Today, I thought I’d share recipes that are simple DIY versions of building blocks we often grab at the store. You’ll find salsa, salad dressing, pancake mix and more—even homemade cold brew coffee.
You may be accustomed to making these recipes already, but if not, I think you’ll become a convert. Since these homemade options are freshly made from scratch, they taste much better than store-bought options! You’ll be surprised by how easy they are to make.
I hope this post saves you a trip to the store. Let me know what’s missing in the comments, and I’ll get to work on a recipe solution.
- Savory Essentials
- Breakfasts & Sweet Treats
- A Couple of Snacks to Get You Through
- How to Stretch Your Pantry (Easy Baking Substitutions)
If you haven’t made this hummus recipe yet, you have really been missing out. It’s creamy, dreamy, and as good as your very favorite Mediterranean restaurant’s.
This enchilada sauce is easy to make with basic spices, tomato paste and vegetable broth. Most store-bought sauces contain suspect preservatives and additives—you won’t find any funny business here.
I bet you have what you’ll need to make this restaurant-style salsa already. It’s made with canned tomatoes, yet tastes wonderfully fresh.
Got canned pinto beans (or black beans)? You can turn them into fantastic refried beans. Serve them with (or on) quesadillas, nachos and so much more.
This marinara sauce is beyond easy to make. You’ll need canned tomatoes, an onion, garlic, and about 45 minutes’ worth of patience (it makes your house smell amazing in the meantime). You can use it as pizza sauce, too.
You can throw together this pizza dough in your food processor in no time. The best part? You don’t have to wait for the dough to rise. It’s ready to go, right away.
Homemade vinaigrette tastes so much better than store-bought, you’ll never go back. Plus, you can make it with real olive oil (no processed ingredients here). It will keep in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
This peanut sauce makes a stellar dip for spring rolls or plain veggies. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, you’ll find an option for powdered ginger within the recipe.
This simplified romesco sauce is made with roasted red peppers, almonds, and a few more basic ingredients. It’s bold and tangy, and would make a great sandwich spread.
This black bean soup recipe is designed for canned beans, so it’s ready in under an hour. You’ll also need carrot, celery and garlic.
This ultra creamy tomato soup recipe is made with the simplest of pantry ingredients. You won’t believe how creamy it gets (no cream required).
Breakfasts & Sweet Treats
Missing your favorite coffee shop’s cold brew in the morning? Make your own! You’ll only need coffee, water, and some basic equipment.
Homemade granola tastes so much better. Make your own with oats, coconut oil or olive oil, maple syrup or honey, and any mix-ins you have on hand.
Do you have frozen blueberries? Make these fluffy, naturally sweetened muffins. Warm, homemade blueberry muffins are so comforting and delicious.
Muesli is an oat-based alternative to processed cereals, and a low-sugar alternative to granola. I toast my muesli in the oven with the tiniest touch of maple syrup. It’s worth the effort.
Muesli variations: Toasted Muesli with Almonds, Coconut and Dark Chocolate and Bircher Muesli.
If you have extra quinoa, make this fun breakfast option. It tastes like cinnamon toast!
Have a surplus of almonds or other nuts? Make nut butter. You can use my almond butter recipe as guidance. Feel free to add pecans, walnuts, cashews or pepitas. I also have a recipe for pecan butter, which might be my favorite of all nut butters.
A Couple of Snacks to Get You Through
Popcorn is the original pantry snack! All you need is popcorn kernels and oil (I like to use coconut oil or even extra-virgin olive oil). Stovetop popcorn is 1,000 times tastier than microwaved bags.
If you have oats, nut butter and honey or maple syrup, you can easily make your own granola bars at home. I’ve played around with several flavor combinations, and couldn’t possibly pick a favorite.
How to Stretch Your Pantry
How to make buttermilk
1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 scant cup milk of choice = 1 cup buttermilk (let rest for 5 minutes before using)
How to make light coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk + 2 cups water = about 4 cups light coconut milk (extra milk can be frozen and thawed later)
How to make flax or chia “eggs”
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or freshly ground flaxseeds/chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water = 1 “egg” (let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before using). See a tutorial here.
How to make brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses = 1 cup brown sugar (whisk together in a bowl, then use your fingers to squish out any lumps)
How to make powdered sugar
Blend granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until it’s fine and fluffy. Best used promptly, as it hardens over time. See a tutorial here.
How to make oat flour
Blend old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (certified gluten-free if necessary) in your blender or food processor until they turn into a fine, even flour. Leftover flour stores well for later. See a tutorial here.
How to turn old fashioned oats into quick-cooking oats
Throw some old-fashioned oats into a food processor or blender and blitz them a few times, until they’ve broken into thirds or quarters.
How to make almond meal
(Warning, this is loud.) Blend whole almonds in your food processor or blender until they are broken into a very fine flour, but stop before they turn into almond butter. 1 cup whole almonds = 1 cup packed almond meal.
More resources you might appreciate: 23 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes, 29 healthy comfort food recipes and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You might also like my monthly seasonal produce guides and essential kitchen tools. View all roundups and resource posts here.