Evelyn Romans | 

Best Pantry Recipes for Easy Weeknight Meals

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If you’re like me during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve stared into your pantry at least once over the last few weeks and had no idea what to feed your family. Luckily, there are some pretty brilliant home chefs on the internet who have created delicious, easy weeknight meals using common ingredients you probably already have. Even better, most of the recipes below require only dry pantry ingredients like beans, pasta, rice, and spices.

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Here are some of the best pantry recipes on the web that also happen to be super cheap to make:


1. Antipasto Pasta Pantry Meal

Sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, peperoncini, and artichoke hearts are all ingredients you can pull from your pantry to create this easy weeknight meal that’s also gourmet enough for a special occasion. Add some sausage for even more heartiness and flavor.


2. Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Beans = a must-have pantry ingredient. Use canned black beans, onion, and some Mexican seasonings to create a delicious filling for stuffed sweet potatoes. There’s so much flavor here, you’re going to want to put this recipe on your best-of-weeknight-dinner rotation.


3. Pineapple Veggie Fried Rice Pantry Meal

Magic can happen when you use leftovers from your pantry and fridge. Canned corn, pineapple, and leftover rice cooked over high heat with some soy sauce and sesame oil could turn into a weekly family favorite. Get flavors from the tropics without leaving your house.


4. Cornbread Waffles with Chili

Add some excitement to the canned chili sitting in your pantry (or make your own) by serving it on a cornbread waffle bed. All you need are some baking pantry staples to make the cornbread, or simply cook boxed cornbread mix like Jiffy in your waffle iron.



5. One Pot Vegetable Pasta Pantry Recipe

Use whatever canned vegetables you have in your pantry to make this vegetarian meal that’s quick and healthy. Best part? There’s minimal dishwashing with this one-pot recipe.

Psst…cheese always helps if you’ve got it! Did you know you can store cheese in the freezer to make it last?

RELATED: 32 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze


6. Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup Pantry Meal

No need to think too much about ingredients to add to this soup. It’s simple, yet satisfying, and only involves a handful of products you probably already have in your cupboard — namely, canned cannellini beans and broth. Add bacon and veggies for more complexity.


7. Stovetop Tuna Orzo Casserole

The humble star of this dish is canned tuna, but you can also use whatever ingredients you have on hand — including fresh or canned vegetables and cheese. Plus, planning to make this as a weeknight dinner should be a cinch since it’s a one-pot recipe.


8. Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas

Canned black beans and corn are about to be a regular item on your shopping list, thanks to this easy quesadilla recipe. Prep the filling ahead of time so you can put together quesadillas throughout the week for a quick and simple pantry meal.


9. Red Lentil Dal Pantry Recipe

If there was ever a good time to try your first lentil recipe, now is the time and with this recipe. This Indian dish is packed with flavor, spices, and is cheap to make. No meat needed, either. Lentils are packed with protein and fiber that will keep you full and satisfied. Serve these lentils over rice for a complete meal.


10. Rockin’ Rice Pudding

Craving something sweet, but can’t leave the house? Try this super simple rice pudding recipe that calls for ingredients almost everyone already has in their pantry. White rice, sugar, raisins, vanilla, cinnamon, and a couple dairy products are all you need.


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