Our current global situation calls for creativity while cooking. We have less access to fresh food shops and more reliance on our kitchen cupboard tinned goods and cans. This is why shows like Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On have been such a hit; they show us how to make the best of what we’ve got to still produce healthy, fillings meals.
Cookbooks can be a great help during this time, too, especially those that are designed to help us make the most of staple ingredients. There are plenty of cookbooks that focus on kitchen cupboard ingredients, meaning it’s easy to make something new and different from your shelf, rather than that same old plate of beans on toast every day.
We’ve picked out the seven best cookbooks to inspire your meals, from Jamie Oliver’s brilliant five-ingredient cookbook, to Jack Monroe’s dedicated collection of storecupboard recipes. We hope they’re helpful!
7 of the best storecupboard cookbooks
Jack Monroe is an expert when it comes to cooking with basics, so her recipes and expertise in this area can absolutely be trusted. This is a great option for anyone who really doesn’t have much left in stock, or for complete cooking novices who need to start from the beginning.
Janice Bryant grew up during the second world war, meaning she has experience with rationing and cooking with whatever is available. She shares this knowledge in this book, which is more relevant now than ever. As well as recipes, it also features tips for how to food shop effectively for this type of cooking.
More than just a cookbook, this book begins by explaining the ten absolute essential items you should keep in your kitchen cupboard, which are most versatile for any meal. This is a great starting point for meal prep these days. All you need to do is then add a couple of fresh ingredients per recipe, and you’re good to go.
Thomson’s approach in this book is to prove that with just a few fresh ingredients, you really can do anything with your cupboard stock. Most recipes serve four people, and these include simple yet delicious dinner dishes such as spaghetti with pecorino and black pepper, and sweeter bakes like honey and nutmeg tea bread.
This book asks you to pick one tin of food you’ve been keeping for a rainy day, and shows you how to make a full meal out of it with ease. You’ll need some fresh ingredients, but honestly the recipes offer so many substitutions if you’ve not got something, you could get away with even the most basic stash.
Another book which includes recipes that revolve around one tin in your cupboard, this is our top pick for vegetarians or pescatarians, as there are no meat recipes included. The chapters are on beans and pules, vegetables and tomatoes, fish, fruit and sweet tins, and creative cupboard accompaniments.
Not specifically just about cupboard ingredients, but this book is a great addition thanks to its simplified recipes which never feature more than five ingredients. This makes shopping for meal times so much easier, as well as the cooking process itself. We’re particularly taken by Jamie’s suggested pudding recipe: golden apple crumble cookies. YUM.