Alternatives to Store Cupboard Essentials

Pasta and rice are some of the most fundamental store cupboard essentials, but you may have noticed that the supermarket shelves are looking a little empty at the moment. 

We’ve come up with a list of alternatives that you can use if you’re all out of pasta or rice – and you may even prefer them!

Alternatives to store cupboard essentials | Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

The first thing to note is that a lot of dishes that you’d normally serve with pasta or rice can be served with potatoes instead. 

Think mash, chips, roasted, rostis, fondant, baked… The possibilities are endless and you’re almost guaranteed to never get bored of them!

Fondant Potatoes - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Now, admittedly we are cheating a little bit with our first two suggestions but gnocchi and orzo are great substitutes for both pasta and rice. 

Orzo is a type of pasta that looks a little bit like rice, but it’s not as popular as it should be and so the chances are that you should be able to find some. 

We use orzo in loads of our dishes including our One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo and we promise that you’ll love it!

One Pot Mediterranean Chicken Orzo - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

If you’ve never heard of gnocchi before, it’s also classed as a pasta despite the fact that it doesn’t really look like it! 

Fresh gnocchi is generally made from mashed potatoes, flour and egg – so you can even make your own! – and needs to be stored in the fridge.  

You can also get dried gnocchi which lasts a little longer and can be stored in the cupboard.

Packet noodles are also a good choice. 

There are a variety of different types that you can use including rice, egg and udon noodles and they’re perfect when used in place of pasta! 

We’ve got sooo many noodle recipes including our Chicken Chow Mein and Singapore Noodles.

Chicken Chow Mein-1 Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Vegetables are another fantastic alternative to pasta and rice. 

You can create really tasty ‘rice’ from cauliflower or broccoli that doesn’t taste a million miles away from the real thing – some people even prefer it! 

Sliced aubergine can be used in place of lasagne sheets, while shredded, strips of cabbage that have been sautéd in a frying pan, make a great alternative to noodles or spaghetti.

We also really love any and all spiralized veg! 

Spiralized courgette, carrots or butternut squash are such a tasty alternative to spaghetti and we’ve got a variety of different recipes that use them, including our Zesty Spiralized Vegetables with Fish

Zesty Spiralized Vegetables with Fish - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Feel free to get really creative and experiment with your spiralizer – sweet potato, cucumber, potatoes and even apple all work really well!

Pulses and grains like bulgur wheat, freekeh, buckwheat, spelt and barley are all really delicious and can be served in place of pasta or rice, as well as being used to bulk out meals in order to make them go further. 

Pearl barley in particular makes a great risotto and we’ve our Lamb and Pearl Barley Risotto is a real winner!

Lentils have to be one of our favourite ingredients as they’re so easy to cook and can be used in so many different dishes. 

We’ve used them in place of rice in our mega tasty Lentil Curry and in our one pot Sausages with Creamy Lentils, but they’re so versatile that you can definitely get creative and experiment!

Sausages with Creamy Lentils - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

Finally, who could forget quinoa?! 

Quinoa is so ridiculously versatile; it can be used instead of rice, or even to make a delicious salad. 

Like other grains, it’s a great way to make your meals go further and is also fantastic when used in soups or stews.

Other staples

It’s not just rice and pasta that are in short supply at the moment, you may also be struggling to find other essentials like chopped tomatoes. 

There are a few different things that you can use instead of these like tomato soup or baked beans – we’ve used them to make our Baked Bean Bolognese for example.

Baked Bean Bolognese - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

If you can find it, then passata is another good option for replacing chopped tomatoes or, if you have to, you could also use fresh, chopped tomatoes instead. 

If you do choose to use fresh tomatoes then make sure that you add some tomato puree as well in order to pump up the tomatoey flavour!

Are you part of our Facebook Group yet? Our community is super supportive and full of fantastic tips and tricks to help you on your slimming journey!

Our newsletter

Get the latest pinch