Improving weather conditions and lifting travel restrictions, means there is an increased likelihood of having guests visit in the coming months with spring breaks and summer vacation right around the corner. But what happens when you get a visitor unexpectedly and you realize they are going to be staying for dinner? What can you make on such short notice is carry out or delivery is out of the question? Making something from scratch can be daunting, but with some simple meals and readily available staples on hand these emergency meals and snacks are sure to please any surprise visitors!
Pasta Pleasers! Everyone tends to have the basics for pasta dishes tucked into their cupboard or pantry – no matter the noodle type and the jar or canned sauces, something can be created to please most guests, including meatless variants as needed! Spaghetti, Penne, or Macaroni noodles can be utilized in various baked dishes, slow cooker meals, or stove top ensembles. If you don’t have garlic bread handy, you can always broil some buttered bread with a sprinkle of garlic powder to accompany any pasta dish!
Snack Attack! Don’t have enough big ticket ingredients? No problem! take an inventory of any chips, pretzels, dried fruits, or other snack foods in your drawers. Check the fridge for potential dips like sour cream, flavored cream cheese spreads, or sauces to pair with your snack haul. with this smorgasbord of snacks there’s bound to be something for each of your guests, and you can bide your time snacking as you wait for a larger meal or a grocery run if necessary!
Sandwich Saviors! Bread and butter are perhaps the most common staples you can find in any home, so work with what you have. Break out the loaf of bread or leftover buns and available condiments and let your guests make their own sandwich from scratch. Frozen chicken can easily become oven baked, shredded chicken to share, or stick with the basics using cold meat ham or turkey from the fridge. If you want to step up your sandwich game, you can even offer to panini any sandwich on the stove like a classic grilled cheese!
Impromptu Pizza! No yeast pizza dough is easy to make in a pinch with flour, milk, salt, and baking powder, simply google a recipe to suit your ingredient needs. If you don’t have the time or energy to make your own dough, you can also use refrigerated crescent rolls or biscuit dough if available, or use a flour or corn tortilla for a crispy thin crust. Crack open your favorite can of red sauce and ask your guests for their topping preferences or allow them to build their own personal pizza!
Un-egg-spected fillers! Breakfast for dinner can be a pleasant surprise for unexpected dinner guests, and it can be an easy meal to prepare. From eggs to order, hodgepodge egg bake, or personalized egg cups, utilizing that fresh dozen of eggs can create just about any breakfast favorite for your dinner guests! Include any spare veggies and shredded cheese as toppings or mix-ins and some salsa on the side, and your guests will never know that their visit put you on the spot!
You never know when you might get a visit from friends or family and if they will end up staying for dinner. So the best plan can start with having the staples on hand, and from there you are sure to whip up something that can be shared and enjoyed by your unexpected guests. Sometimes the best evenings, and meals, can come from unforeseen and unplanned time spent gathering with your favorite people!