Almost Homemade Recipes

Salmon pizza


Максим Крысанов / Getty Images

Whether you call it shortcut cooking, semi-homemade cooking, or almost homemade, many of the recipes on my site start with convenience foods. After all, if a company makes a fabulous cheese sauce, why make your own from scratch? These are some of my favorite convenience foods:

When you buy convenience foods, be sure to read the label. I try to buy products that use as many natural ingredients as possible. Then, let your imagination run wild! You can use a canned soup to make a casserole or a sauce for grilled chicken. Frozen vegetable combinations are fabulous in spaghetti sauce, or use them in a layered salad.

And don't forget about my cookbook on this topic: Everything Almost Homemade Cookbook.

Enjoy these quick and easy recipes that start with convenience foods. They're almost homemade!

Almost Homemade Recipes

  • Cheesy Ham Pasta
    Cheddar cheese pasta sauce is one of my favorite ingredients. This homey and hearty recipe combines that creamy mixture with ham and vegetables, then serves it over pasta. Yum.
  • Pesto Meatballs and Orzo
    Pesto, Alfredo sauce, and frozen precooked meatballs make this rich and elegant recipe so easy.
  • Updated Turkey Mornay
    A four cheese sauce is used this time to blanket tender turkey and chewy and crisp English muffins. This is a fabulous open-faced sandwich.
  • Salmon Burgers
    Canned salmon is made into tender and rich burgers, then served on crisply toasted English muffins. This is a burger that is way out of the ordinary!
  • Buffalo Chicken Salad
    Rotisserie chicken is dressed up with those wonderful refrigerated cooked red potatoes, all wrapped in a creamy and spicy dressing. Yum.
  • Ham Filo Roll
    Filo dough is another one of those miracle doughs. In this recipe, the flaky layers are wrapped around a creamy ham and pea mixture, then baked until golden brown.
  • Chocolate Cherry Cake
    This easy recipe uses two convenience products: cake mix and canned pie filling. It's luscious and quick to make.
  • Tortellini Bean and Ham Salad
    Frozen cheese tortellini, some delicious canned beans, and preshredded carrots make this salad easy. But it tastes like it took hours to make!
  • Santa Fe Chicken
    This recipe uses mostly convenience foods. But it tastes like something Grandma would have made. It's rich, creamy, spicy, warm, and utterly delicious.
  • Chicken and Bacon in Puff Pastry
    Well, gee whiz, who wouldn't like flaky puff pastry, tender chicken, crisp and salty bacon, and smooth cream cheese? I love this recipe.
  • Salmon Pizza
    Canned salmon plus a premade pizza crust and cream cheese equals a fun pizza that is perfect for a quick meal anytime.
  • Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry
    Leftover roast beef (or beef from the deli) combines with frozen mixed vegetables in this super-easy and super-quick main dish recipe.
  • Red and White Tortellini
    I think this is the easiest recipe in my entire collection. Just mix some frozen tortellini with two kinds of pasta sauces, top it with cheese, and bake! This casserole is hearty, rich, and delicious.