The ability to pull a quick dinner out of the pantry is a terrific feeling on a hurried weeknight or whenever you just don’t want to go through the hassle of grocery shopping. However, do the words “pantry meal” bring up thoughts of boring or stale food? It doesn’t have to. Here are a handful of creative dinners that use pantry ingredients that still feel fresh.
Dried Rice Noodles
With dried rice noodles in the pantry, you’ve got the basis for a lightning fast dinner — a quick soak makes them pliable enough to stir-fry, add to soup or toss with any number of savoury sauces. Try these fiery Sichuan pepper-laced noodles (if your pantry doesn’t include some of the ingredients, there’s a list of substitutions included).
Lentils are an internationally popular pantry staple, due to its inexpensive and plentiful nature. This recipe uses traditional dal spices such as coriander, turmeric and cumin, as well as a non-traditional instant pot cooking method, to make a quick and warming red lentil stew.
Although delicious served whole, plump cannellini beans take on a new dimension when mashed or blended into a purée or soup. Infusing canned chicken broth with white wine, rosemary and thyme adds another dimension of flavour in this speedy soup.
A can of baked beans makes a natural side dish to meaty spareribs, but this recipe turns it into a hearty dip with all the toppings: sour cream, cheddar and green onion. Top with pulled pork for a complete casual dinner with lots of tortilla chips for dipping (or add some vegetables if you must).