Quick Dinner Ideas Made With Ingredients Already in Your Kitchen

There’s nothing quite like planning a last-minute party, and knowing that your pantry is stocked with everything you need to put some good food on the table! I call this Pantry Cooking 101!

Or, you’re a busy mom on a mission, and you’ve completely run out of time to get a healthy meal on the table. You are relieved when you know you have the ingredients that you need to make an easy, hearty meal for the family.

I love to stock soups, beans, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, pickles, pastas, rice, and salsa in my pantry, for meals that can be made when I’m in a pinch, usually in less than an hour. One main dish that is quick and easy, and the family adores, is an easy, but delicious sandwich melt. But be warned: In 30 minutes, the kids may be asking for seconds. The creamy beans and cheese on toasted bread, is the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, packed with protein and fiber.

I usually have potatoes and beans in my pantry, so defrosting a quick protein, such as a pound of hamburger, to add to them, makes a delicious meal, like this skillet dish.

Another idea for a quick pantry meal is to add onion, marinara, and white beans, with chicken breasts, to make a hearty, Italian style chicken dish. Serve this meal with a side salad and crunchy bread — good enough for company!

Then for the vegetarian, this rice and bean dish is a fantastic meal to serve as a main dish, or to bring as a side dish to a party!

Learning what to stock and how to cook from the pantry has been essential to my success with meal preparation, keeping my grocery bill reasonable, feeding hungry kids on the spot, and cooking for pop-in guests, beans help keep me prepared!

Meet Sandy Coughlin

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