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31 Easy Dinners That Make the Most of Pantry Staples

Do you ever look through your kitchen and think, "What can I make with what I have?" These pantry dinner ideas put your beans, pasta and other staples to good use!

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Chicken Burrito Skillet

We love Mexican night at our house, and I love to re-create dishes from our favorite restaurants. This burrito-inspired dish is ready for the table in almost no time! —Krista Marshall, Fort Wayne, Indiana

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2 / 31

Dinner in a Bag

I get a head start on this family-pleasing dinner by assembling ready-to-grab pantry kits. I measure dry macaroni and the spice mixture into separate containers, storing them in a paper bag with canned tomatoes. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
3 / 31

Chorizo Burrito Bowls

I'm always on the hunt for fast and filling meals. Chicken sausage makes an awesome one-dish dinner by itself or served with brown rice in a burrito. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
4 / 31
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Lemon Chicken with Orzo

Here's a dish that's light and summery but still filling. My kids love all the veggies...for real! If you like a lot of lemon, stir in an extra splash of lemon juice just before serving. —Shannon Humphrey, Hampton, Virginia
5 / 31
Cumin Quinoa Patties Exps Sdam19 133393 C12 07 2b 1

Cumin Quinoa Patties

These easy burgers taste amazing, and the quinoa gives them a hearty texture. They’re a delicious vegetarian option that you really have to try. Pan-frying them adds a perfect crunch that takes them to the next level. You can make the mixture for this healthy quinoa recipe ahead of time—it freezes very well. Enjoy! —Beth Klein, Arlington, Virginia
6 / 31
Ground Beef Spaghetti Skillet Exps Sdfm19 177728 C10 18 1b 9

Ground Beef Spaghetti Skillet

I remember my grandma making this stovetop supper many times—we always loved Granny's spaghetti! My husband and I now enjoy making it. You can easily substitute ground turkey for the ground beef if that's what you have on hand. —Jill Thomas, Washington, Indiana
7 / 31
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Easy Chicken Tamale Pie

All you need are some simple ingredients from the pantry to put this slow-cooker meal together. I love the fact that I can go fishing while it cooks. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
8 / 31
Easy Moroccan Chickpea Stew Exps Sdon18 59098 B06 15 1b 5

Easy Moroccan Chickpea Stew

When I'm invited to a potluck, I easily double or triple this healthy vegetarian recipe to treat the crowd to an exotic dish of enticing, bold flavors. —Heather Demeritte, Scottsdale, Arizona
9 / 31

Tasty Burritos

My cousin is of Mexican heritage, and I’ve watched her make this crunchy beef burrito recipe for years. The very first time I made them for my own family, they instantly became a favorite meal. They’re even better warmed up the next day in the microwave. —Debi Lane, Chattanooga, Tennessee
10 / 31
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Saucy Garlic Chicken

Roasted garlic lends a rich flavor to this appetizing chicken entree, and it complements the spinach nicely. Ideal for entertaining, the recipe can be assembled in advance and popped in the oven when guests arrive. —Joanna Johnson, Flower Mound, Texas
11 / 31

White Turkey Chili

Here's proof that chili doesn't have to be red. I combined several recipes and changed flavors until the recipe was just right. Trust me, this one is a keeper. —Tina Barrett, Houston, Texas
12 / 31
Garlic Salmon Linguine Exps Sdfm18 17905 C10 11 2b 3

Garlic Salmon Linguine

The garlic-seasoned main dish calls for handy pantry ingredients, including pasta and canned salmon. I serve it with asparagus, rolls and fruit. —Theresa Hagan, Glendale, Arizona
13 / 31
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Meatball Tortellini

I combined some favorite staples from our freezer and pantry to come up with this easy dish. It has few ingredients and little preparation. —Tracie Bergeron, Chauvin, Louisiana
14 / 31
Cheesy Black Bean Nachos

Cheesy Black Bean Nachos

We're trying to go meatless once a week, and this dish helps make those meals fun, quick and super delicious. It's a great way to use up beans and canned tomatoes from your pantry. —Cynthia Nelson, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
15 / 31
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Cauliflower & Tofu Curry

Cauliflower, garbanzo beans and tofu are subtle on their own, but together they make an awesome base for curry. We have this recipe weekly because one of us is always craving it. —Patrick McGilvray, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Simple Chicken Enchiladas Exps Mrrmz16 32264 D09 09 4b 8

Simple Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is so quick and easy, and I always receive a ton of compliments. It quickly becomes a favorite of friends whenever I share the recipe. Modify the spiciness with the intensity of the salsa and the green chilis to suit your taste. —Kristi Black, Harrison Township, Michigan
17 / 31
Gnocchi With Spinach And Chicken Sausage Exps Sdon18 126406 B06 15 7b 21

Gnocchi with Spinach and Chicken Sausage

Dinner is easy when I can use ingredients typically found in my fridge and pantry. —Laura Miller, Lake Ann, Michigan
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Taco Lasagna

If you like foods with southwestern flair, this just might become a new favorite. Loaded with cheese, meat and beans, the layered casserole comes together in a snap. There are never any leftovers when I take this dish to potlucks. —Terri Keena, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
19 / 31
Tex Mex Chicken With Black Beans Rice Exps Chkbz18 82324 C10 25 5b 4

Tex-Mex Chicken with Black Beans & Rice

I came up with this recipe for my sister who just got her first slow cooker and cooks mostly by throwing canned goods into a pot. It’s a delicious go-to recipe for busy days. —Elizabeth Dumont, Boulder, Colorado
20 / 31
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Simple Sausage Pasta Toss

For a flash of tasty inspiration, grab a skillet and stir up turkey sausage with tomatoes, garlic and olives. Toss everything with spaghetti, and sprinkle with Parmesan. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
21 / 31
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Jiffy Ground Pork Skillet

Some people call it dinner hour, but many of us call it rush hour. Slow down the pace with this so-simple mouthwatering ground pork meal. The only thing you'll have left over is time to share with your family at the table. —Brigitte Schaller, Flemington, Missouri
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Cajun-Style Beans and Sausage

Beans and rice make the perfect meal because they're well-balanced, an excellent source of protein, and easy to prepare. The sausage adds full flavor to the recipe, and traditional pork sausage lovers won't even notice that chicken sausage is used in this dish. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island
23 / 31
Southwestern Beef And Rice Skillet Exps Sdfm19 182602 C10 19 4b 2

Southwestern Beef and Rice Skillet

I like to serve this kicked-up skillet dish with warm flour tortillas and a side of guacamole. If you like things a little spicier, add more jalapeno and enjoy the heat! —Pat Hockett, Ocala, Florida
24 / 31
Parmesan Pork Tenderloin

Parmesan Pork Tenderloin

I am of Danish descent and love all things pork, both old recipes and new. Here's a dish I came up with myself. —John Hansen, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts.
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Baked Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese

Even people who have had their own homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe for years ask for mine when they taste this crumb-topped version. For the best baked mac and cheese, use extra-sharp white cheddar cheese for more flavor. —Shelby Thompson, Dover, Delaware
26 / 31
Pork Chops With Creamy Mustard Noodles Exps138737 Cw2235114a10 11 4b Rms 2

Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard Noodles

A fast, creamy skillet sauce dresses up everyday pork chops and noodles. Chicken also works well with this recipe and the zesty mix of mustards.—Margaret Bracher, Robertsdale, Alabama
27 / 31

Slow-Cooked Turkey Stroganoff

I have been making this tasty dish for 30 plus years. Of all the turkey dishes we have, this is the family favorite. I can put it in my slow cooker before leaving for work and come home to a hot, delicious dinner. Serve it over cooked noodles, rice, mashed potatoes—or for a surprise, polenta. —Cindy Adams, Tracy, California
28 / 31
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Shredded Pork with Beans

A friend gave me this recipe, which my sons say is a keeper. For a change of pace, spoon the tasty filling into soft tortillas. —Sarah Johnston, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Spanish Rice with Chicken & Peas

My mom made this juicy chicken and rice for us every Wednesday. I still make it for my hubby. It reminds me of family dinners growing up. —Josee Lanzi, New Port Richey, Florida
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One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

When my garden basil goes nuts, I make pesto and keep it frozen in small containers for the right opportunity, like this saucy one-pot chicken pesto pasta recipe. —Kimberly Fenwick, Hobart, Indiana
31 / 31
Chicken And Orzo Skillet Exps Dsbz17 46062 D01 13 5b 4

Chicken and Orzo Skillet

Here’s a perfect one-skillet supper that’s colorful, healthy, filling and definitely special! Our taste testers loved the blend of spices, the touch of heat and the sophisticated flavor. —Kellie Mulleavy, Lambertville, Michigan

Christina Herbst
Christina is an Assistant Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in content creation and SEO optimization. She enjoys trying out local foodie restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on.
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