Budget-Friendly Pantry-Staples 7-Day Meal Plan

By: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D., Digital Meal Plan Editor

These pantry-staple recipes will help you get a healthy dinner on the table quickly each night this week.

Budget-Friendly Pantry-Staples Dinner Plan

Pantry staples can be your saving grace for those weeks when the clock seems to be ticking by faster than ever. Keep a few essential pantry items on hand—such as canned tomatoes and beans, frozen veggies, dried herbs and spices—to help get a healthy dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Using pantry staples means your grocery list will be short, so you'll also save plenty of money with this week's meal plan.

 

Day 1: One-Pot Pasta with Tuna

Ready in: 35 minutes

One-Pot Pasta with Tuna: Use the one-pot pasta cooking method to make this tuna pasta recipe that calls for just 5 ingredients and is ready in just over half an hour. For extra crunch and a tuna noodle casserole feel, sprinkle this speedy pasta dish with toasted whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs.

Kitchen Staples: Whole-wheat spaghetti, lemon, salt, pepper, canned tuna & olive oil

What to Buy Fresh: Castelvetrano olives & fresh dill 

 

Day 2: Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach

Ready in: 25 minutes

Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas & Spinach: Simmer eggs in a rich tomatoey cream sauce studded with chickpeas and silky spinach for a super-fast vegetarian dinner. Serve with a piece of crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

Kitchen staples: Olive oil, garlic, canned crushed tomatoes, canned chickpeas, salt, eggs & pepper

What to buy fresh: Baby spinach, heavy cream & fresh thyme

 

Day 3: Chicken Sausage & Onion Pasta

Ready in: 30 minutes

Chicken Sausage & Onion Pasta: Convenient fully cooked chicken sausage is a great flavor starter for this easy pasta recipe with just three ingredients you can keep stocked in your freezer or pantry for fast dinners. Just add some sautéed onions and pasta and you have a super-simple meal that the entire family will love.

Kitchen staples: Olive oil, red onions, whole-wheat orecchiette pasta or pasta shells, salt & pepper

What to buy fresh: Cooked sweet Italian chicken sausage links

 

Day 4: Black Bean Tacos

Ready in: 25 minutes

Black Bean Tacos: Mixing mashed canned beans with whole beans and seasonings makes an incredibly simple taco filling from your pantry. Top these speedy 5-ingredient tacos with lettuce, tomato and salsa or any of your favorite taco toppings.

Kitchen staples: Canned black beans, cumin, garlic powder & shredded cheese

What to buy fresh: Hard taco shells and fresh toppings of your choice, like lettuce, tomatoes or sour cream.

 

Day 5: Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes

Ready in: 30 minutes

Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes: Top as you see fit, with whatever ingredients you may have on hand. Sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.

Kitchen staples: Onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, canned tomatoes, sweet potatoes

What to buy fresh: Lean ground beef, red bell pepper, shredded cheese

 

Day 6: Chicken-Quinoa Fried Rice

Ready in: 25 minutes

Chicken-Quinoa Fried Rice: Regular fried rice gets a protein boost when rice is swapped for quinoa in this healthy dinner recipe. Feel free to use any vegetables you have on hand-broccoli, green beans and mushrooms are all good options. Serve with hot sauce if desired.

Kitchen staples: Peanut oil, eggs, garlic, quinoa, soy sauce, frozen peas, soy sauce & sesame oil

What to buy fresh: Ginger, chicken thighs, red bell pepper & carrots

 

Day 7: Black Bean Soup

Ready in: 25 minutes

Black Bean Soup: This Southwestern-flavored black bean soup is made with canned beans and pantry-staple spices, so it comes together in minutes. Serve with bread to sop up any remaining soup, or tortilla chips with salsa.

Kitchen staples:  Canola oil, onion, chili powder, cumin, canned black beans, prepared salsa & salt

What to buy fresh: Lime juice, sour cream & cilantro

 

How to Make Healthy Black Bean Soup

 

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