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When you’re short on time and ingredients, these 15 Pantry Meals will help you get a healthy, hearty meal in the table in 30 minutes or less!
If you’re anything like me you sometimes find yourself with an empty fridge and a hungry family to feed. For those times when you haven’t been able to make a trip to the grocery store, or you’re trying to stretch the ingredients you already have on hand, these pantry meals will come in handy.
What are pantry meals?
Pantry meals are those types of meals you can pull together using a few staple canned ingredients as well as items such as pasta, rice, and quinoa that keep for a long period of time. Shelf stable vegetables are also included such as onions, potatoes, and squash that can stay fresh for an extended period of time.
What are some pantry staples I should keep on hand?
I recommend a few of the following items to stock up on so that even when you haven’t made a trip to the grocery store, you can still pull together an easy and delicious meal. You don’t need to have all of these on hand at all times, but if you have a good number from each category below you’ll be able to make any of the meals on this list!
Canned or Jarred Foods
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned beans
- Canned fruit (with no sugar added)
- Canned vegetables like pumpkin puree, butternut squash puree, whole green beans or peas (no sugar added)
- Pasta Sauce
- Coconut Milk
Grains and Dry Items
- Dried beans
- Dried Lentils
- Farro or Barley
- Rice (any kind – brown, wild, white, etc)
- Whole grain pasta (or even legume based pastas are great for extra protein)
Shelf Stable Items
- Vegetable Stock
- Nuts & Seeds
- Nut Butters
- Olive Oil, Coconut Oil
- Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Squash
- Root Veggies (carrots, parsnips, etc.)
Frozen vegetables and fruits can be as nutritious, if not more so, than fresh!
- Some frozen vegetables I love are: broccoli, mixed vegetables, cauliflower, spinach, beans, corn, peas, edamame.
- Frozen fruit works great in smoothies: frozen berries, bananas, mango, peaches, cherries, pineapple. You can also buy fruit fresh and freeze it.
- Bread and tortillas freeze perfectly – so buy them fresh and put them in your freezer!
Dairy based items like cheeses, yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs will all keep for ~3 weeks in the fridge. They aren’t necessarily pantry “staples” but you can stock up probably once every few weeks and get away with using these items for a while!
What if I don’t have all the ingredients?
The great thing about these recipes is that they are adaptable. If you don’t have fresh veggies, use frozen or canned. If you don’t have one ingredient, simply leave it out. If you don’t have one type of veggie substitute it for one you do have. Or if the recipe calls for quinoa and you only have rice, use that instead!
15 Pantry Meals You Can Make in 30 Minutes
Here is a list of some of my favorite pantry meals. From soups, to pastas, to salads, and pizzas, I’ve got you covered with inspiring ideas for meal time.
Lebanese Lentil Soup
A rich and flavorful Lebanese Lentil Soup made with spinach and served with a dollop of cool yogurt and cilantro is hearty, healthy, and easy dish to pull together for a weeknight meal.
Vegetarian White Bean Soup with Pumpkin
This Vegetarian White Bean Soup with Pumpkin is healthy, delicious and really easy to make! The white beans give the soup a creamy taste and the pumpkin delivers a rich warmth that’ll have you coming back for more!
Instant Pot Tomato Soup with Cumin
This Instant Pot Tomato Soup is creamy and delicious with the perfect amount of subtle spice. Less than 75 calories per serving it’s a healthy, hearty and easy to make classic recipe.
Spicy Potato Corn Chowder
This spicy potato corn chowder is packed full of fresh ingredients and a blend of delicious spices. Dairy-free, and low in calories it’s a decadent soup to be enjoyed without the guilt!
Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe
This easy, tasty, healthy Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe is easy to make when you’re in a hurry! Full of flavor and loaded with veggies, this family friendly supper will be a sure fire hit!
Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Feta
This whole wheat pasta dish is made with a delicious sun-dried tomato pesto and topped with crumbled feta. Packed with flavor, and easy and quick to make for a healthy weeknight meal.
Cheesy Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole
A lightened-up, healthy quinoa bake that you can enjoy completely guilt-free. Reminiscent of enchiladas, slightly spicy and super satisfying, full of black beans, veggies, and cheesy goodness.
Spicy Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
How about breakfast for dinner? This sweet potato breakfast hash is packed full of flavor, and makes a great brunch, side dish or even main meal! Packed full of veggies and plant protein this is a one pan meal that’s easy to make.
Vegan Tikka Masala with Tofu
This vegan tikka masala with tofu is quick, healthy, easy and oh so tasty! Packed full of delicious Indian spices, this recipe is a perfect option for a weeknight meal. Made with coconut milk, this mild curry will be a hit with the whole family!
Vegan Chana Masala
This Vegan Chana Masala tastes like something you’d order from a fantastic Indian restaurant. It’s a healthy, gluten-free, naturally vegan, yet still rich and flavorful with the perfect amount of heat.
Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole
This easy Instant Pot Pinto Beans Vegan Posole is a delicious Mexican stew that is packed full of flavor. Ready in just 30 minutes, with rich spices, crunchy veggies, and chewy hominy – this healthy soup is perfect for a quick one-pot meal.
Vegetarian Quesadillas with Cumin and Lentils
These Vegetarian Quesadillas with Cumin and Lentils is a simple weeknight meal you can pull together in 30 minutes or less. Tortillas are stuffed with toasted cumin seeds, lentils, corn, cheese, then topped with fresh pico de gallo. It’s a kid friendly meal your family will love!
Vegetable Stir Fry Sauce with Lemon and Ginger
This healthy vegetable stir fry sauce tossed with fresh or frozen veggies, tofu and quinoa is a quick and easy vegan weeknight meal. It’s loaded with flavor from lemon and ginger, and is ready in just 15 minutes!
Mexican Taco Casserole
This healthy one pot meal is perfect when you need to get dinner on the table in a hurry!
Budget Friendly Black Bean Burgers
These vegetarian black bean burgers are easy and quick to make, so they are perfect for a healthy weeknight meal.
Check out these other helpful recipe round-ups!
If you have tried any of these pantry meal recipes, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!