We’ve all been there: Friends dropped by unexpectedly (yay!). You’ve nothing to serve them (boo!). Or do you? Odds are, tucked away in your cupboard or fridge are a few familiar ingredients that can easily be turned into tasty snacks. You just need to know what to look for. Here are simple ways to transform kitchen standbys into beyond-the-basics appetizers.
Ingredient: Jarred or Canned Olives
Appetizer: Marinated Olives
Warm in olive oil with seasonings of your choice — try red pepper flakes and garlic, fennel seeds and coriander, or orange zest and rosemary.
Ingredient: Packaged Hummus
Appetizer: Dressed-Up Hummus
Dress up this refrigerator staple by scooping it into a pretty bowl; drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika or cayenne.
Appetizer: Spiced Popcorn
Skip the ho-hum salt; drizzle this no-fail snack with melted butter and a few shakes of something from the spice rack. Try seafood seasoning (Old Bay), five-spice powder, smoked paprika or herbes de Provence.
Check out the full gallery of transformed pantry ingredients.
Lygeia Grace is a Senior Editor in Food Network Kitchen.