9 Easy Meals from Pantry Staples

I personally just wrote a list of things I want (errr, need) to do before the end of the year. Top of the list? Organize and stock our pantry. In my old apartment, I had so many great cabinets and storage space in the kitchen. This apartment’s kitchen is tiny yet surprisingly functional and all of the appliances and pots/pans have a spot. It’s the pantry that’s lacking in space and organization. Right now, it looks like a very, very bad “before shot” for a magazine makeover spread. Because it’s disorganized, I keep thinking we don’t have things (like flour) and that we do have things (like rice) only to realize I have more bags of flour than a bakery and no rice to cook with dinner. Not only will organizing simplify my life, I’ll also be able to stock my pantry with good staples that I can use for quick meals!

9 Easy Meals from Pantry Staples

Guest post by Louisa from Living Lou

I just moved into a new apartment which is a) exciting and b) expensive, and with the holidays just around the corner, I’m using the month of November to try and save money on smaller things (I have a lot of furniture I need to buy) which means focusing on simple recipes that are budget-friendly and make use out of what I already have at home.

Here are four staples you’ll always find in my pantry and a few ideas of how to use them.


  • Pantry Staple: Canned Beans


I always have cans of beans in my pantry because they are the perfect way to beef up a meal.

1. Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

This soup is one of my absolute favorites and uses cans of black beans, tomatoes, and pickled jalapenos.

2. Argentine White Beans Salad

This is a smoky bean salad based off an Argentinian dish, this dish takes a while to cook but it’s perfect for meal prepping.

3. Rice and Beans

This is a classic, all you need is to add a fried egg on top and you’ve got yourself a perfect quick dinner.

  1. Pantry Staple: Brown Rice

I prefer brown rice to white because I like the nutty flavor. It takes a bit longer to cook but it’s definitely worth it in my opinion.

4. Brown Rice Mujaddara

Based off of the popular Middle Eastern dish, with brown rice, onions, and lentils (another pantry staple) you have the perfect dish–I’d also definitely add a fried egg on top!

5. Brown Rice Congee

A total comfort food. I add chicken to this congee, but you could definitely leave it out to make this fully vegetarian.

Pantry Staple: Canned Tuna or Salmon

Sometimes when I’m uber lazy I’ll just eat a plain can of tuna for dinner with a smashed cucumber salad.

6. White Bean Tuna Salad

White beans and tuna–two pantry staples. This is a great dish to make on a Sunday night and bring to work for lunch.

7. Baked Salmon Cakes

I think salmon cakes are totally underrated, when they are made properly they are so delicious. My recipe uses sweet potato with capers and fresh parsley for optimal flavour.

  1. Pantry Staple: Pasta

I mean pasta–duh! Usually if I’m not sure what to have for dinner, I’ll go for some kind of pasta dish.

8. Herbed Pasta with Walnuts

Pick up a few fresh herbs for this simple dish, and remember, you can store nuts in the freezer to keep them fresher longer.

9. Couscous and Chickpea Salad

Couscous is often confused for quinoa, but couscous is actually a king of pasta. This is a quick dish that also packs well for lunches.

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