Are you trying to figure out what to make with what you have in your pantry, freezer, and fridge to limit trips to get groceries?
There are many easy and healthy recipes you can make using common ingredients you have on hand. Start with simple, quick meals that only use a few ingredients. You can follow a recipe or just throw things together that you have. Think about including a protein source, colorful vegetables and/or fruits, and grains to make a well-balanced meal.
Typical Pantry Staples
Brown rice or quinoa
Potatoes or sweet potatoes
Canned or dried beans
Tortillas (or freezer)
Bread (or freezer)
Jarred marinara sauce
Nuts and nut butter
Salt, pepper, and spices
Typical Freezer Staples
Tortillas (or pantry)
Bread (or pantry)
Fish and shellfish
Other things that are typical staples in the refrigerator, but can vary, especially at a time like this include fruits, vegetables, yogurt, milk, butter, cheese, deli meat, ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce, salsa, etc. By getting a little creative, and utilizing what you have in our pantry, fridge, and freezer, you can make a balanced meal without having to buy new food frequently.
My favorite go-to easy staple meals
Pasta Your Way
Cook noodles per package directions, and drain
Add sauce of choice: marinara, alfredo, olive oil
Add protein of choice: cooked chicken, beef, shrimp, white beans, chickpeas
Add vegetables: broccoli, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers
Cook protein of choice: chicken, beef, shrimp, fish, black beans
Cook hard or soft tortillas
Cook frozen vegetables, like bell peppers or onions
Set out toppings: shredded cheese, avocado, salsa, chopped tomatoes
Assemble tacos with your choice of fillings
Saute frozen vegetables and cooked rice in olive oil
Stir in beaten eggs; cook until the egg is scrambled
Optional: add cooked chicken or steak
Customized Loaded Potatoes
Poke holes in a potato with a fork
Microwave for approx. 6 minutes
Split open and fill with choice of toppings:
Ham, broccoli, and cheese
Black beans, salsa, and cooked frozen veggies
Cooked chicken, buffalo sauce, chopped celery
Cooking and baking is a great practical life skill for kids to learn. It can also be a fun way to incorporate a math lesson for kids. Here are some ideas to get kids in the kitchen with you, or even to do alone if they are older kids.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Slice your fries thinly, about ¼” wide
Toss your sliced fries in cornstarch before oil
Place fries on a sheet pan in a single layer
Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, flip halfway through cooking
Season if desired – black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, or garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
Place the tortilla in a 12-inch cast-iron pan or baking sheet
Spread sauce evenly across the tortilla, leaving ½ inch around the edges.
Sprinkle with cheese and toppings – pepperoni, sausage, chicken, peppers, onions, arugula, basil, tomatoes, pineapple, etc.
Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbling ~ 10 to 14 minutes.
Place a scoop of frozen yogurt between graham cracker squares
Roll the edges in chocolate chips
Freeze until firm
Make Rice Krispies Treats according to directions
Add 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup each chopped dried fruit, and sunflower seeds with the cereal.
16oz granola or other whole-grain cereal
15oz raisins or other dried fruit
12oz M&Ms or chocolate chips
12oz nuts or seeds
Dried Fruit or Vegetables
Cut fruit in half and scoop out the seeds (if it has seeds)
Slice into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
Lay on a greased baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees F until dry~ 2 to 3 hours
What are some of your favorite simple recipes that you can make with staples? We would love for you to share!