How to Fill Your Stomach on an Empty Fridge

We’ve all been there.

It’s been a long day, your stomach is devouring itself, and there’s nothing in your fridge but dried-out veggies, eggs, and condiments. Unless you want to gnaw on an onion or partake in some plain toast, it’s looking like Chinese takeout again… or is it?

If you’re willing to put in a modicum of elbow grease, there are plenty of legitimate meals that can be made from your pantry’s dwindling supplies. And by legitimate, we mean delicious.

Here’s the dish on cooking when there’s almost nothing in the house to eat.


Got pasta? Then your stomach is safe, my friend. Put a pot of water on to boil and let’s take a stroll through your fridge and pantry.

Got pasta? Then your stomach is safe, my friend.

Jarred tomato sauce is wonderful if you have it, but there are plenty of dishes you can make without it. The old classic is melted butter, freshly ground black pepper, and parmesan cheese. Add some dried herbs if you like—sage is especially nice.

Pre-made tapenade makes for a lovely pasta sauce, but if you don’t have any, you can just slice up some Mediterranean olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and/or roasted red peppers, and toss the mixture with cooked pasta, olive oil, and pepper. Really, most veggies sautéed with a little garlic and olive oil will do nicely—they don’t even have to be particularly fresh.

Once you’ve made a satisfying sauce, toss a poached or fried egg on top to add protein to the meal. (We like them runny, so that they coat the noodles when you dig in.)

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