COVID-19 Recipes

7 Pantry Recipes for When Groceries Run Low

Right now, your fridge probably isn’t as well-stocked as it used to be. You may be limiting your trips to the grocery to protect yourself, your family, and your community, so you might not have much access to fresh ingredients. Even if you’re still making regular grocery runs or getting food delivered to your house, you may not be able to get all your favorite products. Sometimes, eating out of the pantry is the best solution.

Eating from your pantry doesn’t need to mean heating up a can of beans over an open flame like an old-timey gold miner. In fact, many pantry-friendly recipes are so delicious that your family might not even notice it doesn’t have fresh ingredients. We’ve rounded up seven recipes that use items you may already have in your pantry. While these recipes are great as-is, you can also adjust many of the ingredients based on what you have on hand.

Easy Mexican Instant Pot Rice and Beans via The Belly Rules the Mind

We’ve included this recipe on the list because it is very versatile. The only fresh ingredients it calls for are onions, garlic, tomato, and cilantro. In a pinch, you can omit the cilantro, switch out the fresh tomato for canned tomato, and use onion and garlic powder. Just add to taste since powder has a more concentrated flavor. While it doesn’t call for many fresh ingredients, you could also doctor it up with other foods you have in the house, like avocado, cheese, or cooked chicken.

Spinach Artichoke Enchiladas via Cookie and Kate

This recipe makes the cut because it is so rich and hearty while using mostly pantry items. The sour cream, cheese, and cilantro are easy to omit if you don’t have them in your house. Other ingredients, you might choose to substitute. For instance, if you don’t have fresh spinach, you could try the recipe with canned or frozen spinach. If you don’t have canned artichokes, you might use canned olives, mushrooms, beans, or corn.

Poor Man’s Chili via A Year of Slow Cooking

We love this recipe because there is only one fresh ingredient, and it’s optional. Plus, it’s super easy: you just combine the ingredients and heat it in cook it in a slow cooker. While it’s great on its own, you could also serve it with rice, tortilla chips, and/or cornbread.

Easy Chana Masala via 40 Aprons

Chana masala is a satisfying Indian dish. We like it because it uses mostly pantry ingredients, but the spice blend makes it super flavorful. The most challenging ingredient may be the ginger-garlic paste. Obviously, you could replace it with fresh ginger and garlic, but if all you have is powdered, that should still give the dish the flavor it needs. Since the flavor of the powder is more concentrated, you won’t need as much. Tasting your dish can give you a better idea of how much to put in.

Cacio e Pepe via Carlsbad Cravings

Since many families stocked up on pasta for lockdown, we would be remiss not to include a pasta recipe on this list. This dish is one that may be new to some families. It is rich and uses simple ingredients, most of which you probably have. We know you might not have Pecorino Romano cheese on hand right now. While parmesan isn’t ideal, it should still lend to a tasty dish if you need a substitution.

Easy Fried Rice via Pumpkin ‘N Spice

Miss your favorite takeout food? We put this recipe on the list for you! While it’s not quite the same as restaurant fried rice, it may satisfy your cravings. The recipe uses mostly pantry ingredients. It also calls for minced onion and garlic. Dried or powdered can work, but remember that powdered onion and garlic have a more concentrated flavor, so you may need just a pinch.

Easy Asian Peanut Noodles via The Garden Grazer

Peanut sauce is so rich and delicious that it can make almost anything taste good, which is why we’ve included this recipe. The sauce uses mostly pantry ingredients except for lemon or lime juice, garlic, and ginger. If you don’t lemons or limes, you could omit the juice or use a little vinegar for pucker. You could also use a pinch of powdered garlic and ginger instead of fresh.

What are your favorite pantry meals to put together in a pinch? Share your family’s favorites in the comments section below!

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