What To Make For Dinner When You Have Nothing?

We’ve all been there: standing in front of the refrigerator or pantry with limited and uninspiring dinner options, pondering what to prepare. Whether you’re faced with an empty refrigerator or merely want to prepare a meal with few ingredients, the challenge of creating a delicious dinner can inspire your creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen. 

 Rather than relying on takeout or delivery, there are surprisingly delectable and nourishing dishes that can be concocted from random ingredients.

This article will mention some great ideas for what to make for dinner when you have nothing. 

What To Make For Dinner When You Have Nothing?

Even with limited ingredients, there are a variety of inventive and delicious dinner options available. Here are some thoughts:

Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic

  • Prepare your preferred brand of pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat up the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the garlic until aromatic.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper if you desire some flavor.
  • Drain the pasta and combine it with the oil infused with garlic. Salt and pepper are used as seasonings.
  • If available, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese or any other cheese you have on top.

Stir-Fried Rice

  • In a pan, heat some oil above medium-high heat.
  • Then, add diced carrots, bell peppers, peas, and onions to the dish. Sauté until softened slightly.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan and drop a couple of eggs into the resulting space. Scramble until the eggs are cooked.
  • Add prepared rice, preferably cold and leftover. Drizzle with soy sauce and stir-fry until all ingredients are thoroughly heated.

Vegetable Omelette

  • Whisk together eggs with a sprinkle of pepper and salt.
  • Some oil is heated over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.
  • Pour the beaten eggs into the pan & allow them to set for a few moments.
  • On one side of the omelet, sprinkle diced vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
  • When the eggs are nearly set, fold the remaining egg mixture over the vegetables. Continue cooking for an extra minute or two until the omelet is fully cooked.

Peanut Butter Noodles

  • Prepare noodles as per to the instructions on the container.
  • Mix peanut butter, soy sauce, a dash of vinegar or lime juice, and honey, if available, in a bowl. Create a smooth sauce by adding a touch of hot water to the mixture.
  • Mix the cooked vermicelli thoroughly with the peanut sauce.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • Butter two slices of bread on one side.
  • Insert cheese between the two surfaces of buttered bread.
  • Using a pan heated over medium heat, cook the sandwich until the bread is golden brown & the cheese is melted, turning the sandwich halfway through cooking.

Bean Burritos

  • On the stove, reheat canned beans (such as black or pinto beans).
  • Warm tortillas in a microwave or nonstick skillet.
  • Fill each tortilla with beans, cooked rice if available, shredded cheese, and desired condiments such as salsa, diced tomatoes, and avocado segments.
  • Roll the tortillas and savor the straightforward burritos.

Canned Soup Upgrade

  • Choose a tinned soup (such as tomato, vegetable, or chicken noodle) as your base.
  • Add additional vegetables such as peas, carrots, or spinach leaves. Cook the vegetables until they are tender.
  • You can also add cooked rice or even pasta to the broth to make it heartier.

Roasted Vegetable Platter

  • Preheat the oven to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  • Cut all of the available vegetables into bite-sized segments. Carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes are among the available options.
  • The vegetables should be tossed with olive oil, salt, & pepper. Spread them in a single layer on a baking tray.
  • Twenty to thirty minutes in the oven or until the vegetables are tender and faintly caramelized. If available, serve with a side of bread or cereals.


  • In a skillet that is oven-safe, heat some oil over medium heat.
  • Diced onions, bell peppers, and spinach are cooked until they begin to mellow.
  • Whisk eggs with salt and pepper in a basin. The eggs are poured over the sautéed vegetables.
  • Cook on the stovetop until the frittata’s margins are set. Transfer the skillet to a preheated oven and broil until the surface is golden brown and the interior is thoroughly cooked.

Chickpea Salad

  • Drain and rinse legumes from a can. Combine them with vegetables such as cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, and cherry tomatoes that have been finely diced.
  • In a small basin, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and any herbs such as parsley and basil.
  • Toss the dressing with the chickpea and vegetable mixture until thoroughly combined.

Pancakes or Waffles

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, a sprinkle of salt, and, if available, sugar in a bowl.
  • Add milk (or a milk substitute) gradually while stirring until you have a homogeneous batter. If you have eggs available, you can add one for added lightness.
  • Warm up a nonstick skillet or waffle maker. Pour spoonfuls of batter into the pan or waffle maker and cook until golden brown.

Bottom Line

This was all about what to make for dinner when you have nothing. When confronted with limited ingredients or a lack of apparent options, there is no need to worry or settle for a less-than-satisfying dinner. Using pantry staples such as pasta, canned goods, grains, and frozen vegetables, you can create a variety of tasty yet straightforward dishes. 

 In the domain of cooking, these inventive ideas demonstrate that with a dash of creativity, even an empty pantry can yield a delicious and satisfying meal that leaves you feeling both accomplished and well-fed.

Thank you for reading!

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