Try these limited ingredient recipes at home today

What You Can Cook With Limited Ingredients

There’s a new one recipe website created by a Chinese student in Shanghai that has gone viral on the internet. Users can select what ingredients and utensils they have and then see what recipe options there are. Clicking on a recipe will take you to a Bilibili cooking video for it.

Suffice to say, this has been super helpful for Shanghai residents, but of course, being Chinese speakers, it’s not too accessible to non-Chinese speakers. Fortunately, there is a free English recipe generator website called SuperCook – Zero Waste Recipe Generatorbut unlike the Chinese website, it links to written recipes rather than videos.

We also thought it would be helpful to share a few basic recipes with you to give you an idea of ​​what you could make and also show you how easy it is to make some things.


The idea of ​​making any kind of bread may seem like a complicated, impossible task. Believe it or not, making a basic flatbread can be super easy and you don’t even need yeast or an oven! I always make this and really enjoy experimenting with different seasonings on top.

Servings: Four


200g/7oz Plain or whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp Salt
100 ml/3 1/2 fl oz Warm water
2 tbsp oil (olive, sunflower, or vegetable), plus extra for cooking


  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and gradually add the water.
  2. Mix the water and flour mixture with your hands until a dough forms.
  3. Add the oil and knead the dough – you aim for a soft dough. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour or if it’s too dry, add a splash of water.
  4. Knead the dough in the bowl or on a flat surface for five minutes.
  5. You can cook the dough right away or let it sit in the bowl for 30 minutes with a tea towel over the bowl.
  6. Divide the dough into four equal balls (or six if you have a smaller skillet).
  7. On a clean surface dusted with flour, roll out each ball one at a time with a rolling pin. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use a cylindrical object like a wine bottle instead. Move the flatbread often to make sure it doesn’t stick.
  8. Heat a large frying pan. Take a paper towel and rub a little oil on the surface of the pan. Bake each flatbread for about two minutes on each side – it should puff up a bit. The flatbread should be lighter in color and may have a few brown spots.

Tomato Pasta Sauce

If you’ve decided to stock up on some canned tomatoes and pasta, this basic recipe is a great one to make.

Servings: two to three

1 tbsp oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 can of canned tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
2 tsp brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan or deep-fat fryer over medium heat
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft, about five minutes
  3. Add the garlic and cook for another minute
  4. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil and brown sugar, if you want to add some spice you can also add chili flakes or cayenne pepper
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 20 minutes
  6. Season with salt and pepper

Spanish omelet

A traditional Spanish omelet usually only has three main ingredients: eggs, potato, and onion, making it a perfect dish if you have limited food options. However, if desired and available, you can also add ingredients such as spinach, mushrooms and bell peppers or even sprinkle with cheese.

Servings: Four

500g Potatoes
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
6 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash and peel the potatoes, cut them into thick slices (about 1.2 cm) and place them in a pan of boiling water.
  2. Cook the potatoes until just tender, about eight minutes, they should be soft enough to pierce with a knife and drain.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and beat with a fork.
  4. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan and add the chopped onion, cook until soft, about five minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add to the eggs along with the potatoes.
  6. Return the mixture to the skillet and cook over low heat until almost set (almost no runny egg on top), invert onto a plate and slip back into the pan.
  7. Bake for another five minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Do you have basic recipes you’d like to share? Let us know!

READ: Stock Up on Fresh Vegetables? Here’s a guide to freezing it

Images: Katie Coy, Unsplash Tijana Drndarski