Pantry Recipes and Meals to Whip Up Any Time of Day

Put what's already in your kitchen to good use with these pantry recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

During the coronavirus pandemic, venturing out to a grocery store to stock up can be daunting. Coupled with long wait times for grocery delivery and many restaurants limiting their services or closing, getting a proper meal on the table can be a struggle. So, we’ve put together a list of fridge and pantry-friendly breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts to help you make the most of what you have on hand. By the way, some pantry staples last almost a lifetime.

Psst! Check out these creative substitutes for pantry staples in case you run out of something.

Pantry Breakfasts

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Start a quarantine day off on the right foot with one of these deliciously simple pantry breakfast recipes. Sweets like pancakes, waffles, french toast and granola rely on pantry staples like flour, sugar, oats, bread and other dry goods. You can zhuzh these treats up with some brown sugar, honey or a handful of frozen fruit.

Speaking of frozen, did you know you can freeze eggs? It’s true! Learn how to freeze eggs, from raw to scrambled. It makes throwing make-ahead meals like breakfast sandwiches or frittatas super easy. If you’re out of eggs completely, take a look at these surprising egg substitutes and when to use them.

Eggs aren’t your only option for a simple savory breakfast. Basics like potatoes can be transformed into a hearty hash or you can pull out some bacon to make BLTs. You can make sure your bacon stays fresh by checking out how to freeze bacon.

In fact, learn how to freeze just about anything with our ultimate guide to freezing food.

Pantry Lunches

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Take a break while working from home to enjoy a pantry-staple lunch recipe. Pair rice or quinoa with some leftovers to build a grain bowl that will power you through the day. Or you can throw together a quick tuna salad, chicken salad or chickpea salad with canned proteins and slather it on a piece of bread or tortilla. If you’re a fan of deli meat, make sure you’re storing it to last.

We especially like making soup for lunch because they’re incredibly adaptable to what you have on hand and can be as basic or complex as you’d like. Plus, most soups are great to freeze for later.

Pantry Dinners

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Pasta, rice and tortillas are these pantry dinner recipes best friends! You’ll also want to stock up on freezer-friendly meats like chicken, ground beef and turkey, sausages and most fish are good to buy in bulk, freeze portions of and defrost whenever needed.

Overall, the freezer is a great resource to get you and your food through quarantine. You can toss together some freezer meal recipes like meat loaf, casseroles and meatballs that will stay fresh for months. Before filling up the freezer, though, read up on how long food lasts in the freezer.

Pantry Desserts

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If quarantine isn’t the perfect time to indulge in something sweet, then we don’t know when. From 3-ingredient cookies to apple pan betty, these pantry dessert recipes can be scrounged together with minimal effort.

While flour, sugar and butter are pretty standard in most baking recipes, you might run into recipes with more specialized ingredients like buttermilk or corn syrup that you don’t have. Not to worry! We put together a list of quick baking substitutes that will save the day and your dessert.

Next, learn how to keep cabin fever at bay with 100 fun things you can do with your kids at home.

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Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.