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This collection of pantry staple recipes features treats, dinners, pastas, and sides that are all made from basic pantry ingredients.

More Collections: 3 Ingredient Recipes, 5 Ingredient Recipes, Easy Dinner Ideas

Collage of pantry staple recipes.

We Love Easy!

Pantry staple recipes come in handy during weeks when the budget is tight, or in cases of emergency where you can’t get to a grocery store (or there isn’t much at the store). 

Why we love pantry staple recipes:

  • Waste not. It’s the best way to go through all of your groceries rather than just acquiring more than you need and letting stuff expire.
  • Flavor. None of these recipes skimp on flavor! They are all delicious.
  • Meal planning. Using pantry staples also gives you the chance to be creative with your meal planning!
Cans of diced tomatoes, whole kernel sweet corn, black beans, and diced green chiles.

What kinds of food to keep in the pantry?

“Pantry” refers to a food storage area in the home that is at room temperature such as a kitchen pantry, a closet, or a cupboard. Any items that do not need to be refrigerated or frozen can be stored in the pantry.

This includes, but isn’t limited to items like:

  • dried, dehydrated, and freeze-dried food and spices
  • unopened canned goods like fruits, vegetables, soups, beans, or meats
  • oils, shortening, vinegar
  • unopened condiments, sauces, and jams
  • nuts, nut butter, and peanut butter
  • unopened bottles of water, juice, and some milk (almond or coconut milk)
  • cereal, oats, crackers, cookies, pasta 
  • dried beans, lentils, rice, grains

THIS POST has a more comprehensive printable list of pantry staples! Be sure to check it out!!

A package of dry macaroni noodles.

A Good Process to Follow

When stocking up your pantry use the following tips:

  1. Use what is on hand. Include leftovers (cut-up veggies etc). Use items that will expire or go bad first (raw meat, eggs).
  2. Look at the fridge first. Take note of perishable items like meat, cheese, fresh fruit, and veggies.
  3. Then the pantry. Think of shelf stable dry goods you can pair with perishables like pasta, rice, bread, or other grains.
  4. Then the freezer. Frozen meat or veggies.
  5. Make it simple, but use your spices to make it fun and flavorful!
    • Jalapeños or chili powder are great for spice.
    • Chopped garlic or dried onion can create classic flavors.
    • Don’t underestimate the power of delicious sauces like enchilada sauce or marinara!
Looking inside a pantry at the food stored on the pantry shelves.

store meats in the pantry

Having some meat stored in the pantry is a good idea. They are really useful because they are already cooked and can last without electricity and ensure you have protein on hand. 

  • Dried/dehydrated. A prime example of this is beef jerky.
  • Freeze-dried. Add a little water to revive it and use it in any recipe requiring cooked meat. 
  • Canned. Tuna and chicken are often on my grocery list, but you can also buy canned beef, SPAM, crab meat, chunk ham, sardines, salmon, or Vienna sausage. Canned meat can last for 2-5 years before losing nutritional value. It is often safe to eat for longer but use caution.
  • Bottled. I like bottled chicken and beef best. They are easy to use in stews, casseroles, and even for pulled BBQ sandwiches. I once tried to bottle ground beef but didn’t care for the texture. Home-bottled meat can safely last for 1-2 years. Use caution when consuming after.
Pantry shelves filled with canned goods on can rotators, dried pasta in storage containers, and candy stored in glass jars.

Tips for Rotating food in the pantry

It’s important to implement something so that you know what you have, what you need, and so items don’t get forgotten in the back corners and then go bad.

  • DON’T STORE FOOD YOU ARE NOT GOING TO EAT!
  • How much of each item. Make a list of pantry staples used in 2 weeks, then multiply it depending on how much you want to have stored. I try to have a 3 month supply on hand of daily pantry staples.  
  • Build up your supply slowly. Not only is this easier on the pocketbook, but it helps naturally rotate the food. If you spread out purchases, the use-by dates will also be spread out. 
  • Have a master list of what you have and where it is kept. When you use or open an item add it to your next grocery trip so it can quickly be replaced and your list is kept up to date.
  • Label. Use a permanent marker and write the expiration/”best by” date in a visible place. This will make it easier to identify which items need to be used first.
  • Implement a rotation tool like a Can Tracker or even by hand by placing recently purchased food items behind similar older items. 
  • Store long-term food buckets in the back of the pantry and place food items you will be rotating through regularly in the front. Long term food storage can also be stored in other areas of the house while day-to-day food storage can be kept in the kitchen area. 

Easy Pantry Dinner Ideas

If you need a quick dinner, don’t have time to run to the store, or are working to stick to a budget, these easy dinner ideas are for you! They all use pantry staples, and all are delicious.

1 Taco Soup Recipe

Soup Taco Soup Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 28 votes
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2 Green Chili Smothered Burritos Recipe

green chili smothered burrito with olives, cilantro and avocado on plate
Main Course Green Chili Smothered Burritos Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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3 Fry Bread Recipe

Main Course Fry Bread Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 654 votes
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4 Sopa de Fideo Recipe

Soup Sopa de Fideo Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 218 votes
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5 Best Chili Recipe

Soup Best Chili Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 79 votes
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6 Hawaiian Haystacks Recipe

Main Course Hawaiian Haystacks Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 16 votes
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7 Chicken Spaghetti Recipe

Main Course Chicken Spaghetti Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 97 votes
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8 Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Main Course, Soup Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 361 votes
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9 Tostadas Recipe

Main Course Tostadas Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 21 votes
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10 Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Main Course Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 40 votes
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More Pantry Staple Recipes

These breads and sides are made with simple ingredients that you most likely already have on hand!

11 Easy Yeast Roll Recipe

Bread Easy Yeast Roll Recipe
Total Time: 50 minutes
4.93 from 26 votes
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12 Flour Tortilla Recipe

Side Dish Flour Tortilla Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 64 votes
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13 White Bread Recipe

Bread White Bread Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 47 votes
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14 Cornbread Casserole Recipe

Bread, Side Dish Cornbread Casserole Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour

Recipe Video

5 from 25 votes
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15 Crock Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

Side Dish Crock Pot Pinto Beans Recipe
Total Time: 12 hours

Recipe Video

5 from 41 votes
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16 Spanish Rice Recipe

Side Dish Spanish Rice Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 5317 votes
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17 Jiffy Corn Casserole Recipe

Side Dish Jiffy Corn Casserole Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour

Recipe Video

5 from 85 votes
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18 Lemon Rice Recipe

Side Dish Lemon Rice Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.86 from 7 votes
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19 Crockpot Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Side Dish Crockpot Green Bean Casserole Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 20 votes
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20 Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

cropped-cilantro-lime-rice-resize-2.jpg
Side Dish Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 61 votes
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Pantry Desserts

Don’t forget the treats! Many desserts use common ingredients that are always on hand and ready for baking when the craving hits.

21 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Dessert 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.97 from 26 votes
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22 3 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Recipe

Dessert 3 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.79 from 66 votes
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23 Haystack Cookies

Dessert Haystack Cookies
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 8 votes
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24 Easy Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Dessert Easy Shortbread Cookie Recipe
Total Time: 48 minutes
4.99 from 63 votes
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25 Peach Dump Cake Recipe

Dessert Peach Dump Cake Recipe
Total Time: 55 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 468 votes
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26 Rice Krispie Treat Recipe

Dessert Rice Krispie Treat Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 34 votes
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27 No Bake Cookies Recipe

Dessert No Bake Cookies Recipe
Total Time: 6 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 74 votes
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28 Energy Balls Recipe

Breakfast Energy Balls Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 18 votes
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29 Amish Sugar Cookie Recipe

Dessert Amish Sugar Cookie Recipe
Total Time: 18 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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30 Sweet Chex Mix Recipe

Snack Sweet Chex Mix Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 37 votes
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31 Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

Dessert Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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32 Puppy Chow Recipe

Dessert Puppy Chow Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 160 votes
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33 White Trash Recipe (White Chocolate Trail Mix)

Dessert White Trash Recipe (White Chocolate Trail Mix)
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 131 votes
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34 White Chocolate Popcorn Recipe

Dessert, Snack White Chocolate Popcorn Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 20 votes
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35 Cake Mix Snickerdoodles Recipe

Dessert Cake Mix Snickerdoodles Recipe
Total Time: 12 minutes
5 from 40 votes
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Taco In A Bowl!

Who doesn’t love tacos?! Now you can enjoy our favorite Mexican dish in soup form with this Taco Soup recipe.

This easy Taco Soup is one I make more often during the winter when it’s cooler, but is also still great all year long!

Here is the recipe:

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30+ Pantry Staple Recipes

By: Lil’ Luna
This collection of pantry staple recipes features treats, dinners, pastas, and sides that are all made from basic pantry ingredients.
Servings: 8
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3 (15-ounce) cans chili with beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce_ can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 3 tablespoons ranch dressing mix, (or 1 packet)
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning, (or 1 packet)
  • cups low-sodium beef broth
  • ½ cup water

Toppings

  • sour cream, tortilla chips, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, cilantro

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm with your desired toppings.

Notes

Make Ahead: You can easily make this soup 1–2 days ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat on the stove or in a crockpot until warm.
Slow Cooker Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on high for 2–3 hours or low for 6–7 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 21kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 0.02g, Saturated Fat: 0.01g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.003g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 0.1mg, Sodium: 584mg, Potassium: 93mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 90IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

Recipes you Have on Hand!

You will be amazed at the tasty, easy dishes you will be able to whip up with ingredients that you already have on hand. This is sure to be a list that you will come back to again and again!

More Collections: Healthy Dinner Ideas, Crock Pot Dinner Ideas, Dinner Ideas for Kids

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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