Pantry Meal Ideas

April 14, 2020


 Hi all! How is everyone doing? Hopefully hanging in there as best as possible at this time. I wanted to use this post to highlight some easy recipes that utilize pantry staples (canned and frozen items mostly).


Please remember, food has no moral value (especially in a pandemic), and whether it is canned, frozen, or fresh is not more important than what is actually accessible. Frozen and canned foods are convenient and affordable, and are truly a great way to incorporate many different food groups. Additionally, if you are going to the grocery store less often than usual, frozen and canned food are a great way to limit food waste as they are not as perishable as fresh.


Vegetable and Bean Chili:

  • Can of diced tomatoes with liquid

  • Can of kidney beans

  • Can of black beans

  • Canned or frozen corn

  • Can of chopped green chiles (if you like some heat)

  • Add chili powder or a packet of chili seasoning

  • Sauteed chopped onions and peppers if available

  • Serve over boxed brown rice

If you have any type of ground meat it can also be added to the dish, but it is plenty filling meatless as well.


Pasta with Vegetables:

  • 1 - serving of pasta (any style!)

  • 1 - serving of tomato sauce

  • Add your favorite canned or frozen veggies such as:

    • Mushrooms

    • Spinach

    • Black olives

    • Broccoli

    • Green beans

You can top this dish with Parmesan or ricotta cheese if you have it on hand. Spices that go well include basil, oregano, or any Italian seasoning blend.


Minestrone Soup:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with liquid

  • Boxed vegetable broth or stock

  • Beans - white, kidney, garbanzo

  • Add pasta (shells, rigatoni, shaped pasta) if you wish 

  • Canned or frozen vegetables that you like such as:

    • Chopped carrots

    • Sweet peas

    • Pearled onions

    • Corn


Mexican Quinoa:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • Canned or frozen corn

  • 1 can of black beans

  • 1 can of pearled onions or 1 fresh onion (diced)

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa 

  • Dried spices like cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder


Fruity Breakfast Oatmeal

  • 1 serving or package of plain, uncooked oatmeal - prepared with water or milk of your choice in microwave

  • 1 can mandarin oranges

  • 1 can diced pineapple

  • Sprinkle with nuts if desired, cinnamon, nutmeg, or any pie (apple, pumpkin) seasoning mix


Last, but certainly not least, if you need some ideas on how to prioritize eating during stressful times, please refer to the blog post that came before this one for 10 tips. Until next time - stay safe and healthy!

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