy dip.
If you have any leftover grains like rice or quinoa, you can also mix them with canned beans and some seasonings to make a tasty and filling snack.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with what you have on hand – you never know what delicious snack you might come up with!
What can I cook when I have nothing?
You can cook a simple pasta dish with olive oil and garlic, or make a stir-fry with frozen veggies and rice.
I don't have any fresh produce, what should I do?
Try making a soup with canned beans and veggies, or a baked potato with canned chili.
How can I add flavor to my meals without fresh herbs?
Use spices like cumin, paprika, and chili powder, or try adding a splash of vinegar or lemon juice.
I have limited ingredients, can I still make a dessert?
Yes! Try making a simple fruit salad or a no-bake cookie recipe with oats, peanut butter, and honey.
What are some easy recipes for breakfast?
You can make oatmeal with milk and honey, or whip up some scrambled eggs with cheese and toast.
In conclusion, there are plenty of options for meals you can make at home when you feel like you have nothing in the fridge. With a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can whip up delicious and satisfying dishes using simple ingredients you already have on hand. By following some of the recipes and ideas we’ve shared, you’ll be able to keep your hunger at bay and enjoy a tasty meal in no time.