we all have those moments. either we forget to thaw something for dinner, or we do not plan what we are going to cook for dinner that night. you come into the kitchen and wonder, ‘what am i going to make for dinner’? my pantry helps me in those times of need! to me, ‘pantry’ means common items or ingredients that are kept on hand. those items can be stocked in a refrigerator, freezer, cabinets, trays, etc. there is always something in my pantry that i can use to make a meal. the key is keeping the pantry stocked with specific and common items that will help you come up with great meal ideas on a whim.
pancakes, waffles – these items are made up of basic ingredients which includes flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, eggs and milk – very common pantry items. it is a great idea to make up batches of your favorite pancake or waffle recipe’s dry ingredients and keep them in ziplocs ready for you.
granola – i always have granola in my pantry. it is easy to sprinkle over yogurt for a quick breakfast or munch on throughout the day as a snack.
french toast – most of the time we always have bread on hand, especially day old bread which makes it easy to whip up a batch of french toast. sometimes, i mix a little cinnamon and sugar together to sprinkle over some buttered toasted bread, which my kids love.
frittatas – eggs are a staple in the pantry, which makes frittatas an easy option. since frittatas are so versatile, it is easy to use different meats and/or leftover veggies you have lying around. they are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner and come together quickly.
biscuits/scones – great for breakfast or served with dinner, biscuits and scones are an excellent example of something you can make straight from your pantry. my buttermilk biscuit recipe is highly requested each week in our home along with my strawberry orange scones with vanilla glaze recipe. scones do not have to be sweet, they can be savory with some fresh herbs or even chopped bacon.
pasta, pasta, pasta! keeping pasta in the pantry is an excellent canvas for many great pasta dinners. you will be surprised at what you can come up with when you use what vegetables and meats you have on hand. my garlic brown butter pasta recipe was used with pasta, garlic and butter (meat optional). since i always have canned tomatoes in my pantry, i was able to come up with my angel hair with tomatoes and parmesan recipe, which turned out great.
canned tomatoes – great to have on hand for so many reasons! you can use them in the pasta recipe above, spaghetti and meatballs, marinara sauce for pizza, make roasted tomato soup, add the tomatoes to soups… sky is the limit! if you have a garden and can your tomatoes, even better.
another pantry staple is chicken bouillon cubes or chicken stock. i also make my own stock, which is kept in the freezer. keeping chicken stock on hand can help make gravy’s easily, like my chicken meatballs with dijon dill gravy. for gravy, all you need is butter, flour and stock – all pantry staples. another use for stocks is soup! i do not know how many times, i chopped up whatever leftover veggies and meats were in my fridge and made an incredible soup. you can also drop some pasta, orzo, tortellini, or rice into the broth for more added texture.
speaking of rice! rice is a very affordable pantry item that can be used in so many ways. fried rice is a great way to use left over veggies and it is delicious.
pizza! we have a weekly pizza night at our house. if you make your own pizza dough, which consists of flour, water and some yeast – your pantry should be stocked with what you need. when i don’t feel like making my own pizza dough, i sometimes buy my dough frozen (when on sale) and keep them in the freezer. i thaw the dough in the fridge the day before and it’s ready. many times we have made pizza with items that we have on hand for variety! pantry items like bbq sauce, corn, salsa, onions, etc., usually find their way into one of our pizzas.
crepes – all it takes to make these babies are flour, milk, water, eggs – all common pantry items. we can go savory or sweet in this department. filling them with chicken and cheese or nutella and whip cream is entirely up to you! they are quick to make and easy to freeze.
cake – my kids heads turned around when i ‘typed’ the word cake. lol. i make a lot of cakes. as we have seen thus far, flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda can go a LONG way. since i always have those items on hand, i can always make a cake. i usually always have bananas and nuts in my freezer which makes a great banana nut bread as well!
cookies/brownies – here comes the flour combo again. all you need to make many desserts is right there in your pantry, for recipes like my s’more or caramel pecan brownies. on hand items you may have such as, chocolate chips, dried fruits, marshmallows or nuts are tasty additions.
we have much more than we think stored in our pantry. if you take a closer look at your pantry items, you will be surprised at how resourceful you can be.