How Pantry Meals Can Get You Through the Week

Meals from pantry staples Whether you’re stuck at home, pressed for time, or just trying to save a little money, pantry meals can help make dinner a breeze.

The past two months of coronavirus-induced social distancing have taught me a lot. For one thing, my kid rocks online learning. I actually think he’s going to be sad when school starts up again. Also, grocery store employees and delivery drivers are real-life heroes, and it’s okay to wear a mask in public.

Know what else I learned? The importance of a well-stocked pantry. After all, pantry meals got us through some pretty tough weeks.

Pantry Meals: Using What You Have

I wrote a post recently that took a deep dive into my angst-filled grocery trips during our coronavirus madness. In order to keep that anxiety at bay, and to support wellness in our community, I’m trying to minimize shopping trips. Some weeks, I skip the grocery store entirely. And that means stretching our food stash a little bit farther.

Pantry meals to the rescue.

My pantry stays stocked full of pasta, rice, canned vegetables, broth, and other quick family favorites. I buy lots of BOGOs (Buy One, Get One), and stock up when items we use often go on sale. Plus, add in frozen staples like meats, veggies, rolls, and pizza, and you have the makings for a plentiful week of pantry meals.

Dinner is Served

Here’s what my week of pantry meals looked like.


Make spaghetti pie
Spaghetti, sauce, eggs, and cheese make a spaghetti pie my son loves.


Chicken and stuffing
Winner winner, chicken dinner! I always stock up on chicken breasts when they’re on the “Buy One Get One” deal at Publix. I take them out of the package, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and pop them in the freezer. That way, I almost always have chicken on hand.


Cheeseburger dinner
Keeping frozen burgers on hand makes for a quick meal. The guys get turkey burgers, while it will be a veggie burger is for me.


Chicken and rice
PDQ had a great deal on chicken tenders over the last few weeks, so we bought a bunch and froze them. I thawed some in the refrigerator overnight and served them up with yellow rice. Yummy!


Pizza and garlic rolls
Friday is pizza night around here! Sometimes we get delivery, but in a time of quarantine, we’re sticking to pantry meals. Frozen pizza and breadsticks do the trick for us.

While we relied on these pantry meals to get us through a week of quarantine, a generous pantry works for plenty of other situations, too. For instance, when you know you have a busy week coming up, check your stash for quick-cooking staples like pasta and rice. In addition, pantry meals can help you save a few bucks by cutting down your grocery trips. (Check out my tips for un-extreme couponing, too!)

So now just pop into the pantry and see the great meals you have hiding in there!

Kathy’s family moved to Tampa when she was 5, and aside from a few years at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), she’s never lived anywhere else. She’s Irish by heritage, Greek by marriage, and mom to one brilliant little boy. She’s an avid sports fan and lived her Disney-geek dream as a member of the 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel. A former TV producer and PR pro, Kathy now proudly sports the title of stay-at-home mom. Follow her sports-loving, Disneyfied, Tampa-centric antics on Twitter @kathyk671.