Recipes and ideas for what to make when you have no food in the house

Say goodbye to the stress of meal planning and let’s dive into these scrumptious ideas!

Ever found yourself staring at an almost empty pantry, wondering what to make when you have no food? Fear not! We have a collection of delicious and easy recipes that use pantry staples and available ingredients to create mouthwatering meals. 

But you have something in the pantry

  • Create delicious dinners with pantry staples like beans, rice, pasta & canned tomatoes.
  • Enjoy quick and easy meals like bean & rice bowls, garlic olive oil pasta & savory tomato soup.
  • Get creative with breakfast for dinner options such as loaded scrambled eggs or fluffy pancakes plus hearty omelette variations!

Pantry staple dinners

When it comes to whipping up dinner with just a few ingredients, pantry staples like beans, rice, pasta, and canned tomatoes come to our rescue. With a little creativity, these basic ingredients can be transformed into satisfying and delectable dishes. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Bean and rice burritos
  • Pasta with tomato sauce and garlic
  • Rice and black bean bowls
  • Tomato and white bean soup

These dishes will make your taste buds sing!

From quick bean and rice bowls to easy pasta with garlic and olive oil, and even savory tomato soup, these pantry staple dinners are perfect for those nights when you need to cook up a storm with minimal fuss. Without further ado, let’s discover these tasty choices.

Quick bean and rice bowls

A simple yet satisfying meal can be made with just a few cans of beans, rice, and any available toppings you have on hand. The beauty of bean and rice bowls lies in their versatility and adaptability.

For a delicious rice bowl, all you need is:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Veggies
  • Sour cream

Boost the flavor by adding spices like coconut milk or even evaporated milk for a creamier texture. The combinations are endless, so feel free to get creative and use what you have available. Your taste buds will thank you!

Easy pasta with garlic and olive oil

Who can resist a delightful pasta meal? This easy pasta with garlic and olive oil is a quick and delicious solution for a weeknight dinner. Made with just a few basic ingredients, this dish will leave you craving for more.

The secret to this tasty pasta dish is simplicity. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cook your favorite pasta.
  2. Toss the cooked pasta with garlic and olive oil.
  3. Optional: Add some buttered noodles, chocolate chips, or even sweet potatoes and chicken broth for extra flavor and nutrition.

Voila! You have a scrumptious meal ready in no time. Bon appétit!

Savory tomato soup

A soothing bowl of tomato soup is the perfect remedy for a cold evening. Luckily, whipping up a delicious tomato soup is easier than you might think!

All you need are canned tomatoes, garlic, onions, carrots, olive oil, and some basic seasonings like salt, pepper, and herbs. To make this savory soup in a slow cooker, simply sauté the garlic, onions, and carrots in olive oil, add the canned tomatoes and seasonings, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency, and enjoy a heartwarming meal that’ll leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.

Creative breakfast-for-dinner options

Breakfast-for-dinner is always a fun and delightful twist to your regular dinner routine. With versatile and customizable ideas like loaded scrambled eggs, fluffy pancakes with toppings, and hearty omelette variations, you can turn your breakfast favorites into satisfying dinner options!

Unleash your creativity, and bring the delights of breakfast to your dinner spread. Your family will love the change of pace, and you’ll love how easy it is to whip up these creative dishes!

Loaded scrambled eggs

Scrambled eggs are a classic breakfast staple, but why not elevate them for dinner? Adding cheese, veggies, and meats to your scrambled eggs not only makes them more filling but also adds a burst of flavor and texture.

Whip up some delicious loaded scrambled eggs by simply throwing in your favorite ingredients like cheese, chopped veggies, and cooked meats. These scrumptious scrambled eggs can be served with toast, a side salad, or even atop a bed of rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

Fluffy pancakes with toppings

Who says pancakes are only for breakfast? These fluffy pancakes can be customized with various toppings like fruits, nuts, and chocolate chips, making them a delightful dinner option.

To make these pancakes more exciting, try adding fresh berries and nuts, chocolate chips and peanut butter, or even honey and whipped cream. The possibilities are endless, so mix and match your favorite toppings and enjoy a fun, creative, and delicious breakfast-for-dinner experience!

Hearty omelette variations

Omelettes are a versatile and scrumptious option for breakfast-for-dinner. With a variety of ingredients like cheese, vegetables, and meats, you can create different omelette combinations to suit your taste buds.

Try a southwestern omelette with black beans, corn, and peppers, a Greek omelette with feta cheese, spinach, and olives, or a veggie omelette with mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. The key to making hearty omelette variations is to use fresh ingredients and cook them slowly over low heat. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper, and enjoy your delicious creation!

Simple sandwich and wrap ideas

Sometimes, all we want is a light and satisfying meal that comes together quickly. Enter simple sandwich and wrap ideas! With easy recipes like classic tuna salad sandwiches, veggie hummus wraps, and gourmet grilled cheese variations, you can whip up a scrumptious meal in no time.

Whether you’re in a rush or just want something easy and delicious, these sandwich and wrap ideas are perfect for a fuss-free meal. So let’s get started on these tasty creations!

Classic tuna salad sandwiches

The timeless appeal of a classic tuna salad sandwich is undeniable. Made with canned tuna, mayo, and veggies, this sandwich is not only delicious but also comes together quickly and easily.

To make a tasty tuna salad sandwich, simply mix together canned tuna, mayo, celery, onion, and some black pepper. Spread the mixture on two slices of bread, and voila! You have a scrumptious sandwich that’s perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.

Veggie hummus wraps

Veggie hummus wraps are a perfect choice for a nutritious and satisfying meal. These delightful wraps are packed with hummus and any available vegetables, making them a nutritious and delicious option.

Whip up a veggie hummus wrap by simply spreading hummus on a tortilla shell and topping it with spinach or mixed salad greens, cucumber, and tomatoes. Roll it up, and you have a lovely, light meal that’s perfect for those days when you want something simple yet satisfying.

Gourmet grilled cheese variations

Upgrade your regular grilled cheese sandwich with some unique ingredients and combinations. Gourmet grilled cheese variations are a fantastic way to elevate this classic comfort food.

Try a grilled cheese with Gruyere and herbed caramelized onions on white bread, blue cheese and fig on sourdough, or Brie and prosciutto on garlic bread. The options are endless, so let your creativity run wild and create a scrumptious grilled cheese sandwich that’s perfect for a cozy dinner.

Comforting casseroles with leftovers

Leftovers can be a lifesaver when it comes to creating delicious and comforting casseroles. With a few pantry staples and your available ingredients, you can whip up tasty dishes like easy tuna noodle casserole, cheesy chicken and rice bake, and savory shepherd’s pie.

Let’s delve into these comforting casserole recipes, maximizing use of leftovers, to create some truly delectable meals.

Easy tuna noodle casserole

This classic tuna noodle casserole combines canned tuna, pasta, and frozen peas to create a delicious and comforting dish that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner.

To make this easy casserole, simply follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions.
  3. Mix together the tuna, peas, cream of mushroom soup, and seasonings in a big bowl.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
  6. Serve hot, and enjoy a delightful meal that’s sure to please the whole family.

Cheesy chicken and rice bake

Transform your leftover chicken, rice, and cheese into a satisfying and delicious chicken and rice bake. This easy-to-make dish is perfect for those days when you’re craving comfort food but want something quick and simple.

To prepare this cheesy chicken and rice bake, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked chicken, cooked rice, cream of chicken soup, and seasonings.
  3. Spread the mixture into a greased baking dish.
  4. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serve hot, alongside steamed veggies or a green salad for a complete and delicious meal.

Savory shepherd's pie

Shepherd’s pie is a classic British dish that’s perfect for using up leftover meat, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. This delicious and hearty meal will have everyone coming back for seconds.

To make a savory shepherd’s pie, cook ground beef or lamb in a skillet with onions, peas, carrots, and mushrooms until the beef is browned and the vegetables are tender. Add beef or vegetable broth to the skillet and cook until the liquid is reduced.

Spread the mixture in a baking dish, top with mashed potatoes, and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Quick and satisfying salads

Contrary to common belief, salads can be both quick to prepare and exciting. By using pantry staples and available ingredients, you can create quick and satisfying salads that are both easy to make and full of flavor.

From a refreshing chickpea salad with lemon vinaigrette to a classic Caesar salad or a flavorful Southwest quinoa salad, these easy salad recipes are perfect for a light and satisfying meal. Let’s delve into these flavorful possibilities!

Chickpea salad with lemon vinaigrette

This refreshing chickpea salad is a delightful and zesty dish that’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Made with chickpeas, fresh veggies, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette, this salad is both healthy and delicious.

To make the chickpea salad, simply:

  1. Mix chickpeas, vegetables, and lemon vinaigrette in a large bowl until everything is evenly coated.
  2. This salad can be served right away or stored in the fridge for up to three days.
  3. For an extra touch of flavor, top with fresh herbs and feta cheese.

Classic Caesar salad

A classic Caesar salad is always a crowd-pleaser, and it’s easier to make than you might think. With romaine lettuce, croutons, and homemade dressing, this salad is both simple and delicious.

Whip up the dressing using:

  • Anchovy fillets
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Mustard powder
  • Olive oil

Toss the dressing with romaine lettuce and croutons, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve as a side dish or add grilled chicken or shrimp for a complete meal.

Southwest quinoa salad

A Southwest quinoa salad is a flavorful and filling option that’s perfect for a healthy meal. Made with:

  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Red onion
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Honey

This delicious salad, featuring green onions, is both nutritious and delicious.

Simply cook the quinoa according to package instructions, then combine it with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Red onion
  • Lime juice
  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Honey

This salad can be served warm or cold, making it a versatile and tasty option for any occasion.

Super easy

In conclusion, whether you’re working with pantry staples or looking to use up leftovers, there’s always a delicious and easy meal waiting to be made. From comforting casseroles to creative breakfast-for-dinner options and quick salads, these recipes will save you time and bring joy to your dinner table. So go ahead, try something new and enjoy these scrumptious dishes that’ll make your taste buds dance!

Questions for bonus points

What to eat when you have no money or food?

If you're short on cash and food, don't worry - canned beans and tuna are a great source of protein that won't break the bank. Give them a try!

What to eat when you have no food and can't cook?

Try a no-cook meal with salad mix, cut up veggies, salsa and canned or frozen vegetables - they're all easy and tasty options when you have no food to cook!

What to cook for dinner when you have no idea what to make?

Why not try your hand at a tasty pork Milanese, fajita parchment-baked chicken, veggie garlic noodles, or chicken & biscuit bake for dinner tonight? There are plenty of delicious recipes out there to get you started!

What to make when you are hungry that´s easy?

When you're feeling peckish but don't want to put in much effort, try some of these easy and delicious recipes - grilled cheese crescent roll bites, pizza scrolls, donut mug cake, stove-top mac and cheese, cucumber bites, pizza waffles, no-bake thin mint cookies and zero carb mozzarella sticks.

What pantry staples can I use to make a quick dinner?

Stock up on beans, rice, pasta, and canned tomatoes for a quick, versatile dinner option!