Recipes to Make with Pantry Staples

Make the most of your well-stocked cupboard with more than 20 recipes to make with pantry staples for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert.

A collage of recipes all made with pantry staples.

Pantry Staples

While pantry staples will vary from person to person, there are some ingredients that are so versatile and long-lasting that we can all assume to have them stocked in our cupboards (and fridges and freezers).

  • Dried pasta
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Stock or broth
  • Oats
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen fruits

There are two main guidelines to follow when cooking based on what you have on hand:

Get Creative: A recipe is (for the most part) merely a template. Swap in whatever you have to make the recipe work for you, no matter what substitutions that requires, which leads me to…

Ditch Perfection: This is a No Judgment Zone. Tweaking recipes may mean less-than-perfect end results, but when you have to cook directly from your cupboard and fridge, don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.

Ready to raid your pantry and get cooking? Find inspiration for your next meal with easy, affordable and family-friendly recipes to make with pantry staples.

Pasta Recipes

10-Minute Marinara Sauce:

A top-down view of two bowls containing pasta topped with easy homemade marinara sauce garnished with Parmesan cheese

No jarred pasta sauce on hand? Grab that can of crushed tomatoes and whip up this insanely quick and flavor-packed alternative.

Quick and Easy Vodka Pasta Sauce:

Vodka pasta on a white plate with Parmesan cheese

Homemade or store-bought marinara sauce can be used as the base for this 4-ingredient sauce. The bacon is an optional but tasty addition, especially when you have a package or two stashed in the freezer.

One Pot Pasta with Italian Sausage:

A large pot containing Italian sausage pasta coated in marinara sauce and garnished with Parmesan cheese.

With just five simple ingredients you can have a hearty meal the whole family will love. Plus, leftovers freeze like a breeze so you can save even more time in the kitchen the next time you’re craving pasta.

Cacio e Pepe Pasta:

Large pot containing Cacio e Pepe Pasta and tongs

Loved by kids and adults alike, this is the easiest, cheesiest pasta to add to your pantry staple recipe repertoire.

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta:

Top-down view of homemade Pepperoni Pizza Pasta in white baking dish next to two slices of Italian bread and small bowls containing Parmesan cheese and black pepper

Don’t let the name fool you, this baked pasta dish is the perfect canvas for using up whatever veggie odds and ends you have in your fridge.

Crowd-Friendly Main Dishes

Turkey Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust:

A baking dish with turkey pot pie and a towel and small dishes filled with herbs and salt

What I love about this recipe: It’s the ultimate template for utilizing whatever veggies and meat you have in your fridge and freezer. Rotisserie chicken or chicken breasts work great in this recipe, but omitting the meat and making an all veggie version is also delicious. It feeds a crowd and leftovers taste just as great on days two and three.

Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Breasts:

A cast-iron skillet containing seared, stuffed chicken breasts

Whenever I have no clue what to make for dinner, this stuffed chicken breast recipe is the answer. It’s quick, filling, and the perfect combo of protein and veggies, all in one bite! This recipe is more of a template than anything else and includes tips and tricks for how to swap in whatever you’ve got, including frozen broccoli, optional fresh herbs and literally any spices stashed in your pantry.

Quick Black Pepper Pork:

Pieces of black pepper pork and asparagus on a dinner plate with steamed white rice and chopsticks.

You need just 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to whip up the most tender pork tenderloin to ever hit your lips. Just add creamy coconut rice to make it a complete meal.

Sheet Pan Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies:

A sheet pan with chicken teriyaki and vegetables next to a plate with rice and chopsticks

Sheet Pan dinners are the ultimate clean-out-the-fridge meals. Grab whatever protein and veggies you have on hand, toss with teriyaki sauce and bake for the perfect easy (and stress-free) meal.

Easy Chicken Lo Mein:

Easy Chicken Lo Mein in a skillet with tongs

Grab whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have, plus any type of dried pasta (linguine, spaghetti and bucatini all work) for this super fast and flavor-packed stir-fry made with a garlicky soy sauce.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas:

A top-down view of easy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas next to a plate of corn tortilla tacos

Just add flour or corn tortillas for this complete meal-on-a-pan. Tender chicken, juicy peppers and your choice of onions are tossed in a dried spice blend before all going for a quick bake in the oven.

Rice Recipes

Chicken Fried Rice:

Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

Easy and versatile, this fried rice recipe is perfect for any night of the week. What I love about this recipe: It’s the perfect canvas for whatever frozen veggies you can find in your freezer.

Arancini (Rice Balls) with Marinara Sauce:

Easy arancini in basket topped with parmesan cheese

Transform this simple starch into a crowd-friendly appetizer or snack with this top-rated recipe for arancini. Stuff them with cheese, ham, or veggies then dunk them in marinara sauce.

One Pot Chicken and Yellow Rice:

One Pot Chicken and Yellow Rice next to small bowls containing sliced green olives, spices and herbs

This take on arroz con pollo is made in just one pot and packed with flavor. Chicken breasts, bone-in thighs or drumsticks can be used in place of boneless thighs.

Soup and Stew Recipes

Easy Gnocchi Chicken Soup

Two bowls of gnocchi chicken soup with fresh thyme

When it comes to recipes to make with pantry staples, it’s safe to say that soups and stews are at the top of my list. This chicken soup is quick, hearty, comforting and a complete meal-in-a-bowl. Feel free to swap in egg noodles or any other noodle for the packaged gnocchi. (Bonus: Cauliflower gnocchi also works!)

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili:

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Recipe

What I love about this recipe: Ground turkey and ground beef work just as well, and any leftovers taste just as great on day two and beyond. No ground meat? Simply leave it out and double up on the beans.

Turkey Taco Stew:

A white bowl of Turkey Taco Stew with small bowls of scallions and cheese

It’s healthy, it’s hearty and the ingredient list is packed full of pantry staples. Best of all? Leftover chili will last in your freezer for months.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup:

Top-down view of two bowls containing Loaded Baked Potato Soup topped with crispy bacon, sour cream, cheddar cheese and chopped scallions next to three small bowls containing shredded cheddar cheese, chopped bacon and scallions

Staring down a pantry full of Russett potatoes? This easy, creamy potato soup is just what you need.

Bread Recipes

30-Minute Homemade Flour Tortillas:

A stack of homemade flour tortillas in a blue towel

You will never buy store-bought tortillas again once you discover how easy it is to make your own!

Homemade Soft Pretzel Twists:

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Twists on blue background

Grab the kids and do the twist! These pretzel twists are perfect for snacking, dipping in your favorite soup or slicing open and using as sandwich rolls.

Easy Homemade Irish Soda Bread:

Easy homemade soda bread with caraway seeds sliced into four slices on a cutting board.

No yeast is needed for this homemade bread recipe that requires just 10 minutes to prepare. Best of all, whole loaves can be frozen and then reheated as needed.

The Ultimate Homemade Pizza Dough:

Homemade pizza dough topped with marinara sauce, pepperoni, black olive, green peppers and mozzarella cheese.

This homemade pizza dough recipe is made with 5 basic ingredients and yields a soft, chewy crust that’s perfect for piling on your favorite toppings. And the best part? It makes enough dough for 3 pizzas and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Dessert Recipes

Thai Coconut Sticky Rice:

Thai Coconut Sticky Rice with sliced mango on blue plate

It’s sticky, it’s sweet and it’s the perfect finale to your takeout-fakeout feast.

Monster Cookies:

The best Monster Cookies with mini chocolate chips and M&Ms

Count peanut butter and chocolate candies among your pantry essentials? We do! So it’s flourless, fan favorite Monster Cookies to the rescue.

Cake Mix Cookies:

Cake mix chocolate chip cookies on a plate and baking sheet with milk

Sometimes you just want cookies, not cake. Enter Cake Mix Cookies. Any cake mix, any flavor. Keep ‘em classic with chocolate chips or get creative with chopped nuts, toffee pieces or crushed pretzels.

5-Minute Healthy Greek Frozen Yogurt:

5-Minute Healthy Greek Frozen Yogurt Recipe

This frozen yogurt is perfect for when you want something a little sweet without the guilt. Best of all, any frozen fruit you have on hand will work—my favorite combo is raspberry banana!

Find more inspiration for recipes to make with pantry staples by using our Ingredient Search Bar to locate recipes based on the items you already have stocked.

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