'Nothing to Eat' in the Fridge This Summer? Here's How to Make the Most of 5 Staple Foods

Chilling at home during summer vacation is perfect—until you realize there'nothing to eat.

Well, that's an exaggeration. Technically, there's stuff in the fridge, but if it's not ready-made or easily popped in the microwave, it might as well not exist.

But it doesn't have to be that way! Save yourself from a rumbly summer stomach by learning to utilize these five foods to their maximum potential. Chances are you already have them around the house, ready to be made delicious.

Girl looking into empty fridge

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Of course, you should ask a parent if they're cool with you using the kitchen before you show them your newfound culinary skills, and if you want to take any of these ideas to the next level, do a quick web search to find the professionals' recommended temperatures and cook times for the best results.


You'll never realize how ridiculously versatile eggs are until you're famished.

Pop the whole egg in a pot of water and bring it to a boil for hard or soft-boiled eggs, or crack the shell first to create poached ones. Fry them up with a bit of oil, salt and pepper, flipping carefully to create sunny side up eggs, or mix it all up for a scramble.

Best of all, eggs go great with other foods, so you can add whatever other ingredients you love to create a scrambled hash, omelet or frittata. Just sautée your favorite veggies—peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes and potatoes are all great choices—and throw them in with your eggs. Breakfast and lunch meats work great, too. And don't forget the cheese!

Various ways to cook eggs: hardboiled, over easy, sunny side up, scrambled, omelet

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This may seem super obvious, but you can never go wrong with a good sandwich. The right combination of meats, cheeses, veggies and condiments can make for a sandwich that beats a cooked meal. And you can never go wrong with peanut butter and jelly. Toast the bread if you're craving a crunchy texture, or place it in a pan with some butter for a grilled cheese-style goodness.

Speaking of toast, you can follow these recipes to create toasts that are anything but basic—but we won't judge you if your go-to is the classic buttered style.

And if your bread goes stale before you can chow down, cut them into one-inch cubes and spread on a baking tray, tossing with olive oil, garlic and seasoning and baking at low heat to create yummy snackable croutons. If you don't want croutons, place them in a food processor to create breadcrumbs to top your mac and cheese.

Sliced hearty loaf of bread

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Pasta is the fanciest easy meal to prepare. There are so many types of pastas, each with their own unique shapes that somehow totally change the feel of the sauces with which they're served.

Spaghetti and other thin noodles pair best with light sauces that can evenly coat the pastas, while tube-shaped pastas with ridges, like penne, are great for thick sauces since they can capture all of the goodness inside.

You can also toss some cooked pasta into a canned soup to add some depth. And don't forget that just about any pasta pairs well with some melted butter and grated cheese, or pasta sauce straight out of the can.

Various types of pastas in wooden spoons

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If you have a rice cooker at home, making a pot of rice is easier than boiling water. All you have to do is wash the rice until the water runs clear, put the rice in the cooker with the cooker's recommended amount of water, and let it cook until the switch flips off.

If not, once the water is washed you can replicate the process over the stove, bringing water to a boil over a saucepan, adding your rice and bringing it back to a boil. After cooking for about 16 minutes, stirring all the while, you'll be left with white, fluffy rice.

White rice is an awesome complement to leftover meat, from roasted chicken to pot roast to meatloaf, as well as veggies. You can also mix chopped veggies and meats right into your rice, or fry it all up with soy sauce and garlic to make tasty fried rice.

Different types of rice in wooden spoons

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Where would we be without potatoes? You can boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew and so much more. Cut them into wedges, chunks or fries, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper before popping them in the oven at high temperatures for perfect crispy potatoes. Who said french fries have to be deep fried?

You can also cut them into thin slices and cook in a dish with tons of cheese in the oven to make an au gratin, or cut the whole potato in half and top with cheese, sour cream, bacon and chives for a perfect baked potato.

There's also boiling them in water and mashing with a fork, adding butter, salt and pepper for delicious mashed potatoes, or throwing your chunks of potatoes right into a soup or stew as it cooks. Grated potatoes also make for yummy fried hash browns. And don't even get us started on sweet potatoes, which can be adapted for pretty much any of the suggestions above.

Potatoes and french fries with oil and garlic

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Looking for the perfect summer drink to have with your meal? Click HERE to find out how to make your own black lemonade.