Budget-Friendly Pantry-Staples 7-Day Meal Plan

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

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.

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Day 1: Two-Pepper Shrimp with Creamy Pecorino Oats

Ready in: 30 minutes

Two-Pepper Shrimp with Creamy Pecorino Oats: Oats are not just a pantry staple for breakfast! In this play on shrimp & grits, we simmered oats with scallions and cheese for a savory, creamy dish reminiscent of risotto. You'll even get your veggies with the sautéed baby spinach on the side. Serve with hot sauce and a glass of unoaked Chardonnay.

Kitchen staples: Olive oil, butter, rolled oats, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Parmesan cheese

What to buy fresh: Scallions, shrimp, baby spinach


Day 2: Salsa-Black Bean Burgers

Ready in: 30 minutes

Salsa-Black Bean Burgers: Salsa and some spice-cabinet staples give these meatless burgers plenty of flavor. We used crushed tortilla chips to bind them together, making them a great vehicle for using up those crumbs that inevitable fall to the bottom of the bag.

Kitchen staples: Jarred salsa, canned black beans, tortilla chip, onion, egg, mayonnaise, chili powder, cumin, salt, oil, red onion

What to buy fresh: Burger buns, guacamole, tomato, sprouts


Day 3: Citrus Poached Salmon with Asparagus

Ready in: 25 minutes

Citrus Poached Salmon with Asparagus

Citrus Poached Salmon with Asparagus: This quick and healthy fish-and-veggies dinner is highlighted by an easy fresh citrus sauce. You’ll see with this recipe that it doesn’t take much to make a super-flavorful dinner, with just a few ingredients. If you don’t have fresh parsley on hand, dried parsley will work fine.

Kitchen staples: Lemon, salt, pepper, butter

What to buy fresh: Salmon, orange, asparagus, fresh parsley


Day 4: 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 5: 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 6: Chickpea & Potato Hash

Ready in: 25 minutes

Chickpea & Potato Hash: The eggs cook right on top of this chickpea and potato hash—cook them a few extra minutes if you prefer hard-set eggs. Serve with warm pita bread and a cucumber salad with mint and yogurt.

Kitchen staples: Frozen hash browns, onion, curry powder, salt, olive oil, canned chickpeas, eggs

What to buy fresh:Ginger, zucchini


Day 7: Spinach Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons

Ready in: 30 minutes

Spinach Ravioli with Zucchini Ribbons: For this light vegetarian ravioli recipe, we combine gorgeous long ribbons of zucchini with spinach-and-cheese-stuffed ravioli and a light cream sauce for a satisfying vegetarian pasta dinner.

Kitchen staples: Frozen ravioli, garlic, salt, flour, butter, white wine, pepper, Parmesan cheese

What to buy fresh: Zucchini, half-and-half, shallot, fresh basil

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