Skip to main content UVA Health logo of UVA Health
Healthy Balance

5 Smart Quarantine Cooking Tips When You’re Stuck at Home

family cooking together during coronavirus quarantine
Along with these quarantine cooking tips, staying sane at meals requires acceptance. Savor sitting down as a family as a silver lining to this pandemic.

Do you have a full house with lots of hungry mouths to feed? Times are tough. With limited trips to the supermarket, shortages of some foods, and no options for eating out, this coronavirus pandemic can strain your culinary creativity. But you can still cook delicious, healthy food the whole family will enjoy. These quarantine cooking tips will keep everyone healthy and satisfied, even with limited food options.

Quarantine Cooking Tips

Preparing and sharing meals can provide reassuring comfort in anxious times. With a little planning and some smart shopping, you can fuel everyone’s immune system along the way while sticking to a budget.

These tips can help you cook smart and keep your family well-fed while you ride out the storm.

Stock Up on Staples

Fill your pantry with essentials that will give you a healthy start to many meals. Such fundamental basics that can be stored for weeks include:

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Canned beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Dried lentils
  • Reduced-sodium broths

Freeze Fresh Produce

If you’re on a budget or trying to limit your trips to the grocery store, buy extra fresh produce and freeze it for later. It’s often cheaper than frozen vegetables and more flavorful. Chopped carrots, onions, celery, sliced zucchini, green beans, corn, and berries all freeze well.

Let Meat Take a Back Seat

With meat and chicken sometimes difficult to find on store shelves, now is a good time to make vegetables the star of the show. Add additional veggies to soups, stews, pasta, grain bowls, salads, and stir-fries. Eating smaller protein portions and adding in more produce will help you stretch your meat supply, cut your food bill, and provide important nutrients.

COVID-19 Updates & Quarantine Cooking Recipes

Want the most recent coronavirus updates and tips while at home? Subscribe to our blog email.

Change Things Up

Eating home every night can get boring. Get creative and make recipes you never had time to experiment with before. Play with new ingredients. Don’t feel pressure to cook elaborate meals, but try something fun like make-your-own personal pizzas or noodle bowls.

Be Flexible

If you’re missing an ingredient — don’t panic! There are often good alternatives you can use. Substitute lemon juice for vinegar, swap chicken broth for white wine (only in a recipe, not in a glass!), or use crushed red pepper flakes instead of fresh jalapeno.

Copyright 2020 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Tags: covid-19

Reply & View Comments Search Submit

Subscribe for Updates

Get stories & health tips every week