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Out of the Box - Packaged Food

Package recipes vary greatly in quality. The only real way to tell what packaged food you like are to try a few, just because it is the most expensive doesn’t mean it is the best. Checking the nutritional information and ingredients list may help you make an informed choice. But taste is important.

When using packaged food make sure you read the directions and know what else you may need to make the dish. Packaged mixes will need the addition of water if not other items.

 Depending on the packaged food they may or may not have certain ingredients.

Some packages have multiple envelopes inside and they are often referred to as package A,B,C... .

The method is generally referred to as Directions.

I have found that by following the box directions you will generally make a reasonable end product. Most companies spend a lot of time to make sure the directions on package recipes work. The real problem with packaged food directions is that they often are not consumer friendly. Many packages just put them in one paragraph or a big long sentence in small print and they are hard to read let alone understand. The easiest way to understand them is to copy them onto a separate piece of paper with each item or step on a new line. This way you can see what you have to do. If it is a product you use often you can just keep your written directions (recipe) and use it next time.  

One of the most common mistakes made when making packaged items is having the wrong temperature or not preheating the oven Sometimes this is a simple case of High or Medium heat not meaning the same thing on different ovens . Microwave ovens High, medium and low temperatures depend on the wattage of the microwave oven and can vary greatly from microwave oven to microwave oven.


See the ‘uses packaged items’ category in the Recipes section for recipes that use packaged food as an ingredients.

Beware the serving size, often packaged foods will say how many people the package should serve. Be careful with this and see if they tell you what the actual portion size is and if it is as a side dish or as an appetizer.  Although this may be a recommended portion if you may find it too little or to much depending on your own eating habits and how the packaged food is to be used.  

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You will find a lot of packaged foods will have web sites printed on the package. These web sites often contain recipes that use there packaged food in it. These recipes vary in quality but can often provide quick meal ideas.