I Come Across A Ton Of Food Hacks Every Day, But These Are The Smartest Cooking Upgrades I’ve Seen Lately, From All Over The Internet

I’m Hannah, and I write about food for a living, which means I am constantly coming across cooking tips and tricks. Of course, not all food “hacks” are actually worth trying, but every so often I come across an idea that makes me stop and think, “Whoa, that’s actually really smart.” These are some of the most promising cooking hacks I’ve seen lately.

1.Bread and fry (or air fry) Babybel cheese for a genius new take on mozzarella sticks.

Fried cheese balls with marinara sauce.

2.Fry an egg in chili crisp to seriously upgrade your next bowl of instant ramen.

Ramen with chilli crisp fried egg.

3.To prevent the bread on your breakfast sandwich from getting soggy due to runny egg, ketchup, or hot sauce, sprinkle shredded cheese onto each slice of bread to create a cheesy crust or barrier. Compile your sandwich so that the crusted bread touches the egg and condiments.

Two eggs frying in a pan

4.Make crispy pickle chips using only pickles, cheese, and a mini muffin tin. Sprinkle some cheese into each muffin tin cup, add a pickle in each, and cover with more cheese. Bake in the oven at 400°F and pop each pickle chip out with a spoon.

Cheesy, crispy pickle chips on a plate.

5.Use grilled, fried, or roasted potatoes in place of your go-to meat in tortillas or fajitas. They taste delicious and hearty, but they’re so much cheaper than meat.

A tortilla topped with grilled potatoes, peppers, onion, and guacamole.

6.Give a stale loaf of bread a new life by running it under water, then baking it in a warm, 300°F oven for about 10 minutes. The oven steams the stale, soggy bread and makes it as good as new.

Three sliced ​​baguettes on rustic wooden table.

Rebecca Mello/Getty Images

7.Thinly slice your leftover meatloaf thin and pan fry it to develop a nice golden brown crust. The crispy slices make for an epic meatloaf sandwich.

Thinly sliced ​​baked meatloaf.

Annick Vanderschelden Photograph / Getty Images

8.Next time you make tacos, swap out your flour tortillas for Trader Joe’s Taiwanese green onion pancake (or any frozen scallion pancakes from the local market).

Breakfast tacos with Taiwanese green onion pancake.

9.Cut a slice of pizza in half and press the two slices together. Stick it in a panini press or on the stove for an outrageously good pizza sandwich.

Single slice of pizza in a cardboard delivery box.

John Kuczala/Getty Images

10.Combine a box of Hamburger Helper with whatever mixed veggies you have (fresh or frozen) for a cheap, quick, and surprisingly satisfying meal.

Hamburger helper skillet with mixed vegetables.

11.For a cheap and easy meal that rivals any takeout, try making Spam fried rice. The ingredients will cost you just a few bucks, and it’s just as tasty as fried rice made with a way more expensive protein.

Spam and egg fried rice in a skillet.

12.Switch up your homemade pizza sauce: Tired of marinara? Try pesto, vodka sauce, romesco, or maybe a little bit of everything.

A slice of pizza topped with pesto, marinara sauce, and vodka sauce.

13.Use frozen taquitos as the base for enchiladas. Just place the taquitos in a baking dish and cover them with your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, and shredded Mexican cheese. Then bake until the cheese begins turning brown.

Taquito enchiladas in a baking dish.

14.Put a bit of mayonnaise in your cake, cookie, or brownie batter. Mayo is mostly eggs and oil after all, it’s not so hard to understand why it upgrades your baked goods.

Hand with spoon mixing cake batter for Christmas baking in a blue bowl

Hand with spoon mixing cake batter for Christmas baking in a blue bowl

Finn Bjurvoll Hansen/Getty Images

15.Heat up Trader Joe’s frozen Mandarin orange chicken, but leave out the sauce. Instead, coat it in your favorite sauce, like buffalo sauce, garlic Parmesan, or lemon pepper. They basically turn into amazing boneless wings.

Mandarin orange chicken nuggets on an air fryer rack.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

16.Jazz up boxed mac ‘n’ cheese with a spoonful of cream cheese and mustard (Dijon, whole grain mustard, or even mustard powder). The cream cheese adds, well…creaminess, and the mustard gives it a deeper savory flavor.

Creamy mac 'n' cheese shells.

17.Swap your average bread for frozen naan and turn it into the greatest panini or grilled cheese sandwich of all time.

A grilled cheese sandwich on naan bread.

18.Turn any frozen pizza into deep dish. Thaw it for 20 minutes, drop it into an oiled cast iron skillet, add any toppings, and bake it for an extra 10 minutes

A process shot of turning frozen pizza into deep dish pizza.

19.Mix together cinnamon applesauce and half and half in a bowl. This two-ingredient dessert tastes like the chilled filling of apple pie, and you can whip it up in less than a minute.

Apple sauce and milk in a bowl.

Szakaly/Getty Images/iStockphoto

20.Adding an extra egg yolk to any cookie recipe will result in softer, fluffier cookies that taste freshly baked even after a few days in the fridge.

Whiskey beater for cookies.

Pinkybird/Getty Images/iStockphoto

21.For the easiest, laziest lasagna, layer frozen ravioli with tomato sauce and mozzarella and bake it in the oven.

Ravioli in a baking dish.

Sydney Martin

22.Add a layer of shredded cheese inside hard taco shells and allow it to melt. Not only does the cheese keep the taco shells together, but it also tastes really good.

Mexican hard-shell tacos filled with meat and vegetables.

Carlosrojas20/Getty Images/iStockphoto

23.Upgrade your bagels for breakfast…or dessert, thanks to this TikTok trick. Slice a plain bagel and top each half with cream cheese and cinnamon. Air fry the bagel (or pop it into the toaster) at 400°F for about four minutes until the bagel is golden and the cream cheese looks fluffy. Finally, garnish with a drizzle of honey.

An air fried bagel topped with cream cheese and cinnamon.

Shelby Heinrich/BuzzFeed

24.Substitute some of the liquid in your waffle batter with seltzer or another carbonated beverage like Ginger Ale. The result: Seriously fluffy and airy waffles.

Waffle batter being poured into a waffle iron with a ladle.

Jen Tepp/Getty Images/iStockphoto

25.Save time on cooking dinner by adding a touch of baking soda to grits or polenta. It cuts the cooking time in half.

A cooked polenta dish with parmesan, butter, salt and pepper.

Bartosz Luczak/Getty Images/iStockphoto

26.Turn basically any canned fruit into a one-ingredient sorbet. Grab something like peaches or pineapple in light syrup. Freeze the contents of the can overnight and in the morning remove the lid and pour any liquid and the frozen fruit into a blender.

Open can of peach halves in syrup.

Etiennevoss/Getty Images/iStockphoto

27.Cook eggs in onion rings for perfectly shaped fried eggs ready to be placed right on a burger, toast, or a sandwich.

Three eggs cooking in onion rings.

28.Instead of making grilled cheese on the stovetop, make it in aa waffle iron. It’s faster, less greasy, and gives you perfect pockets for dunking and sopping up tomato soup.

A waffled grilled cheese dipped in tomato soup.

29.Instead of cooking your rice in water or even broth, try making it in coconut milk. It adds a little bit of creaminess and fat and it so much tastier.

Rice cooked in a gray metal sieve.

Cavan Images/Getty Images/Cavan Images RF

30.Sprinkle some garlic powder and Italian seasoning on the outsides of your grilled cheese bread. Boom: you’ve got garlic bread grilled cheese.

A grilled cheese sandwich on a plate.

Photo By Cathy Scola/Getty Images

Have you tried one of these cooking tricks? How did it work? Or do you have another smart food upgrade others should know about? Tell us in the comments.

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