7 Healthy & Delicious Meals You Can Make from Pantry Staples

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September 6, 2022
quick tomato soup with cheese and bread
Courtesy of Making Thyme For Health

Summer brain is a real thing that can last well beyond summer. You know, that phenomenon whereby you forget, willingly or unwillingly, to do the things you’re supposed to do. Like, figure out what’s for dinner. Luckily, dinner doesn’t require a ton of planning: let these meals with pantry staples come to the rescue!

A well-stocked pantry — that includes both your dry pantry and your freezer — is the secret to pulling something healthy and delicious together without a lot of fuss. Standbys like canned beans and frozen veggies can help you get a wholesome dinner on the table that everyone will actually want to eat. Don’t believe us? These seven pantry meals are proof. Who has summer brain now, huh?

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1. 15-Minute Tomato Soup

quick tomato soup with cheese and bread

Courtesy of Making Thyme For Health

This cozy tomato soup comes together in just 15 minutes. It leans on canned tomatoes, dried herbs, and olive oil, as well as fresh onion and garlic. But the secret ingredient is white beans, which give each bowl a satisfying dose of protein and fiber.

Try the recipe from Making Thyme For Health.

2. Olive Oil Braised Chickpeas with Feta

chickpeas with feta on a dinner table with bread

Courtesy of Joy The Baker

This is a brilliant way to turn canned chickpeas into something a whole lot more luxe without any fancy ingredients. The beans soak up lots of olive oil as they braise in the oven, which deepens their flavor and texture.

Try the recipe from Joy The Baker.

3. Easy Vegetable Fried Brown Rice with Egg

vegetable fried rice made with pantry staples

Courtesy of Simply Scratch

If you don’t have eggs on hand, go ahead and skip them; the recipe will be just as tasty without them. You can also toss in leftover cooked and shredded chicken, chopped bacon, or crumbled sausage if you have some in the fridge.

Try the recipe from Simply Scratch.

4. 30-Minute Tuscan White Bean Skillet

tuscan bean skillet with bread made with pantry staples

Courtesy of The Wanderlust Kitchen

This extra-savory vegetarian dinner makes use of things like jarred artichokes and olives to give it some Mediterranean flair. Serve it with bread on the side or pile it on top of cooked rice or pasta.

Try the recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen.

5. 8-Minute Pantry Dal

dal on rice made with pantry staples

Courtesy of Oh She Glows

Yes, this spicy mix of red lentils and vegetables really does come together in eight minutes. While the recipe calls for four cups of chopped vegetables, don’t hesitate to use an equal amount of mixed frozen vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and corn if that’s what you have.

Try the recipe from Oh She Glows.

6. Simple Salmon Cakes

simple salmon cakes with side salad and avocado

Courtesy of Feasting At Home

Canned tuna may get more attention than canned salmon, but it’s well worth keeping both on hand. Here, a couple of cans become crispy patties that can be enjoyed as is or tucked between bread for a satisfying sandwich.

Try the recipe from Feasting At Home.

7. Tuna Pasta Bake

tuna pasta bake in a cast iron skillet

Courtesy of Table For Two

This skillet dinner is part tuna casserole and part pasta bake. Want to make it even simpler? Replace the canned crushed tomatoes with jarred marinara sauce, which already includes the onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning!

Try the recipe from Table For Two.

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