Pantry Staples

Meals in Minutes from Pantry Staples

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m bringing you a recipe roundup for meals in minutes from pantry staples. 

It’s been a requested topic all week, and I completely understand due to the stress, uncertainty, and anxiety that this has caused us. As humans, we’re hardwired to feel this way in response to a threat. 

Just remember, there are a number of ways that we can take care of our health (mental, emotional, and physical). This includes regular self-care, adequate sleep, gentle nutrition, and social connection. Self-care doesn’t need to be fancy; just choose more of what feels grounding and nourishing to you! 

A Walkthrough of Pantry Staples 


Whole grains provide an array of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Stock up on a mix of your favorite whole grains and branch out to try new ones.

  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled oats
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Tortillas

Beans + legumes

Dried or canned legumes provide protein + fiber at a cheap cost. Add to salads, soups, or even baked goods. 

  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • White beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans

Nuts, seeds, + butters

Nuts provide healthy fats and protein. Stock your pantry with your favorite varieties to have as a snack or as a supplement to meals.

  • Almonds, almond butter
  • Peanuts, peanut butter
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Canned and boxed goods

Canned fish is inexpensive, already cooked, and offers healthy fats. Broths and stocks can transform into bases for many meals.

  • Canned tuna, salmon, or sardines
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Coconut milk
  • Broths, vegetable or chicken 

Oils, vinegars, sauces

Have a combination of your favorites on hand to whip up a quick dressing or add to protein and veggies for a flavorful dish. 

  • Oils- olive, grape seed, avocado, canola
  • Kinds of vinegar- balsamic, apple cider, white wine
  • Ethnic sauces


These items help you add fragrance and flavor to any dish.

  • Herbs- dried + fresh
  • Citrus- lemons + limes
  • Aromatics- garlic, onions, shallots
  • Salts- kosher, sea salt, table salt
  • Sweeteners- honey, maple syrup
  • Spices- start with 6-8 and build from there

Dairy (or non-dairy alternatives) 

Dairy products are versatile in transforming dishes and provide nutritional benefits of calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and protein.

  • Milk, or non-dairy alternatives
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs

Frozen proteins

Frozen proteins help incorporate this major food group into your diet at your convenience. After the simple act of defrosting, these items are ready to cook.

  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Lean cuts of meat

Frozen fruits + veggies

Frozen fruits are my go-to for enjoying smoothies all year round! My favorite frozen veggies are peas + edamame, which I add to soups + stir-frys. 

  • Your favorite fruits
  • Your favorite veggies

Finally, now that we’ve completed our pantry walkthrough, let’s bring these ingredients together for meals in minutes! 

Meals In Minutes

5 Meals in Minutes from Pantry Staples 

For a low-maintenance evening in the kitchen, try one of these easy recipes! 

These recipes are: 

  • Easy assembly  
  • 10 minutes or less 
  • 5 ingredients or less

1. Stuffed Sweet Potato


  • 1 sweet potato, baked 
  • ¼ cup black beans 
  • ½ cup canned corn 
  • 2 tablespoon salsa 
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt 


Drain and rinse canned products. Stuff sweet potato with beans, corn, salsa, and greek yogurt. You may need to scoop out some of the sweet potato to make room for the toppings! 

2. Easy Rice Bowl 


  • ½ cup brown rice, cooked 
  • ½ cup edamame, from frozen 
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup shredded carrots 
  • 1-2 tablespoons tahini
  • Bonus: 1 over easy egg on top. 


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add cooked rice, frozen edamame, and shredded carrots, stirring occasionally- about 5 minutes. If adding egg, cook in the center of the pan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk tahini and soy sauce together. Once egg is cooked and food is warm, transfer to bowl and toss together. Enjoy warm! 

3. Quickest Quinoa Salad


  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked 
  • 2 tablespoons hummus 
  • ¼ cup chickpeas 
  • 2 tablespoons salsa 
  • 1 cup arugula (or whatever greens you have on hand) 


Toss ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Simple as that!

4. Basic Breakfast Burrito 


  • 1 tortilla 
  • 1-2 eggs, scrambled 
  • ¼ cup black beans 
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned) 
  • 2 ounces cheese 


After scrambling eggs, wrap up egg, black beans, tomatoes and cheese in your favorite type of tortilla. Despite the name, this can be enjoyed at any meal of the day. 

5. Sweet Tooth Quesadilla 


  • 1 tortilla 
  • ½ banana, sliced
  • 3 strawberries, sliced 
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 


Spread nut butter on tortilla, add remaining ingredients and fold. Heat in skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes each side. 

Meals In Minutes

More Inspiration for Pantry Meals 

In addition to bringing you my Meals in Minutes from Pantry Staples, I wanted to share a roundup of resources from other Intuitive Eating Dietitians that I have found to be helpful. 

  1. Why Processed Foods Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet by Rachael Hartley, RD. This has a great list of meal ideas from processed foods including macaroni with broccoli and Everything Bagel Seasoning (Yum…I’m trusting Rachael on this one!)
  2. 20 Pantry Staple Recipe Ideas by Kara Lydon, RD. I love the sound of Kara’s Butternut Squash Risotto that she highlights in this article. Ever since I started dating my boyfriend, Ian, who loves making Risotto, I’ve been a fan! 

In Gratitude 

Above all, I want to acknowledge the privilege of having a stocked pantry, groceries, and knowing where my next meal is coming from. Feeding America has established a COVID-19 Response Fund if you are looking to help out someone else today. We rise by helping one another! 

As always, tag us in your meal creations @everglownutrition on Instagram!

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