Here are over 70 recipes you can make using common pantry and freezer ingredients this week. Perfect for when you can’t find what you need at the grocery store (or get there in the first place!)
Whether you’ve stocked your pantry or freezer thanks to a natural disaster, global pandemic or to just plain be prepared for ANY unforeseen event, there are tons of ways you can put your ingredients to good use without getting bored. Here are over 70 of my favorite recipes (from CaliGirl Cooking and beyond) that will help you get creative in the kitchen when you have limited supplies to work with.
This Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is one for the books. It’s full of all the fall flavors, easy enough to make on any night of the week (yes, even Halloween), healthy and did I mention tasty?
It’s basically a seasonally appropriate version of my go-to Warming Minestrone Soup using all of the ingredients I crave this time of year (here’s looking at you butternut squash, kale, Brussels sprouts and sausage!) And why do I call it “stoup”? (I hear you asking…) Well, because it’s just a touch on the heartier side…almost a stew but not quite past the point of soup…and I feel like we’re all looking for something a little more hearty and belly-filling this time of year….am I right?
Soups and stews are one of my favorite dishes to make for the fall and winter for the same reasons salads are one of my favorite dishes to make for the spring and summer – it’s easy to pack in tons of nutrients from seasonal produce, and the recipes are also quite forgiving, so you can sub things in and out as you please based on your personal preferences or what’s caught your eye at the Farmers’ Market on any particular week.
Yes, I love the butternut squash and kale and sausage in this dish, but I promise not to hate you if you want to swap in something equally delicious like fresh pumpkin, Swiss chard, beans, etc. The one thing I’m going to beg you to at least give a shot is these crispy Brussels sprouts as a topping because they are TO DIE FOR. I seriously love them so much. But you have to make them fresh, right before you’re ready to serve your “stoup,” or else they’ll get soggy. Trust me on this, crispy Brussels sprouts are about to change your life.
I mean, just the fact that this Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts is a healthy and hearty meal should be reason enough to serve it up tomorrow night before your little ghosts and goblins head out for a night of trick-or-treating, but I will also say that it’s a great meal to just set up on the stove top and let people help themselves as they see fit. Shoot, you could even invite over all your adult friends to sit and enjoy this deliciousness while all the little ones do their Halloween thing.
Even if you don’t have any little ones doing any trick-or-treating this year, I’m going to just go ahead and guess that you yourself have been indulging just a leeeeetle bit on all the Halloween candy and other devilish treats that are making their appearance out there right now. And because I’m all about that balance, I’m prescribing this Butternut Squash and Sausage “Stoup” with Crispy Brussels Sprouts as the perfect dinner to counteract your impending sugar coma.
Here’s to a safe and happy Halloween and lots of delicious food in your immediate future!
Warm olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add onion and garlic and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add celery, carrot and butternut squash and saute another 5 minutes.
Add bay leaf, chicken stock and Parmesan rind (if using) and bring to a low boil.
Stir in kale, white wine and sausage and let simmer until kale is wilted and sausage is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm on low heat until ready to serve.
Once your soup is prepared, make your crispy Brussels sprouts. Heat olive oil and bacon grease (if using) in a large, deep saute pan over high heat. Once oil is sizzling, drop in sliced Brussels sprouts. If the sprouts are going to be crowded in your pan if you use a whole batch, you can split them up into two batches.
Fry Brussels sprouts until they look frazzled with dark brown edges. Strain out of oil and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and crisp up.
When you’re ready to eat, ladle the soup into bowls and top with Brussels sprouts.
This Indian-style yellow curry is incredibly tasty and easy to whip up on any night of the week, plus it’s served with toppings galore!
Today’s super-delicious recipe is brought to you by dear old Dad. I’m finally sharing his go-to curry recipe and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s not the typical Thai-style curry you order for takeout, instead it’s an Indian-Style Yellow Curry with an assortment of what we call in our household “da boys”…aka a bunch of tasty toppings that take a fairly simple, straightforward recipe completely over the top.
This Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is so easy, it’s almost comical how much flavor it has for so few ingredients involved. It’s totally achievable on any night of the week, and you can also easily control the spice so that even the pickiest of eaters in your household get excited about it.
Although this recipe has very few ingredients, the one that I highly recommend you pay close attention to is the type of curry powder you use. Our family favorite has always been this Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder, and I highly recommend that you invest in some yourself ASAP. Sure, you could use some other brand of curry powder, but I guarantee that this one does the trick and, trust me, my family doesn’t mess around when it comes to our go-to cooking ingredients.
Aside from the curry powder, the only ingredients you’ll need for the soup itself are coconut milk, a can of green chilies, onion, chicken and chicken broth. And, depending on how thick your coconut milk is, you may also need a “cheater’s roux” made simply of melted butter and flour.
Of course, there are also variations you can make depending on special dietary preferences. For example, use tofu and vegetable broth to make this dish vegetarian, or you can also omit the green chilies if you have some in your group who are averse to a lot of spice.
And no Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry would be complete without an entire assortment of toppings! As I mentioned, in my family we refer to these as “da boys,” but I realize that may seem just plain odd to many of you. Here are just a few suggestions of different toppings to serve with your curry:
Chopped macadamia nuts
Chopped dried apricots
I can guarantee you will not go wrong with any of these, and you may even never resort to just “plain old” curry ever again.
We’re slowly getting into cooler weather here in Santa Barbara, so I’m looking forward to hunkering down with our new little one and enjoying all the comfort food dishes it’s been too hot to even think about for the past few months. This Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry is definitely on my list of things to whip up as often as we can!
This Indian-style yellow curry is incredibly tasty and easy to whip up on any night of the week, plus it's served with toppings galore!
Course: Main Course, Soup
Keyword: curry, dairy-free, dinner, freezer-friendly, Indian, main course, soup, weeknight
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
14-ounce canminced green chilies (optional)
3small chicken breasts, cubed
114-ounce cancoconut milk
4tablespoonsmelted butter (optional)
Assorted toppings such as chopped macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, raisins, mango chutney, crispy onions and chopped dried apricots
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and chilies and saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken and begin to brown it. Sprinkle on the curry powder and continue stirring until all sides of chicken are browned and curry powder is incorporated.
Pour in chicken broth and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once mixture has come to a boil, bring down to a simmer and add in the coconut milk.
At this point, you’ll have to make the call of whether you want to thicken up your curry or not. If you like it a bit creamier, whisk together the melted butter and flour in a small bowl and then stir it into the soup. If you’re happy with a thinner curry, leave it as is.
Place toppings in small bowls and set them out on the table for people to help themselves. Serve curry over cooked brown rice.
Easy Indian-Style Yellow Curry (with Toppings!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Vitamin A 401IU8%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is the perfect example of how just a few ingredients can turn into something completely magical. We’re talking creamy mouthfeel, layers of flavor and in fact a pretty darn healthy meal. Once you taste it, your life just may be changed forever.
The hubs and I have a favorite restaurant here in Santa Barbara, Trattoria Vittoria, that serves quite possibly the most legit Italian food I’ve encountered stateside. They employ Italian chefs, the owner spent a good portion of his childhood in Italy and speaks fluent Italian, the food is amazing and, in fact, so are the drinks with an incredibly entertaining flair bartender manning the helm (who also has a blog, Flair Project, that you should most definitely check out for some out-of-this-world cocktail recipes.)
The restaurant also happens to be one of my husband’s work accounts, so we often find ourselves eating there both for lunch during the week and quite frequently on a “date night” out on the town. What can I say, when we find something good, we stick with it.
Anyhow, even though alllll of the food is delicious, one of my favorite things to order at lunch (okay, even often at dinner) is a cup of their soup of the day. It changes frequently, and you’ll rarely get the same thing twice, but it’s always tasty and I’ve never been disappointed.
A while back, I met Chris there for lunch and they were serving a Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup. I wasn’t too sure what to expect (for some reason I thought it might be chunky?) but I went ahead and ordered it because I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. What came out of the kitchen was a delicious, velvety smooth purée that was chock full of flavor and left me practically licking the bowl. I immediately knew I wanted to recreate something like it in my own kitchen!
And that’s what you have here today folks, what I’m proud to say is almost a spot-on rendition of the soup I tasted on that fateful day. I made this Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup all from taste, without asking the chef for any tips on how they did it, but I’d have to say I’m really darn proud of the result.
The best part about this recipe? It only requires 6 ingredients (well, 8 counting the optional one and salt and pepper) and comes together easily and beautifully as long as you (a) have the patience to caramelize some onions beforehand and (b) have a regular or immersion blender on hand. I mean, I found myself standing at the stove asking “Is this really all I need? Is the flavor really already this outstanding?” Yep yep, they are!
So here’s all you need to make this Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup tonight:
Heavy cream (optional)
Prosciutto (again, optional)
Plus a little salt and pepper. That’s it! I’m venturing to guess you may already have a lot (if not all) of this stuff on hand, which means Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is becoming even more of a reality for gracing your dinner table tonight.
Although this recipe is easy and does not require much hands-on work, it does take a little bit of time. We have to give all of those delicious flavors time to come together, after all! But the results are totally worth it. Promise.
Do you have any fun and delicious soup recipes I need to try? Now that fall is just around the corner (and Baby D’s due date!) I’m looking for all the cooler weather recipes I can get my hands on. Leave me your recs in the comments below!
2baking potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4cupheavy cream (optional)
3slicesprosciutto, to top (optional but highly recommended)
First, you’ll want to caramelize your onions. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and cook, low and slow and stirring occasionally, until onions take on that beautiful caramel color. This may take up to 30 minutes. Be patient! You don’t want to cook the onions too fast and give them a burnt flavor.
Once onions are sufficiently caramelized, add them to a large stockpot along with potatoes, chicken stock and peeled, whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when you poke them with a fork. Reduce heat to low.
Use either an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a regular blender and purée until there are no longer any chunks. Transfer back to the stockpot on low heat (if using a regular blender), stir in heavy cream (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep soup simmering on low while you make some crispy prosciutto to top it off!
Heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add slices of prosciutto and cook until crisp, flipping when necessary. Transfer to a cutting board and chop prosciutto into little pieces.
Ladle warm soup into bowls and top with crispy prosciutto. Enjoy immediately!
Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup
Amount Per Serving
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
I consider minestrone to be the soup version of the “everything but the kitchen sink” salad.
It is really so versatile. Have some random veggies taking up space in the refrigerator? Have some chicken stock in the pantry? Then you’re all set for making your very own version of minestrone. But I know not everyone likes having that kind of freedom, that some of you out there really want that little nudge in the right direction just to make sure you don’t mess anything up. Luckily for you, I consider myself a minestrone pro.
I posted my classic version of minestrone a while back, but I’ve been itching to make a “green” minestrone ever since I’ve seen peas and asparagus popping up at the Farmer’s Markets this past month or so. Does anyone else get their cooking inspiration from what you see at the Farmer’s Market (or even the grocery store, for that matter?) I feel like I always get a plethora of new recipe ideas as soon as the seasons start changing and there’s new produce on hand for me to get creative with.
This Spring Green Minestrone is no exception. It’s chock full of fresh veggies like zucchini, kale, English peas and asparagus. It’s even easily made vegan! (You’ll see the special adjustments needed noted in the recipe.) And the Basil-Cilantro Pistou…my goodness, let me tell you about this Basil-Cilantro Pistou. It REALLY makes the dish. What is pistou, you ask? Well, the classic definition is it’s basically pesto without pine nuts. For this version, I did not include pine nuts, but I did add in some toasted almonds. I also omitted the cheese, and the good news is, you really don’t miss it! We just drizzle the pistou over the top of the soup before serving, top it with some grilled shrimp (if we’re not trying to make this vegan, that is) and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal!
I’m planning on eating all of this Spring Green Minestrone these next few days…This weekend is my Bachelorette Party in Palm Springs and this is the perfect meal for me to prep for lounging by the pool in my bikini with my gals! I love vegetable-based soups because they’re nice and filling with very few calories. Add the lean protein from the shrimp and the almonds in the pistou and we have quite the healthy meal on our hands, folks!
I’m going to keep this short today. It’s opening weekend at the Santa Barbara Polo Club and my man and I are going to go check it out and enjoy the day in the sun with some friends. I’ll be sure to post some Instagram pics, and maybe I’ll even throw in a Snap? (I’m finally starting to figure it out guys! Follow me on Snapchat @caligirlcooking J )
Have a great Monday, friends. This Spring Green Minestrone is going to help us take the week by the horns!!
Spring Green Minestrone with Basil-Cilantro Pistou
A refreshing, spring version of the classic minestrone.
For the soup:
1leekwhite part sliced
½bunch of asparagustrimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
Cheese rindoptional, omit if making vegan version
2cupsTuscan kaledestemmed and shredded
1 15-ouncecan Great Northern beans
For the pistou:
1 ½cupsfresh basil
Juice of ½ large lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
For the shrimp (optional):
10shrimppeeled and deveined
Salt & pepper
Place olive oil in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat. Once olive oil is warm, add garlic, onion and leek. Saute for about 5 minutes, or until mixture has become fragrant and started to turn translucent.
Next, add asparagus and zucchini. Saute for a few more minutes, then add bay leaf and thyme and stir to combine.
Add cheese rind, then cover mixture with chicken broth. Let this mixture come to a simmer, then add peas, kale and beans. Bring to a boil, then let simmer while you make the pistou (and shrimp, if making.)
To make the pistou, combine all pistou ingredients except for olive oil in a food processor. Start processor and then slowly drizzle in olive oil. Continue pureeing until all ingredients are combined and pistou forms.
To make the shrimp, heat coconut oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, then add to sauté pan. Cook shrimp for a couple of minutes on each side, until shrimp is pink and opaque. Remove from heat.
To serve, first ladle soup into soup bowls, then drizzle pistou over top. Finally, top with cooked shrimp.
Wine Pairing Note: This soup is just screaming to be paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. The herbaceous quality of most Sauvignon Blancs (especially those from New Zealand) will pair perfectly with the “green-ness” of this dish.