Shockingly Easy Dinners You Can Make With Pantry Staples

Raid your pantry to make these low-stress and budget-friendly dinners. These simple recipes start with pantry staples (and some fresh ingredients, too!) for a delicious weeknight dinner. Try our chicken skillets, whole grain bowls, and more!

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  • 1 of 17

    Stove-Top Chicken, Macaroni, and Cheese

    All-Star Staples: Macaroni, Onion, Milk, Flour

    Start a small shopping list: A package of chicken breasts, a bag of spinach, a pint of cherry tomatoes, and a couple of cheeses, then add the staples. A family-friendly dinner will be on your table in a flash. This tastes so much better than boxed mac and cheese—plus our recipe is loaded with 33 grams of protein and plenty of nutrients!

  • 2 of 17

    Barley and Edamame Salad with Red Pepper Drizzle

    All-Star Staples: Barley, Almonds, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil

    Toss together a flavorful mix of staples and fresh supermarket produce for a hearty whole grain salad that will keep you full for hours. Make a double batch so you'll have plenty of leftovers to pack for lunch the next day.

  • 3 of 17

    Skillet Taco Pie

    All-Star Staples: Ground Beef (or Turkey), Black Beans, Tomato Sauce, Salsa, Taco Shells

    Besides a handful of spices, shredded cheese, and some optional fresh green onions and salad fixings for a garnish, the staples are all that's required to stir together this speedy skillet supper.

  • 4 of 17

    Sloppy Turkey and Chili Joes

    All-Star Staples: Ground Turkey (or Beef), Onion, Tomato Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Kaiser Rolls

    Sloppy joes = a clutter-free grocery list. This kid-favorite sandwich sneaks in a serving of veggies in the sauce, but calls for oodles of ingredients with long shelf lives or fridge lives.

  • 5 of 17

    Ham and Sweet Potato Mini Flatbreads

    All-Star Staples: Sweet Potatoes, Orange Juice, Whole Wheat Thin Sandwich Rolls

    In a hurry? Grab a can of mashed sweet potatoes to make this sandwich even quicker. For a change of pace, try turkey deli meat instead of ham.

  • 6 of 17

    Best-Loved Fried Rice

    All-Star Staples: Eggs, Soy Sauce, Garlic, White Rice, Frozen Peas

    Make your own takeout with this easy one-pan recipe. Dig for celery, mushrooms, and carrots in the back of your produce drawer (bet these common vegetables are hiding in there!) and saute this fried rice recipe. Add grilled shrimp or chicken to make it a meal.

  • 7 of 17

    Coastal Linguine

    All-Star Staples: Linguine, Onion, Garlic, Canned Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Sauce

    Pasta is one of our favorite pantry dinners because boxed noodles last forever. Hide some tilapia fillets in your freezer so you’re never far from this island-inspired dinner.

  • 8 of 17

    Cauliflower-Sauced Chicken Skillet

    All-Star Staples: Chicken Broth, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic, Milk

    Cauliflower you'll crave? Yes, it's possible! You're going to want to sop up every last drop of this cauliflower- and chicken broth-based cheese sauce in this skillet. Green beans or even shaved Brussels sprouts would work wonderfully in place of the asparagus if you don't have any on hand.

  • 9 of 17

    Farro with Brussels Sprouts and Prosciutto

    All-Star Staples: Onion, Walnuts, Garlic, Farro

    For a salad that doesn’t taste like rabbit food, start with hearty whole grains like farro. When combined with sauteed Brussels sprouts and prosciutto, this simple skillet dinner tastes gourmet.

  • 10 of 17

    Spaghetti with Seared Asparagus

    All-Star Staples: Spaghetti, Olive Oil, Garlic, Hazelnuts, Panko Bread Crumbs, Lemon Juice

    Pan-seared asparagus steals the show in this springy spaghetti recipe. (It's also the only ingredient, besides the parsley garnish, that you'll need to buy to mix with your go-to dinner ingredients.)

  • 11 of 17

    Bulgur Salad with Olive Dressing

    All-Star Staples: Bulgur, Olive Oil, Kalamata Olives, Garlic

    To cook the bulgur, simply let it stand in a bowl of boiling water for 15 minutes as you prepare the cauliflower “rice” and the olive-and-lemon dressing. Fresh greens, including chicories and celery, brighten up the pantry meal.

  • 12 of 17

    Charred Sweet Pepper Potato Chowder

    All-Star Staples: Onion, Potato, Vegetable Broth, Milk, Butter

    Hunt through your MVP pantry vegetables (onions, potatoes) to prepare this one-pot vegetarian potato chowder for dinner tonight. For a restaurant-quality finish, stir in parsley and top with shredded cheese and Greek yogurt.

  • 13 of 17

    Tarragon Tuna Melts

    All-Star Staples: Mayonnaise, Dijon-Style Mustard, Canned Tuna, Sourdough Bread, Butter

    Canned fish for the win! These ooey-gooey sandwiches make the pantry staple taste fresh with the addition of herbs and citrus.

  • 14 of 17

    Egg Salad Sandwich with Basil-Honey-Lemon Dressing

    All-Star Staples: Onion, Kalamata Olives, Crusty Bread, Eggs, Honey

    Give boring egg salad a modern makeover by tossing sliced hard-cooked eggs with Kalamata olives and carrots.

  • 15 of 17

    Lemon-Basil Pasta

    All-Star Staples: Linguine, Cannellini Beans

    This five-ingredient dinner is easy and delicious. Lemon, basil, and olive oil make a flavorful sauce for linguine and cannellini beans.

  • 16 of 17

    Beef and Noodle Toss

    All-Star Staples: Lasagna Noodles, Garlic, Beef Broth

    Switch up your pasta routine and try lasagna noodles in this easy 30-minute dinner recipe that features mushrooms and tomatoes in a hearty beef broth sauce.

  • Next Slideshow Tasty 5-Ingredient Dinners

    Tasty 5-Ingredient Dinners

    Incredibly fast, incredibly tasty dinners do exist! We have 20-plus quick and easy dinner recipes that require a tiny grocery list of just five ingredients or fewer (we're assuming you already have oil, salt, and pepper in your pantry). So what's for dinner tonight?
    Begin Slideshow »
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