11 Recipes You Can Make Using Pantry Staples

From puttanesca to fried rice.

Whether you're in a time crunch or under the weather, simple recipes really come in handy. That's where your pantry comes in — using staples like chickpeas, beans, pasta, rice, and anchovies, as well as frozen vegetables and meats, you can build a dish with ingredients you already have and grab any fresh items as needed. Some of our favorites include pasta puttanesca and an easy polenta, which pairs beautifully with poached eggs and chili crisp. Read on for more ideas of how you can make the most of what's in your pantry, with available tweaks noted.

Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth

Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth
Victor Protasio

Considering it only takes 20 minutes to make, this recipe packs in a lot of flavor. The only fresh ingredients you need to worry about are limes, plus cilantro for garnish if you have it.

Easy Polenta

easy polenta recipe tips
Sarah Crowder

Six ingredients, only 20 minutes of active time — this recipe is about as low-fuss as it gets. While other polenta recipes typically call for nearly an hour of stirring at the stove, this one comes together off the heat, lid-on, as it rests for 45 minutes. In the end, all that's left to do is whisk in the butter and cheese. You can serve it with everything from slow-roasted pork and vegetables to a simple poached egg with chili crisp and scallions (shown above).

Pulling-from-the-Pantry Puttanesca

Pulling from the Pantry Puttanesca
Victor Protasio

This pasta is largely pulled together from pantry staples — think olive oil, anchovy fillets, canned plum tomatoes, olives, capers, spaghetti, and more. Within 30 minutes, you'll have a tasty meal.

French Rolled Omelet

French Rolled Omelet
Jennifer Causey

There's a reason omelets are go-to meals. Add in shredded Gruyère or cheddar cheese, as well as fresh herbs, if you have any. If not, keep it simple.

Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice
Paola + Murray

This recipe calls for frozen peas, and you can easily use frozen shrimp as well. Other than that, all you need is sugar, black pepper, soy sauce, eggs, rice, salt, and vegetable oil.

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Start with something easy, quick and delicious. Chef Missy Robbins of Brooklyn’s Lilia restaurant swaps chickpeas in for pasta for this riff on spicy pomodoro. She finishes the dish with a shower of fresh herbs and salty pecorino cheese. Constantine Poulos

This one-pan dish — one of our 40 Best recipes — is a riff on pasta pomodoro. Chef Missy Robbins swaps pasta for chickpeas, adds in kale, and tops everything off with fresh herbs and grated cheese for a hearty meal. You can try frozen kale if fresh kale isn't available, and skip the herb garnish if need be.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

Cauliflower Pasta
Caitlin Bensel

If you have any capers and anchovy fillets lingering in your cabinet, add them to this pasta with roasted cauliflower. They help add saltiness and umami to the dish. Again, frozen cauliflower can work if fresh cauliflower isn't available, or you can sub in broccoli or brussels sprouts to adapt the dish to what you have.

Basque Garlic Soup

Basque Garlic Soup
Greg DuPree

This garlicky, smoky soup is perfect for cold weather. The best part? You only need eight ingredients.

Cuban-Style Black Beans

Cuban-Style Black Beans
Romulo Yanes

A pressure cooker helps to speed this recipe up, but if you don't have one, you can always use a regular heavy pot. Serve the dish with toasted rice pilaf.

Classic Beef Chili

classic beef chili

Chili would be a great use of any frozen beef you have. This recipe also calls for tomato paste, spices, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, black beans, and dark red kidney beans. Use dried herbs as needed.

Fried Spiced Red Lentils

spiced lentils snack
Eva Kolenko

This super simple recipe makes a great snack or topping.

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