It's been a crazy few weeks in the world and even though we don't yet have it as bad over here on our side of the world in Vancouver, Canada, it's starting to get real. We have been slowly going through all our produce and through our pantry and freezer stock in our apartment. Which means we have been making lots of easy pantry staple recipes including beans, rice, pasta, and meals cooked using frozen meat.
Our family has been staying inside, and let me tell you, it is hard to stay at home with a very active toddler. The silver lining to my husband being temporarily laid off of work and at home during this time is that I can get some breaks. It has also been nice to be able to cook without a little person pulling on my leg to see what I am doing.
So, if you are looking for meals to prepare while at home, I have compiled some great options for you using pantry staples.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
Beans are the pantry staple item, whether they are dry or canned. Now is the time to start using them up. Scroll through the recipes below to find some ways to cook up those beans for your next meal.
Some of my favourite ways to cook beans are:
- Easy 20-Minute One Pot Lentils (using dry lentils): If you have some lentils in your pantry, now is the perfect time to whip up some easy 20-minute one pot lentils. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, packed with protein, and highly nutritious with immunity boosting properties. Get the recipe here.
- Easy Lima Beans (using dry lima beans): Lima beans don't have to be boring and bland. Bring them to life by making them tasty and full of flavour with this easy to follow recipe. Get the recipe here.
- One Pot Red Kidney Beans (using dry red kidney beans): Delicious, vegan and gluten-free, one pot red kidney beans is packed with plant-based protein. Get the recipe here.
Soup is one of the easiest meals to put together, and one of the best for building up your immune system. They are also usually freezer-friendly, which means you can cook a big batch and save some for later. Scroll through the recipes below and find your next meal.
Some of my favourite soup recipes are:
- Skinny Creamy Artichoke Soup (using canned artichokes): This creamy soup is bursting with the unique flavour and aroma of sautéed leeks, which go oh so good with artichokes. It also gets its thick, creamy, and smooth texture from potatoes! That’s right, there is only a tiny amount of cream in the entire pot. Get the recipe here.
- Creamy Chinese-Style Borscht Soup (using cans of tomato paste and coconut milk): This hearty soup it loaded with carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and ham in a creamy tomato soup base AND is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Get the recipe here.
- Slow Cooker Asian Beef Noodle Soup (can use frozen beef chunks): This hearty and oily soup is packed with beef chunks, vegetables, and Asian spices and flavours. You don't need any added vegetable oils because you get all the oily goodness and savoury flavour from the beef's natural fat content through the slow cooking process. Get the recipe here.
- Roasted Carrot and Ginger Soup: Carrot soups tend to be a little boring but when you roast the carrots first and add a kick of ginger, you will experience a transformation into a smooth, rich and velvety roasted carrot and ginger soup. It is full of flavour, healthy, and super easy to make. In other words, perfect. Get the recipe here.
Pasta and Noodles
Pasta is another pantry staple and an easy meal to put together and a great way to use up all the pasta stocked up in your pantry. Scroll through the recipes below and find one (or more) that you would like to make.
Some of my favourite pasta recipes are:
- Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy, cheesy, classic mac and cheese with a crunchy topping always finds a way to my holiday table. If you have grown accustomed to those boxes of mac and cheese, you don’t know what you are missing!! Trust me, once you try the real stuff, you will never go back. Get the recipe here.
- Creamy Spinach and Tomato Vegetarian Lasagna: Take comfort food to another level with the best creamy spinach and tomato vegetarian lasagna. You won't even miss the meat! Get the recipe here.
- Baked Pasta with Rotisserie Chicken: Need a pasta dish with layers of flavour in under 30 minutes? Look no further! Baked pasta with rotisserie chicken, earthy and warm shiitake mushrooms, and nutty asiago cheese is the perfect weeknight meal. Get the recipe here.
Frozen Meat or Seafood
Dishes made using frozen meat or seafood is another great way to use up stocked up food from the freezer. Scroll through the recipes below and find the one perfect for you.
Some of my favourite meat or seafood dishes are:
- Easy Air Fryer Lamb Chops with Dijon Garlic Marinade (can use frozen lamb shanks): Juicy, tender, and delicious 18-minute air fryer lamb chops is marinated in a dijon garlic sauce and will change the way you cook lamb forever! Get the recipe here.
- Tiger Prawns in Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce (can use frozen tiger prawns): These tiger prawns are perfectly cooked, juicy, tender and immersed in incredible Asian flavours of garlic, ginger and soy sauce. And guess what? It only takes 15 minutes to make!! This includes the prep time. Get the recipe here.
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas (can use frozen chicken breast): Sizzling and hot sheet pan chicken fajitas are on the table in less than 30 minutes! The best part is that you just throw everything into one sheet pan. Get the recipe here.
- Perfect Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Sauce: 30 minutes for a chicken dinner? And not just any chicken dinner. I’m talking about a creamy, delicious, and savoury skillet chicken with lemon garlic sauce. Sign me up please! Get the recipe here.
Rice is another pantry staple. Scroll through the recipes below to find some creative ways to cook rice for your next meal.
Some of my favourite rice recipes are:
- Easy Coconut Rice: Amazing, aromatic coconut flavours emanates from this perfect, easy coconut rice, making it the perfect side dish to almost any side dish. Get the recipe here.
- One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice: Packed with flavour, real ingredients and vibrant colours, one pot Spanish chicken and rice is the perfect no fuss, no clean up weeknight meal. Get the recipe here.
- Easy Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers: Fresh bell peppers baked with an assortment of veggies and brown rice and ready in under an hour. Get the recipe here.
Freezer-friendly recipes are perfect when you are spending so much time at home because you can use up all the free time to make a few batches of these dishes and store them in the freezer for a day where you don't want to spend a lot of time prepping lunch or dinner. Scroll through the recipes below and see if there is one you would like to make.
Some of my favourite freezer-friendly dishes to prepare are:
- Egg and Chive Vegetarian Dumplings: Fragrant chives with fluffy scrambled eggs, and a dash of flavour come together to create the perfect appetizer -- egg and chive vegetarian dumplings. Get the recipe here.
- Easy Homemade Biscuits: Flaky, fluffy, buttery, and soft, these easy homemade biscuits come together with only a handful of ingredients you already have at home! To serve, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and serve with your holiday meal. Get the recipe here.
- Baked Mozzarella Sticks: Crunchy, cheesy, and paired with an awesome dipping sauce, these baked mozzarella sticks are just as amazing as what you would find in a restaurant! Get the recipe here.
Flour, yeast, water and salt. That's pretty much all you need to bake homemade bread.
Some of my favourite breads to bake are:
- Small Batch No Knead Bread: Fluffy and airy, small batch no-knead bread has the perfect crusty exterior. Get the recipe here.
- Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread: This focaccia bread is so easy, requires no kneading and no second proofing, making it the perfect bread for beginners. It’s super garlicky, thick, and has a cake-like sponginess. Get the recipe here.
- No Knead French Baguettes: These baguettes have a light, tender and airy crumb inside, and a crispy, crunchy crust outside. Get the recipe here.
- Easy No Yeast Biscuits: Flaky, fluffy, buttery, and soft, these easy homemade biscuits come together with only a handful of ingredients you already have at home! To serve, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and serve with your holiday meal. Get the recipe here.
With all that Netflix binge-watching going on, you need a good collection of snacks. Thankfully, I have a lot of options for you to choose from. You can basically make something new everyday to keep it interesting.
Some of my favourite snacks to make are:
- No Bake Protein-Packed Energy Bites (using peanut butter, oats, and nuts): No cooking or reheating required, simply combine real wholesome ingredients, form into individual bite size pieces, and make your morning routine a little simpler. Get the recipe here.
- Classic Hummus (using canned chickpeas and tahini): Make hummus in one simple step and witness magic right before your eyes. This creamy and smooth dip lasts about a week to 10 days in an airtight container in the fridge, and is also freezer-friendly. Get the recipe here.
- Almond Cranberry Chocolate Granola Bars (using peanut butter, oats, and nuts): My go-to snack are easy, almond cranberry chocolate granola bars. They are amazing chewy goodness all in one bite! Plus they are vegan and gluten-free. Get the recipe here.
Immune Boosting Tea
So while we are staying at home, let's add another preventative measure by building up our immune systems.
Some of my favourite immune-boosting teas are:
- Immune-Boosting Ginger Turmeric Tea: 3-ingredient immune-boosting ginger turmeric tea is the ultimate daily boost for your immune system, containing some powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Get the recipe here.
- Apple Cider Turmeric Detox Drink: Start your mornings right with this easy-to-make, apple cider turmeric detox drink bursting with incredible health benefits. Get the recipe here.
And last but not least, we need some sweetness to get through these times. Bring on the dessert! Scroll through the recipes below and pick some of your favourites.
Some of my favourite dessert to bake are:
- Nutty Banana Bread (using nuts and dried fruit): The combination of ripe bananas, crunchy walnuts, sweet and tangy raisins and dried fruit creates a soft and moist loaf that is truly irresistible. Get the recipe here.
- The Best Peanut Butter Cookies (using peanut butter): What is better than classic, soft and chewy peanut butter cookies? Umm… not a whole lot comes to mind. Get ready to fall in love with a cookie. Get the recipe here.
- Jam-Filled Thumbprint Cookies with Almond Glaze (using jam): Soft, buttery, melt-in-your mouth jam-filled thumbprint cookies with almond glaze are the cutest, festive treat to make. Plus, it comes together with just a handful of ingredients and less than 20 minutes of prep time. Get the recipe here.
A compilation of easy pantry staple recipes including beans, rice, pasta, meals cooked using frozen meat, freezer-friendly meals and immune-boosting drinks.
- 1 soup
- 1-3 dishes of beans, pasta, rice, frozen meat, and/or freezer-friendly meals
- some snacks
- 1 dessert
Prepare recipes in accordance with instructions in each individual post.
- Beans (easy 20-minute one pot lentils, one pot red kidney beans and easy lima beans) can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and reheat really well on the stove or microwave. They are also freezer-friendly.
- Most of the soups can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and reheat really well on the stove or microwave. They are also freezer-friendly.
- The pasta dishes can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and reheat well on the stove or microwave. Classic baked macaroni and cheese and baked pasta with rotisserie chicken and shiitake mushrooms reheat well in the oven.
- The frozen meat and seafood dishes can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and reheat well on the stove or microwave.
- The rice dishes can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and reheat well on the stove or microwave. Easy vegan stuffed bell peppers reheat well in the oven.
- The freezer-friendly dishes can be made well in advance and stored in the freezer until ready to eat. To defrost, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat.
- Most of the snacks can be made in advance and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature, according to recipe instructions.
- Most of the dessert can be made in advance and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature, according to recipe instructions.
Day of Items
- The following soups are best served fresh from the pot: slow cooker Asian beef noodle soup, healthy miso ramen with chicken, slow cooker beef stew ramen, and easy 10-minute wonton soup.
- Creamy avocado basil pesto spaghetti is best served fresh as the avocado sauce will start to brown after a few hours.
- Curried white bean crostini with toasted pepitas is best served fresh.
- The following snacks are best served fresh: easy 5-ingredient salsa, fruit layered chia seed pudding, banana toast with granola and honey, baked sweet potato wedges with homemade honey mustard, greek salad hummus flatbread, smoked salmon and cream cheese cracker bites, four quick and easy ritz cracker recipes, and 5-minute super berry smoothie bowl.
- Individual apple crisp and easy nutella crepes with berries are best served fresh.