15 People Share Favorite Recipes for “Struggle Meals”

Photo Credit: Needpix

So, yeah, it happens. For some reason, disease or disaster, you’re stuck at home without a clue of how you’re going to put together a meal with the hodge-podge of ingredients you happen to have lurking in your fridge or cupboard.

As luck, or bad luck, would have it, you’re not the only one in this pickle. Reddit is here to help. Turns out lots of folks, due to finances or not knowing how to cook, have an emergency “struggle meal” recipe or two to keep your tummy from starting a revolt, and they are willing to share.

Scroll through these emergency menu items and see how a veritable feast can come together with the dusty fixings you may already have in your kitchen.

1. Cheese, rice (which everyone has) and broccoli (totally optional).

Cheesy rice and broccoli. Make rice, steam broccoli, mix together with cheese. Bake like a casserole if you’re feeling really fancy. – rubywolf27

2. FYI, throwing in a can of cream of mushroom soup takes cheesy rice and anything else to another level of richness.

This combined with a can of cream of mushroom soup was affectionately called “broccoli casserole” in my house growing up. Baking it with bubbly cheese was a must, and sometimes my mom would slice a white and an orange cheddar into squares and make a checkerboard on the top to bring it to family functions. It was my absolute favourite food, besides maybe mac and cheese. – XxFrozen

3. Have a couple of eggs? Tortilla? Anything else? You can haz breakfast burrito.

Whatever is in the fridge + eggs in a tortilla. – Igotolake

4. Mayo adds zest to the struggle life.

Tomato sandwich! Bread, sliced tomato, mayo, and a little bit of salt. I’ve gotten weird looks/reactions, but it’s still one of my favorites – sneakstache

5. No one can be unhappy eating cinnamon toast.

Never realized cinnamon toast is struggle food, but of course it is. Cheap white bread, few cents of margarine, few cents of sugar and cinnamon.

Was always a favorite. Gonna make some tonight. – snausagebot

6. Cinnamon, sugar, bread (or pie crust)…hell, that’s a fully stocked kitchen.

My mom grew up dirt poor and her favorite “treat” was always bread and margarine with sugar on top.

When I was a kid, she switched out the bread for homemade pie crust and would make a delicious cinnamon sugar sort of thing. So freaking good. – HappyAntonym

7. Take that last broken handful of pasta and blow the dust off those cans of chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Mangiare!

I like to make what I call “cafeteria spaghetti” I take a can of crushed tomatoes and season it with salt and black pepper, red pepper, a tiny bit of sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cook it for about a half hour then add a half cup of chicken stock and take about 5oz. of spaghetti, break it into inch long pieces and let it simmer in the sauce until tender. Cheap and reminiscent of grade school spaghetti day at lunch. Bonus points for adding ground meat into it. The starch from the pasta makes the tomato sauce into something I can’t quite describe. – Shore69

8. Perfect for using those little pats of butter you keep from takeouts.

Sometimes I make this thing my dad always made us when my mom was sick (poor guy couldn’t cook lol).. just tortillas on the stove until they’re brown, put butter on the tortilla, then roll it up. AND DONE lol. Every once in a while, he would put lunch meat or hot dogs inside. I still do this sometimes if all I have is tortillas and I’m feeling snacky. – somegirlnamedjenn

9. Canned beans will literally save your life.

My grandfather used to make this thing he called hobo Joe. It was essentially some ground beef, onion, diced potatoes all fried together with a can of pork and beans or baked beans. It was the only thing he could cook. We ate it for a week when my granny went to visit her sister when she was sick. I love me some hobo Joe. – builtbybama_rolltide

10. This meal will last you an entire week.

It sounds like what we call funeral beans around here. Every funeral has these beans at the lunch afterwards. 2lb hamburger, 1lb bacon, onion, 2 cans pork and beans, 1 can drained butter and 1 can drained kidney beans. Mix with 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 tbsp white vinegar. Cook the meat and onion then add everything else. Eat it for a week, freezes great too – Clown_hoedown

11. Tater-tots in a casserole. You may never want to go back to your old life.

Tater tot casserole.

Ground beef cooked with onion salt n peppa add a can of cream of mushroom soup

Put that in a casserole dish top with tater tots and bake until the tots are browned/done

Then top with American cheese singles and heat until melted. – pestilentPony

12. S**t on a shingle may sound unappetizing but it’s good, hot and filling.

Went from Utica, NY to LA, and have the same deal. My girl just doesn’t understand but I need one of my “struggle meals” like once a week. It’s comforting.

For me: S**t on a Shingle (no idea why my dad called it that). (Alright, maybe some idea).

We’d have left over ends of lunch meats from the deli nearby and chip that up on bread we’d get at the food pantry, and pour canned soup over the top. Cream of Mushroom was FANCY, my guy. So damn good. – hopawfmahdiq

13. You can even have dessert for dinner in a jiffy.

Plain white rice – at least a day old. A bit of milk (often powdered). Warm it up. Top with cinnamon sugar. Raisins if we had them. Ate it every morning until the rice was gone. . . – kiaminnesota

14. Please tell me you have at least these items in your kitchen.

Rice and beans with an egg on top…couldn’t afford 2 eggs each. – bluehairspecial

15. Dried instant noodles will keep for decades. You should have some handy.

My mom would always split a package of instant noodles between the four of us, sometimes add in a hard boiled egg for years.

When I’d gone over to a friend’s house as a kid, I was so confused when they gave me a WHOLE package of instant noodles to eat. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself and insisted we share it because it just seemed like so much. – luciantomato

See? It’s not all doom and gloom out there. Start with these fine dishes and then experiment. If all else fails, open a can of beans and throw in a cooked egg.

What about you? Do you have a comforting meal go-to for when life becomes a struggle? Let us know in the comments.