Listen, sometimes the last thing that is going to happen is a run to the supermarket. And whether the temp is hovering over the single digits or you just can’t bring yourself to mobilize for another trip to the store, that shouldn’t prevent you from whipping up a solid meal. Next time a supermarket run just isn’t in the cards, look to pantry staples like dried pasta, canned tomatoes and more for a killer meal that’s ready on the fly. Here are five back-pocket pasta recipes that absolutely always have your back.
You know all about the perks of setting it and forgetting it, but are you aware of your slow cooker’s secret powers? Beyond the game-changing greatness of slow-cooked meaty chilis, beef stews and more, this most trusty appliance has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its ability to cook dinner while you’re away at work, check out a few surprising things you can make using the slow cooker’s gentle heat.
Instead of standing over the stove or turning to the microwave for your early morning oatmeal fix, go for Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal (pictured above). Before you turn in for the night, combine steel cut oats, dried cranberries, dried figs and some liquid in the slow cooker and, come morning, you’ll have a bowl of perfectly cooked oatmeal waiting for you.
Whether you’ve got yourself a sweetie or you’re going for a more “all my single ladies” approach, these chocolatey sweets are just what St. Valentine called for. Instead of swinging by the drugstore for a sorry box of chocolates, give your valentine handmade chocolate treats that are a sure-fire way to melt hearts.
It may be the go-to move, but there is something to be said for biting into plump, juicy Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (pictured above). Not only are these fruity treats romantic through and through, they’re also completely effortless to make. Plus, rolling each melted chocolate-dipped strawberry in crushed pretzel sticks or almonds makes for a crunchy complement that proves that opposites attract.
If you think winter thus far has been especially punishing and demoralizing, just know that all hope has not been lost. Even though the infamous groundhog left us in disappointment in our moment of need (6 more weeks of winter?!), there is still reason to keep trudging through the snow and slush with your chin up. In fact, if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that these times of meteorological despair require more than a quality winter coat to get you through; they call for a casserole leaving the oven in warm, stick-to-your-ribs splendor. If you’re searching for a beacon of hope in this frosty weather, these comforting casserole recipes are it.
Just like snow goes hand in hand with snow boots, broccoli and cheese are connected on a very real level. Combine the two for an ultra-comforting Broccoli and Orzo Casserole. Food Network Kitchen opts for mild, creamy Havarti cheese for its stellar melting tendencies and tops the finished product with buttery panko breadcrumbs for a crunchy finish.
A staple everywhere from diners and bed and breakfasts to your breakfast table, pancakes are a morning win every time you flip them. They’re killer in their purest form, simply smeared with butter and smothered in maple syrup, but there’s something to be said for adding a little more dimension to the average flapjack. Highlighting all kinds of add-ins, this roster of pancake recipes is sure to make you flip.
You’ve savored your fair share of pancakes, but there’s a new griddled beauty in town: the Pancake Breakfast Casserole (pictured above). By baking pancakes in a rich, creamy custard and topping them with bursting blueberries, your pancake intake can embody a whole new level of comfort. Plus, even if you’re a pancake-producing maven, ready-made frozen pancakes can be swapped in for an easy timesaver.
Many of us have been amped up for Sunday’s game since the day football season began. But if you don’t eat, breathe and play football, chances are the big game snuck up on you. Have no fear! Instead of fumbling an opportunity to eat guacamole and drink beer on a Sunday night, throw together a last-minute viewing party spread with a little football-inspired rushing. This lineup of big-game bites may look sprawling, but each recipe can hit the coffee table in under 30 minutes.
The Neelys’ Triple Pork Sliders have the look of big effort in a small package, but they can actually be ready in a little over 20 minutes with the help of your grill pan. With a meaty mix of ground pork, chorizo and applewood smoked bacon, these sliders pack huge flavor in each mini patty. Slather each little bun with an easy-to-make smoked paprika mayo, and consider part one of your big-game spread complete.
When you crowd around the television during Sunday’s big game, score a touchdown with hearty chili bowls that are bound to win over hungry party guests. Dig into each simmering blend by the bowl, or use them to elevate your next plate of nachos or to bulk up a burrito. The best part? After the big game, leftover chili is even better than the first batch, and it’s ultra-freezable, so you can relive the big game down the road.
Set out a serve-yourself chili bar at your viewing party, starring Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili (pictured above). Starting with a foundation of smoky bacon and aromatic spices, this two-meat, two-bean chili deserves a spritz of lime, sliced scallions, a dollop of sour cream and a heap of cheddar.
For a lot of us, Sunday’s game works as an excuse to go big on all the jalapeno poppers, nachos and Buffalo wings that can fit into four quarters. Though such bar-style favorites will never, ever get old, switch it up a little this year with bite-size snacks that pack a surprise on the inside, stuffing a whole lot of flavor in one little bite.
When you have a hankering for some serious comfort, a bowl of steamy macaroni and cheese is perhaps the only way to go. But before you put a from-the-box take on mac on the stove — or, dare we say, in the microwave — stir together a cheesy, comforting bowl of macaroni and cheese the from-scratch way. These mac and cheese recipes from your favorite Food Network chefs should help the cause.
The best things in life don’t need to be fiddled with, and Tyler Florence’s recipe for classic Macaroni and Cheese is creamy, dreamy proof. With elbow macaroni, grated cheddar, and a little depth from dry mustard and thyme, Tyler’s dish is a go-to recipe to have in your arsenal.
Break out the tortillas (and more unexpected ingredients) for rolled and wrapped game-day appetizers that will be met with resounding cheers. These make-ahead, bite-size riffs on game-day favorites are easy to make and even easier to eat, so you won’t be spending your game-day viewing party holed up in the kitchen.