Start at the Deli

Recipe Building Blocks

Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches
Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches

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We all love delicatessan food, and we all have our favorites at our local deli. The Busy Cook, however, looks at all that food in a new way. Think of the deli case as a source for prepared ingredients that can jump start your recipes and save lots of time! Vegetable salads can become quesadillas. Add some cooked leftover pasta to fruit salad for a great lunch recipe. And prepared meats can be transformed into a hearty main dish recipes with just a few ingredients. These foods can become wonderful home cooked meals in very little time, with just a bit of imagination on your part - and the recipes below.

Roasted or Fried Chicken


Roast Beef

Ham and Pork


Vegetable Salads

Fruit Salads

Pasta, Potato, Meat Salads




  • Make sure you taste the salads and other foods before you buy them so you know you like the seasonings before you put them into a recipe.
  • Add more of your favorite ingredient to the deli food to make the finished dish seem more home made.
  • Stir some low-fat mayonnaise or sour cream, mixed with a little milk, into the salads when you add more ingredients so the salad stays creamy.
  • Serve the roast chicken "as is" one night, and use the leftovers for any of these recipes the second night.
  • Browse the selection at your deli and pick out some great pizza toppings. Put them on a Boboli crust with some sauce and cheese and you have designer pizza in a flash.
  • Any stew or meat sauce makes a great baked potato topping.
  • Toss deli meats and vegetables with pasta sauce, heat, and serve over spaghetti for a quick meal.