Quick Dinner Ideas with Items You Probably Have in Your Pantry

easy meal ideas

easy meal ideas

We’ve all been there, you get home from work and it’s dinner time – and you have nothing planned or to make. Even though you may be in a rush, or the kids are starving – there’s a good chance you have ingredients to make some pretty delicious meals in the fridge and pantry already. We tend to buy the same staples over and over and you can use these to make meals for a week without going to the store! These meal ideas are also a great way to clean out the fridge or pantry before any trip or a big move and are easy meals in no time.


Quiche is a wonderful thing. All you need are some eggs, milk and the ingredients to make a pie crust. If you have flour and butter or oil, then you have what you need to make the crust. Eggs, milk, butter/oil and flour are all pantry items that you likely have in your kitchen. You can boost the flavor by adding frozen vegetables, like spinach, and by adding cheese.

Vegetarian Chili

For this pantry raid recipe you need an onion, a few cans of beans, chili powder and diced tomatoes. You can also add canned chilies, canned corn, and a bottle of beer. Chop the onions and sauté them in a bit of oil. Add the other ingredients from your pantry and bring to a boil; let simmer so all the flavors can come together and enjoy. If you have meat, like chicken or beef, you can add them for a non-vegetarian version.

Breakfast for Dinner

While many people make pancakes from a boxed mix, they are extremely easy to make from scratch. All you need is flour, baking powder, milk, eggs, sugar, and oil. If you have frozen berries or canned fruit you can add them to your pancakes. And if you have bacon you can serve it on the side or make it part of your pancake by pouring the batter around a cooked piece of bacon.

French toast is made from eggs, milk, and bread – three simple pantry items. And let’s not forget the frittata, which is made from eggs and whatever else you may have in your pantry. Potatoes and veggies are often included in many frittata recipes.


If you have a box of pasta in your pantry, you have a meal. Anchovies, sardines or a can of tuna can be warmed and tossed with oil and capers and served with cooked pasta. You can make pasta primavera with frozen veggies, garlic, oil and a box of pasta. You can also cook the pasta and chill it. Add tuna or veggies and some vinaigrette and toss for a delicious pasta salad. You can make the vinaigrette yourself with oil, vinegar, and herbs or use a basic Italian salad dressing. And if all you have is a box of pasta, toss it with some oil and garlic and enjoy.

Tex-Mex Fun

If you have tortillas and cheese you have what it takes to make quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas or burritos. Canned enchilada sauce is great for quick cheese enchiladas. You can also make enchilada sauce with canned tomato sauce, oil, chili powder, and cumin. Add frozen veggies to your quesadilla to add flavor and fiber.

A well stocked pantry can be a cook’s best friend.  Pantry recipes are usually budget-friendly and they’re often easy to prepare. Stock your pantry today and rest comfortably knowing you always have something to eat.


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