Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

One-Ingredient Upgrades For Your Favorite Foods

  1. Begin
    CloroxHVR_Opener
    Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    There are only so many bowls of frozen tortellini a person can eat before the pasta starts to taste eerily like cardboard. And after a while, even the holy grail of leftover Mexican food becomes tiresome. Yet, we stick to eating this stuff for fear that anything more interesting will require too much time, effort, and leave us at risk of meal failure.

    Our favorite solve? The one-ingredient upgrade, which is really all it takes to make plain foods taste like something you’d order off a restaurant menu. Case in point: A package of ramen goes from dorm-room desperation to a rich noodle dish with a sprinkle of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix, and a box of couscous becomes an exotic main dish with the addition of sun-dried tomato pesto. Keep these sneaky game-changers as well as the others ahead on hand, and your desire for delivery will be but a distant memory.

    Begin Slideshow
  2. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 9
    }

    Take a baked sweet potato beyond the realm of semi-healthy comfort food by adding miso paste. Roast the potato directly on your oven rack for about 40 minutes at 350ºF, then split open, scoop out the insides, and add a teaspoon of miso paste. Mash with a fork and return to the potato skin.

  3. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 9
    }

    Boxed couscous is a brilliant weeknight dinner dish, largely because it can be made in less than 10 minutes (unlike rice or pasta, which can take twice as long). Add about one tablespoon of sun-dried tomato pesto per cup of couscous for just the right balance of sweet and tart.

  4. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 9
    }

    When subsisting on packaged ramen, there are many ways to add extra flavor, but all too many require a trip to the store for perishable items. If you're already in for the night, just add a teaspoon of Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix with a splash of water to cooked and drained noodles. This broth-less ramen dish tastes almost like an Italian carbonara pasta with its savory flavor.

  5. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 9
    }

    Whether you’re breaking out the frying pan or simply slapping some cheese between two tortillas and hitting “start” on the microwave, your quesadilla should always have a healthy slather of the Korean hot pepper paste known as gochujang. The condiment is rich and spicy like barbecue sauce and feels so at home next to molten cheese.

  6. Illustrated by Alex Marino.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 9
    }

    While an excellent source of lean protein, turkey meatballs often lack the flavor of their beef counterparts. Not so once you add cumin. Starting with a pound of ground turkey, mix in 2 tablespoons of cumin, form into 1-inch balls, and pan-fry in olive oil.