30 Easy Pantry Dinners to Make When You're Trying to Save Money
Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing
Hearty yet simple to prepare, this stuffed sweet potato with black beans, kale and hummus dressing is a fantastic 5-ingredient lunch for one!
Hearty Tomato Soup with Beans & Greens
Garlicky kale and creamy white beans elevate simple canned tomato soup into a 10-minute lunch or dinner that really satisfies. Use a soup with tomato pieces for a heartier texture. Look for a brand that's low- or reduced-sodium, with no more than 450 mg sodium per serving.
Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese
This rich and creamy chili comes together in a flash thanks to quick-cooking chicken thighs and canned white beans. Mashing some of the beans acts as a fast thickener when your soups don't have a long time to simmer. Cream cheese adds the final bit of richness and a hint of sweet tang.
Beef & Bean Sloppy Joes
This healthy copycat recipe of the comfort food classic trades beans for some of the meat to bump up fiber by 7 grams. We also cut back on the sugar and ketchup in this Sloppy Joe recipe makeover to save you 12 grams of added sugar.
Homemade Chicken Ramen Noodle Bowls
Transform canned chicken noodle soup into quick ramen bowls by adding fresh ginger, crunchy vegetables, herbs and a jammy soft-boiled egg. Look for a low-sodium soup that has 450 mg sodium or less per serving.
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. Be sure to use heavy cream; a lower-fat option might curdle when mixed with acidic tomatoes.
Baked Beans with Ground Beef
Upgrade baked beans from classic side dish to a meaty main meal by adding lean ground beef. The final result, a superfast hearty casserole, is an easy and fast dinner option. Ground turkey or even sausage would work nicely in this dish. Just watch the sodium.
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.
Egg Salad Lettuce Wraps
We love the retro vibe of these egg salad lettuce wraps. Iceberg lettuce makes a perfect low-carb swap for bread to serve the egg salad.
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.
Tortilla Pepperoni Pizza
This easy pizza takes only 15 minutes from start to finish and uses simple ingredients you could find in your pantry. Tomato paste adds flavor without sogging out the crust. Skip the pepperoni for a vegetarian-friendly version, or add your own favorite toppings.
American goulash, also known as old-fashioned goulash, is the perfect economical family meal. The pasta cooks right in the sauce, so this satisfying dish can cook in just one pot.
One-Pot Greek Pasta
A little bit of Sunday meal prep goes a long way in this one-dish Mediterranean pasta recipe. The pasta is cooked ahead of time and stored in the fridge to use for meals all week, but any leftover cooked pasta you have on hand will do. Chicken sausage with feta is especially good in this recipe.
Cheese Quesadillas with Peppers & Onions
These 15-minute quesadillas are a notch above basic with the addition of sautéed peppers and onions. Let the kiddos load them up with the toppings at the table.
Easy Chicken Fried Rice
Frozen mixed vegetables make this healthy chicken fried rice recipe quick, easy and economical. If you don't have leftover cooked rice, be sure to thoroughly cool your rice before adding it to the wok--if it's too warm, it creates too much steam and sticks to the wok. To quickly cool warm rice, spread it out on a large baking sheet and refrigerate while you prep the rest of your ingredients, about 15 minutes.
Bean & Veggie Taco Bowl
Simple brown rice and black beans serve as the backdrop for sautéed veggies and taco toppings!
Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
Vegan Buddha Bowl
This easy grain bowl has so much to love--sweet potatoes, protein-packed chickpeas, creamy avocado and homemade tahini dressing. Make the full recipe on the weekend and pack into individual serving containers for ready-to-go lunches for work all week.
Roasted Chicken Thighs, Potatoes & Scallions with Herb Vinaigrette
Roasting chicken thighs directly on top of the vegetables bastes the scallions and potatoes with delicious drippings in this healthy dinner recipe. Serve with steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach or a mixed green salad.
In Cincinnati, chili tops spaghetti for an American twist on Bolognese. Add extra toppings to this chili-topped spaghetti recipe as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
Southwestern Salad with Black Beans
Here we top salad greens with black beans, sweet corn and grape tomatoes and bring it all together with a tangy avocado-lime dressing for a Mexican-inspired salad. Try this salad for a take-along lunch. To keep the salad greens from getting soggy, pack the greens, salad toppings and dressing in separate containers and toss them together just before eating.
Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
Caramelized sweet potatoes and red onion are the bed for chicken thighs that cook up fast in a very hot oven--perfect for a quick healthy chicken dinner. Serve with a fall salad of mixed greens, sliced apples and blue cheese.
Easy Vegetarian Chili
Canned beans and tomatoes make this quick vegetarian chili recipe ready to go in just 30 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, or with tortilla chips for added crunch, and add extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Black Bean Quesadillas
In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.
BBQ Chicken Skillet Pizza
Upgrade chicken-BBQ pizza with this Alabama-style white sauce recipe made with mayo and a little vinegar. Using premade dough helps get dinner on the table quickly and easily.
Chili-Topped Sweet Potatoes
Transform ordinary baked potatoes into a full dinner with these chili-topped spuds. In this healthy recipe, we use sweet potatoes for an added nutrient kick. Sprinkle on extra toppings as you see fit--sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.
Black Bean Soup
This is a zippy Southwestern-flavored black bean soup. We make it with canned beans so it comes together in minutes. If you have leftovers, pack them up in individual serving containers for lunch the next day.
Slow-Cooker Chicken & White Bean Stew
This load-and-go slow-cooker chicken recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Serve this Tuscan-inspired dish with crusty bread, a glass of Chianti and a salad.
Ravioli & Vegetable Soup
Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.