We’re bringing you 20+ pantry staple recipes that are perfect for the days that you need to just whip up a quick meal off the cuff with things that you already have on hand.

Whether it’s because of circumstances out of your control or just the inability to fit a major grocery haul into your schedule, sometimes pantry staple meals are a necessity. In this post, we’ve rounded up breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert recipes that can be easily adapted to pantry meals by either a quick swap or an omission that will still result in a tasty end product. 

What pantry staples should I always have on hand?

Here are a few pantry staples you’ll want to keep stocked in your pantry, fridge, and freezer so that you’ve always got enough to throw together a quick, delicious meal:

  • Pasta – so versatile! Pasta can be thrown together with ANY protein + sauce combo. Throw in any veggies you have laying around for an added nutritional punch. 
  • Canned protein – canned tuna + chicken make for such handy sources of protein that can be stored in the pantry to be used when you either don’t have time to cook a fresh protein, or just don’t have any fresh protein available.
  • Canned tomatoes – great for making tomato sauce! Consider also having a can of diced tomatoes + green chilis on hand – so delicious mixed into rice for a Mexican inspired dish!
  • Jarred sauce – Yai’s Thai, Rao’s Homemade, and Primal Kitchen sauces are all great options!
  • Broth – chicken, veggie, or beef. Keep a 32oz carton in the pantry for a quick soup base.
  • Rice – you can use rice in a throw-together casserole recipe like this Chicken Broccoli and Rice Casserole, add a can of coconut milk to your rice to make this perfectly creamy Coconut Rice, or as a simple side to most meals!
  • Beans – canned or dried beans are great options for adding some protein and fiber into your meal.
  • Condiments – mayo and mustard are great for flavoring tuna, egg, or chicken salad.
  • Bread – if you don’t often eat bread, consider keeping just one loaf in your freezer so that you can pull out a slice or two, pop them in the toaster or oven, and make your favorite sandwich.
  • Oats – oats (especially overnight oats) make for a quick, easy breakfast option! 
  • Nuts + Seeds – perfect to snack on by themselves, or mix into a variety of recipes for added healthy fat and texture.
  • Spices – keeping your spice cabinet stocked with spices you use the most is a great idea! Some of our most used spices are garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and oregano.
  • Dairy – butter and cheese both have a decently long shelf life, so we like to keep a bag of shredded cheese and a few sticks of butter in the fridge.
  • Frozen fruit + veggies – frozen spinach, broccoli, and blueberries are all staples in our freezers. 
  • Frozen protein – we like to keep the freezer stocked with a couple of chicken breasts, a pack of chicken thighs, a few pounds of ground beef, and breakfast sausage.

What can I make with pantry ingredients?

Lucky for you, our answer is “LOTS!” We’re keeping the variety plentiful with things like: waffles, mini pizzas, taco casserole, snack mix, and cookie cake! Although most recipes will call for a couple of fresh ingredients, we’ve tried to keep those to a minimum and to things that you’d typically have in the fridge anyway (think: butter, eggs, cheese). In order to make most of these meals + snacks, we’re using pantry staples (of course!), protein that you likely have on hand in the freezer, and just a few every day fresh ingredients. 

For each recipe below, we’ve made a list of the pantry + fresh ingredients needed, plus any ingredient swaps or omissions. Click on the link below the recipe for detailed directions!


Blueberry baked oatmeal in a white dish with a spoon in it on a marble surface

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

YUM! A warm, comforting, sweet (but not too sweet!)  breakfast that the whole family will love.

  • Pantry: rolled oats, maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, chopped pecans
  • Fresh: eggs, milk (whichever you prefer)
  • Swap: fresh blueberries for frozen, butter for coconut oil
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Gluten Free Overnight Waffles

This batter rises overnight and yields to some seriously fluffy, but perfectly crisp, waffles.

  • Pantry: active dry yeast, maple syrup, gluten free flour blend, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, vanilla extract 
  • Fresh: whole milk, eggs
  • Swap: coconut oil for butter
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Gluten Free Overnight Waffles

grain-free cheddar and sausage scones

Grain-Free Cheddar and Sausage Scones

Flaky, delicious, and a perfect savory grab-and-go breakfast option!

  • Pantry: almond flour, arrowroot, sea salt, baking soda
  • Fresh: eggs, breakfast sausage links (can also use bacon)
  • Swap: butter for avocado or olive oil, fresh chives for 2 teaspoons of dried
  • Omit: shredded cheddar cheese if necessary

Recipe: Cheddar and Sausage Scones

Maple Bacon Pancake Muffins

Essentially a pancake in muffin form! We’re giving you a few flavor ideas if you don’t have everything on hand for the maple bacon variety!

  • Pantry: maple syrup, coconut sugar, gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, vanilla extract, full-fat coconut milk
  • Fresh: bacon, butter, eggs 
  • Swap: more flavor ideas – blueberry (1 cup blueberries), lemon poppy seed (2 tablespoons lemon juice, zest of 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds), cranberry orange (½ cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon orange zest)
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Maple Bacon Pancake Muffins

mason jars filled with overnight oats on a marble surface

Overnight Oats

We have 5 overnight oats recipes with flavors from chocolate peanut butter to apple cinnamon! These are great no-cook pantry recipes.

  • Pantry: oats, chia seeds, nuts
  • Fresh: milk, fruit (for some flavors)
  • Swap: the milk can be swapped for almond, cashew, or coconut milk
  • Omit: none

Recipes: Easy Overnight Oats Recipes


Homemade Pizza Lunchables

A fun lunch to make with your littles! Customize to your liking!

  • Pantry: Simple Mills pizza crust mix, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, jar of pizza sauce
  • Fresh: pepperoni, mozzarella 
  • Swap: use any pizza crust mix you want for these, or use a round cutter to cut pizza crusts or pita bread
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Homemade Pizza Lunchables

chicken, grapes, pecans, celery, mayo, and mustard in a glass bowl on a marble board

Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

Super tasty on bread as a sandwich, or over greens if you have them.

  • Pantry: canned chicken, pecans, mayo, Dijon mustard, dried dill, poppy seeds, sea salt
  • Fresh: none
  • Swap: shredded chicken for canned
  • Omit: grapes, celery

Recipe: Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

Peanut Butter and Jelly Quesadillas

Peanut Butter and Jelly Quesadillas

Ooey gooey, and perfectly nostalgic, these are sure to be a hit for kiddos and parents alike!

  • Pantry: tortillas of your choice (we use Siete), peanut butter, jelly
  • Fresh: none
  • Swap: none
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Jelly Quesadillas

classic tuna salad sandwich

Classic Tuna Salad

Delicious between two slices of bread as a sandwich or on top of lettuce if you’ve got it, and made entirely of pantry staples!

  • Pantry: canned tuna, mayo, Dijon mustard, dill relish, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, sea salt, black pepper, bread of choice 
  • Fresh: none
  • Swap: none
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Classic Tuna Salad


Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole + Canned Seafood Tips

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Creamy, hearty, and goes from pantry-to-table in a flash!

  • Pantry: canned tuna, gluten free tagliatelle or linguini-style noodles, flour, chicken broth, sea salt, black pepper, frozen peas
  • Fresh: butter, onion, garlic, mushrooms, whole milk, mozzarella cheese 
  • Swap: whole milk for canned full-fat coconut milk
  • Omit: mozzarella if needed

Recipe: Gluten Free Tuna Noodle Casserole

chicken enchilada casserole in a glass dish topped with diced avocados and drizzled with sour cream on a marble slab

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This chicken enchilada casserole can be easily made from pantry staples, and is sure to be a hit with your family!

  • Pantry: tomato sauce, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, pepper, corn tortillas
  • Fresh: chicken, shredded cheese
  • Swap: if you don’t have chicken, swap 2 cans of black beans, or about 4 cups of soaked cooked beans. You can also substitute 2 cans of enchilada sauce for the tomato paste, sauce, and spices!
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Casserole

instant pot pumpkin soup

Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup

Perfectly cozy and made with just a few simple ingredients!

  • Pantry: chicken broth, canned pumpkin puree, canned full-fat coconut milk, sea salt, dried sage, ground ginger, ground black pepper
  • Fresh: lemon, bacon
  • Swap: none
  • Omit: bacon if needed

Recipe: Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup

Pasta Bake with Spinach and Sausage

This dinner recipe is the epitome of easy comfort food. The pasta requires no pre-cooking!

  • Pantry: penne pasta, pasta sauce, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper, frozen spinach
  • Fresh: pre-cooked Italian chicken sausage, shredded Italian cheese
  • Swap: heavy cream/milk for canned full-fat coconut milk
  • Omit: if needed, you can omit the sausage from this recipe entirely, or swap for another favorite protein!

Recipe: No Boil Pasta Bake with Sausage

Chicken Tikka Masala

An incredibly flavorful Instant Pot meal made almost entirely with pantry staples!

  • Pantry: tomato paste, tomato sauce, full-fat canned coconut milk, garam masala, ground turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger, ground coriander, ground cumin, sea salt, red pepper flakes, rice
  • Fresh: chicken thighs/breasts
  • Swap: if you don’t have chicken on hand, you can substitute about 1 ½ pounds of potatoes or cauliflower, a can of chickpeas, or a combo of all 3 for a tasty vegetarian meal!
  • Omit: fresh garnishes

Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala

Thai curry chicken soup

Thai Curry Chicken Soup

Chicken, veggies, noodles, and the perfect amount of spice make this soup an instant favorite!

  • Pantry: avocado oil, sea salt, chicken broth, red curry paste, canned full-fat coconut milk, coconut aminos, ground ginger, fish sauce, thin rice noodles
  • Fresh: chicken breasts, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, lime juice, straw mushrooms
  • Swap: chicken breasts for rotisserie chicken, or leave the chicken out entirely (if you leave chicken out, add in your favorite frozen veggies to make up for it), bell peppers and mushrooms for frozen veggies 
  • Omit: fresh garnishes

Recipe: Thai Curry Chicken Soup

Thousand Island Chicken Bake - Fed & Fit

Thousand Island Chicken Bake

Such a great way to mix up your protein. Have this chicken over rice, pasta, or on its own!

  • Pantry: salt, pepper, mayo, tomato paste, dill relish, garlic powder, onion powder, apple cider vinegar
  • Fresh: chicken breasts 
  • Swap: you can really make this recipe with any dressing you have in your pantry! 5-Ingredient ranch dressing, honey mustard, or an Italian vinaigrette would make for great swaps.
  • Omit: none

Recipes: Thousand Island Chicken Bake

easy chicken curry

Easy Chicken Curry

This easy, delicious, semi-homemade curry comes together in no time!

  • Pantry: sea salt, ghee, Yai’s Thai Yellow Coconut Curry, white rice, peanuts
  • Fresh: chicken tenders/breasts, broccoli florets
  • Swap: chicken for potatoes or chickpeas, fresh broccoli for frozen
  • Omit: fresh garnishes

Recipe: Easy Chicken Curry

paleo bison chili

Bison Chili

Healthy and robust enough to be crowd-pleasing, but also simple enough for a weeknight dinner with the family!

  • Pantry: chili powder, ground cumin, sea salt, canned tomato puree/sauce
  • Fresh: ground bison/beef, butter, onion, garlic
  • Swap: ground bison/beef for 1 1/2 cups of dried lentils, or 2 cans of any type of beans, or about 4 cups of veggies like sweet potato, leafy greens, corn, bell peppers, and zucchini. 
  • Omit: fresh garnishes

Recipe: Paleo Bison Chili


Easy Homemade Hummus

So simple and satisfying, made with just a few ingredients, and great with ANY dippers you have on hand (think: veggies, pretzels, crackers, etc.)

  • Pantry: canned chickpeas, tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper
  • Fresh: lemon juice
  • Swap: none
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Easy Homemade Hummus 

3 types of homemade chex mix in white bowls sitting on a marble board with a red and white striped towel wrapped around them

Homemade Chex Mix

Reminiscent of a classic childhood snack, this chex mix is made with better-for-you pantry staple ingredients!

  • Pantry: corn chex, rice chex, pretzels, crackers, unsalted mixed nuts, salt, paprika, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, tamari (soy sauce or coconut aminos work too)
  • Fresh: none
  • Swap: butter for avocado oil
  • Omit: any non-essential ingredient that you don’t have (think: pretzels, crackers, mixed nuts)

Recipe: Homemade Chex Mix 

Trail Mix Cookies

The perfect sweeter snack that is made with whatever you have on hand – use what you have, and don’t stress about leaving out what you don’t have!

  • Pantry: cashew or almond flour, dried blueberries, tiger nuts (or whatever nuts you have on hand), walnuts, coconut chips, cacao nibs, flax seeds, salt, baking soda, honey, oil of your choice, vanilla extract
  • Fresh: eggs
  • Swap: this recipe is super customizable – if you don’t have tiger nuts or walnuts, swap with a nut that you do have. If you don’t have cacao nibs, swap for chocolate chips. 
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Trail Mix Cookies

chocolate chia pudding in a mason jar topped with berries on a marble board with a spoon and blue towel

Chocolate Chia Pudding Cups

These chocolate chia pudding cups are made with just a few ingredients, and feel decadent while being good for you!

  • Pantry: chia seeds, coconut milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup
  • Fresh: berries for topping, if desired
  • Swap: coconut milk for almond or cashew milk if needed
  • Omit: maple syrup if you’d like a less-sweet treat. If you don’t have cocoa powder on hand, you can make vanilla chia pudding instead!

Recipe: Chocolate Chia Pudding


Dark chocolate almond butter dates

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Dates

Dates + almond butter + dark chocolate + sea salt = a simple, delicious, feel-good treat made of just 4 pantry ingredients!

  • Pantry: dates, almond butter, dark chocolate/dark chocolate chips, sea salt
  • Fresh: none
  • Swap: almond butter for whatever nut butter you have on hand
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Stuffed Dates

dark chocolate bark with crushed strawberries and pretzels on parchment paper

Dark Chocolate Bark

This 3 ingredient chocolate bark is equal parts rich, salty, tangy, and sweet!

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Bark

chocolate chip cookie cake on parchment paper

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Perfect to accompany family game or movie night, and super easy thanks to the slow cooker!

  • Pantry: flour, baking soda, sea salt, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, dark chocolate chips
  • Fresh: eggs
  • Swap: butter for coconut oil
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

cherry dump cake in a round white baking dish with a scoop removed on a marble surface

Cherry Dump Cake

Though this dump cake is made with cherries, you can make it with any frozen fruit! Don’t have any cake mix? Try a gluten free strawberry rhubarb crisp instead.

  • Pantry: cake mix
  • Fresh: butter, frozen cherries
  • Swap: cherries for any fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand
  • Omit: none

Recipe: Cherry Dump Cake

Gluten Free S'mores Bars

S’mores Bars

You know what’ll make just about anyone feel better? S’mores bars! These treats take all the ingredients of traditional s’mores but make them inside-friendly.

  • Pantry: graham crackers, sugar, chocolate, marshmallows
  • Fresh: butter
  • Swap: substitute ghee, coconut, or avocado oil for butter, if needed
  • Omit: none

Recipe: S’mores Bars

We hope you love these pantry staple recipes as much as we do, and we hope they make the weeks where you just can’t make it to the grocery store a little bit easier!

About the Author

Brandi Schilhab

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you Cassy! With all of the craziness going on in the world right now it’s nice to have simple recipes that can be made with limited ingredients and money.