5 Simple Ways To Find Recipes Using Ingredients You Already Have On Hand

by Lynnette

butter, crockpots, flour, free stuff, pantry, party ideas, recipe organization, recipes to try, sour cream

I’m at it again… my quarterly attempt to “try cooking up some fun recipes”.

I consider it a personal challenge. And an attempt to overcome my lack of confidence in the kitchen.

I’ve decided that a large part of my frustration in the past has been twofold:

  • Finding recipes that utilize ingredients that I already have on hand.
  • Finding tasty recipes that are quick & easy to make.

My overall goal is to reduce the number of times we eat out each week. (Trust me, it’s a lot!)

For now, my primary goal is to remove the intimidation factor by simply making recipes that adapt to my pantry (…rather than making my pantry adapt to the recipes!)

Perhaps you remember my last fiasco

This time, I definitely won’t be stocking up on all of the possible ingredients that I think I might want to include in a dish… some time… in the near future… before I get tired of cooking again.

In fact, the point of this article is to share a handful of fun websites I found that let you type in the ingredients you already have on hand.

After a simple search, you get a complete list of recipes that include the ingredients you entered.

It’s as simple as that!

My Favorite “Cook From Your Own Ingredients” Websites

For the purposes of this article, I set out to find recipes which included these ingredients:

  • taco seasoning
  • sour cream
  • cream cheese

Yes, I could obviously make tacos or some other Mexican dish rather easily. But that’s not exactly what I was after.

I was mostly looking for other ways to use up those ingredients (mostly the sour cream and cream cheese) before they went bad.

So the search was on…

I used the following Ingredients Search recipe sites to find recipes with the above 3 ingredients.

Here’s what I found:

  1. SuperCook

A recipe search engine that utilizes the ingredients you already have on hand. It creates the “recipe card” right before your very eyes as you enter ingredients. It has a great, very modern interface — and it’s fun to use! Simply type in your ingredients one by one. Then click “Get Started” to immediately see which recipes you can make.

It found 11 recipes with ALL of the above ingredients plus 2,000 other recipes that would only require one or two additional ingredients. Bonus: It’s a cinch to see all of the additional ingredients that could yield even more recipes. Just add them one-by-one to your list of ingredients in order to increase the number of recipes found. And… you can even choose a specific category to narrow down the choices to say, Dinner recipes — instead of seeing a lot of recipes for Dips & Sauces.

  1. My Fridge Food

For their most inclusive list of ingredients, do this… Instead of using the default “Quick Kitchen” that includes only the most popular ingredients, you can “Click Here for ALL Ingredients” first. Then, use CTL+F to search for your ingredients, one by one, and put a check mark next to each one. After clicking on “Find Recipes”, you can further filter down by type of diet, number of calories, or category.

It found 18 recipes with the above ingredients. The best part: you can see right away — before clicking on a recipe — which ingredients you’re missing in order to complete each recipe.

  1. Leftover Wizard

Search 100,000+ recipes at once using the BigOven recipe database. This one is kind of fun, because it seems more interactive than most. As you input each ingredient, the number of recipes available to you automatically changes — as do the photos of the ingredients you just entered.

It found 500+ recipes with the above ingredients. From there, you can click the filter OR choose specific categories to narrow down the recipes by lots of useful factors!

  1. All Recipes Ingredient Search

To search by ingredients, simply leave the big search box empty, type in your ingredients, then click the magnifier/search button. I like how you can exclude ingredients. For example, you get a lot of lobster recipes in the results… simply ask it to exclude “lobster” but still include the other ingredients you previously listed. Or, you could just search for a particular “type” of dish, rather than searching ALL recipes.

It found 19 recipes with the above ingredients. However, most required a number of additional ingredients as well.

  1. Cookin With Google

This is a customized search engine that is just like the “regular” Google search engine, but this one only searches popular recipe-related sites. Type in your ingredients by putting 2-word ingredients in quotes and including a space between items (not a comma). The only downside is the results are provided in a non-friendly “search engine” kind of way… and that means you get lists of recipes rather than landing on an actual recipe. On the good side… you can fine-tune your results by choosing one of the following: Vegan, Diabetic, Low-Fat, World, Crockpot, Vegetarian, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Seafood, or Gluten-Free.

It found 337,000 recipes with the above ingredients. It’s no frills, that’s for sure. And you’ll still be searching through a ton of recipes to find the one you want.

Even though I initially used the above recipe databases just to find recipes based on ingredients, over time I have gone back to these recipe sites again and again even when I don’t have specific ingredients in mind! Yep, with the multitude of searchable recipe databases out there, the ones listed in this article are the ones that constantly go to — whether I’m searching by ingredients or not. The reason? Some of them (like Supercook, my personal favorite) search several of the popular recipe sites for you! That’s super helpful and saves me from having to search through the recipe websites one-by-one.

Dog Recipes Using Ingredients You Have On Hand

And finally, don’t forget about your dog!…

Here are dozens of homemade dog treats to make using ingredients you already have in your pantry.

(Just be sure to check this list of human foods that are safe for dogs first!)

Want more dog recipes?

Check out my growing collection of homemade dog treat recipes on Pinterest. These are almost always made with items that most people usually have on hand.

I just discovered a super fun recipe app that does all of this… and so much more! It’s called Cooklist. I’ve been using it for about 6 months now. The only downside is the fact that it’s NOT free. (It costs just under $50/year.) But it’s SO worth it to me — because of the way that it keeps my pantry, fridge, and spices all synced and up-to-date. It is honestly the best way that I’ve been able to find recipes quickly using ingredients that I already have on hand. And for recipes where I’m missing a few ingredients, it easily adds them to my digital Shopping List. I’m in the process of writing my detailed review as we speak — but if I should happen to get distracted and forget to post it here, please remind me in the comments below!