A handful of my favorite Quick and Easy Pantry Meals. Made with on-hand ingredients and pantry essentials, these budget-friendly family favorites are perfect for busy weeknights, lazy weekends, or pandemic preparation.
I have always kept a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry – even before the days of the Coronavirus (also known as Covid-19). Keeping my pantry filled with a variety of different grains, rice, canned goods, and pasta, plus long-lasting (or freezer-friendly) perishables (like root vegetables and ground meat), helps me stay prepared, avoid the temptation to eat out, and ultimately, save money.
To help you guys out (especially given these uncertain times), I thought I would put together a checklist of popular pantry and refrigerator essentials.
Now, I am not suggesting you go out and purchase everything on the lists below. Instead, use it as a guide when stocking up and always choose ingredients you’re familiar with and enjoy.
Pantry Dinner Recipes
Whether you’re looking for quick and easy pantry dinner recipes to help with busy school nights, you’re just learning to cook, or you’ve stockpiled your pantry with so many canned goods that you’ve lost track of what to do with it all, let me tell you – I’ve been there.
So, next time you need a fast and delicious dinner to put on the table without having to run to the market, try one of the options below!
1 – Penne Arrabbiata
Penne arrabbiata, made with homemade spicy arrabbiata sauce is an easy and delicious Italian pasta dish made from simple ingredients including olive oil, garlic, dried red chili flakes, and canned or fresh tomatoes. It’s simple and delicious and pairs really well with frozen turkey meatballs if you have any stashed away in your freezer. Get the recipe.
Sensitive to spicy food? Swap arrabbiata sauce with store-bought or homemade marinara sauce.
Fiber-filled white beans, sweet canned or fresh tomatoes, and tangy feta make this Vegetarian Tomato Baked Beans with Feta Cheese an easy and healthy dinner loved by the whole family. Served with homemade parsley pesto, simply substitute with your favorite jarred pesto if you can’t find any of the fresh stuff available. Get the recipe.
More white bean recipes:
Whoever said the key to good pasta is always using fresh ingredients was, well, a liar. This easy and delicious angel hair pasta is made with canned chicken, canned tomatoes, and canned olives. Get the recipe.
4 – Taco Soup Recipe
Made with simple pantry essentials including your favorite ground meat, canned tomatoes, beans, and a combination of seasonings and spices, make this easy recipe on the stovetop or in the slow cooker and freeze leftovers for later! Get the recipe.
So, this may not be made entirely with dry pantry essentials, however, I always like to keep a chicken in the freezer for last-minute meals. Seasoned with garlic butter, herbs, and lemon, bake your chicken with all your favorite winter vegetables including carrots, potatoes, and onions. Get the recipe.
Easy recipes with leftover chicken:
- Easy Chicken Salad Recipe (this can also be made with canned chicken)
- Easy Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe
- Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
6 – Shakshuka Recipe
Shakshuka is an easy, healthy, and fast pantry meal made with onions, bell pepper, canned tomatoes, simple spices, and delicately poached eggs. Perfect for when you’ve run out of meat, but still have plenty of eggs to go through. Get the recipe.
Eggs are one of my top five pantry must-haves. They’re delicious, versatile, and filled with protein. Learn how to make hard-boiled eggs and keep a bowl in the refrigerator for an easy snack.
Made with canned chickpeas, dried raisins, celery, red onion, and slivered almonds all mixed in a creamy vegetarian tahini dressing, these awesome wraps are not only perfect for lunch but also dinner! Easily replace the chickpeas with canned tuna or chicken if you prefer a meatier take on this awesome recipe. Get the recipe.
If you love eating sandwiches for dinner, check out this smashed avocado and chickpea sandwich.
Forget the fresh tomatoes (unless you have them), and make this super EASY, healthy, and pantry friendly recipe. Made with frozen and thawed cod, canned artichokes, tomatoes, and olives, this recipe takes just minutes to prep and cooks in 30 minutes! Get the recipe.
Everyone’s favorite comfort food, make a huge batch of this chili and freeze the rest for later. Made with ground beef, bacon, and red kidney beans simmered in a simple, spice-filled tomato broth, chili is an awesome way to use up perishables about to go bad and stores well in the refrigerator for at least 4-5 days. Get the recipe.
No more ground meat? Replace the ground beef with cooked lentils.
Simple, easy, no-fuss lentil soup made with a combination of pantry essentials including lentils, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth. Add chopped vegetables and fresh herbs, or keep it simple and season with a splash of hot sauce or sour cream. Get the recipe.
Check out these other lentil soups :
- Curry Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
- Vegetarian Lentil Stew with Chipotle and Butternut Squash
- Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas via Girl Heart Food
Easy, one-pot, and made with ground beef (or chicken), canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken or beef broth, and macaroni noodles. This recipe is SO easy and loved by all ages. Get the recipe.
Filled with four different kinds of beans, crunchy vegetables, sweet canned corn, ripe tomatoes, and drizzled with a zesty red wine vinaigrette. Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free. Get the recipe.
More delicious bean salads,
Fruits and Vegetables that Last a Long Time
Fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive. Stock up on the ones that last the longest.