This season of COVID-19 and social distancing can feel lonely and even a bit mundane. Many of us are spending more time at home, and it is difficult to think of fresh ideas, especially when it comes to the kitchen!
With that in mind, we pulled together some of our favorite recipes to share with you using ingredients most of us already have in our pantry. It is a great time to practice your cooking skills and get creative in the kitchen. Have some fun with this! Maybe try cooking as a family or even have a cooking competition. We hope these recipes will give you new ideas for meals to cook for your family and loved ones and add some fun into your daily routine.
Make the most of the items in your pantry with these delicious pantry meal recipes. Gather your family around the table or video chat with some friends and enjoy!
This fried rice recipe can be ready in twenty minutes or less! It’s easy, hearty, packed with veggies, filled with perfectly cooked eggs, and coated with a delicious (simple) sauce.
(This recipe was originally found here.)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (~2 cloves)
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (~1/2 inch piece)
- 1 cup frozen diced carrots and peas
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 2 cups cooked day-old rice, from the fridge
- 3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil (or toasted sesame oil)
- SAUCE: Start by whisking together all of the sauce ingredients EXCEPT the sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside until needed. You might also want to prep all the veggies here now too because the cooking goes FAST (dice onion, mince garlic, mince ginger)
- EGGS: Add butter to a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. While the butter is melting, add all three eggs to a small bowl and whisk together. As soon as the butter is melted, pour all the whisked egg mixture into the skillet. Swirl the skillet to get the eggs in one layer covering the bottom of the pan. Let stand for 30 seconds. Grab a silicone spatula and press one side of the eggs to the other side. Tilt the skillet to get any uncooked eggs to now fill that section of the pan. Continue to press the eggs gently to the other side of the pan and tilting the pan to move any uncooked eggs to touch the hot skillet. Barely break up the eggs with the spatula and then transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
- FRIED RICE: Add the oil to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Add diced onion and stir for about 3-4 minutes or until beginning to turn translucent. Add garlic and ginger and stir for about 20 seconds. Add in the frozen peas, carrots, and corn (no need to thaw). Stir around and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until veggies are defrosted and the excess water has evaporated completely. Add in the cooked and cold rice and then the prepared sauce. Cook for 1 and 1/2 – 2 minutes or until the sauce coats all the ingredients.
- SERVE: Add in the cooked and reserved egg and the green onions. Stir together, taste and season with salt if needed (I usually add a big pinch) and remove from heat. Drizzle the top with sesame oil and enjoy hot!
This chicken ramen is an easy and flavorful thirty-minute skillet dinner! With veggies, noodles, chicken, and an addictive sauce coating it all, this is a dinner the whole family will love!
(This recipe originally appeared here.)
- 3 packages (3 ounces EACH) ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste (or ~1 inch fresh ginger)
- 1/2 of 1 large red bell pepper (~2/3 cup), chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 cup chopped broccoli, chopped into small pieces
- 2 ounces chopped mushrooms, (~3/4 cup) chopped into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2-3 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 tablespoon packed dark or light brown sugar
- 1 large chicken breast OR thigh (1/2 pound), chopped into small bite-size pieces
- Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Garnish with sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, 3-4 green onions, 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and a few drizzles of sesame oil.
- Follow package directions to cook the ramen noodles. Discard seasoning packets. Drain noodles and toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. (I grate fresh garlic and ginger on a microplane OR if I’m in a hurry I use ginger paste! If sensitive to ginger feel free to reduce) Saute for about 2 minutes until soft. Add the red bell pepper, broccoli, and mushrooms. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until crisp tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sriracha (to taste; we add in all 3 teaspoons but it does have a bit of heat!), and brown sugar. Whisk until combined and set aside.
- Chop up the chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste (both sides). Push the vegetables to one side of the skillet and add the chicken to the other side. Cook the chicken, stirring until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes depending on size it was cut to. Now combine everything and pour the sauce over it all. Stir.
- Add drained noodles on top and toss with tongs until noodles are coated in sauce and all ingredients are incorporated in. Add a few drizzles of sesame oil to taste. Add toasted sesame seeds, green onions, and cilantro as desired. Enjoy immediately.
Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e Pepe. It’s the most simple dish in the whole wide world, but it requires a little precision and some great ingredients.
(This recipe was originally posted here.)
- Kosher salt
- 10 ounces Barilla® spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed, divided
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Once boiling, add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, and reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cracked black pepper and cook, swirling pan, until toasted, about 1 minute.
- Add 1/2 cup reserved pasta water to skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the spaghetti and remaining butter. Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan, stirring and tossing with tongs until melted. Remove pan from heat; add Pecorino, stirring and tossing until cheese melts and the sauce coats the pasta. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Serve immediately.
(This recipe originally appeared in HomeLife Magazine in January 2017.)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 16-ounce cans mild chili beans
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 15.25 ounces canned corn, drained
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 package taco seasoning mix
- 1 1/2 cups cheese, grated
Brown meat and garlic in a large saucepan. Drain. Add the rest of the ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Top bowls of soup with cheese to serve. NOTE: If you prefer spicier food, use chili beans in medium sauce and substitute tomatoes with diced tomatoes with green chilies.
Spice up your family’s usual grilled cheese with these exciting upgrades:
- Use mayo instead of butter. (This makes for crispy bread!)
- Add “Everything But the Bagel” seasoning on the bread after the butter/mayo.
- Use two or three different cheeses (whatever you have—go wild!).
- Add a tomato, spinach, avocado, pear, apple, or whatever you have available.
- Add lunch meat or grilled chicken.
- Substitute sliced cheese with macaroni and cheese and add bacon.
What are your favorite pantry recipes? Share one in the comments below!