15 Best Cheap and Easy Pantry Meals

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Pantry Staples Ingredients Ideas!

Are you asking yourself “what can i make for dinner with what’s in my pantry?”

All of these cheap and easy pantry recipes in this collection can be easily made using the following pantry staples.

Stock up on these items and you’ll be able to throw together a delicious meal anytime!

Dry Goods

  • Flour
  • Rice
  • Pancake Mix
  • Oats
  • Dried beans (black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, lentils)
  • Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds)
  • Herbs and spices
  • Pasta
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Sugar


  • Vinegar
  • Oil
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise

Related Post: Best Frozen Meals For Busy Nights

Canned Goods

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned or boxed stock (chicken, beef, vegetable)
  • Pumpkin and butternut squash pureés
  • Canned fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon)
  • Olives,
  • Pickles
  • Capers
  • Sun-dried tomatoes

Frozen Staples

  • Vegetables (onions, peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, spinach)
  • Meats (chicken breast, ground beef or turkey, meatballs, pork roast)

Long-Lasting Produce

  • Potatoes (russet, Yukon gold, sweet potatoes, yams)
  • Squash
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage

Refrigerator Staples

  • Cream Cheese
  • Cheeses
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Heavy Cream
  • Meats (pork chops, chicken thighs, whole chicken, burgers, sausages)

Relates post: How to Stock on Food For an Emergency

Best Cheap and Easy Pantry Meals

1. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

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2. Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice Recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner idea! Simple to make.

This homemade fried rice tastes SO good.

Butter with a Side of Bread
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Photo Credit: Butter with a Side of Bread

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3. Best Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a classic recipe that everyone loves.

This quick and easy chicken noodle recipe won’t disappoint.

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4. One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

This One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice is an easy and satisfying meal that the whole family will love.

It also meal preps well for lunches all week! 

One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
Photo Credit: Budget Bytes

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5. Easy Vegetable Soup

Save money and enjoy a hearty meatless meal with this Easy Vegetable Soup.

It is a hearty and delicious meal for the entire family.

It comes together quickly, tastes amazing, and reheats beautifully.

Easy Vegetable Soup.
Photo Credit: Good Cheap Eats

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6. Creamy Instant Pot Mac And Cheese

This is a Mac & Cheese with a twist. Creamy instant pot Mac & Cheese with just 5 ingredients.

This recipe is for a perfectly creamy instant pot mac and cheese that adults and kids alike will go crazy for.

It ticks all the boxes of our favorite comfort food and best of all, it only takes one pot.

Close-up of creamy mac and cheese served in a pristine white bowl, highlighting its rich consistency.
Creamy Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

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7. Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta with Vodka Sauce

Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta with Vodka Sauce Recipe – Shrimp, Penne, and Creamy Tomato Sauce come together effortlessly in the Pressure Cooker!

Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta with Vodka Sauce
Instant Pot Shrimp Pasta with Vodka Sauce
Photo Credit: A Spicy Perspective

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8. Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Garlic

This Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Garlic is an easy low carb / keto-friendly meal for spring.

Best of all, this pressure cooker chicken recipe cooks up tender, juicy, and full of flavor! 

 Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Garlic
Instant Pot Lemon Chicken with Garlic
Photo Credit: Life Made Sweeter

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9. Instant Pot Taco Soup

Instant Pot Taco Soup is one of the easiest soups to make. This is a variation on an old family favorite.

I adapted this to be a pressure cooker taco soup. It’s delicious and zesty!

Instant Pot Taco Soup
Instant Pot Taco Soup
Photo Credit: Simply Happy Foodie

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10. Lemon Butter Pasta 

This vegetarian garlic butter pasta takes just 15 minutes from start to finish and uses only 6 ingredients!

It’s the easiest, most flavorful weeknight dinner ever and even the pickiest of eaters in your family are going to LOVE it!

A plate of vegetarian pasta with lemon, butter and garlic sauce.

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11. Easy Chicken Tacos

With a simple spice rub, the chicken is cooked so quickly on the stovetop! Dice into small pieces and serve with pico, avocado + lime!

I think this one of the best Taco Tuesday go-to weeknight meal for the next few weeks

Easy Chicken Tacos
Photo Credit: Damm Delicious

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12. Best Ever Pancake Recipe

Easy Pancakes | Simple ingredients and a few minutes time is all you need to make this delicious pancake recipe.

Load these perfect pancakes up with fresh fruit or drown them in your favorite maple syrup. 

Beat Ever Pancake Recipe
Beat Ever Pancake Recipe
Photo Credit: Grace & Good Eats

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13. Tomato Quinoa Salad

This Tomato Quinoa Salad is fast, flavorful, and easily made in advance for speedy lunches and sides for work, school, or home!

Tomato Quinoa Salad
Tomato Quinoa Salad
Photo Credit: Peas & Crayons

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14. Traditional Potato Salad

This easy, traditional potato salad recipe, handed down from my grandma to my mom and then to me, has their secret tips that makes it the very best potato salad recipe every single time.

Traditional Potato Salad
Traditional Potato Salad
Photo Credit: Foodie Crush

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15. Easy Tomato Soup

Easy roasted tomato soup served with a simple, extra-cheesy grilled cheese sandwich is comfort food personified.

Served with a swirl of cream and fresh basil, it’s your childhood favorite all grown up.

Easy Tomato Soup
Easy Tomato Soup
Photo Credit: Simply Delicious

Find it here

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