Recipes - Capital Area Food Bank
Skip to main content

The recipe database is a free resource for delicious, nutritious, and affordable recipes. These recipes are designed specifically for our partner agencies and intentionally use common food bank ingredients. All of our recipes are available in English and Spanish, and we are always working on adding new recipes and languages to meet the needs of our community. 

Our recipes are available in PDF format to easily print and distribute to clients and neighbors. For visual instruction, we have also created video tutorials for some of our most popular recipes: CAFB YouTube channel 

If you are a CAFB partner and would like physical copies, please reach out to us!  

Questions? Reach out to us at or (202) 735-3053. 

View Recipe Videos

Main dishes

Main dishes are the heart and soul of any healthy diet. Main dishes give you energy to stay healthy and active throughout the day. Without main dishes such as lean meats and beans, meals are incomplete and lack essential nutrients. Look below for great ideas on main dishes that kick up the flavor and the nutrition!

Side Dishes

Side dishes offer the extra nutrients needed to make a complete meal. Add one of these dishes to your plate and you have a complete meal. Also, side dishes such as brown rice or sautéed vegetables are packed with fiber, calcium, and protein. Check out the side dishes below for great ideas on how to make a healthy complete meal that is still budget-friendly.

Soups & Salads

Soups and salads are a great way to have complete one-dish meals that are easy to make and nutrient packed. Add proteins such as grilled chicken or hardboiled eggs to any salad for a complete meal. Don’t think soups are just for wintertime! When made from scratch, soups can be nutrient and protein rich. Want some ideas? The soups and salads below are perfect for side dishes or healthy meals.

Dessert & Snacks

Hungry in between meals or craving something sweet? Whip up one of these healthy snacks or desserts to keep your energy levels high. We are often told to stay away from desserts and snacks, but don’t fret, we have plenty of healthy ideas here. No need to fill your stomachs with un-necessary sugar, salt and fat; keep desserts and snacks light and energy- filled.

Sauces & Dressings

Meals without sauces and dressings can be bland, but you can enhance the flavor of any dish by adding a healthy sauce or dressing. Store bought dressings are often filled with additives, so check out the recipes below for ideas on how to cut back on sugar, fat, and sodium while still tasting delicious.