Milk Street: Cook What You Have: Make a Meal Out of Almost Anything by Christopher Kimball

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Quick / easy; Main course; Side dish; French
    • Ingredients: bacon; carrots; yellow onions; canned red kidney beans; dry red wine; flat leaf parsley
    • Categories: Salads; Side dish; Caribbean; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: canned black beans; lime zest; red onions; jalapeño chiles; orange bell peppers; unsweetened coconut flakes
    • Categories: Soups; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: butter; yellow onions; carrots; cumin seeds; ground cayenne pepper; canned chickpeas; garlic; sesame seeds
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Side dish; Main course; Cuban
    • Ingredients: grapeseed oil; yellow onions; green bell peppers; garlic; ground cumin; dried oregano; long grain rice; chicken broth; canned black beans
    • Categories: Soups; Side dish; Nigerian (Nigeria); Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: grapeseed oil; red onions; garlic; coconut milk; jalapeño chiles; ground allspice; dried thyme; canned black beans; limes
    • Categories: Rice dishes; Salads; Side dish; Main course; Cajun & Creole
    • Ingredients: bacon; scallions; apple cider vinegar; canned kidney beans; cooked white rice; celery; red bell peppers
    • Categories: Curry; Main course; Indian; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: grapeseed oil; red onions; garlic; fresh ginger; garam masala; ground cumin; tomato paste; carrots; Yukon Gold potatoes; canned chickpeas
    • Categories: Soups; Spanish
    • Ingredients: bacon; smoked paprika; Yukon Gold potatoes; dried thyme; chicken broth; lacinato kale; canned cannellini beans
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course
    • Ingredients: bacon; red onions; garlic; canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; ground cumin; chilli powder; canned pinto beans; chicken broth; canned crushed tomatoes
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Side dish; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: cumin seeds; fennel seeds; canned chickpeas; scallions; lemons
    • Categories: Main course
    • Ingredients: bacon; garlic; smoked paprika; canned cannellini beans; baby spinach; lemons
    • Categories: Salads; Side dish; Turkish; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: canned Great Northern beans; red onions; cherry tomatoes; pitted green olives; Fresno chiles; lemon zest
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Main course; Egyptian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: canned pinto beans; lemons; dried red pepper flakes; ground cumin; tomatoes; hard-boiled eggs; flat leaf parsley
    • Categories: Dips, spreads & salsas; Middle Eastern; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: canned chickpeas; tahini; lemon juice; ground cayenne pepper; flat leaf parsley; ground cumin; sweet paprika
    • Categories: Stews & one-pot meals; Main course; Side dish; Italian
    • Ingredients: garlic; carrots; oil-packed anchovies; canned cannellini beans; cherry tomatoes; flat leaf parsley
    • Categories: Soups; Main course; Italian
    • Ingredients: yellow onions; carrots; garlic; dried rosemary; canned peeled tomatoes; canned cannellini beans; chicken broth; elbow macaroni pasta
    • Categories: Soups; Indian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: butter; fresh ginger; cilantro; garam masala; canned peeled tomatoes; yogurt
    • Categories: Soups; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: garlic; tomato paste; jalapeño chiles; canned peeled tomatoes; vegetable broth; cilantro; limes; sour cream
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Stews & one-pot meals; Breakfast / brunch; Main course; North African; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: red bell peppers; red onions; canned peeled tomatoes; harissa paste; eggs; flat leaf parsley
    • Categories: Soups; French; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: country bread; dried thyme; Parmesan cheese; yellow onions; garlic; canned crushed tomatoes
    • Categories: Soups; Rice dishes
    • Ingredients: yellow onions; dried thyme; long grain rice; canned peeled tomatoes; chicken broth; flat leaf parsley
    • Categories: Pasta, doughs & sauces; Main course; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: spaghetti; dried oregano; dried red pepper flakes; canned peeled tomatoes; Parmesan cheese
    • Categories: Curry; Main course; Indian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: roasted salted cashew nuts; grapeseed oil; yellow onions; garlic; fresh ginger; garam masala; hot paprika; canned crushed tomatoes; cremini mushrooms
    • Categories: Main course; Breakfast / brunch; Lunch; Mexican; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: onions; grapeseed oil; garlic; canned fire-roasted tomatoes; canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; ground cumin; tortilla chips; cheddar cheese; cilantro
    • Categories: Mexican; Vegetarian; Vegan
    • Ingredients: corn tortillas; grapeseed oil

Notes about this book

This book does not currently have any notes.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Turkish white bean salad

    • Lottabooks on May 19, 2023

      Served with lamb burgers for Mother's Day. I made a few hours in advance and let sit at room temperature - not recommended. What looked like a bright fresh salad when first finished turned dark and muddy - probably the dried mint, olives and red onions. Flavor was good - definitely recommend the sumac, dried mint and Aleppo additions. Good dish - just not very attractive after it sits.

  • Garlicky peanut noodles

    • Lottabooks on January 24, 2023

      Good but lacked a bit of depth. I used vegan fish sauce; next time I would use regular fish sauce or soy sauce. Used creamy peanut butter, but think crunchy would be better. Used all of the garnishes - peanuts, cucumber, chili crisp. Good pantry recipe. Made about 3 servings.

  • Umbrian-style lentil soup

    • Lottabooks on February 23, 2023

      I love this cookbook but didn't love this dish. I used the prescribed lentils du Puy, but they stayed hard despite longer cooking time. I've read that acid in tomato products can do this. Thoughts? Flavor was OK (added parm rind, bay leaf, replaced 2 c. water with homemade chicken stock).

  • Pasta e ceci

    • Lottabooks on January 10, 2023

      Use 2 c. garbanzo (chickpea) liquid + 2 c. homemade chicken stock; add parmesan rind; used baby spinach; garnish w/ parsley & parm; used orzo, not macaroni. BETTER THE NEXT DAY. Great pantry dish. 4 large + 1 small portion.

  • Creamy pinto bean and tomato soup

    • Lottabooks on January 19, 2023

      This was surprisingly good! No sauteing and very little chopping. Great pantry meal. Important to (1) add garnishes (avocado, cilantro, sour cream, crumbled tortilla chips) and the lime wedges for serving; (2) use homemade chicken stock if you have it and good olive oil. Used white onion (better for this type of cuisine). Served with warmed flour tortilla and Costco guacamole. Very little seasoning needed (I used good quality mild chili powder). Makes four large servings (good the next day - thin with chicken stock).

    • lean1 on May 17, 2023

      Very quick very easy, in the time it took to boil the water for the broth it was mostly done. This time I used half pinto and half borlotti beans. Flavor was fine.

  • Tofu and kimchi soup

    • Lottabooks on February 23, 2023

      No regular kimchi in store; purchased Korean kimchi. Big mistake - this was WAY too spicy despite my attempts to temper the heat. I think it would be fine with regular kimchi. If I disregarded the spiciness, the underlying flavor was good. Made about 6 servings. Served on rice, and had to stir in sour cream to soften the blow.

  • Jamaican-style tofu curry

    • Lottabooks on January 16, 2023

      This cookbook doesn't have all ingredients in the ingredient list - be sure to read the headnote (here, optional carrots or green beans); and the optional garnishes (cilantro, scallions). Also, because the salt/pepper addition was listed in the directions not the ingredients, I forgot it and the was under seasoned even though I salted along the way and directly on the tofu cubes. Served with rice. Next time serve lime wedges on the side - it needs it. Used 1/2 jalapeno and not seasoned enough - next time use the whole thing, and also perhaps mix mild and medium curry powder for more bite. Prefer extra firm to firm tofu (but Costco had a good buy on firm tofu).

  • Ham and cheese quesadillas with pickled jalapenos

    • Lottabooks on February 05, 2023

      Had leftover Honey Baked Ham in freezer; thawed and chopped. Pay attention to proportions - I cut the recipe in half. Used Muenster (freeze it first before grating), but cheddar or combination would be fine. Good fast recipe. Served with salsa, avocado (ran out of Costco guacamole and sour cream). See headnote for optional add-ins: sauteed onions, mushrooms or black beans.

    • averythingcooks on August 19, 2023

      For us, the result here truly was a sum greater than the parts and we really enjoyed them. I used my own pickled peppers (a mix of hot & sweet varieties) + their brine and as always, skipped the cilantro. My preference for quesadillas is to use a stack of 3 small tortillas (with 2 layers of filling) which is then oven baked (1st learned from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill book). We dipped our wedges in a crema made from Greek yogurt & my tomatilla salsa verde and we simple but really good.

  • Tomato-rice soup with caramelized onion

    • Rinshin on January 08, 2023

      Tomato soups are one of those food items with strong individual preference. I normally like cream of tomato soups but I have also had some incredible tasting tomato soups without cream. I think lots depend on quality of tomatoes used. I liked this soup for addition of caramelized onion but it did alter the pure tomato taste. Instead of rice to get more lower carb, I used Mannan Hikari rice alternative and that worked out really well. Made 4 servings and for the leftovers I do plan to add some cream. Ha! I am not sure I liked the drizzle of pesto on top but then I am not a pesto person. Photo added.

    • Rinshin on January 10, 2023

      As expected, I added whole milk to the leftover without drizzling pesto and we preferred it much more this way. It was very good.

  • MIso-garlic slashed chicken

    • rstone128 on January 27, 2023

      This is delicious. Really enjoying this book.

  • Fish baked with tomatoes, capers and white wine

    • Maefleur on March 30, 2023

      In keeping with the theme, I used what I had, which was swordfish, which I kept in one piece. I added in a handful of castelvetrano olives I had left in the fridge, and used dill as the garnish herb. Served in the baking dish. So very easy and so very delicious!

  • Sausage, potato and sweet pepper traybake

    • averythingcooks on May 21, 2023

      Worried about underdone potatoes/overdone veg, I started the potatoes and added the veg 20 minutes later. I browned the sausages & "hasselbacked" them before adding for the last 25 minutes. The suggested garnishes are salty things so I used feta instead & added fresh basil. We ate this with garlic toast and although not exactly world changing it was simple & good and we also liked the pop of flavour from the finishing drizzle of honey & vinegar.

    • Shewi128 on May 22, 2023

      I liked this recipe enough to try it again. However, I'd recommend increasing the bell peppers to 2-3 and the potatoes to 1.5-2 lbs. You may need to increase the sauce accordingly. We found we were still hungry and that there were definitely not enough vegetables for a family of 4.

  • Corn and coconut soup with ginger and scallions

    • averythingcooks on January 08, 2023

      The basic soup is very good (although I did cut back on the fish sauce...a 1/2 recipe calls for 1 tbsp - way too much for us!). But then once it was finished I opted to "use what I had" to amp it up a bit, including some diced shishito peppers from the freezer, sliced pickled red peppedews and some chopped ham. The ginger & lime really do bring it to life and this is a great pot to have on hand for this weeks lunches.

  • Pinto beans with bacon and chipotle

    • averythingcooks on July 20, 2023

      I scaled this to 1/3 raiding the freezer for bacon, some excess 2 pepper Rotel & cooked pinto beans. I added some diced sweet peppers to the pan and also seasoned generously. After covering the finished dish with grated cheddar & Monterey Jack, I ran it under the broiler then topped it with chopped scallions. Simple, good (including the leftovers as mentioned by Logan92995) and very quick.

    • Logan92995 on July 14, 2023

      This was tasty and easy to make, as well as being relatively cheap. It required a good dose of salt and pepper at the end (a trend I see in a lot of milk street recipes, admittedly), but otherwise really good. Reheated the next day as leftovers was actually admittedly better.

  • Egg noodles with cabbage, bacon and sour cream

    • averythingcooks on August 10, 2023

      I scaled this to 1/3 to serve as a side for a pan roasted pork tenderloin and we both really liked it. I prefer the cabbage to be thinly sliced (rather than in 1" pieces), and added some diced yellow pepper to the onions & chopped red peppadews at the end. I used a much smaller amount of sour cream to get just a little creaminess and we agreed that this is a great way to help us work through a head of cabbage.

  • Stir-fried broccoli and noodles

    • averythingcooks on October 05, 2023

      I added ground pork and rather than choosing, I used both red onion + lots of sweet peppers. I also used both oyster & hoisin sauce in the sauce (again, rather than choosing) and even after adding the pasta water, I needed more liquid in the pan so rather than more water, I dropped in a good glug of a favourite peanut dipping sauce/dressing from the fridge. Topped with chopped cashews & green onions, we both enjoyed this.

  • Pasta with roasted tomato and anchovy sauce

    • lean1 on February 25, 2023

      This sauce is so easy to make and tastes so wonderful. It's better than most jarred sauces that I have had. the anchovies and the butter make it taste really rich. The little bits of burnt tomatoes in the pan also add wonderful flavor. I used Paccheri shapes that I brought back from Italy. What a great dish!

  • Tuna tostadas with chipotle, corn and quick-pickled onion

    • lean1 on July 09, 2023

      I made this with pickled ramps that I made two months ago and chopped them fine. Kept the rest of the recipe the same. Very tasty snack easy to put together in no time.

  • Pasta with pesto rosso

    • lean1 on July 09, 2023

      Very easy to make all into the Cuisinart. I may have over mixed it because it was a bit watery. Next time I will really dry the red peppers. Still very flavorful and will make it again.

  • Chicken and tortilla soup

    • lean1 on February 26, 2023

      Easy yo make and very flavorful. Used leftover roast chicken(not enough) canned crushed tomatoes, and pre made tostadas which I broke into pieces. I used avocado and lime juice on top. Next time I may add cheese. I will make thing often in all seasons. I love the flavors.

  • Bulgur and chicken salad with pomegranate molasses

    • lean1 on May 11, 2023

      Made this today. Came together quickly less than 30 min. Used 1 jalapeno instead of two and 1/2 cup mint. otherwise made as written. Wonderful layers of flavor. Will make often.

  • Pan-fried tuna cakes with yogurt-caper sauce

    • Cathyschuh on January 18, 2023

      who would think so good. really delicious used air fryer 400 x 12-15 min I liked the sauce Did not use oil and used non fat yogurt. still great!

  • Miso, shiitake mushroom and kimchi soup

    • Cathyschuh on January 18, 2023

      excellent added different protein with sardines in water making it really yummy (they suggest shredded chicken and that works too). Gets better as it sits so next day and next next day is even better.

  • Stir-fried cumin tofu

    • Churchim808 on November 30, 2023

      This was pretty good. I wish I’d used firmer tofu or frozen and thawed the tofu first. It would have also worked well in the air fryer instead of pan frying with so much oil. The flavors were a nice departure from the usual Asian stir fry.

  • Stir-fried tofu with ginger green beans

    • Churchim808 on November 18, 2023

      This was very good and quite fast. Don’t make the mistake I did, be sure to use a non-stick skillet. Also, it called for a lb of green beans for only one tub of tofu. This seemed like an awful lot so I cut back by 1/3.

  • Potato salad with capers, olives and olive oil tuna

    • Churchim808 on November 25, 2023

      This book has been a bit of a letdown because the vast majority of recipes have at least a couple ingredients are not what I keep on hand. This one was the exception. I did use tuna packed in water because that’s all I had and it wasn’t dry at all. The flavor was great but I am a black olive and caper lover. I will make this again and again!

  • Chicken and chickpea tagine

    • Churchim808 on November 30, 2023

      This was really excellent. I used dried apricots instead of raisins and threw a sliced zucchini in there with the chickpeas. It says you can garnish with lemon or cilantro and I really wish I’d had some. This kind of dish makes for “better the second day” leftovers. I did half the recipe but will get four servings out of it.

  • Weeknight lahmajoun

    • Shewi128 on June 28, 2023

      3 stars only because it wasn't particularly memorable. However, it was an easy weeknight meal with a lot of flavor. Everybody, including my kids, finished their servings. I did make a slight change with the preparation based on someone's notes on the Milk Street website. They said the meat was uncooked after the oven when they put the mixture raw on the pita. I cooked the mixture for 5-10 minutes on the stove, and then I put onto the pitas. I would add some spicy honey, arugula, and/or yogurt sauce to turn up the recipe a bit.. but other than that, a solid 3 star recipe that I would consider making again for a quick meal.

  • Enfrijoladas

    • Shewi128 on September 18, 2023

      Another recipe where the result is surprisingly good based on the limited number of ingredients. It's like a bean-soaked enchilada. Don't skip the chopped onions and cilantro. They add fresh flavor and texture. I'll save this recipe for another night when I just need something quick and easy.

  • Rigatoni carbonara with peas

    • Shewi128 on September 25, 2023

      This was an easy weeknight recipe that turned out decently. One thing that was annoying was the use of only 12 oz pasta. I adjusted the recipe slightly for 16 oz. I like that it was only one pan. I'd make this again.

  • Oven-fried potato and cheese taco dorados

    • Shewi128 on March 20, 2023

      My son declared these to be the "best vegetarian tacos ever!". I loved the oven "frying" method, and the filling was easy to throw together. I will definitely make this again if I have some extra potatoes lying around.

  • One-pot pasta all'arrabbiata

    • stephcoelho on March 01, 2023

      I am not a one-pot pasta gal. It's just such a subpar way of making pasta. The sauce ends up with a weird gluey texture, and the pasta turns out underseasoned. I added pan seared asparagus to jazz it up but even that didn't turn this into a must-cook-again dish.

  • Tuna gochujang noodles

    • morleigh10 on November 30, 2023

      Super easy recipe to make and we've made it several times at this point. It's a cold noodle dish, so its quick to pull out of the fridge and eat. Gochujang gives it a good kick.

  • Pearl couscous "risotto" with chicken and spinach

    • Soulkitchenjen on January 09, 2023

      Very solid dinner. I made the couscous with chicken stock instead of water. Definitely needs the cheese. Very good, but not life changing.

  • Pasta e fagioli

    • Soulkitchenjen on November 09, 2022

      Great basic soup recipe. Excellent backbone that could take any number of additions (pancetta or spinach come to mind), but excellent on its own.

  • Shakshuka

    • Soulkitchenjen on January 11, 2023

      A very solid shakshuka base. I made mine with Bulgarian feta and cilantro.

  • Spicy seared tofu with sweet pepper

    • Soulkitchenjen on January 10, 2023

      This is a wildly underwhelming recipe. I made it using the cilantro, gochugang, and Chinese black vinegar options. It’s just lacking something that I can’t quite place. The tofu is just middling after all that fussing. The sauce is spicy, but not particularly flavorful. Wouldn’t remake. It was fine.

  • Lentil salad with tahini, almonds and pomegranate molasses

    • Soulkitchenjen on November 07, 2022

      Very, very easy to overcook the shallots and almonds. I love tahini, but the dressing kind of makes everything taste muddy? Like, there is too much going on.

  • Braised sausages and lentils with parsley-caper relish

    • Soulkitchenjen on January 08, 2023

      A very satisfying dinner. I was initially concerned about the lack of spices, but it was so flavorful. The parsley relish is a nice touch.

  • Salmon with matbucha

    • Soulkitchenjen on January 07, 2023

      Very solid recipe. Used the cumin AND the harissa. The olives AND the capers. Served with warm pita. It was devoured.

  • Sesame-crusted salmon with black pepper and lime sauce

    • Soulkitchenjen on May 24, 2023

      I only had black sesame, so pardon how burnt it looks. This was fine. Not phenomenal. Just ok. I don’t think I’d make it again

  • Yogurt cake with citrus and spice

    • Soulkitchenjen on November 09, 2022

      A nice “bread cake”. The glaze is critical, as the bread isn’t terribly sweet. I used orange and it was lovely.

  • Cabbage and chicken salad with gochujang and sesame

    • Soulkitchenjen on November 09, 2022

      Delicious and different. A perfect lunch. Made exactly as written.

  • Greek-style braised greens with tomatoes and paprika

    • FatsyRoller on February 01, 2023

      Solid side dish. I thought it lacked punch and would benefit from additional seasoning. My husband really liked it as is.

You must Create an Account or Sign In to add a note to this book.

Reviews about this book

This book does not currently have any reviews.

  • ISBN 10 0316387568
  • ISBN 13 9780316387569
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Oct 25 2022
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 352
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Voracious

Publishers Text

Make a meal out of almost anything with this new classic from the James Beard Award-winning team at Milk Street: a book of 225 delicious, simple meals starting with the most common ingredients cooks keep on hand in the kitchen.

In Cook What You Have, the Milk Street team solves the problem of making dinner, starting with what you have on hand in the kitchen. Focusing on two dozen key kitchen ingredients such as couscous, tomato paste, canned beans, lentils, breadcrumbs or yogurt, the 225 featured recipes will demonstrate the endless possibilities that can be fashioned from just the ingredients you already have at home.

Each essential ingredient will be the base for recipes that call upon kitchen staples that most cooks have on hand. All of the recipes have fewer than ten ingredients; most have fewer than eight; many have only six. The result is a range of weeknight-simple meals that nevertheless bring creativity and inspiration in every recipe.

Other cookbooks by this author