35 Recipes to Make Using (Mostly) What's Already in Your Pantry

Our refrigerators aren't always teaming with bunches of kale, bushels of beets, and more than 2 carrots. (Are yours? If they are, you deserve something. Perhaps a medal—or cake.)

When the crisper's looking sparse and you need to get something, anything on the table, the solution's simple: Head to the pantry. Here you'll find cans of beans and tomatoes, potatoes, and pasta ready to be used as the base of chili, hash browns, and, um, pasta.

Here are 35 pantry-ready recipes:

beans & legumes




Olives & anchovies (aka the salty things)

canned tomatoes

Tell us: What's your favorite pantry-friendly meal?


Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • sarah
  • Mrs Beryl Patmore
    Mrs Beryl Patmore
  • Gwen Walter
    Gwen Walter
  • Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
    Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
I fall in love with every sandwich I ever meet.


sarah January 21, 2017
My favourite pantry meal is Sylvia's Sauce: Onion and maybe garlic sauteed in olive oil, then canned tuna, canned tomatoes, black olives and capers are added. Served with pasta. Mum's friend Sylvia from Rome served it to us when we visited her, and the recipe has been a staple ever since.
Gwen W. March 13, 2018
sounds yummy - could also use canned chicken - canned ham. Note taken! Thanks.
Mrs B. January 16, 2017
My freezer offers more variety than my pantry, as a general rule . . . though admittedly I make ahead and freeze many conventional "pantry" items that others get out of tins or would cook up for a meal - things like chickpeas, rice and lentils. It would be so helpful to see here more recipes and collections of recipes for dishes that freeze well - ones that would to allow us to use our freezers as often, or more, than our pantries, in putting together meals.
I am disappointed that "The New Way to Dinner" offers so little along those lines. I thank you in advance for making this a priority.
Author Comment
Riddley G. January 16, 2017
Thanks for the tip!
Author Comment
Riddley G. January 16, 2017
Might I suggest these two articles about freezer-friendly meals: and
Mrs B. January 16, 2017
Thank you. I'd like to see more "component" or "building block" recipes, as another user has commented in some of the "make ahead" articles in recent weeks. One she recommended is Mallika Basu's curry sauce, which works as a starting point for other recipes, made with a variety of other items from the freezer and/or pantry.
Perhaps your developers could code in 2 new categories in the recipe filters here, for "freezer friendly" and "weeknight."
Again, thank you.