5 Pantry Meals To Make This Week

A quick, hearty meal at your fingertips, without going grocery shopping.

When getting out of the house to go grocery shopping isn’t feasible, and you still want to enjoy a tasty homemade meal, look no further than your pantry! Here are 5 easy meals featuring dry pantry ingredients! A quick hearty meal at your fingertips, without going grocery shopping.

1. Black Bean Chili

Black bean chili recipe
Image: food and wine magazine

Canned beans, or beans in a pouch, are a staple in pantries everywhere. You can buy them plain or flavored. Beans are super versatile and can be added to pastas, soups, burritos, and other dishes.

This tasty black bean chili is a super quick and easy meal you can whip up in about 30 minutes! The best part is this chili features many simple ingredients already in your pantry, and refrigerator.

Here in the northwest, the weather varies with the day and many times even in the spring you’ll experience a gray and chilly forecast. In fact, just a few weeks ago in March we got more snow than we’d had all winter.

What You Need:

2 pouches Uncle Ben’s Zesty Mexican Black Beans

2 garlic cloves (chopped)

1 lb ground beef or turkey

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can green chilies

1 can tomato paste

1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika


Heat oil in a pan and sautée chopped garlic for about one minute, then add the ground beef (or ground turkey). Brown the meat, and separate into small chunks while cooking. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, and paprika.

Now add the black beans (undrained) diced tomatoes, chilies, and tomato paste and stir to combine. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste the chili to make sure seasoning is perfect, and add more salt if required.

Awesome chili toppings include crunchy tortilla strips, chopped chives, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream.

2. Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken fried rice easy simple recipe
Image: simply recipes

Fried rice is such a satisfying dish! And when you can’t go out and get it from your favorite Chinese food restaurant, well just make it at home! This recipe for fried rice is super flavorful and tastes authentic.

What You Need:

2 cups cooked long grain rice (like basmati)

2 eggs (beaten)

1 cup chopped scallions

1 cup cooked cubed chicken

1 carrot (grated)

1 chopped garlic clove

1 tbsp peanut oil

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 tbsp soy sauce


In a pan, heat up peanut oil. You may substitute vegetable oil in place of the peanut oil, if you don’t have it on hand in your pantry. However peanut oil really delivers a delicious aroma and flavor to the fried rice. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute.

Now add the scallions and carrots and sauté for another minute. Stir in the rice, add soy sauce, and stir fry for another minute. Move rice mixture to half of the pan and pour in the two beaten eggs to the empty part of the pan. Cook until the eggs resemble a thin pancake, and then separate the cooked egg into small pieces with a spatula and stir to combine.

Since a lot of our ingredients are already cooked, we don’t need to spend a lot of time on this fried rice. Add chicken and frozen peas, stir to combine, and stir fry for about two minutes.

3. Crockpot Lentil Soup

Green lentil soup
Image: once upon a chef

It’s amazing how delicious this lentil soup is, how many of its ingredients are happily greeting us from the pantry, and how easy it is to make…in the crockpot!

What You Need:

1 onion- chopped

2 carrots- sliced

2 russet potatoes- chopped

4 garlic cloves- minced

8 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 cup green lentils

1 tbsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp dill

1 cup parsley- chopped


Place the carrots, potatoes, green lentils, onion, garlic, seasonings, and vegetable broth into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.

How easy is that? Now take about half of the soup and blend it in a food processor, then add it back to the crock pot. Finally, add the chopped parsley and it is ready to be served! Enjoy with a toasted bread; whatever’s in the pantry.

4. Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast burritos recipe
Image: Damn delicious

These breakfast burritos feature simple and tasty ingredients, are super quick to make and assemble, and freeze well! We all have most of these ingredients readily available; from the tortillas and rice in the pantry, to the sausage in the freezer, eggs and cheese in the fridge.

One thing I’d like to add is that if you are missing any of the refrigerated ingredients, you can easily substitute them for others. For example, if you don’t have bacon, use only sausage, or even deli meat. Also, basmati rice is my preference because I enjoy rice that is quite separated when cooked. But you could easily use any other type of rice in your pantry, including brown rice.

What You Need:

1 tbsp olive oil

6 tortillas

1/2 cup cooked basmati rice (or other long grain rice)

1/2 cup onion- chopped

1 cup tomato- chopped

1 cup cooked sausage- chopped

1/2 cup cooked bacon- chopped

1/4 cup cilantro- chopped

4 eggs (beaten)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


On a cutting board, prepare all your vegetables. Chop onion, tomatoes, and cilantro. Set aside.

In a pan, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil and add beaten eggs. Cook until they form a thin pancake, and then stir around to separate into small pieces. Mix in the rice, bacon, sausage, and onion, and sauté for a few minutes to combine and warm up all ingredients.

Add a heaping spoonful to the center of each tortilla, sprinkle with shredded cheddar and top with chopped cilantro. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla towards the center, and then roll and tuck in the top flap of the tortilla underneath the filling. Then roll the burrito forwards.

You can store these breakfast burritos in the freezer for up to two months in freezer safe ziplock bags.

5. Classic Tuna Pasta Salad

Classic tuna pasta salad
Image: salt and lavender

Most of us have canned tuna in our pantries. Or maybe you have the pouches (yummy). Either way, tuna is a versatile and delicious ingredient; it’s affordable and it’s packed with protein.

Another ingredient commonly found in our pantries? Pasta. Doesn’t matter which kind. Elbow macaroni, shells, penne, rotini- whatever you got works!

What You Need:

2 cans tuna

1 1/2 cup cooked spiral pasta

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup craisins (dried cranberries or raisins)

1/2 cup pecans

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp butter


Cook pasta per instructions, drain, and add 2 tbsp butter to melt. The butter will help keep the pasta from sticking together. Add tuna, red onion, cherry tomatoes, celery, craisins, pecans, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Mix in mayonnaise, and combine all ingredients together. Let chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, and the classic tuna salad pasta is ready to devour!

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