Best back-of-the-box recipes

Here at The Daily Meal we value preparing a homemade meal every night, but that’s not often the case for everyone. For some people, the thought of standing over the stove exhausts them, and peeking into the takeout menu drawer seems like a much simpler alternative. Whether it’s a busy lifestyle or the concept of making something "from scratch" is intimidating, there are things that hold some of us back from getting into the kitchen.

But a home-cooked meal doesn’t have to be intimidating, and thankfully for us, some of our favorite store-bought food products feature easy, delicious recipes on their packaging that make use of the products we've already purchased. Did you know that you can get homemade gumbo from a Campbell’s Soup can or that you can serve a prize-winning meatloaf with help from Quaker Oats? All of these recipes take minimal time and average skill to execute, and they highlight some of our favorite brand-name foods in ways we never thought of before. Best of all, they’re homemade.

From appetizers and main dishes to dessert, these are some of our favorite back-of-the-box recipes that are sitting in your grocery store’s aisles waiting to be put to use. To make these recipes even more unique, we’ve added our own twist to each one so that you can make these recipes your own.

So stop letting the kitchen intimidate you and take some help the best back-of-the-box recipes. Before you know it, takeout menus will be a thing of the past.

1. Sargento's Apple Cheddar Crisp

(Sargento Foods Inc.)

Your bags of shredded cheese are no longer destined for just taco toppings or salads. Rip open a bag of Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Double Cheddar Cheese and create a delicious appetizer that guests won’t soon forget. Simple, quick, and above all unique, Apple Cheddar Crisp bites are the perfect sweet and savory dish that everyone can enjoy. Pop these puppies in the oven and you’ll look like a gourmet chef in no time.

2. Four-Cheese Pasta with Shrimp and Spinach

(Unilever United States & Knorr)

Does creamy, cheesy pasta with succulent shrimp, sweet roasted red peppers, and spinach in 30 minutes flat sound too good to be true? It may have been without the help of Knorr Italian Side - 4 Cheese Bow Tie Pasta. This easy side can be transformed into a meal for four that will satisfy even the most challenging of palates.

3. French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

(Reckitt Benckiser)

The small tub of French’s Crunchy Onion can immediately evoke memories of holiday dinners, passing the legendary green bean casserole dish around to eager eaters. But this beloved product is too flavorful to enjoy just once a year. Make everyday a holiday by featuring your main dish coated in the crunchy goodness.

4. Campbell's Gumbo Casserole

(Campbell's Kitchen)

Go to your cupboard immediately. Push the boxes of pasta to the left and the snack boxes to the right. Buried behind the clutter of your cabinets, we can guarantee you have at least one can of Campbell’s soup. Whether it was warming us up after a day in the snow or simply packed in our school lunches, we all have a relationship with the signature red and white can. What if we told you that this beloved product is more than just a can of soup? A can of soup can transform your average casserole into a gourmet work of art, starting with this tasty Gumbo Casserole dish.

5. Ranchero Chicken & Rice

(Del Monte Foods Corporate)

If you have a craving for Southwestern cuisine but feel like you can never capture the zest you get from an authentic restaurant, Del Monte products are here to prove you wrong. One can of Del Monte Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies can transform your average dish into a fiesta. Their recipe for Ranchero Chicken & Rice will make you feel like you just stepped south of the border without ever leaving your kitchen.

See more back-of-the-box recipes at The Daily Meal

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