Here’s How You Can Transform Supermarket Food Into A New Dish

Turn these store-bought ingredients into dishes that look and taste as if it's made from scratch.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Give supermarket finds new life! These recipes prove that it doesn’t take much to elevate ready-to-eat packaged goods. They’re fuss-free, wallet-friendly, and nutritious to boot.



The Supermarket Food: Cooked pork belly

The Recipe: Cuban Carnes Asada


With store-bought cooked pork belly, you can skip the hassle of braising and waiting hours for the meat to tenderize. Aside from serving it over rice, try it in tacos or sandwiches. Plus, any leftovers can be tossed into fried rice for yet another tasty and filling meal idea. 



Use store-bought pork belly to make a quick, meaty dish.



The Supermarket Food: Canned pork and beans

The Recipe: Southwestern-Style Beans with Crispy Bacon


Have unexpected guests at your doorstep Here’s something easy you can whip up in minutes. Simply add barbecue sauce and bacon to your usual can of pork and beans, then serve it with corn bread and creamed spinach to round out the meal.



Serve this with corn bread and creamed spinach to round out your meal.



The Supermarket Food: Rotisserie Chicken

The Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken and Leg Skillet


For a change, use up leftover roast chicken to make a filling breakfast skillet inspired by the Mediterranean shakshuka, a dish that’s made by simmering eggs in a bed of crushed tomatoes and served with crusty bread or garlic fried rice, too.  



Leftover roast chicken can be used to make a hearty egg skillet breakfast!



The Supermarket Food: Luncheon Meat and Spaghetti Sauce

The Recipe: Spiced Ham Goulash Pasta 


This noodle dish is inspired by goulash, a rich paprika-based meat-and-vegetable stew popular in Central and Southern Europe. Cut down the prep time by using your favorite luncheon meat and spaghetti sauce.  


This spicy ham pantry pasta uses luncheon meat for faster prep!






The Supermarket Food: Corned Beef

The Recipe: Corned Beef Stew


Canned corned beef doesn’t always have to end up as hash on your plate. Here’s a tasty alternative that’s loaded with nutritious vegetables. Instead, it’s braised until all the ingredients are flavorful, remaining a tasty and delicious meal that you can serve within minutes.


Make a corned beef stew out of canned corned beef!




The Supermarket Food: Chicken Nuggets

The Recipe: Chicken Nugget Curry


Make chicken nuggets the star of Japanese curry! Use fun shapes and a mildly spiced curry if you’re serving it to kids. It’s also just as fast to prepare as other meals since you can fry the chicken nuggets while making the curry on the side. Just put together when ready to serve. Easy.


This creative chicken nugget curry recipe makes weeknight cooking too easy!





The Supermarket Food: Tinapa and Tocino

The Recipe: Tinapa Fried Rice with Sweet Pork


Craving for a hearty serving of Thai bagoong fried rice? Instead of heading out to a restaurant, make this Filipino version at home. Its sweet, salty, and sour components will get you hooked. It’s just as satisfying as the toppings-heavy bagoong rice, too.


Tinapa and tocino are perfect with garlic fried rice!




The Supermarket Food: Sardines and Cornflakes

The Recipe: Crunchy Sardine Cakes with Creamy Sweet Chili Dip 


Got bottles of sardines sitting on your shelf? Time to use them all to make crispy cornflake-crusted fish cakes! These are easily frozen, so you can make it today and serve it the following day. Best of all, use ready-cooked tuna in place of the sardines for an easy swap. 


Got bottles of sardines sitting on your pantry? Time to use 'em all up to make crispy fish cakes


Recipes by Christa Mendiola and article “Level Up” by Idge Mendiola was published in the May 2016 issue of Yummy magazine. Minor edits were made editors. 


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