Try These Limited Ingredient Recipes at Home Today

What You Can Cook With Limited Ingredients

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

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

We also thought that it would be helpful to share a few basic recipes with you all to give you some ideas of what you could make and also show how easy to make some things really are.


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

Servings: Four


200g/7oz Plain or wholemeal flour
1/4 tsp Salt
100ml/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 trickle in the water bit by bit.
  2. Mix the water and flour mixture together with your hands until a dough is formed.
  3. Add the oil and knead the dough – you are aiming for a soft dough. If it’s too sticky, add a little more flour or if it is too dry, add a splash of water.
  4. Knead the dough for five minutes either in the bowl or on a flat surface.
  5. You can cook the dough straight away or leave to stand in the bowl for 30 minutes with a ta towel covering the bowl. 
  6. Divide the dough into four even balls (or six if you have a smaller frying pan).
  7. On a clean surface dusted with flour, roll out each ball one at a time using a rolling pin, if you don’t have a rolling pin a cylindrical object like a wine bottle can be used instead, move the flatbread often to make sure it doesn’t stick. 
  8. Heat a large frying pan. Take a sheet of kitchen paper and rub a little oil onto the surface of the pan. Cook each flatbread for about two minutes each side – it should puff up a little. The flatbread should have turned lighter in color and may have a few spots of brown. 

Tomato Pasta Sauce

If you decided to stock up on some tinned tomatoes and pasta then this basic recipe is a great one to make.

Servings: Two to three

1 tbsp Oil
2-3 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
1/2 an Onion, finely chopped (optional)
1 can Tinned tomatoes
1 tsp Oregano
1tsp Basil
2 tsp Brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan or deep frying pan on a medium heat
  2. Add the onion and fry until soft, around five minutes
  3. Add the garlic and fry for another minute
  4. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil and brown sugar, if you want to add a bit of spice you can also add chilli flakes or cayenne powder
  5. Turn down the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 20 minutes
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Spanish Omelette

A traditional Spanish omelette typically only has three key ingredients: eggs, potato and onion making it a perfect dish if you’ve got limited food options. However, if wanted and available you can also add ingredients like spinach, mushroom and peppers or even top with cheese.

Servings: Four

500g Potatoes
1/2 an Onion, finely chopped 
1 tbsp Oil
6 Eggs
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into thick slices (about 1.2 cm) and place in a saucepan of boiling water.
  2. Boil the potatoes until just cooked through, around eight minutes, they should be soft enough to be poked with a knife then drain them.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking crack the eggs in a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk together with a fork.
  4. Heat up the oil in a deep frying pan and add the chopped onion, cook until soft around five minutes. 
  5. Remove from the heat and add to the eggs along with the potatoes.
  6. Transfer the mixture back to the frying pan and cook on a low heat until almost set (almost no runny egg on top) then invert onto a plate and slide back into pan.
  7. Cook for a further five minutes or until golden and cooked through.

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

READ: Stocked Up on Fresh Veg? Here is a Guide on How to Freeze it

Images: Katie Coy, Unsplash Tijana Drndarski