With food products being stripped from many supermarket shelves in fear of a full Coronavirus lockdown, more households than usual are cooking with dried and tinned foods.

Despite the Government and different members of the public urging people to stop panic buying, shoppers are still having to contend with bare supermarket shelves.

With that in mind, we asked foodies and recipe developers from across the country, including 'bootstrap cook' Jack Monroe, to share some of their most tasty, low cost recipes using accessible cupboard staples. 

At a time when boosting our health and wellbeing is so important, the following dinners are nutritious, adaptable and easy to follow for even the most novice cooks amongst us.

*All recipes have been reproduced with individuals' permission.

Easy chickpea curry from Georgie Eats

www.georgieeats.co.uk/ Instagram: @georgieeatsuk

A simple but flavoursome curry, this chickpea dish can be served with whatever you have available in the kitchen from rice, jacket potatoes or homemade bread. Up the spice levels with more chilli (or not) – but leave some room to experiment with the seasonings you love most.

Cotswold Journal:

Food writer, recipe developer and nutrition student, Georgie Mullen, says this about one of her favourite “empty fridge dinners”.

“It’s super quick to make, really affordable and is packed with plant-based protein. This recipe is enough for two, but why not double or triple it to stock up the fridge or freezer as well? It’s a real crowd pleaser loved equally by vegans and meat-eaters alike.”

What you’ll need:

1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, grated

½ tbsp ginger grated

1 tbsp maple syrup/honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

Salt and black pepper

Spice mix

2 tsp garam masala

½ tsp chilli flakes

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp cumin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

Cotswold Journal:


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Get out your chopping board, knife and onion.
  2. Whilst the pan is heating up, thinly chop the onion and add it to the pan.
  3. Then, find all the other ingredients and combine the spice mix in a small bowl.
  4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, stirring the onion occasionally as you go.
  5. Remove the skin from both the ginger and garlic cloves and grate them into the onion. If you’re serving the curry with rice, now’s the time to put it on to cook.
  6. Add the spice mix into the pan and stir well.
  7. Pour in the chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, honey or maple syrup and water. (Top tip: 100ml is roughly a third of an empty can) Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir well and bring the pan to the boil.
  9. Then, lower the heat and bubble gently until the chickpeas are tender and the sauce is rich and thick. Meanwhile, you can roughly chop the coriander.
  10. Spoon the curry between bowls, top with the fresh coriander and enjoy!

Sunshine chicken tray bake from Real Foodie

www.realfoodie.co.uk (coming soon)/ Instagram: @real.foodie/ Twitter: @realfoodieblog

Traybakes – they’re hassle-free, succulent and in this case, an alternative to the typical Sunday roast for any day of the week. A winner with Emy Mordue’s Instagram followers, the recipe developer is all about cooking balanced but not boring food. Plus, it serves up to four people.

Cotswold Journal:

If you don’t manage to get your hands on any chicken, Emy advises to "try your local butchers rather than the big supermarkets as they should have stock, especially chicken thighs".

Some other top tips when making this recipe is: “You may want to spread everything evenly over two trays so there’s enough room for everything to roast properly. Just remember to swap the trays around in the oven a few times if yours has a hot spot or is hotter at the top, like mine.”

What you’ll need:

4-6 chicken thighs

½ a ring of chorizo (alternatively use salami or add 1 tsb of smoked smoked paprika to the butter beans)

½ bag of baby new potatoes, or larger potatoes chopped into chunks

1 tin of butter beans

2 large oranges (juice one and cut one into 8-10 segments)

1 red pepper (orange and yellow would also work)

1 red or white onion

1 whole garlic bulb

1 red chilli (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried

Cotswold Journal:


  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6 or 200C.
  2. Squeeze the juice from one of the oranges and set aside.
  3. Roughly chop all ingredients (reserve the thyme until after cooking) and drain the butter beans.
  4. Place the chicken thighs skin side up onto a baking tray and dot all other ingredients in and around, including the orange segments.
  5. Squeeze the orange juice from the remaining segments over the ingredients and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Roast in the oven for between 45 minutes and an hour. Check and shake the trays every so often.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked through and crisp on the outside, sprinkle over fresh thyme and serve.

Pasta e Ceci from Jack Monroe

www.cookingonabootstrap.com/ Instagram:@jack_monroe/ Twitter:@BootstrapCook

Tinned spaghetti is often overlooked on supermarket shelves but no more with this classic Roman dish. A mixture of pasta and chickpeas, this recipe for two features in the Tin Can Cook – a recipe book packed with 75 of Jack’s inventive ideas you can cook with cupboard staples.

Anti-poverty campaigner and food writer Jack has also launched a fundraising campaign for the Trussell Trust, which you can donate to or share here.

Cotswold Journal:

What you’ll need:

1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of spaghetti hoops

1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 700ml boiling water

6 cloves of garlic (or 2 tbsp garlic paste)

1 tbsp butter or oil

1 tsp vinegar

½ tsp mixed dried herbs

A pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper

A pinch of chilli (optional)


  1. Tip the chickpeas into a medium saucepan and add the whole, peeled garlic cloves – or use puree.
  2. Add 700ml water or stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes to make the chickpeas super soft.
  3. Pour over the tomatoes and add the vinegar, butter or oil, herbs, salt and pepper, then cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Tip the spaghetti hoops into a sieve or colander and rinse very slowly to get rid of as much of the sticky tomato sauce as possible.
  5. Add the hoops to the pan and warm through for two minutes, stirring carefully, then serve with a grating of pepper and some chilli on top, if you like.