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Top 10 Convenience Food Products

And Recipes to Use Them

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You can rely on these excellent food products to make delicious meals fast. Keep several in your pantry, fridge, and freezer along with the recipes below and you'll never again be forced to go to a drive-through restaurant for dinner! Most of these recipes add just a few common ingredients for delicious meals. And remember, when you're making these recipes, you can substitute just about any of your favorite meats, vegetables, cheeses, and herbs for the ones called for in the recipe.

1. Frozen Pastas

Red and White Tortellini
Red and White Tortellini

I always make sure I have several of these frozen pasta products on hand. They cook in minutes, can be mixed with pasta sauce and baked without boiling, and are wonderful in pasta salads. Use these pastas in:

2. Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken Strawberry Spinach Salad
Chicken Strawberry Spinach Salad
I love rotisserie chicken. It's not much more expensive than buying a whole chicken and cooking it yourself. And the texture and flavor are absolutely perfect. Make sure you bring it home from the supermarket immediately. I like to take the meat off when it's still warm because it's easier to work with. Use in:

3. Frozen Fully Cooked Meatballs

Meatball Stew En Casserole
Meatball Stew En Casserole
This is probably my favorite convenience product. These little meatballs are tender and flavorful, and you don't have to worry about food safety, since they are already fully cooked. Use them in:

4. Prepared Pesto

Pesto Salmon Pasta
Pesto Salmon Pasta
Pesto is one of my absolute all-time favorite convenience foods. Which you know if you're a regular reader of this site! It's creamy, flavorful, good for you, and so delicious. It's perfect simply tossed with hot pasta, used as a sandwich spread or ingredient in salads, and makes a fabulous casserole. Use in:

5. Cooked Cubed Chicken

Chicken Tortellini Salad
Chicken Tortellini Salad
This fully cooked chicken is tender, flavorful, and ready in seconds. It takes only 5 minutes to prepare. And you don't have to worry about food contamination, because the chicken is thoroughly and completely cooked then safely frozen. Try it soon in:

6. Frozen Puff Pastry

Turkey Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites
Turkey Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites

Sure, you can make puff pastry from scratch - and I have. That's why I love Pepperidge Farm products. Their puff pastry is reliably good, so easy to use, and makes wonderful recipes. Use it in:

7. Bagged Salads

BLT Wraps
BLT Wraps
Did you know that bagged prepared salads are the second largest selling item in grocery stores? Bottled water is the only more popular product. I love this convenient food for side salads in minutes; try different varieties with various types of salad dressings. Use it in:

8. Canned Black Beans

Tortellini Black Bean Salad
Tortellini Black Bean Salad
Beans are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They're full of soluble fiber, which helps reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. These little beans have a fabulous texture and mild nutty flavor. Add them to just about any soup for more texture and nutrition. Stir them into salads and always use them in chili. Rinse the beans before you use them to reduce sodium content. Use in:

9. Pasta Sauce

Cheeseburger Spaghetti
Cheeseburger Spaghetti
Jarred pasta sauce, both white and red, is a fabulous convenience food. You can find it in umpteen flavors, including mushroom, onion and garlic, and even four cheese. I always have several jars of different types of pasta sauce in my pantry. It makes an instant dinner with some pasta, and adds a slow-cooked flavor to any quick dish. Use in:

10. Refrigerated Doughs

Sausage Calzone
Sausage Calzone
Refrigerated doughs are a great convenience product that can dress up a meal in a hurry. They can be used to top pot pies, used to make cookies and pastry, and are easily turned into something special with some cheese and herbs. And refrigerated pie crusts are perfect to use when you're short on time. Use in:

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