Recipe ideas using things you already have

Getting stuck in a food rut is not only boring, it’s also not great for your health. Now more than ever, it’s tough to get specific ingredients, but don’t let that stop you. It’s time to get inspired and get cooking with what you probably do have in your kitchen already! We’re going back to the basics but with a fun twist. 

Read on for a whole day’s worth of fun meals and drinks. If you’re on the hunt for more recipes, we’ve rounded up a bunch at the end of this article that use your pantry staples.


Since most of us no longer have to face morning traffic, we have a little extra time to make the most important meal of the day a little more fun. Did you know that french toast was basically invented for those “running low on groceries” days? 

While calling this breakfast delicacy “French” may be a stretch — French toast was actually traced back to the Roman Empire (that’s right, you can thank them for mulled wine, and dessert for breakfast!) — the French do have their own name for this treat. “Pain Perdu” meaning “lost bread” is what you’d have to request if you were having breakfast with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The name is fitting since French toast was historically made with stale bread! Instead of throwing it away and wasting it, they transformed it into a morning favorite. That’s the spirit! 

While you’re at it, make yourself a fun morning libation. Hey, if the Barefoot Contessa says it’s okay, we’re on board! Blue Silk Sangria is basically juice after all.


We could all use a little comfort right? What’s more comforting than grilled cheese and tomato soup? If that seems a little boring, now is the perfect opportunity to test out your skills as a resourceful chef. Have some bacon in the fridge? Throw that into your grilled cheese for an extra treat! 

Were you planning to host a dinner party with a charcuterie spread, and now have a whole bunch of fancy cheese just sitting in your fridge? Put it to use by making a fancy grilled cheese! Throw some of that pancetta in too for a truly gourmet lunch.

No need to just settle for regular old canned soup. You probably have a variety of spices to choose from. Add some flavor! Not only are you going to get a gourmet lunch, but you’re going to improve your own skills and have some fun.


Okay, we need something that reheats well for leftovers throughout the week, that everyone in the house will like, that’s simple to make, and fairly healthy. Sounds like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Pasta is a great, easy option since noodles stay good in the pantry forever and can be made about a million different ways. Pastas can seem boring and repetitive, but only if you’re not putting your own spin on them. Here are some ideas to get you out of your go-to spaghetti habit. 

  1. Try a new type of pasta. If you are headed to the store or ordering groceries online, why not try a new, healthier alternative to regular noodles. A lot of stores have been low on regular pasta, but have a lot of alternatives like chickpea pasta. These pastas are healthier and have a slightly nuttier flavor! They are more expensive, but worth it when you compare how much protein they have to a regular pasta.
  2. Make your own sauce. Have a can of coconut milk or cream handy? Adding coconut milk, some parmesan cheese, and a bit of garlic will give you an excellent cream sauce. Throw in some roasted brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and onions and you’ve got yourself a very healthy and filling dish.
  3. Try adding eggs. Ever made carbonara? It’s a perfectly italian comfort food using things you already have, like eggs and bacon!

All of these can only be improved with an accompanying beverage. Trying out your own cream sauce? Pair it with Traminette for a refreshing contrast. Going for a rustic italian carbonara? Our Frontenac will be the cherry (or meatball?) on top.

While all of these fun ideas might help you get out of your culinary rut, don’t just take it from us! We’ve rounded up a bunch of lists of recipes made with things you probably already have! Happy cooking! 

And remember, we are open for delivery! Your perfect pairing is only a call away! Stay well and thank you for your support!

Recipe Lists:

Written by Tanglewood Winery
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