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Cooking with Pantry Staples

Self-quarantine and social isolation are difficult enough as it is, but having to make three meals a day on top of it is more difficult than anyone imagined. Not being able to make quick, frequent trips to the grocery store or pop out to your favorite restaurant whenever you want is less than ideal for many people who aren’t necessarily used to finding their way around the kitchen.

However, cooking at home can be simpler, easy, and potentially even pleasant when you have various pantry staples on hand. You certainly do not have to survive on pasta, rice and canned corn for the duration of this shelter-in-place era in our lives. In addition to the fresh fruits, veggies and dairy products you should try to keep in the fridge, here is a list of “go-to” non-perishable staples to keep stocked in your pantry, and a few recipes to make meal-prep a cinch when you’re short on time (and/or motivation!)


Pantry Staples

Brown rice, quinoa, farro, and/or barley
Potatoes, sweet potatoes
Onions and garlic
Canned beans
Canned broth
Bread crumbs
Red and white wine

Jarred marinara sauce
Canned tomatoes
Nuts and nut butter
Balsamic vinegar
Nutritional yeast
Olive oil
Canned fish (tuna, salmon, anchovies, sardines)
Salt, pepper, and spices

Freezer Staples:
Mixed berries
Frozen vegetables (broccoli, peas, spinach, cauliflower)
Frozen fish
Chicken breasts, thighs, and/or whole chicken

Five Easy Pantry Meals

Lunches and dinners seem to be the most time-consuming, as those are the meals we have to “cook”. Here are five easy, flavorful meals for you to create using the pantry staples above. Give them a try and voila! You’ve gotten through a whole week of simple, stress-free meals with the family!

Canned Salmon Cakes

Pull-From-The-Pantry Puttanesca

Pull from the Pantry Puttanesca

Basque Garlic Soup


Orzo & Chickpeas w/Turmeric-Ginger


Pasta w/Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Capers



Baum, Isadora. “You Can Make a Million Cheap, Healthy Meals with These 11 Pantry Staples”. Website November 4, 2019.

Gold, Betty. “These Are the Kitchen Staples We’re Stocking up on—Plus 25 Family-Friendly Recipes You Can Make With Them”. Website March 17, 2020.

Hallinan, Bridget. “14 Recipes You Can Make Using Pantry Staples”. Website March 16, 2020.