What to CookPantry

If You Have This, Make That: Pantry Edition

40 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: Forgot to plan ahead? Here's how make something out of nothing using a few pantry staples. 

Sometimes you remember to go grocery shopping, to stock up on seconds at the farmers market, to cook meals on Sunday night so you can have lunches and dinners all week long.

Other times you open up your pantry wanting to make pasta and find that all you have is a half bottle of tequila, and a 3-year-old can of pumpkin purée. Oh wait. That's me.

You're much more prepared than I am, I'm sure, so here are some impromptu cheap dinners you can make if you have a few key ingredients in your pantry. 

If you have...

Penne + tuna: Make Zuni's Pasta with Preserved Tuna.


Bread + olives: Make Viana La Place's Umbrian Black Olive Panino.


Spaghetti, eggs, and bacon: Make Spaghetti Carbonara


Flour, anchovies, and olives: Make a Pantry Pissaladière.


Lentils and coconut milk: Make a Simple, Homey, Coconut-y Red Lentil Dal


A can of tomatoes and an onion: Make Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce. Eat it with anything.


What's your go-to pantry dinner? Tell us in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Dinner, Weeknight Cooking, On the Cheap, My Broke Kitchen