5 Back-of-the-Box Recipes That Are Actually Worth Making

There’s usually nothing super special about going to the grocery store for your weekly pantry haul. But, some pretty everyday items you toss in the cart can have some delicious recipes on the box or bag. Here’s a list I’ve compiled of back-of-the-box recipes that you won’t want to skip — oh and did I mention that some of them are even *dorm-friendly?

  1. 1. Bisquick’s Homestyle Biscuits*

    From the bright yellow box and just adding milk, these thick biscuits are a mouthwatering and easy addition to any meal. They go great with soups, stews and salads. Personally, I love to whip these up as a part of my favorite homestyle comfort recipe: chicken and biscuits.

  2. 2. Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip*

    I consider myself an above-average buffalo sauce consumer, so if you enjoy a slight kick with not so much heat that you can only withstand a few bites, this is a good recipe to try. Using Frank’s, cream cheese, shredded cheddar, ranch (or blue cheese) and chicken, this creamy appetizer is fantastic for stress eating alone at 3am while cramming for finals. So long as you are on swipes or the infinite-fake-money plan (aka: Option A Declining), the recipe can be done readily in a dorm microwave. All you have to do is “borrow” salad dressing from Grab & Go, extra cream cheese from Douggie and scour Hillside for the rest. If you have a preferred hot sauce or are not a wimp when it comes to spice, just take a picture of the back of a bottle of Frank’s and substitute as needed. The chicken can also be left out to create a vegetarian option. Best served with tortilla chips, celery or Fritos!

  3. 3. Nestle’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I am biased because my family has been using this recipe for the longest time. Each of us makes them with only minor changes to the original. My dad makes the standard recipe but adds extra chocolate chips because he and I have a sweet tooth. My brother is too impatient to let the butter soften, so he melts it in the microwave and throws all ingredients in a bowl without rhyme or reason. Despite the chaos, his always come out the best: a tough contender with my grandma’s. She adds an extra ¾ cup of flour so they come out small and thick. Just be careful if you decide to make them because a) she is now obliged to make them for every single family gathering and b) you will eat way more than you bargained for. Consider yourself warned in advance...

  4. 4. Chex Mix Muddy Buddies*

    Depending on where you come from, you might know this recipe to be called Muddy Buddies, Dog Food, Puppy Chow, etc. While it’s a great snack for any time of the year, it is especially prevalent around the holidays (often with red and green M&Ms). With chocolate and peanut butter, you can’t go wrong. The recipe is already gluten-free, and in the past to make these peanut-free, I’ve swapped peanut butter out for extra regular butter, tahini, and brown sugar. Sweet, salty AND crunchy? You’ll be eating handfuls in no time! 

  5. 5. Quaker Oatmeal Cookies

    Okay, we all know the saying about how oatmeal raisin cookies are why we have trust issues. These ones, though, are definitely worth the mix-up (pun intended). Oats are not just for oatmeal and granola. For people with gluten allergies, oatmeal cookies can be a delicious way to consume a traditional baked good. Plus, there are some things OTHER than raisins that are both common and obscure add-ins: peanut butter, dark/milk/white chocolate chips, cinnamon/butterscotch chips, dried cranberries or cherries, and canned pumpkin.