What I Cook in the Netherlands as an American Expat

Quick and Easy Aldi (NL) and Albert Heijn Meals

As promised, here’s what I’m cooking every week, no ads, no life story. I will add that these are not gourmet. These are the meals of people who moved to a new country with two kids and are starting two businesses. We are tired. My Dutch teacher says we eat too much starch.

Most of the ingredients are from Aldi. If something is from Albert Heijn, I’ll note it.

Ham and Cheese Hawaiian Rolls

Disclaimer, this is Southern food and it’s not healthy. It is delicious. Serve with a can of green beans.



-gouda cheese (I used swiss back home)

-dijon mustard (french will do)

-butter (maybe 50-100 grams, it’s a lot)

-a small amount of soy sauce

Assemble ham and cheese sandwiches and put them in a baking dish. Microwave butter, a spoon or two of mustard, a small amount of soy sauce and then pour that over the sandwiches. Bake until for about 10-15 minutes, just enough to warm the sandwiches, maybe at 200 C.

Pesto Pasta

-jar of pesto

-penne noodles





-red, green, yellow peppers


-sun dried tomatoes

-any other vegetable really

-cooking cream


I will sauté the veggies in the butter for a bit, till the onions are translucent. Then spoon the pesto in and stir it for a bit. Then add as much cream as you want. Add the noodles and parmesan if you want.

Done, next.

Potato Tacos

My kids scream “potato tacos” whenever they see a potato now.




-cheddar cheese (buy from AH)


-sauce (you can get a really good orange sauce from the mexican section of AH. I forget what it’s called. There’s not many sauces in that section though. The sauce is orange. The lid and label are orange.)




-sour cream

Cube potatoes, bake them for 20 minutes at 220 C. Assemble tacos.

Veggie Quesadillas

-an inordinate amount of butter


-cheddar or mexican blend cheese (AH)


-bell peppers

-black beans

-garlic (I can’t find garlic powder, so I have to cut it up. But I can’t tell a difference.)

-seasoning: salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, black pepper, chili powder

Sauté veggies in oil. Drain and rinse the beans, throw those in last, and let them get warm.

Make quesadillas.

Peanut Butter Noodles

-a packet of the Chinese blend of veggies from AH, usually in the salad section. (I get a bunch when they’re 35% off and freeze them.)

-peanut butter

-soy sauce

-noodles (I think lo mein noodles. They come in a medium size yellow box at Aldi and a blue box at AH.)


-brown sugar

-chili oil

Saute the veggies in oil. Start the noodles. In a bowl, spoon out a fist-sized glob of peanut butter, add some soy sauce and a little bit of warm water to help stir the peanut butter). You can also add a spoon of sugar to the sauce. Then combine everything. I add chili oil on mine.

Ham, Egg, and Cheese Burritos

I don’t even need to type the recipe for this one. Add however much you need.

Lentil Spaghetti

We were mostly vegetarian for a year, so I will put anything in spaghetti besides meat. Kale was a hit. But here, I grab a can of lentils, drain them, and throw them over the spaghetti.

Daal Makhani Packets

-two packets from the Indian section of AH. Not the yellow packets, the navy blue ones

-basmati rice



To me, the packet is missing some garlic and butter, so I always add that in.



-green bell pepper

-ground beef (optional)

-lentils (optional)

-tomato in some shape or form

-red kidney beans

-black beans (AH)

-seasoning: cumin, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, a small amount of cinnamon)

Sauté the garlic, onion, and green bell pepper. Add beef in now and brown it and drain the fat if you’re using beef. If not, add in everything else. Drain the lentils first, but leave the bean juice. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Tofu Stir Fry

-any vegetable you want: I used onion, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and mushrooms)



-soy sauce

Stir fry all the veggies, chop in order of density (so start with carrots, end with zucchini). I never chop everything I need at once. Chop and throw it in. Add cubed tofu in last. Serve with rice.

Potato Soup



-butter or oil (half a block?)

-flour (a big spoon?)


-bouillon cube


-cooking cream

Sauté onion and garlic in butter until translucent. Add in flour (the same amount of flour as butter) and stir for just a second until the flour looks thick like a paste. Add water and bouillon cube. Chop potatoes (maybe 6 giant russet size ones and 12 smaller ones?) Once all potatoes are in, simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes can be stuck with a fork. Blend with an immersion mixer (don’t submerge the motor) until there are only a few potato pieces left, and then add in half the bottle of cream.

Jalapeño Corn Casserole

This is a side dish, and I make it on holidays or events. This is the best thing you’ll ever eat and it’s four ingredients.

-jars of corn (4) I used to use white shoepeg corn, but I can’t find that here. Yellow will do.

-cream cheese (2-3 packets)

-butter (50 grams)

-jalapeños (as much as you dare)

Combine and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is bubbling and browning on the edges.

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