The Best Store Cupboard Recipes for Midweek Meals
At the end of another long day at work, plucking up the strength to cook a meal for the whole family can seem a daunting proposition. The ready meals lurking in the freezer and the takeaway menu seem incredibly inviting, when the family returns home from work and school, ready for something delicious and filling.
Sadly, these solutions are counterproductive for those who yearn to feed their family on nothing but lovingly-prepared and home-cooked meals. So, does this mean another Tuesday-night trip to the supermarket (probably in the rain, as usual) for fresh groceries to whip up a delicious meal for the family to savour?
Not necessarily, FoodSaver is here to oust those mealtime woes with our simple, store cupboard recipes that are perfect any night of the week. These dishes are easy to put together after a hard day at work, and rely on ingredients commonly found in the kitchen cupboards — so you needn't venture out for supplies.
Here are the best store cupboard recipes for midweek meals.
Tuna & Broccoli Pasta Bake
Pasta bakes are a family favourite for many households, combining simple convenience with that warm, satisfying quality we all crave when the nights draw in. While there are hundreds of different pasta bake recipes available, one of our favourites is this tuna and broccoli version, which promises to put a smile on the family's faces on a rainy Tuesday evening. The dish is easy to prepare in half an hour, and uses ingredients most of us have knocking about in the kitchen.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 18 mins
- 2 x 185g cans of tuna in spring water, drained
- 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes with garlic and herbs
- 350g dried pasta
- 300g broccoli, chopped into florets
- 200g light soft cheese
- 100g cheddar, grated
- 25g bread crumbs
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Salad (optional)
- Garlic bread (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Pour the chopped tomatoes and 200ml of water into the pan. Boil the pasta and the broccoli separately from the tomato mix, then drain, saving some of the cooking water (you can do this by placing a cup beneath the drainer).
- Switch on the grill at around 200°C. Stir the soft cheese, pasta and broccoli into the tomato sauce and pasta, followed by the drained tuna. If the sauce feels too thick, gradually add some of the leftover cooking water until you're happy with the consistency. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce, pasta and tuna mix into an ovenproof dish, before sprinkling the cheddar and breadcrumbs on top. Then, grill the dish for around 4-6 minutes, taking care not to let the top of the bake burn. When it's ready, the breadcrumbs should be golden brown and the sauce bubbling.
- Serve with a side of salad or garlic bread, if you like.
Source: BBC Good Food
Chicken & Ham Lasagne
Who doesn't enjoy a spatula-load of lasagne every now and again? This Anglo-Italian family favourite features layered pasta sheets punctuated by meat, spinach and gooey melted cheese, for the ultimate comforting treat. This particular recipe switches out classic beef mince for chicken and ham, which is sure to go down well with younger members of the family. We've used shop-bought lasagne sheets, which can often be found in the back of the cupboard, but you can make your own if you'd prefer.
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 50 mins
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 200ml white wine
- 100g butter
- 100g plain flour
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk
- 140g sliced cooked ham, chopped into strips
- 200g spinach
- 225g dried lasagne sheets (around 20 no pre-cook sheets)
- 200g ready-grated mozzarella
- 25g parmesan, finely grated
- Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan with the onion and white wine, before covering with around 200ml water (or enough to cover). Put the lid on and gently bring to a simmer, poaching the chicken for around 15 minutes until it is just cooked. Remove the chicken and set aside, before straining the water into a jug.
- Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat, and then stir in the flour for about a minute. Add the milk to the pan a little at a time, stirring continuously to ensure the sauce stays smooth. Once the milk is added, stir in the remaining liquid used to poach the chicken, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, adjusting the seasoning to taste.
- Heat the oven to 200°C. Cut the chicken into small chunks and stir into the saucepan. Next, add the ham and spinach to the pan, and cook until the spinach has wilted. Spoon a third of the mixture into a 3l dish, and then top with a third of the lasagne sheets. Repeat this step twice more, before topping the final lasagne sheet with the mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for around 25 minutes, until the topping is browned, the lasagne sheets are tender, and the filling is piping hot.
Source: BBC Good Food
Leek & Potato Soup
There's nothing more comforting after a stressful day than a bowl of steaming soup, and leek & potato is among the most popular broths, delighting families for generations. Rather than relying on flavourless canned soup, this recipe is quick and easy, and you're guaranteed to have most of the ingredients lurking in your larder.
Prep & Cook: 50 mins
- 450g potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped into small pieces
- 450g leeks, sliced and with the green tops removed
- 850ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 142ml double cream
- 125ml full-fat milk
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. As it foams, add the potatoes, onions and leeks and toss until they're coated in the butter. Season the vegetables liberally with salt and pepper, before covering with the pan lid. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
- Pour the stock over the vegetables and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Do not allow to overcook, as you'll lose the flavour of the stock and the fresh flavour of the vegetables.
- Pour the vegetables and stock into a blender and purée until smooth. You may need to do this in batches if your blender has a small capacity. Season the soup to taste, before returning to a clean pan and stirring in three quarters of the cream and all of the milk.
- Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer, adding additional stock if it's too thick for your liking. To finish, pour into bowls, drizzle the remaining cream over each serving and sprinkle with black pepper.
Source: BBC Good Food
Great for alfresco dining in the heart of summer, or for recapturing sunny-weather bliss in the midst of winter; this dish is perfect all year round. An absolute doddle to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients, this delicious dish can be whipped up with minimal time and effort.
Prep & Cook: 25 mins
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 200g cherry tomatoes (1 pack)
- 3tbsp pesto
- 3tbsp crème fraiche
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, and add the chicken, frying it until it takes on a little colour on one side. Flip the chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking for 12-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Chop the tomatoes in half and throw them into the pan, stirring for a couple of minutes until they've started to soften. Reduce the heat and stir in the pesto and crème fraiche, until they combine to form a sauce. If you have any, scatter a few fresh basil leaves into the pan. Serve with rice and salad, or cook up a few winter veggies like broccoli and potatoes.
Source: BBC Good Food
Rich in protein, quick to make and easy to save for leftover lunches — frittatas are a convenient store cupboard dish at any time of the year. This rustic frittata incorporates seasonal veg like potatoes and kale, and if you make it big enough, is perfect for popping into the kids' packed lunch boxes the day after.
Prep & Cook: 40 mins
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1tsp salt
- 200g kale, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, unpeeled and thickly sliced
- 2tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 2tsp minced garlic
- 8 large eggs
- 220g gruyere cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and onions, and toss until coated. Add the salt, turn down the heat and cook until soft. Stir in the potatoes and all the herbs, and cook for a further 10 minutes, until the potato slices are tender. Add the kale and sauté for another 2 minutes, or until wilted, and then remove the pan from the heat.
- Break the eggs into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and beat with a whisk. Add the vegetables and cheese, and stir until the mixture is evenly distributed.
- Heat the grill to around 200°C. Grease a large ovenproof dish with a little butter, and transfer the mixture into it. Cook the frittata under the grill for around 10 minutes, checking on it regularly to make sure that the top is not burnt. The top of the frittata should brown slightly, and the filling should be piping hot with fluffy egg whites. Cut the frittata into portions and serve with a side of your choosing.
Source: Vegetarian Times
We hope you enjoy making these midweek meals for your family. All of these dishes can be stored for leftovers using the FoodSaver vacuum sealing system, so you can save money and reduce food waste.
For more information about our innovative vacuum sealers, visit the FoodSaver website or call us on 0800 525 089.