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The best fridge and cupboard raid meals

The stress of planning what to have for dinner, day in, day out, can take the fun out of cooking, especially when life is busy. But don’t panic, you’d be surprised by the variety of mouth-watering dishes you can rustle up using just the contents of your cupboard or fridge. Whether you’re looking to save money by using up what you already have, or can’t get to the shops to stock up, with a bit of creativity and the odd recipe tweak, you can forage in your kitchen and use what you find to make something tasty and nutritious and cut down on what you throw away, too. Here are some delicious recipes to inspire you, which are all quick and easy to make with the help of your Kenwood products.

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Pasta dishes

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Pasta is a go-to staple for busy households. It’s filling, quick and easy to cook and inexpensive, not to mention incredibly versatile. Throw together a quick sauce using basic ingredients like tinned tomatoes, olives, tuna or leftover vegetables and you’ve got a satisfying midweek meal. 

When you need dinner on the table quickly, homemade pesto is always a fail-safe. Made using a handful of ingredients, it can be whizzed up in just 5 minutes using your food processor. No fresh basil? No problem- try using spinach, rocket or kale instead.   

Spaghetti carbonara is another simple classic that calls for just a few basic ingredients that you’re likely to already have to hand. This recipe uses pancetta, but streaky bacon will work just as well, while this tasty courgette and tomato tagliatelle recipe can be adapted to use any leftover vegetables or herbs.  

Delicious soups

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Making a big batch of soup is a great way of using up any leftover vegetables or meat. You can make recipes go further by bulking them out with pulses, pasta, and grains- ideal if you’re cooking portions for the freezer. 

Your food processor will help you speed through the prep to make this wholesome and hearty vegetable soup- you can pretty much throw in any veg you have in the fridge. The recipe for this flavour-filled Mexican noodle soup is also easily adaptable- try adding chicken, chickpeas or beans for an extra protein boost.  

Curries and stir fries

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Curries and stir fries are some of the easiest meals to make when you’re too busy to head to the shops to buy specific ingredients. You’re likely to have many of the base ingredients, and then when it comes to flavour combinations, you can just work with what you have in.  

Made with vegetables, coconut milk and chilli, this delicious vegan Thai curry is prepared and cooked from scratch in just 45 minutes using your Cooking Chef XL. If you have any spare veg you can just add it in- try aubergine, green beans or sugar snap peas, or tofu. This chickpea curry is another great base recipe which can be adapted- add cauliflower to create a nutritious midweek meal.   

When it comes to making stir fries, it really is a case of anything goes. This flavoursome pork stir fry with noodles recipe would also work well with chicken, prawns, beef or tofu. Use your food processor to make your marinade and prep the veg and you’ll get it from pan to plate in under half an hour.  

Using up any leftover vegetables

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Cut down on food waste and get creative with your leftover veggies by adding them to pretty much any dish, from pasta sauces and stews to salads and frittatas. Making some mirepoix is a brilliant way to get the most of the loose veg at the bottom of the veg box. Made by dicing up carrots, leeks and celery using your food processor and dicing attachment and then sautéing them in butter, mirepoix can be used to form the basis of many soups, stews and sauces.  

If you’ve got some leftover vegetables after your roast dinner, this light and fluffy soufflé omelette is the perfect dish to cook the following day, while these spiralized vegetable spring rolls look so impressive, you wouldn’t believe how few fresh ingredients you actually need to make them.  

Your food shopping guide

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Having a well-stocked cupboard and fridge full of everyday basic ingredients makes cooking tasty, nutritious meals much easier, and ensures you can always throw something together at the end of a long day.  

Here are some of the basics that no kitchen should be without. Most of them have a long shelf life.  

Dried goods 

  • Dried herbs and spices like chilli, oregano, rosemary, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and curry powder 
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • Lentils, rice, noodles and pasta 
  • Plain flour 

Tins and jars 

  • Chopped tomatoes 
  • Beans and pulses, like chickpeas, cannellini, butter and kidney beans 
  • Tinned fish 
  • Coconut milk 
  • Olives 

Oils and condiments 

  • Olive and vegetable oils for cooking, extra-virgin olive oil for dressings and drizzling 
  • Good quality stock cubes 
  • Vinegar-balsamic, red wine 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Mustard 
  • Honey 

Fresh ingredients 

  • Butter 
  • Eggs 
  • Hard cheese, like parmesan and cheddar 
  • Garlic 
  • Onions 
  • Potatoes 
  • Lemons