Preparing a home-cooked meal doesn’t have to be intimidating. While we here at The Daily Meal love to whip up creative new recipes, we recognize that some people find the idea of cooking spontaneously to be more fearsome than fun. For the intimidated home cook, it can be hard to know where or how to start. You don’t just go from heating up leftover takeout pizza to whipping up homemade soufflé in an instant.
The best way to start cooking homemade meals might just be by turning around the packages of your favorite food products and seeing what recipes the manufacturers recommend on the back of the box. Often using basic ingredients and food hacks that save you time without sacrificing flavor, back-of-the-box recipes have been the saving grace of mothers and new chefs for decades.
Did you know that you can produce homemade gumbo from a Campbell’s soup can or serve a prize-winning meatloaf with help from Quaker Oats? All of these recipes take minimal time and average skill to execute, and they highlight some of our favorite brand-name foods in ways we never thought of before. Best of all: They’re homemade.
Stop letting the kitchen intimidate you and get some help the best back-of-the-box recipes. Before you know it, takeout menus will be a thing of the past.
A can of soup can transform your average casserole into an incredible dinner, and this dish proves it. By adding Cajun spices, ham, and shrimp to a simple can of soup, you can have a bold, flavorful weeknight dinner that tastes like it’s been stewing all day in less than an hour.
For the Campbell's Gumbo Casserole recipe, click here.
Cost-efficient and super simple to make, this dessert will have your kids licking their fingers on their way to grabbing seconds. Instant vanilla pudding, Cool Whip, graham crackers, and a few sweet pantry staples create a quick and easy dessert that bests any store-bought cupcake.
For the Easy Chocolate Éclair Squares recipe, click here.
With the help of Knorr’s Four-Cheese Bow Tie Pasta, dinner is incredibly simple. Though it’s traditionally used as a side, with the addition of shrimp, roasted red peppers, and spinach, the packaged pasta becomes a creamy, satisfying dinner in less than 20 minutes.
Take your crispy onions beyond your holiday green bean casserole with this recipe. By covering boneless, skinless chicken breasts with this salty and slightly sweet product, you can make every day feel like Christmas.
For the French's Crunchy Onion Chicken recipe, click here.
You can have a savory and satisfying breakfast without expending tons of effort. These flavorful mini quiches are loaded with favorite breakfast fixings like Cheddar cheese and crispy crumbled bacon. They’re so easy to make, you won’t even need a cup of coffee to get through the process.
For the Keebler Club Quiches recipe, click here.
The most difficult part of any party menu to plan is the appetizer. You don’t want to serve the same old boring food everyone makes, but you can’t spend too much effort on this course and neglect other dishes. The people at Pillsbury came up with this perfect solution: crescent rolls filled with prosciutto, feta cheese, and basil. Salty, warm, and easy to grab, this app will totally get your party rolling.
For the Mediterranean Crescent Pinwheels recipe, click here.
When it comes to back-of-the-box recipes, it doesn’t get much more iconic than the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe (immortalized by Phoebe Buffay in an episode of Friends) that appears on the back of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels.
Everyone knows that oats are perfect for breakfast and cookies, but this staple pantry item can also make an incredible, easy dinner. Classic oats add a nuttiness and slight crunch to your everyday meatloaf, creating a dish that will have everyone in your family reaching for seconds.
For the Quaker Oats' Prize-Winning Meatloaf recipe, click here.
It’s hard to replicate the zest and bold flavors of restaurant Tex-Mex, but this dish comes about as close as you can get. Canned tomatoes and corn play off each other in the salty and mildly sweet Southwestern dish.
Your bags of shredded cheese are no longer destined solely for the top of tacos or a bowl of soup. A bag of cheddar cheese is actually the perfect complement for a warm apple crisp. Simple, quick, and above all unique, this dish is a perfect example of why sweet and savory work hand in hand.
For the Sargento's Apple Cheddar Crisp recipe, click here.
You can do a lot of things with cream cheese, but the best has to be a creamy cheesecake. These bite-sized cheesecake bars bring Oreos and raspberry preserves into the mix, adding more richness and sweetness and creating a dessert that’s impossible to resist, much like these 21 irresistible chocolate chip cookie desserts!
For the White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars recipe, click here.
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