14 Recipes You Can Make—Even If You’ve Lost Power
No electricity? No problem! From major storms to local blackouts, the inconvenience of a power outage doesn’t have to leave you feeling, well, powerless. Consider these ideas and recipes to help feed your family when you’re out of electricity and out of ideas.
When it comes to no-cook foods, the obvious choice is salads, fruits and veggies. Not only is a green salad light, healthy, and refreshing, but it can easily become an entree using cooked chicken, leftover beef, canned tuna, or salmon. We’ve got plenty of healthy salad recipes to make lunch exciting.
Red, white, and blue summer salad
“Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer. In this salad, I combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries and peaches. I also add prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced, flavor-packed side dish.” —Emily Falke, Santa Barbara, California. Top it off with one of these unique vinaigrette recipes, and you’ve got a meal on your hands.
Stir up gazpacho
The infamous cold soup is actually a snap to prepare using fresh and canned ingredients you likely have on hand. Experiment with herbs and seasoning or add things like sliced olives, beans, or diced cheese. Five good gazpacho recipes for you here if you’d rather not freestyle.
“My daughter got this recipe from a college friend and shared it with me. Now I serve it often as an appetizer. It certainly is the talk of any party.” —Lorna Sirtoli, Cortland, New York. Simple, right? There’s a reason gazpacho is one of the easiest no-cook, no-bake, no-fuss recipes there is.
Rely on beans
It’s easy to turn canned beans into a filling dish, particularly if you have a few varieties on hand. Add some canned corn for extra color and flair. Mix it all up with a few tablespoons of salad dressing for a simple dish. Peruse these five-ingredient recipes that start with canned beans.
Colorful corn ‘n’ bean salad
“This quick recipe couldn’t be easier…the liquid from the corn relish becomes a ready-made dressing! And because there’s no mayo, it’s a perfect salad to bring along on summer outings.” —TerryAnn Moore, Vineland, New Jersey. Just another one of those easy recipes you don’t have to cook.
Make a ceviche
Ceviche is a no-cook seafood classic that’s huge on flavor and low on effort. Most marinate in citrus juices, while others use shortcuts to achieve the same taste without the wait time. It’s not nearly as complicated as you think, and surprisingly, a chef-favorite meal to make at home.
Shrimp veggie salad
“My family loves to have potluck barbecues during the summer. With several backyard gardens in the family, you can be sure one of us will bring a variation of this classic salad. Add a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you like to turn up the heat!” —Karen Goodnature, Lompoc, California. Flawlessly execute step one every time with this perfect shrimp cooking technique.
Wrap it up
Amp up your sandwich game with a wrap. Consider lettuce wraps to use up leafy greens that might go bad in a power shortage. You’re going to want to make sure you wash it yourself first, even if the lettuce does come pre-washed.
Crab louie lettuce wraps
“Party guests can mingle and enjoy these tasty portable lettuce wraps without having to juggle plates and forks.” —Michael Watz, Normal, Illinois. Here are another 20 recipes as easy as boiling water.
Fruit and cheese board
“Who says cheese and sausage get to have all the fun? Make this a party go-to with any fruits that are in season.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Grab an avocado
Avocados do well without refrigeration for several days, so they can be lifesavers when the power is out. Best of all, they add a little flavor and flair to gloomy days (and they’re healthy too—you can eat an avocado every day!).
Pop open a can
Canned meats can save the day when you need to feed your family fast. Keep canned tuna, chicken, salmon, and shrimp on hand for emergencies.
Herbed tuna and white bean salad
“This is a quick and delicious salad that can be made special for guests—or yourself—by grilling fresh tuna steaks instead of using canned.” —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida. We’ve got a quick way to halve cherry tomatoes—super fast—and a bunch of other kitchen shortcuts you’ll only wish you knew sooner, too.
Foil-packet potatoes and sausage
“My family enjoys camping and cooking over a fire. These hearty foil-packet potatoes turn out beautifully over a campfire, on the grill, or in the oven at home. We sometimes leave out the sausage and serve the potatoes as a side dish. Either way, it’s so easy, and the spuds can be served right from the foil pouch for easy cleanup. The recipe also tastes amazing when cooked in a Dutch oven.” —Julie Koets, Elkhart, Indiana
Dress up granola
Perfect for snacks, breakfasts, and light lunches, granola is filling enough to stave off hunger for several hours. Jazz up a bag of granola or serve it straight out over yogurt, particularly since yogurt can go bad quickly. Or, enjoy a bit of granola with fresh or canned fruit. We tried 12 different granola brands—here’s our favorite one.
Granola trail mix
“My family has always enjoyed this crunchy four-ingredient snack. When we go camping, each person includes one additional ingredient like mini marshmallows, corn chips, or cookie pieces. The taste is never the same, and we’re often surprised by the combinations.” —Shelley Riddlespurger, Amarillo, Texas
Arrange an antipasto platter
Loaded with flavor and no-cook flair, antipasto makes a great lunch or light dinner. Serve with a green salad and iced tea or wine for a fun menu. If you’ve got all the ingredients, this is one of the fastest dishes you can whip up. Here’s the secret to cooking fruits and veggies just as fast.
“We entertain often, and antipasto is one of our favorite crowd-pleasers. Guests love having their choice of so many delicious nibbles, including pepperoni and cubes of provolone.” —Teri Lindquist, Gurnee, Illinois
No-bake peanut butter treats
“Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks.” —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska. Here are a bunch of other no-bake desserts you can make, if you’re on the no-bake train.
Mash some hummus
Thick, filling, and tasty, hummus is an easy solution when you’re craving a bite but can’t cook. Skip the food processor when the electric is out, and mash the beans with a fork instead. Serve the hummus with crackers or veggies, or use it beef up sandwiches and wraps.
Hummus & veggie wrap-up
“I had a sandwich similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it.” —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
Revisit a longtime favorite
When all else fails, turn to the old standby, PB&J. Peanut butter sandwiches still deliver loads of comfort, particularly during trying times. Try your own spin on this all-time classic with a long, long history.
Peanut butter, krispies, and chocolate sandwich
“This crispy, chocolaty sandwich is like a Saturday-morning cartoon breakfast without the bowl.” —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor. Next, here are the best 3-ingredient recipes that don’t require a trip to the store.