17 Delicious Pantry Recipes for Dinner Tonight

Deborah Cruz | Apr 15, 2020 Food & Party
17 Delicious Pantry Recipes for Dinner Tonight
Image: iStock

Since we’re living in unprecedented times, a lot of people have resorted to pantry recipes and meals because it’s the smart thing to do. No one can run to the grocery store on a whim or for every craving. So if you're having problems figuring out what to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner these days while sheltering in place, you're definitely not alone. Most of us have issues figuring out what to cook for dinner in a normal situation but cooking all day, every day -- with everyone home -- is a lot. No pressure, right? 

Enter pantry meals. 

But what are pantry meals? I had no idea. Never heard the term. Pantry recipes are meals made from things you’d find in any pantry -- shelf-stable dry goods (pasta, rice, and beans), canned foods, frozen foods and fresh foods that don’t spoil quickly. Using pantry recipes made of foods that have a longer shelf life allows the person making them to stock up and limit their trips to the grocery store, which is a total win right now!


  • Chili


    Chili is the perfect pantry recipe because almost everyone always has all of the ingredients on hand. This easy and delicious chili recipe from Mom on Time Out is so simple and the items are probably already in the pantry. Throw it in the slow cooker and get to all the other things that need to be done.

  • Burrito Bowl


    Who doesn't love a good burrito bowl? Beth at Budget Bytes has a killer poor man's burrito bowl pantry recipe that will make anyone rethink their Chipotle habit. Not that Chipotle isn't delicious but if it can be made at home easily, and cost-effectively, why not just eat at home?

  • Pantry Pasta for Two


    A simple and easy chicken and pasta dish that will leave everyone asking for second helpings is Ree Drummond's pantry pasta on The Pioneer Woman website. The best part is that a trip to the store likely isn't needed because everything is probably already in the pantry.

  • Vegan Chickpea 'Tuna' Salad Sandwich


    Want a good hearty vegan sandwich pantry recipe? We've got that covered. For those who love chickpeas, this is going to be in heavy rotation. This vegan chickpea "tuna" salad sandwich recipe by Drugstore Divas is perfection.

  • Slow Cooker Vegan Mexican Soup


    Soup is delicious and hearty. This slow cooker vegan Mexican soup is full of all the good stuff, hold the meat, but chock-full of protein-heavy and vitamin-packed deliciousness. According to Amiyrah Martin the recipe maker at 4 Hats and Frugal, "think chili lite." 

  • One Pot Pasta e Fagioli

    Looking for a one-pot dinner that provides the comfort of pasta and the warmth of soup? House of Kerr'pasta e fagioli pantry recipe is sure to become a fan favorite. Pasta e fagioli recipes vary, depending on ingredients on hand. The only required ingredients are pasta and beans. For a heartier version, add some beef or pancetta.


  • Tuna Casserole


    An oldie but goodie that conjures foodie feelings of nostalgia is tuna casserole. It reminds many of us of childhood and is the perfect meal for one's favorite pescetarian. The Mama Maven's best tuna casserole ever is quick and easy.

  • Coconut Rice


    In many homes, rice is not just a side, it's the main dish. Rice is filling, comforting and tasty. Britni at Play.Party.Plan has an awesome pantry recipe for coconut rice. It can be eaten as-is with a savory meal or one can add a little toasted coconut to the top for a little more sweetness.

  • Healthy Turkey Chili


    Chili is good, but when people are stuck at home with no exercise on the horizon, a healthy ground turkey version may be something to try. Lauren from Fountain of 30 has a healthier version to traditional chili, healthy turkey chili. All the flavor, less of the red meat. 

  • Egg Drop Soup


    Tired of cooking and eating the same three things every week? Here's a quick and easy pantry recipe for egg drop soup. Kelly from Eat Picks shares her easy and delicious egg drop soup recipe. This egg-infused soup is full of rich chicken stock and creamy wispy eggs. Bonus: it's full of protein and keto-friendly.

  • Tuna & Spaghetti


    Never heard of tuna and spaghetti before? Well, this easy tuna and spaghetti pantry recipe from Day by Day in Our World is a winner, especially for those trying to reduce red meat intake.

  • Chicken Enchilada


    Love Mexican food but sick of the same old ground beef and taco seasoning tacos? Well, this chicken enchilada recipe from The TRUTH about Motherhood is not only super easy, but it is also authentic and 100% delicious. 

  • Sesame Spaghetti


    Spaghetti with a twist and only five ingredients? Yes, please! Dry spaghetti, soy sauce, sriracha, peanuts and tahini sauce and bada boom ... dinner. The Kitchn's sesame spaghetti recipe is amazing.

  • 20- Minute Ricotta Gnocchi


    This simple four-ingredient gnocchi recipe doesn't even require potatoes. Ali at Gimme Some Oven has created this simple and easy ricotta gnocchi recipe that will blow the family's minds. All that's needed is flour, ricotta, eggs, and Parmesan cheese. 

  • Cherry Dump Cake


    Dinner isn't complete without dessert. Reesa of Momma Lew created a cherry dump cake recipe that is as simple as it is yummy. All that's needed is cherry pie filling, yellow cake mix, a cup of butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • Almond Scones


    This almond scone pantry recipe from Eat Picks is the perfect dessert after dinner, but can also work as a breakfast treat. It's the perfect beginning or ending to any day. Scrumptious with coffee or tea, too.

More Slideshows