Pantry Essentials for Easy Meal Solutions
Pantry Essentials for Easy Meal Solutions

This year has taught us the value of having extra non-perishable pantry essentials on hand. Versatile shelf staples can make practically any dish more economical and convenient. Keep a pantry full of ready-to-use ingredients to stretch your food budget and whip up quick, easy meals the whole family will love.

Canned Goods: Using canned goods will take any meal an extra mile. Use canned anchovies and capers in the recipe on page 31, add stocks and broths to soups and casseroles, substitute beans as meat for vegetarian meals and use pasta sauces for pasta dishes, soups, sandwiches and more.

Pasta: No matter the shape or type, pasta is a comfort staple that can create countless hearty dinners. Whether it’s one-pot pastas, meatless recipes or classics like mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna or stuffed shells, pasta is a reliable go-to that’s flavorful and filling.

Oatmeal: Budget-friendly oatmeal is nutrient-rich and provides a quick meal solution for any time of day. While filling by itself, oatmeal can be personalized with toppings like fruit, granola or jam, as well as eggs, spices, nuts or seeds. Use oatmeal to make oat flour, bulk up veggie burgers and add texture to baked goods and smoothies.

Rice: Rice provides fiber, vitamins and minerals and is a key ingredient in diverse, flavorful meals. Serve it as a stand-alone side or combine with black beans, toss in stir-fries or add to soups, salads or wraps.

Not sure how to combine your pantry staples into an easy, delicious meal? Try these two perfect pantry meal solutions:

Bean, Olive & Pesto Pasta: any pasta + olive oil + white beans or chickpeas + jarred pesto + olives

Puff Pastry Pantry Pizza: frozen puff pastry sheets + pizza/tomato sauce + grated Parmesan + pepperoni + canned olives + frozen vegetables