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What are your favorite fallback meals?

Last week, in my post 7 reasons you’re eating out so much, I talked about the idea of a fallback meal.

pizza subs

What’s a fallback meal?

It’s an easy-to-put-together meal that consists mostly of pantry ingredients (including the freezer!), and it’s something you can fall back on when other plans have fallen through.

(Your meat didn’t thaw, you were missing a key ingredient, you have less time than you thought, etc.)

This type of meal can swoop in and save the day when you’re thisclose to ordering takeout.

I shared some of my favorite fallback meals (pizza bagels, quesadillas, grilled shrimp and veggies), but I know there are lots of other great last-minute meal ideas out there too.

chicken quesadillas

And since you guys are a generally frugal bunch, I thought it’d be great if you all could share your ideas in the comments.

We can learn from each other, and you can also help out readers who are new to this idea.


Leave a comment and share the quick, easy meals you rely on when takeout is seeming like a deliciously tempting option.

Ready?   Go!

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Friday 1st of January 2016

Glad you reposted this. I remember commenting the first time around. It is giving me some incentive to be ready for next week with some fall back meals so I don't succumb to the pressure of take out! Thank you.

cath young

Monday 3rd of August 2015

Ramen. One can make a bowl of the hot ramen, or just boil the noodles a bit less and the stir fry to make a lo mein of sorts. If you have wilted lettuce, a carrot, some peas, nearly any veggie or left over meats you can add them to the noodles as you saute them, sprinkling the ramen powder as seasoning, add an egg (just scramble and makes pretty yellow crumbs).


Friday 17th of July 2015

We like Italian Baked Eggs:

1. Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray. 2. Pour in half a jar of marinara sauce. 3. Make 4 wells in the sauce with the back of a spoon. Crack 1 egg into each well. 4. Top with parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and basil. This is best if the basil is fresh. 5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 min or until eggs are set

Serve on english muffins or toast points with a side of green salad.


Monday 13th of July 2015

Some great ideas, love reading this! As parents of twins, a fallback meal is something we seem to use quite often at times.

Muffin pizzas, pizza topping (or tomato puree) on a muffin, some grated cheese, any other toppings

Pasta with cream and any left over meat/veg

Pasta with grated cheese stirred in

Homemade scones, surprising quick and easy to make out of storeroom ingredients. Our children think these are a great treat

Veg/Meat casserole on weekend during the winter. Most ingredients are in the storeroom, quick and very easy to put it all in one pot during the day, heats the kitchen up during the afternoon ready for the evening


Sunday 12th of July 2015

When I was Growing up, we had "surprise platter" once a week. Basically, it just meant that my parents would use up whatever leftovers we had. We would use plates with different sections and there would be alittle bit of each dish in each section. I always felt it was so festive - especially because there would always be something out of the ordinary - a small piece of cake, some potato chips, or half a canned peach on the plate. It took me years and years to realize that my parents had to stretch their budget to make it through the month, and this is how they didi it.

My own fallback options are: vegetable-tomato soup made with those veggies that are near death in the fridge and a can or two of chopped tomatoes. I often add dried red lentils for protein. Also, grilled cheese, or toast with baked beans, or quesadillas. Also, spaghetti with fried oniOns and canned tuna and lots of garlic). Just fry the onions in olive oil while the pasta is cooking, add a can or two of drained tuna, heat through, maybe add some anchovies/olives/chili flakes. Drain pasta, stir everything together, serve.

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