Sure, you could just crack open a box of mac and cheese or pop a frozen pizza in the oven and call it a day, but pantry cooking can be so much more. That is why I have made it my mission to regularly share pantry-friendly recipes that are designed to be quick, thrifty and — most of all — full of flavor.
At times, that means a quick pasta with flavors that go beyond the basic spaghetti and jarred sauce. It can also mean an exploration of a few grocery store aisles and their ingredients that might be new to you and using them to create tacos, dumplings and noodle dishes.
These recipes were designed to work exclusively with shelf-stable, frozen and other long-lasting ingredients that you can keep on hand to help you avoid those extra trips to the store.
The pantry recipes I’ve shared in Voraciously thus far are included below. Bookmark this page and be sure to check back each month or so for a new one.
Spam and Pineapple Fried Rice. Fried rice is a great dish for using just about any ingredient you can think off. This version is a nod to Hawaiian pizza with browned cubes of Spam and caramelized pineapple.
Black Bean and Pumpkin Stew With Pasta. A can of pumpkin puree provides luxurious body to this stew with black beans and orzo. Whole coriander and cumin seeds add bursts of flavor and texture when you bite into them for a welcome surprise. Add even more crunch by serving it with croutons on top.
Chipotle Jackfruit and Black Bean Tacos. Canned chipotle sauce adds tons of flavor — and a decent amount of heat — to these vegan jackfruit and black bean tacos. This recipe is as simple as heating the three ingredients together in a skillet with some spices and serving the filling with tortillas and your favorite taco toppings.
Spicy Peanut Soba Noodles With Green Beans. Hot take: This peanut sauce can make even shoe leather palatable. Instead of pouring it over your favorite pair of sneakers, toss it with soba noodles and vegetables from the freezer for a quick, satisfying meal.
Mushroom Dumplings. While I love frozen, premade dumplings as much as the next person, it can be fun — and still quick enough for a weeknight — to fill and fold them yourself. Canned mushrooms, bamboo shoots, hoisin sauce and chili-garlic sauce compose the filling that goes into frozen dumpling wrappers. I recommend seeking out hoisin sauce to add to your pantry if it’s not already there, otherwise you can use barbecue sauce mixed with a bit of miso paste or soy sauce instead.
Pasta With Marinara, Olives and Clams. Pasta with marinara sauce is classic, albeit basic and one note. This dish goes the extra mile with chopped kalamata olives, canned clams, whole fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes for a chorus of flavors.
Polenta With Chickpeas and Tomatoes. If you’re in the mood for a dish that’s warm and comforting, look no further. Top with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese for added flourish.