School is back in session. Dinners can be a challenge. For all of you working on meal planning right now with pantry staples, I am here to help you.

This blog exists because I open the refrigerator every night and ask myself the never-ending question: What’s for dinner tonight?

100 easy pantry friendly recipes

I have compiled a list of all my favorite recipes with simple pantry staples. The best part is that they are delicious, easy, and fast to prepare.

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Shopping can be a challenge right now; stores still have supplies of meats and fish on hand, which is a blessing.

Or, if you have a meat delivery company such as Personal Gourmet, you can still get home deliveries of all sorts of meats, fish, and poultry.

Each recipe is created with everyday pantry and refrigerator staples in mind.
I also include substitutions for some ingredients and some tips for freezer storage.

I hope this will relieve some of the cooking stress and will be helpful to you. If you have any questions or request a specific recipe, please let me know by commenting below.

More pantry-friendly recipes are coming your way in the weeks ahead.

We got this!


Soups are my favorite go-to meals because of their easiness and how quickly they can be prepared.

The possibilities are endless using fresh vegetables, frozen or even canned vegetables. Sometimes I make the broth base with leftover chickens, beef, or vegetables.

To make your soups heartier, add a can of garbanzo beans or any beans (cannellini beans are my favorite).

You will be surprised what a can of tomato, chicken broth, chickpeas or beans, or rice can make: a healthy soup with lots of flavors.

Kale and Potatoes Soup
Vegetables Chicken Soup with Pasta
Pad Thai Soup with Shrimps and Vegetables
Potage Parmentier
Roasted Bell Peppers and Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Not Your Nonna Tortellini
Avocado Soup
Cream of Mushrooms Soup


I love salad because of its versatility. Add fish, poultry, and meat, and have a very copious dinner.

It is also an excellent way to finish leftovers by turning them into your own creations. Or leave it light with just vegetables. Either way, it’s always fun to put together in no time.

Roasted Beet and Onion Salad
Lentils, Black Beans, Goat Cheese & Baby Green Salad
Insalata Russa
Panzanella Caprese Salad
Mixed Green Salad with Avocado Dressing
Vegetarian Cobb Salad
Salade Nicoise


Pasta is a fantastic staple in your pantry, but do not forget to get various shapes and kinds of noodles: different shapes, different sauces.

From pasta dishes to soups to salads, it is one of the most enjoyable ingredients in your pantry with so many possibilities of dishes.

Of course, you can always add frozen vegetables to any pasta dish if you do not have fresh ones.
Feeling creative? How about trying your hand at homemade pasta? You will love it, and it is a great family project.

You can take some leftover chicken or beef with ricotta, spinach (frozen perfectly, too), and eggs and make ravioli.

Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Zaatar
Pappardelle with Spanish Shrimps
Fettuccine with Lemon Mascarpone Sauce
Orecchiette with Sausage and Tomatoes
Bucatini Cacio e Pepe
Macaroni and Cheese Stove Top
Penne Alla Vodka
Cheese Tortellini Alfredo
Home Made Pasta
Fettuccine with Zucchini and Onions
Linguine Alla Carbonara with Mushrooms
Bucatini with Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts
Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella
One-Pan Creamy Gnocchi, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Peas

Pantry Friendly Fish Recipes


Fish is one of my favorite ingredients; if I could, I would have it every day.

I always have a couple of different types of seafood in my freezer. Salads, pasta, and soups are so much fun to work with, and it takes very little time to cook, which is a must for me.

Of course, the prawns can be substituted with large shrimps.

Any white fish can be interchanged. And any vegetables can be frozen or canned if fresh is not available,

Prawns with Carrot-Ginger Coconut Sauce
Grilled Salmon with Olives and Pine Nuts
Corn Puree with Prawns
Rock Cod with Ginger Marinade
Prawns Saltimbocca
Seared Salmon with Peas, Potatoes, and Mint
Seared Sea Scallops with Garlic, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olive Compote
Shrimp Scampi
Scallops with Garlic and Swiss Chard
Coconut Curry Shrimps and Couscous
Salmon Fillets with Baby Greens and Arugula Salad
Fillets of Cod Piccata with Artichoke Hearts, Tomatoes, and Green Olives
Orange Roughy Packets with Vegetables
Swordfish with Orange Caramel Sauce
Seared Salmon with Sesame Bok Choy and Spinach
Gingered Stir Fry Shrimps with Snow Peas
Potatoes Crusted Sea Bass with Saffron Sauce
Lemon Soup with Pea Puree and Sea Bass

Pantry Friendly Chicken Recipes


Chicken is to a cook what a canvas is to a painter. Endless possibilities and adaptable to all cuisines.

Buy extra and freeze it until you are ready to use it. My favorite is to make a whole roasted chicken and have fun with all the leftovers. Soups, salad, pasta, tacos, and rice let your imagination guide you.

Cut up into little cubes or shredded pieces, will store well in the freezer for up to 3 months and can be used for any dish to which you want to add proteins.

Most of my recipes use the dark part of the chicken. By all means, use the breast if that is your favorite cut.

Just remember to check the cooking as it cooks a bit differently but not much.

Small family? Cornish Game Hen is just the right amount for cooking for two.

Brandy Chicken Piccata
Chicken with Peas, Sage and Bacon
Tarragon Chicken
Chicken and Potatoes Tortilla
Honey Roasted Chicken with Honey and Lemon
Chicken with Leeks and Lemon
Chicken Parmigiana
Cornish Game Hen with Whiskey and Cream Sauce
Lemon Chicken with Satay Sauce
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Leeks
Chicken with Braised Peas and Onions
Cutlets of Chicken Breaded
Chicken Spatchcocked


Pork, to me, is like chicken; it is versatile and has so many cuts and ways that it can be prepared.

I prefer tenderloin; however, a good pork chop is always welcome.

I use Port in some recipes, but any Madeira, brandy, or even whiskey can be used instead.

Pork Chops with Sweet Sour Sauce
Pork Shoulder Stew
Roast Pork Chops with Artichokes and Potatoes
Pork Tenderloin with Cream and Mustard
Pork Tenderloin Scaloppine with Balsamic Citrus Sauce
Lentil Salad with Pork Tenderloin
Pork Chops with Garlic Cream
Pork Steaks with Mustard and Rosemary Sauce
Cheese Pork Chops
Pork Marbella
Breaded Pork Chops
Pork Chops with Cranberry, Port and Rosemary Sauce

Pantry Friendly Beef Recipes


For all my meat lovers, here are some super fun and easy recipes that you can make.

Amazing all you can prepare with some ground beef and pork sausage: Mini meatloaf, meatballs that you can enjoy with tomato sauce and pasta, or by themselves with vegetables.

While making meatballs, make some mini meatballs that can be added to any broth and vegetables, small pasta or rice, and voila, you have a fantastic soup.

Individual Meatloaf
Ragu alla Bolognese
New York Steaks with Mustard and Mushrooms
Pot Roast with vegetables
London Broil with Balsamic-Honey Sauce
Flank Steak with Herbed Salsa
Ricotta Meatballs

Pantry Friendly Vegetables Recipes


Fresh vegetables are a blessing. Who does not love to pick their own tomatoes? Or if gardening is not possible, smelling a fresh tomato from your local farmer is a dream too.

However, longevity is not optimum; thus, replacing the fresh with frozen and canned is a good alternative.

Potatoes make every dish stand out, and they can be prepared in so many ways that you will never be bored with them.

Squash is also a delicious vegetable that can be easily prepared and is very tasty.

Once roasted, beets will last up to a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and can be enjoyed in many different ways.

Roasted Tomatoes
Green Acorn Squash with Honey Vinaigrette
Eggplant Chinese Style
Cauliflower Polonaise
Roasted Beets with Horseradish Crème Fraiche
Warm Potatoes with Cilantro and Lime
Broccolini and Carrots
Tian of Vegetables
Eggplant Parmigiana
Garlic Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower and Chickpeas
Cauliflower and Goat Gratin
Vegetarian Quiche 
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Dressing
Mint peas
Asparagus with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pantry Friendly Desserts Recipes


We are finally to the dessert part. It is said that baking brings comfort to the soul and that it embraces the family nucleus by bringing a smile while waiting for the sweet delights to come out of the oven.

I could not agree with that more. All the recipes below require easy-to-make pantry staples.

If you have ripe fruits, always remember you can always make a pie.

Canned fruits can be used if fresh are not available or use your favorite.

Banana Upside-Down Cake
Rice Pudding with Date
Peanut Butter Cookies
Pecan Pie
Brown Sugar Cookies
Strawberry Apple Pie
Cardamom Snickerdoodle
Oatmeal Forest Berries Thumbprints Cookies
Blackberry Cobbler
Deep Chocolate Pound Cake
Mini Marble Cakes
French Toast
Butter Cookies
Dried Cranberry Chocolate Cookies

And that’s a wrap! Have fun playing in the kitchen.

Originally published on March 23, 2020. Updated on August 13, 2022.