200+ Recipe Ideas for Pantry Staple Ingredients

by Beth - Budget Bytes
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A couple weeks ago I polled my Instagram followers to see what pantry staples they bought to sustain them through this period of social distancing. I wrote down the most popular answers and every day since I’ve picked one of those ingredients and posted recipe ideas for that ingredient in my Instagram stories. But, I didn’t want anyone else to miss out on this ultimate compilation of recipe ideas for pantry staples, so I’m also posting them all here in one spot. Now you can bookmark the list and refer back whenever you want!

The Ultimate List of Recipe Ideas for Pantry Staples

Close up image of dry pasta with title text overlay in the center

Below you’ll see the list of pantry ingredient staples that were requested most often in the Instagram poll. Tap on any ingredient below to be taken to that ingredient in the list of recipe ideas. This is similar to our website’s ingredient index, where our recipes are organized by ingredient, but this is a much shorter, curated list focused on pantry staple ingredients. 

If you’re looking for a list of recipes that only use pantry staples, check out my 15 Pantry Staples Recipes blog post (includes a grocery list!).


Pantry Staple Ingredients:

Beans & Grains

Canned Goods


Bread & Pasta


Pantry Staple Recipe Ideas by Ingredient

(all images below are also linked)

Close up overhead shot of a poor man's burrito bowl with melted cheese

Recipe Ideas for Black Beans:

A bowl of jalapeño cilantro hummus with fresh jalapeño on the side

Recipe Ideas for Chickpeas:

A bowl of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with two pieces of toasted bread and a black spoon in the middle.

Recipe Ideas for White Beans:

Creamy Coconut Curry Lentils with spinach on a plate with rice, naan, and curry roasted carrots.

Recipe Ideas for Lentils:

These Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats are naturally sweet without any added sugar, and provide plenty of flavor and texture to keep you happy and full all morning. BudgetBytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Oats:

A hearty bowl of Rice Cooker Spanish Chickpeas and Rice with fresh lemon and parsley

Recipe Ideas for Rice:

Lemon garlic dressing being poured over the salad bowl

Recipe Ideas for Quinoa:

A simple jar of salsa is the key to making dinner fast and easy. Just try this Creamy Salsa Chicken Skillet and see for yourself. Budgetbytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Salsa:

A quick pan sauce drenches tender chicken thighs and thick pineapple slices in this easy Skillet Pineapple BBQ Chicken. BudgetBytes.com

Recipes for BBQ Sauce:

Pour Pasta Sauce Over Pesto Stuffed Shells

Recipe Ideas for Pasta Sauce:

Two bowls of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese on the side, plus a few oyster crackers

Recipe Ideas for Canned Tomatoes (diced, crushed, sauce, etc.):

A bowl of sesame tuna surrounded by cucumber and crackers

Recipe Ideas for Canned Tuna:

Close up of One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice in the skillet.

Recipe Ideas for Frozen Mixed Vegetables:

Dressing being poured onto Sweet Crunch Winter Salad

Recipe Ideas for Cabbage:

a hand dipping a fry into a cup of ketchup next to a pile of fries

Recipe Ideas for Potatoes:

Side view of turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes in a baking dish, topped with green onion and cilantro

Recipe Ideas for Sweet Potatoes:

You only need a few ingredients to make this light and satisfying Thai Coconut Curry Carrot Soup. It’s a creamy, a little sweet, a little spicy, and a lot of delicious. BudgetBytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Carrots:

Sweet, salty, rich, and crunchy, these Pork and Peanut Dragon Noodles hit all the bases. It’s fast, easy comfort food for busy nights! BudgetBytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Noodles:

These Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips are fast, easy, super crunchy, a great way to use up leftover tortillas, and a great alternative to store bought chips. Budgetbytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Tortillas:

These fast and easy 5-Minute French Toast Mugs are a great single serving breakfast treat plus a way to use leftovers and reduce food waste. BudgetBytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Bread:

Two slices of Cheddar Cheeseburger Meatloaf on a dinner plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Recipe Ideas for Ground Beef:

Three rectangular glass meal prep containers with Ground Turkey Stir Fry and Brown Rice

Recipe Ideas for Ground Turkey:

Close up of Easy Cilantro Lime Chicken in the skillet, garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Recipe Ideas for Chicken Thighs:

Close up of roasted tomatoes on top of Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken DInner

Recipe Ideas for Chicken Breast:

Front view of a wooden spoon lifting a scoopful of Baked Ziti from the casserole dish

Recipe Ideas for Sausage:

Spinach and Mushroom and Feta Crustless Quiche is a great low carb breakfast or brunch tread packed with vegetables and protein. BudgetBytes.com

Recipe Ideas for Eggs:

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  1. This can now be renamed as the “inflation pantry staples for meals”
    Best ever site! I have cooked ( and recooked) many of your recipes and I have yet to find a off/bad recipe. They ALL have come out great so much there are requests for making many again.
    Thank you for all your work and patient explanations on how to cook and what blends well.

  2. Love your website and your Twitter and Instagram accounts. I hope you or someone submits your website for a Webby Award. It has all the bells and whistles, good information, great pictures, clear recipes designed with simplicity and ease of use.

  3. Dear Beth, for some reason I missed this post when originally posted but now I’m up to speed. So very helpful. I’m renaming my pantry meals ‘pandemic meals’. Thanks so much. Enjoy your blog SVM! Blessings