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A dietitian’s roundup of easy, healthy pantry meal ideas, including recipes for breakfasts, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You’ll also find a downloadable Pantry Staples Checklist for tips on how to stock your kitchen!
Keeping a well-stocked kitchen can help make cooking at home so much easier. Having items like different spices, oils, seasonings, dried goods, and long-lasting fresh foods will allow you to have the bulk of ingredients for most recipes!
Although having a variety of pantry staples on hand is something I encourage all year long, I know many of you may be finding yourself cooking at home a lot more frequently than you’re used to. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but I hope that you can find some comfort in these delicious and nourishing home-cooked meals.
All the recipes below use common pantry ingredients, like different grains, nuts, seeds, spices, condiments, and frozen/canned foods. There’s also recipes that use long-lasting fresh ingredients, like eggs, tofu, and root vegetables. Of course, there’s some fresh herbs and veggies in some of these recipes, but I’ll include some tips for how to swap them if you don’t happen to have them on hand!
Looking for some pantry stocking tips? I’ve put together a FREE Pantry Staples Checklist for you to download, print, or bring along to the grocery store. I’ve included some easy “no recipe” pantry meal ideas in this downloadable PDF, to share some ideas for what to do with the ingredients you have on hand.
Pantry Breakfast Recipes
Blueberry Steel Cut Oatmeal. This nourishing oatmeal is made with pantry staples like steel cut oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, frozen blueberries, and nut butter. It makes a large batch that you can easily portion out for the week as well! No frozen blueberries? You can make it with other frozen berries like raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries!
Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal. This cozy breakfast uses pantry-friendly canned pumpkin, steel cut oats, chia seeds, pumpkin spices, raisins, and nuts. It’s like starting your day with a nourishing bowl of pumpkin pie :).
Grated Apple Bircher Muesli. This easy, make-ahead breakfast idea uses pantry staples like oats and spices, along with long-lasting ingredients like apples and Greek yogurt! Make a few servings to have breakfast ready to go in the mornings.
How To Make Chia Jam: 3 Ways. This step-by-step guide shows you how to make chia jam with frozen berries, chia seeds, and water. This delicious, fibre-rich homemade jam can be used over toast, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, and more!
Red Pepper Shakshouka. One of my favourite pantry (and “clean-out-the-kitchen”) meals is shakshouka! Simply sauté any leafy greens or veggies in a pan, and cook with canned tomato sauce, spices, and eggs. This recipe is really adaptable to whatever you may have on hand!
Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins. This easy make-ahead breakfast recipe uses pantry-friendly eggs and can be adapted to include any veggies or cheese that you may have. You can easily freeze this recipe too, so feel free to make a large batch!
Sweet Potato Hash Breakfast Skillet. This skillet recipe uses long-lasting sweet potatoes and eggs. You can customize it with any veggies you have, including frozen ones. Or, simply omit the veg and use more sweet potatoes (or even regular potatoes if desired)!
Easy Curry Tofu Scramble. Tofu is an affordable and long-lasting plant protein to keep in your fridge. One of my favourite ways to use it is in a tofu scramble! This one uses curry spices and can include any veggies that you have (fresh or frozen). Serve with toast or potatoes!
Pantry Pasta Recipes
Mediterranean Canned Mackerel Pasta. If you’ve had enough canned tuna, why not give canned mackerel a try? This oily fish is smooth and rich in omega-3s! While I love the Mediterranean veggies in this recipe, feel free to swap with whatever you have on hand.
Basil Walnut Pesto Linguine With Shrimp. This homemade pesto recipe can be adapted to use any different nut or seed, or you can simply use store-bought pesto! Pair with frozen shrimp and any pasta shape you have. Leftover pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays for later use, or add it to other meals like grain bowls, eggs, or toast.
Vegan Miso Tahini Pasta Sauce. This 6-ingredient sauce uses pantry staples like tahini, miso paste, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder. It’s a deliciously creamy sauce that pairs perfectly with pasta, veggies, or grain bowls!
Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad. Canned tuna and pasta are common pantry staples that happen to pair beautifully together. While I used arugula, you can really use any leafy greens that you have on hand (or omit completely). This pasta salad can be made ahead for easy leftovers!
Pan-Seared Scallops With Zucchini Noodle Pasta. Like shrimp, scallops are another excellent protein to keep in your freezer. Simply thaw the scallops the morning before you plan to make them. This recipe uses zucchini noodles and some fresh herbs, but you can also omit them and use only pasta and dried herbs if needed!
Easy Baked Pesto Pasta. There are few meals as comforting as baked pasta, and this one is no exception! You can use homemade or store-bought pesto, and feel free to swap the fresh broccoli and mushrooms for frozen alternatives if necessary.
Other Pantry Mains & Grains
Vegan Tomato Soup With Cashew Cream. This comforting cashew cream soup is originally made with roasted cherry tomatoes, but you can easily swap with canned tomatoes (or, as a reader suggested, canned fire-roasted tomatoes) if needed.
Healthy Homemade Miso Ramen Noodle Soup. If you have miso paste and noodles at home, this comforting recipe can easily be adapted to other ingredients you have on hand! It works great with frozen veggies (like edamame and broccoli) and proteins like tofu or eggs.
Crispy Baked Tofu With Maple Miso Sauce. This recipe uses pantry-friendly ingredients like tofu, cornstarch, miso paste, mirin, and maple syrup. It’s so tasty and pairs well with a side of cooked grains and any veggies that you have!
How To Cook Quinoa: 3 Ways. Speaking of grains, one of my favourite pantry staples is quinoa! There are SO many ways to use quinoa in recipes (I list out a handful in this post) and so many different ways to add flavour using pantry ingredients, like spices, herbs, coconut, and citrus.
Kimchi Quinoa Bowl. Another way to use up quinoa? In this delicious kimchi quinoa bowl! Kimchi is an awesome pantry staple to add flavour to your meals. Make this one with any veggies you have (including frozen), tofu or eggs for protein, and you can even swap the quinoa for a different grain if desired.
Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Spaghetti squash will keep for 1-2 months in your pantry. This cozy casserole mixes spaghetti squash with other pantry staples like marinara sauce, garlic, and lots of spices! The only fresh ingredients you’ll need are tempeh, carrots, and bell peppers.
Tempeh Stir-Fry With Spicy Coconut Sauce. This stir-fry recipe can easily be adapted to whatever ingredients you have in your pantry. Feel free to swap the tempeh with another protein (e.g. tofu or chicken), use whatever veggies you have (even frozen ones), and any grain. The spicy coconut sauce will give a delicious flavour to whatever stir-fry combo you choose!
Pantry Side Dishes
Miso Mashed Sweet Potatoes. If you have a bunch of long-lasting sweet potatoes on hand, why not try this unique way of flavouring them? These mashed sweet potatoes are flavoured with pantry favourites like miso paste, garlic, ginger, and coconut oil. They’re creamy and delicious!
Easy Hasselback Potatoes. Like other root veggies, white potatoes are a great long-lasting pantry staple. If you don’t have all the topping ingredients for this recipe, feel free to modify by using any cheese, garlic, or herbs!
Pantry Snack Ideas
Chocolate Hazelnut Bliss Balls. It’s safe to safe I am OBSESSED with these 5-ingredient bliss balls that taste like healthy Ferrero Rocher chocolates! They’re made with pantry ingredients, like hazelnuts, dates, hemp seeds, and cacao powder. BONUS: they store well in the freezer, too!
No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites. If you’re looking for a nut-free energy bite, I’ve got you! These little guys are made with pantry-friendly ingredients like dates, dried cherries, cacao powder, chocolate chips, hemp seeds, and chia.
No-Bake Carrot Cake Energy Bites. Like the energy bites above, these carrot cake bites are also made with pantry friendly ingredients (carrots last for quite a while!) Other ingredients include dates, oats, nuts, seeds, and spices.
Healthy Homemade Trail Mix: 3 Ways. Trail mix is made with pantry-friendly ingredients like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and other mix-ins. While I share 3 flavour combinations, feel free to use this post as a guide for making trail mix with whatever ingredients you may have on hand!
I hope this post has given you some inspiration and ideas for easy pantry meals! Let me know if you end up making any of these in the comments. I always love hearing how you adapt my recipes based on what you have on hand, and that’s especially relevant for these pantry meals.
If you didn’t already download the Pantry Staples Checklist, you can grab your copy here. For more nutrition tips and simple, healthy recipe ideas, be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy