11 Quick & Easy Pantry Meal Ideas


It’s always good to have a stock of pantry staples handy for when you need to whip up a meal any day of the week to beat the rush or when circumstances call for it (e.g., quarantine/ community lockdown due to pandemic, or when you’re trying to minimize trips to the grocery store, or even just to use leftovers to avoid food waste).

So, here are some super-simple pantry meal ideas that you can try (you can create endless ideas, but these are just some quick and easy meal suggestions that hopefully will inspire you to be more creative and come up with delicious meals using readily available and simple ingredients that have longer shelf lives, but remember, fresh veggies, fruits, fish and ingredients are still the best!)…

Bon appétit!


*Pantry Staples:
  • Grains & cereals (rice, quinoa, oats, muesli/granola, etc)
  • Nuts (cashews, etc)
  • Beans/chickpeas in foil pack or can
  • Pumpkin purée in foil pack or can
  • Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines) in foil pack or can
  • Bottled vegetables (asparagus, mushrooms, bell peppers, baby corn, baby carrots, artichokes, etc)
  • Bottled corn kernels
  • Bottled pitted olives
  • Bottled mango slices
  • Egg/rice noodles
  • Pasta 
  • Tortillas/ Tortilla chips
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Vegetable/chicken stock
  • Garlic & onion
  • Others: cooking oil (olive oil, nut oil, vegetable oil); dried herbs (e.g., chili flakes, ground pepper, oregano, dill, etc);  sauces (e.g., oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sweet&spicy sauce, etc)
*Other Ingredients/optional (from the fridge):
  • Cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or any dairy-free cheese, etc)
  • Guacamole (or avocado)
  • Thickened cream (can be substituted with dairy-free cream)
  • Greens: lettuce, broccoli, arugula, cilantro, watercress, basil, parsley, etc
  • Onion (longer shelf life when refrigerated)
  • Eggs
  • Leftover chicken




*Quick & Easy Pantry Meal Ideas:

#1:  Mini Sardines Tortilla Pizza

  • Tortillas
  • Tomato paste
  • Sardines in foil pack or can
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Bottled vegetables: pitted olives & bell peppers
  • Onion
  • Dried chili flakes/ground pepper/oregano/parsley
  • (Other ingredients: mozzarella cheese)
  • (Optional: bottled artichokes, arugula, basil)



#2:  Vegetable/Bean Burger (baked)

  • Olive oil
  • Onion & garlic (minced)
  • Beans/chickpeas in foil pack or can (mashed)
  • Bottled baby carrots (mashed)
  • Bottled vegetables: mushrooms & bell pepper (finely chopped)
  • Bottled corn kernels
  • Cooked quinoa & quick-cooking oats
  • Dried chili flakes/ground pepper/smoked paprika
  • (Other ingredients: cilantro, cheddar cheese & lettuce to serve)
  • (Optional: ground cumin)


#3:  Fish Cakes (baked)

  • Olive oil
  • Onion & garlic (minced)
  • Salmon/tuna in foil pack or can (drained)
  • Cooked quinoa & quick-cooking oats
  • Dried dill/chili flakes/ground pepper/parsley
  • Sweet&spicy sauce to serve
  • (Other ingredients: cilantro, lettuce to serve)


#4:  Burrito Bowl   (you can also check this out: Feta Salmon Burrito)

  • Olive oil
  • Onion & garlic
  • Beans/chickpeas in foil pack or can
  • Bottled corn kernels
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Tuna in foil pack or can
  • Rice/quinoa
  • Dried chili flakes/cayenne pepper/oregano
  • (Other ingredients: greens-shredded lettuce & cilantro, shredded cheese, guacamole)
  • (Optional: shredded chicken as an alternative to tuna)









#5:  Fish Omelet

  • Olive oil
  • Dried chives/ground pepper/tarragon
  • Tuna/sardines in foil pack or can (drained)
  • Bottled vegetables as side dish: asparagus, baby carrots and mushrooms
  • (Other ingredients: egg, shredded cheese)


#6:  Pumpkin Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Pumpkin pureé in foil pack or can
  • Bottled baby carrots 
  • Vegetable/chicken stock
  • Ground pepper
  • Dried chives (as topping)
  • Muesli/granola (as topping)
  • (Other ingredients: thickened cream to serve)



#7:  Artichokes Pasta

  • Pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Bottled vegetables: artichokes & pitted olives
  • Dried chili flakes/ground pepper
  • (Other ingredients: parsley, parmesan cheese)
  • (Optional: lemon juice)



#8:  Bean Salad Nachos  (see: Zesty Bean Salad Nachos )

  • Beans in foil pack or can
  • Bottled bell peppers
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Tortilla chips
  • Dried chili flakes
  • (Other ingredients: cilantro, shredded cheddar/mozzarella cheese)
  • (Optional: guacamole, bottled corn kernels, shredded lettuce)









#9:  Pasta Carbonara

  • Pasta
  • Bottled mushroom
  • Ground pepper
  • (Other ingredients: egg – beat egg with a bit of pasta water, parsley, shredded parmesan, shredded chicken)


#10:  Tuna Lettuce Cups  (see: Tuna Lettuce Surprise )

  • Bottled mango slices
  • Tuna chunks in foil pack or can
  • Hoisin sauce
  • (Other ingredients: romaine lettuce, watercress, avocado/guacamole)



#11:  Noodle/Rice Stir Fry:

  • Noodles or rice
  • Nut oil/ vegetable oil
  • Garlic & onion
  • Bottled vegetables: baby carrots, mushrooms, baby corn & bell pepper
  • Cashews
  • Oyster sauce/soy sauce
  • Dried chili flakes/ground pepper
  • (Other ingredients/optional: broccoli, shredded chicken)


So, what have you created in the kitchen today?


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