3-Ingredient Pantry Dinners for When You Can't Get to the Grocery Store

Cook from your pantry with these 8 quick and easy 3-ingredient meals.

You're ready for anything. Your pantry is stocked with beans, grains, broth and pasta. Your freezer is full of a garden's worth of produce. Now … what do you do with all of it?

Get ready to see how satisfying a simple meal can be. Whether you're short on time or will be in the house for a while, nonperishables and frozen vegetables are the building blocks to dishes that are surprisingly flavorful.

Following are a week's worth of meal ideas that are completely based on items that will keep for a long time in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator.

Along with salt and pepper for seasoning and olive oil for sautéing, these dishes only need three ingredients to come together. Even better? They're mostly one-pan meals, so cleanup is as easy as prepping.

And as a bonus, if you happen to have a few extra ingredients on hand, there's an optional add-in (or two) to take each one to the next level.

Grab your can opener, keep calm and cook on.

Bowls of Pasta Fagioli recipe
You can make this quick pasta fagioli (pasta and beans) with just three ingredients. Casey Barber

3-Ingredient Pantry Dinner Ideas

Quick Pasta Fagioli

Simmer crushed tomatoes with rinsed cannellini beans and small pasta, such as shells or elbows; cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente. Optional: Top with grated Parmesan.

Fried Rice

Sauté thawed frozen mixed vegetables in olive oil (or other oil, like sesame oil). Stir in cooked rice and soy sauce and cook, stirring, until warm and sizzling. Optional: Add minced garlic to the vegetables.

Chickpea "Posole"

Simmer drained chickpeas and chunks of potatoes (cubed large potatoes or halved new potatoes) in a jar of green salsa until tender. Optional: Serve with warmed tortillas on the side.

Linguini in Clam Sauce

Cook linguine until al dente; drain and set aside. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil, then add canned clams and the cooked linguini and simmer until warm. Optional: Add white wine to the pan before adding the clams.

Tuna Casserole Pasta

Boil small pasta shells or wide noodles until almost al dente, then add frozen peas for the last minute of cooking time to warm through. Drain and toss with canned tuna. Optional: Top with grated Parmesan or shredded Cheddar before serving.

Chili-Style Beans and Rice

Simmer rinsed kidney or pinto beans and a can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes (or other tomatoes) until tender and saucy. Serve over brown rice or farro. Optional: Add a teaspoon of chili powder to the beans and tomatoes.

Risotto-Style Brothy Rice

Simmer any type of white rice in chicken broth, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender. Stir in frozen spinach until warmed through. Optional: Sauté garlic in olive oil before adding the broth to the pan. (Note: You can also make this with brown rice but it takes much longer to cook than white.)

Quick Chickpea Curry

Simmer drained chickpeas in a can of coconut milk with curry powder (or use jarred curry sauce if you have it) until the sauce has thickened. Optional: Serve over grains or add frozen vegetables, like cauliflower, to the curry.

Get the shopping list for all of these dinners.

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