10 Foods That Aren't Worth Making From Scratch (Slideshow)

From-scratch cooking has been making a comeback and some homemade food is totally worth the effort. But there are other things that you don't have to stress out about making when you're in a rush.

Puff Pastry

Frozen puff pastry can help you make fun and quick appetizers, whereas the real thing requires about a pound of butter, lots of resting time in the fridge, and plenty of patience.

Pancake Mix

Most pancake mixes include the same ingredients you'd put together from scratch for this breakfast. It'll save you prep time and tastes about the same as the stuff you mix from scratch. Check the labels, though, and make sure you're only getting the ingredients you need in there.

Pizza Dough

Be forewarned: some store-bought pizza dough is atrocious, but many grocery stores have started carrying freshly made pizza dough from the in-store bakery. Another option is to get the dough from a local pizzeria; they'll usually sell it to you for just a few dollars.

Canned Pumpkin

Breaking down, roasting, and then puréeing a whole pumpkin takes a long time, and the canned stuff (make sure the label says 100-percent pumpkin) tastes the same. You don't end up with pumpkin seeds for toasting though, which is a bummer.

Fresh Pasta

Fresh pasta is a delight and a great project for a rainy weekend, but the process (not to mention the equipment you might need) can be overwhelming. Many grocery stores sell fresh pasta in a refrigerated case which cooks in just 2 or 3 minutes, but the boxed dry ones are just fine, too.


Homemade mayonnaise is perfect for serving as a dipping sauce with moules-frites (that's steamed mussels and fries), but if you're using this on sandwiches, go with the store-bought stuff. It lasts forever and everyone loves the iconic flavor.


Save leftover scraps of vegetables and chicken bones to make your own chicken stock when you have the time; freeze it and use in dishes that really shine from some extra love. But if you go through tons of chicken stock on a regular basis, the boxed stuff is great. Go for low-sodium varieties so you can season your food to your own taste.


Just don't. It's a long process of rolling out paper-thin pieces of dough and cooking each individually. Homemade tortilla chips are great when you have leftover tortillas because you just slice them up, season, and fry or bake.


Again with the dough and the rolling out and the slicing into tiny individual pieces. It's a great project, but if you're serving some crackers with a bowl of soup, store-bought will be perfect.

Dumpling Dough

Homemade dumplings are fun and easy when you start out with store-bought dumpling dough. You can make everything from homemade pierogi to Asian dumplings in a snap.