One week of pantry staple meals that are (mostly) wholesome and nutritious and use less than ten ingredients. This list also includes a shopping list to make dinner plans even easier!
Recently, I have become absolutely crazy about pantry staple meals. Not only have they saved my life multiple times over the past few months, but they’re also usually pretty basic and easy! I have become an absolute expert at throwing together a meal with almost nothing in my fridge. I hope this eventually turns into an obsession for meal prepping or making freezer meals. Someone teach me how to become a meal prepper, please.
Anyways, I was thinking that sharing some of my go-to pantry staple meals could maybe save you one stressful night, so here you go! Not only are these great when you forgot to go grocery shopping, but they’re all super quick when you have no time or don’t feel like cooking. (P.S. I also created a grocery list for you, so you don’t even have to write anything down! Just print it off, and you’re good to go!)
Details about this guide to pantry staple meals
All of these meals will feed a family of four (or if you’re a couple, two for dinner and two for lunch the next day, which is how we do it!) Some of these meals will feed up to six people, which is awesome for leftover lunches, but you can halve most of them if necessary. And, in the case of the breakfast burritos, there are eight servings, because we’re meal prepping at the same time. 🎉
Second, all of the pantry staple meals use basic ingredients! While some of them are vegetarian/vegan, some also have meat. There’s gluten. And dairy. We eat everything! But, you can easily switch up these meals so that they fit your dietary preferences. Also, all of them are wholesome, except for Friday and Saturday, because those are days for celebration.
Ok, are we ready? Let’s go!!
Sunday – Freezer Breakfast Burritos
We’re starting the week off strong with breakfast for dinner. Breakfast burritos are my perfect breakfast-for-dinner situation, because there’s protein, vegetables, and whole grains wrapped up in one! Also, this is perhaps the ultimate pantry staple meal, because we’re also meal prepping while we make the burritos!
All you have to do is prep the make ahead burritos, wrap up the extras, and place them in the freezer! Warm up the burritos you plan on eating, and enjoy with lots of hot sauce. And a beer. If you’re feeling fancy.
Monday – Marinated Butter Beans with Toast
This is my absolute go-to meal after I’ve had a really long day. Maybe work was hard or it was just a really Monday kind of a Monday. Either way, marinated white beans take like, 15 minutes to put together. I eat them with Mary’s Gone Crackers or crusty, whole wheat toast and steamed veggies!
Tuesday – Sweet Potato Black Bean Bowls
This pantry staple meal has lots of great ingredients like canned beans, brown rice, and sweet potatoes! This recipe uses fresh produce, but you can always go with frozen if that’s all you can find. The lemon-tahini sauce is optional, but sooo good. The sauce will add two extra ingredients, so if you’re a stickler for ten ingredients or less, you can just leave this out. I frequently eat these bowls without lemon-tahini sauce if I run out. Additionally, any extras (such as seeds and avocado) will be extra ingredients, but they are definitely not necessary. Just top these bowls with whatever you have around the house, or nothing at all!
P.S. If you don’t have tahini on hand, but you still want a sauce, you can replace it with plain yogurt! Use 1/2 Tbs. of lemon juice, no water, and an extra clove of garlic.
P.P.S. This bowl on its own is vegan, but you can also add additional protein in the form of runny eggs or crumbled feta cheese!
Wednesday – vegetable fried rice with runny eggs
Throwing it back to my college days, we have vegetable fried rice! I went with brown jasmine rice, because I always have it on hand, but any long grain rice will do. While fresh vegetables will work for this recipe, I use frozen broccoli and veggie mix in the spirit of pantry staple meals. Also, I have gotten to the point where I can cook this fried rice in 15 minutes, so it’s perfect if you don’t have time on your hands! There are tons of ways to switch this recipe up however you like.
Thursday – Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
This is one of my all-time favorite weeknight recipes. Yes, it’s soup and I know it’s getting warmer, but it is still a fairly light dish with all of the fresh herbs! Regardless of the season, we make this probably once or twice a month.
The soup itself has pretty basic ingredients, and while the herbs, peanuts, and condiments are delicious, they are also not necessary. You can add dried herbs if that’s what you have on hand, or you can go with nothing at all. I eat this soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s just that good.
Friday – pizza Friday!
GOOD JOB YOU MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER WEEK! And now you deserve pizza. This homemade version is really, really easy. You can 1. go the Sicilian route by making a pan pizza! Or, 2. you can split the dough in half and make two New York-style pizzas. Here are the instructions for the NY-style pizza:
Heat the oven to 500°F. Place a sheetpan in the oven while it’s heating, so it gets very hot! Roll the dough until it is about 1/4” thick, and place on a wooden board sprinkled with a bit of cornmeal (make sure the cornmeal only gets on the bottom of the dough). Spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese, and place the toppings on top of the dough. Slide the dough onto the hot pan, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the bottom of the dough is golden-brown. Enjoy!
SATURDAY – CACIO E PEPE WITH FRIED SHALLOTS
Not going to lie, Saturdays are almost always going-out/takeout nights in our house. But, every once in a while, I decide to cook, and in those cases, dinner must be both carb-y and v easy. I want something I can make in a few minutes and enjoy while watching a movie and snuggling on the couch in sweatpants. Cacio e pepe is the answer, because it’s essentially adult mac and cheese, plus we’re adding fried shallots!
The fried shallots do add an extra 20 or so minutes, but it’s mostly hands-off and it is so worth it. Trust, you’re going to want those fried shallots.
10 ingredients or less
Ok, let’s talk ingredients! All of the recipes listed above have ten ingredients or less! However, the catch is that the ten ingredients do not include salt, pepper, cooking oil, or any optional ingredients. Salt, pepper, and cooking oil are things I would guess you probably already have in your kitchen. And optional ingredients (like extra herbs, salsa, seeds, and sauces) are delicious but they are not necessary for the integrity of the dishes. So, that’s how this will go down!
How to use this grocery list
I have gone through and included every single necessary ingredient to this grocery list! (Even salt, pepper, and oils). So, all you have to do is go through the list, cross off anything you already have, and head to the grocery store. (Or better yet, place a grocery delivery which is my new preferred shopping method for forever).
Also, and this is very important, this list does not include any optional ingredients! Anything extra (such as salsa for the burritos or toppings for the pizza) will need to be added. So, make sure to go through the recipes carefully and add optional additions to the list!
Ok, I think that’s it! Here is your handy-dandy grocery list. Use the link below to download!
And, just for fun: Here are a few pantry staple desserts!
If you need something sweet with minimal ingredients, I got you covered. Here are a few of my favorites!
If you have any questions about these recipes, the ingredients, or anything else, please feel free to comment below or send me an email! I’m here to help you. 🤗
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Close to Me by The Cure