Store cupboard recipes: 27 ways to use up potatoes, tins of tomato, tuna and more

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  • Store cupboard recipes are the key to turning a cupboard full of tins and a freezer full of food into a menu of tasty meals.

    Store cupboard recipes are always good to have at hand, but especially at the moment. As people begin changing their weekly shop and turn to stockpiling instead, these store cupboard recipes will ensure none of that tinned food goes to waste.

    Cooking with store cupboard staples doesn’t mean you have to eat plain or flavourless meals either. In fact, quite the opposite!

    These store cupboard recipes will show you how to cook tasty meals using canned or frozen veg, canned fish like tins of tuna and other basics.

    There are so many delicious, healthy and filling meals you can make with store cupboard ingredients. Most of these recipes include five to eight different ingredients, so they’re really easy to make.

    Based on ingredients from your store cupboard, here are the recipes you could make…

    Store cupboard recipes: Starters

    Tuna and brown rice salad 

    tuna and brown rice salad

    Credit: Alamy

    A salad can be a great choice for light lunch, or a small starter before dinner. With this tuna and brown rice salad you’ll get all the vitamins you’ll need from the tinned sweetcorn and bottled peppers, while the tuna steaks provide a healthy dose of omega-3 and protein.

    Get the recipe: Tuna and brown rice salad

    Moroccan chickpea cakes

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    These moroccan chickpea cakes are a really inventive way to use those stocked cans of chickpeas. Using only store cupboard ingredients (just swap out fresh herbs for dried) and a couple of frozen vegetables from the freezer, you can make this delicious starter.

    Get the recipe: Moroccan chickpea cakes

    Tomato and chilli soup

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    This tomato and chilli soup can be adapted to suit whatever you have in your cupboards. Instead of fresh garlic, use powdered and you can swap out the fresh onions for frozen ones.

    Get the recipe: Tomato and chilli soup

    Lentil and chickpea soup

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    This is really warming and wholesome starter to any big lunch (or you can just make it on its own). Packed with protein from the legumes, it will keep you fuller for longer and even better, it’s made from all store cupboard ingredients.

    Get the recipe: Lentil and chickpea soup

    Sweetcorn fritters

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    These sweetcorn fritters are totally made with cupboard-found ingredients, and could even be turned into a tasty afternoon snack if you’re not quite ready for dinner yet!

    Get the recipe: Sweetcorn fritters

    Spicy baked chickpeas

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    A fantastically spicy starter if you’re looking for something to snack on while waiting for the dinner to cook, they make a healthier alternative to crisps – while keeping all the crunch.

    Get the recipe: Spicy baked chickpeas

    Store cupboard recipes: Main meals

    Spaghetti with broccoli 

    store cupboard recipes: spaghetti with broccoli

    Credit: Barilla

    Using store-bought sauce or homemade if you feel like it, you can create this simple Italian dish with the ingredients in your store cupboard.

    Get the recipe: Spaghetti with broccoli

    Bean burgers 

    store cupboard recipes: bean burgers

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    A store cupboard staple recipe if ever there was one. Using just the ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard, you can make these delicious, healthy and super filling bean burgers for a fraction of the cost of regular burgers.

    Get the recipe: Bean burgers

    Homemade pot noodle

    Credit: Getty

    Pot noodle is often a favourite of kids’ but with all those additives, it’s not the healthiest of meals. So why not make your own? Using instant noodles, canned or frozen vegetables, this homemade pot noodle would be a great go-to for lunch.

    Get the recipe: Homemade pot noodle

    Tuna pasta bake

    tuna past bake

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    Tuna is a great store cupboard essential as it’s packed with protein and omega-3. This is a classic family recipe – containing mostly tinned foods like sweetcorn and cupboard-stocked ingredients like pasta, as well as fresher vegetables for an extra dose of vitamins.

    Get the recipe: Tuna pasta bake


    Credit: Alamy

    With only 6 ingredients, this homemade jambalaya recipe will be a one to whip up in a flash. Swap the chorizo for sausages, which you can buy and freeze for a while. Instead of fresh ones, the next time you’re at the shops pick up some frozen onions, or chop up your own and freeze them.

    Get the recipe: Jambalaya

    Macaroni cheese with broccoli

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    Using pasta from the cupboard, cheese (that you can freeze if you want it to last longer) and frozen broccoli, you can make this macaroni cheese with broccoli.

    Get the recipe: Macaroni cheese with broccoli

    Sausage and bean casserole

    Credit: Alamy

    Another one of our simple recipes, this casserole only has 5 ingredients – all of which can be found in your cupboard, with a little help from the freezer.

    Get the recipe: Sausage and bean casserole

    Tuna and potato layer

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    If you’ve stocked up on some fresh ingredients too, this tuna and potato layer might be for you. While you can get some frozen potato, this recipe is a little better with fresh ones. Luckily if stored correctly, potatoes can last for a while in a cupboard.

    Get the recipe: Tuna and potato layer

    Cheesy smoked haddock pie with veg mash

    Credit: Alamy

    Frozen fish is a great product to stock up on in the supermarket. Often coming in larger bags, they’re normally better priced than fresh fish – and contain the same amount of protein.  You can swap the fresh veg out for frozen and opt for a packet cheese sauce, rather than a fresh cheese sauce.

    Get the recipe: Cheesy smoked haddock pie with veg mash

    Jamie Oliver’s harissa chicken traybake

    Credit: Jamie Oliver

    With only five ingredients, Jamie Oliver’s Harissa chicken tray bake is one of the easiest recipes on our list. It also takes less than an hour to make, and any fresh ingredients can easily be swapped out for frozen or tinned alternatives.

    Get the recipe: Jamie Oliver’s 5 ingredient harissa chicken traybake

    Cheese and tomato bake

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    This is a great recipe for using up any leftover bread, or you can make it with frozen bread. Cheesy and a go-to staple, it’s bound to be a winner with the whole family.

    Get the recipe: Cheese and tomato bake

    Crushed potatoes with tuna

    Credit: Alamy

    Not only is this recipe super speedy, but it only costs 59p per serving and you can use up any leftover potato too! Great as a quick fix dinner in minutes, use with frozen veg and tinned tuna.

    Get the recipe: Crushed potatoes with tuna

    Tuna and tomato salsa pasta

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    A can of chopped tomatoes, a bag of pasta and a tin of tuna is all you really need to create this tasty, quick and hearty meal. Full of warmth, you can choose to add capers if they take your fancy and you have them stocked in the cupboard – if not, why not try some black olives?

    Get the recipe: Tuna and tomato salsa pasta

    Salmon fishcakes

    There’s only 5 ingredients in this recipe for delicious salmon fishcakes, if you take out the parsley – which can only really be bought fresh. They’re a great source of protein and omega-3, using frozen fish and any leftover potatoes you have.

    Credit: Alamy

    Get the recipe: Smoked salmon fishcakes

    Squash and pepper risotto

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    You can swap the fresh vegetables in this squash and pepper risotto for frozen vegetables. It’s one of those dishes that you can also make it batches and store in the fridge for a couple of days – as long as you give it a proper zap in the microwave to heat up again. Perfect if you’re looking for a punch of vitamins, with red peppers in particular high in vitamin C.

    Get the recipe: Squash and pepper risotto

    Store cupboard recipes: Desserts

    Mary Berry’s Iced Fairy Cakes

    Credit: Mary Berry

    The queen of the kitchen, Mary Berry does fairy cakes like no one else. If you’re a keen baker, you’re bound to have the ingredients already for these cute little cakes. On an afternoon when the whole family is in the house, why not get the kids involved? They’ll love the decorating part especially!

    Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s iced fairy cakes

    Three-ingredient chocolate mousse

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    These indulgent chocolate mousses are a real treat. Not only are they deliciously chocolatey, but they’re so easy to make you’ll be tempted at all times of the day.

    Get the recipe: Three ingredient chocolate mousse

    Chocolate biscuit cake 

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    Although there may seem to be lots of ingredients in this chocolate biscuit cake, they can (almost) all be found in your store cupboard. No need to settle for boring dessert again with this recipe!

    Get the recipe: Chocolate biscuit cake

    Bread pudding bites

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    These moorish bread pudding bites are the perfect remedy for any bad day. Using any stale bread you have around, sugar and dried fruit from the cupboard, condensed or coconut milk if you don’t have fresh milk and an egg (or olive oil if you’ve run out – 50ml of olive oil per egg).

    Get the recipe: Bread pudding bites

    Mary Berry’s flapjacks

    Credit: Mary Berry

    Why not bake a big batch of these moorish flapjacks for the whole family to enjoy?

    Get the recipe: Mary Berry’s delicious flapjacks

    Jamie Oliver’s five-ingredient chocolate orange shortbread recipe

    Credit: Alamy

    This five-ingredient recipe is another great one for whipping up with limited ingredients. Chocolate fans are bound to have all the ingredients you need, and who knows…you might even have a Terry’s Chocolate Orange hidden away to use up? We can dream.

    Get the recipe: Jamie Oliver’s 5 ingredient chocolate orange shortbread

    You can find other great recipes on our site, using the recipe finder.


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