February 4, 2023
Posted: January 24, 2022 4:57 pm
Your pantry should be well-stocked to serve as the source of flavorful impromptu meals or when the refrigerator is bare. Pantry recipes can rock.
Everybody fails to remember to visit the grocers once in a while. That’s why it’s important to keep your pantry well-stocked with the basics of good cooking so that you never run completely out of meal options. The basic ingredients to keep handy in your pantry include the following categories.
You probably already have most of these items. Just remember to use them up before they expire. Rotate them to use first before using any replacements you buy. You’re ready for your first easy pantry recipe.
Recipe Link: black-eyed pea soup
This soup is filling and delicious as is, and it’s perfect for a lazy day when you don’t want to go shopping. It’s easy to start in the morning, and you can enjoy the soup for lunch and dinner.
Sort the dried peas, and remove any pebbles and debris. Rinse and drain the peas under cold water, and cover the peas with 5 cups of fresh water. Bring the pot to a boil, cook for one minute and remove from the heat. Cover, and let the beans soak for an hour. In the meantime, add the olive oil to a skillet, and cook the meat until crispy or the leftover meat starts to brown lightly. Remove the bacon or meat, chop into fine pieces and store in the refrigerator. Add the chopped celery, carrots and onions, and sauté until translucent. Add the finely chopped garlic cloves and greens, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Drain the peas, and add 4 cups of water, the ham hock, chicken broth and vegetables. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about an hour until the peas are tender. Remove the ham hock, and chop the meat. Add the meat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each bowl with the reserved crispy meat.
Suggestion: Serve with cornbread.
Recipe Link: Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe
All too often, spaghetti is made by dumping canned or jarred sauce over overcooked pasta. I’ve always believed that the pasta is as important as the sauce for a flavorful meal, and the flavor doesn’t always have to be the overwhelming tang of tomato-based sauces. This recipe from The Food Network for Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe uses your pantry ingredients for an easy, economical and flavorful meal with real depth. The recipe boasts umami flavor, and it can be made quickly with Parmigiano-Reggiano as the star flavor.
Flavorful pasta depends on fast cooking and draining of the pasta to an al dente texture. Bring 6 quarts of water to a rapid boil, and add 4 tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta, and cook to the minimum time recommended for al dente pasta, which means some resistance “to the tooth.” Remove 2 cups of the pasta water, and drain the pasta.
While the pasta cooks, get the finishing ingredients ready by adding the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of black peppercorns and toast until fragrant, which takes 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in ½ cup of the reserved pasta water and the drained pasta, tossing to coat the pasta. Add 1 cup of the grated cheese off heat, and stir vigorously to melt the cheese and form a creamy sauce. If pasta becomes dry, add more water ¼ cup at a time. The goal is a creamy, flavorful sauce, not watery pasta. Serve immediately, and use the remaining ½ cup of cheese to sprinkle over the top of each serving. The flavor of this simple dish can be astonishing with a high-qualify Parmigiano-Reggiano, but even canned parmesan-Romano provides a gourmet flavor with the toasted peppercorns.
Suggestion: Serve with garlic bread or any crusty French or Italian bread.
Recipe Link: Cumin Quinoa Patties
I consider panko bread crumbs a necessary addition to any well-stocked pantry because they have a light, airy texture and retain less fat and oil when coating fried foods. Making flavorful veggie burgers from basic pantry ingredients seems a stretch, but these cumin quinoa patties defy expectations. This is an excellent choice for sharing a meal with vegetarians or just cutting the number of traditional burgers in your diet.
Bring the 1 cup of water to a boil, and add the quinoa. Cover the saucepan, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and fluff quinoa with a fork. Put the carrot pieces in a food processor, and pulse until chopped. Put in a bowl with the other ingredients, and shape into 8 patties. Fry them in a large skillet over medium heat on both sides until you reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with optional ingredients
Suggestion: Try serving with sour cream for a flavorful tang.
Recipe Link: 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Burritos With Rice and Beans
Finding kid-friendly pantry recipes isn’t always easy, but this recipe for vegetarian burritos is healthy, low in fat, economical and easy. If your kids love Mexican flavors, try this alternative to Mexican cuisine that’s nutritious and appealing to kids.
Be sure to choose a salsa that you and your family like because it’s the main ingredient that determines the flavor of the dish. Cook the rice until it’s very tender for the best flavor, and cut burritos in half for smaller children.
Consider whether you have picky eaters, and if you do, run the salsa through a food processor to smooth out the chunks. Stir together all the ingredients except the tortillas. Mound about ¼ to ½ cup on each warmed tortilla, fold the ends inside and roll them up. Place them seam side down on a baking pan lined with parchment or waxed paper and warm them through in the oven.
Suggestion: You can serve deconstructed burritos for toddlers.
Recipe Link: Easy Sausage and Lentil Soup
Sausage and lentils provide a powerful protein punch, and this hearty, flavorful soup is more like a stew or main course. It’s incredibly easy to make and serve because you put all the ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning, and the meal is ready to serve in the evening. Your slow cooker handles all the cooking details.
You can buy precooked chicken sausage or use fully cooked smoked sausage. Just slice on the bias, and you’re done. However, feel free to brown and caramelize the sausage for an even more flavorful dish. You can actually use any kind of lentil, but French lentils work best because they hold their shape when slow-cooked for hours.
Place all ingredients into your slow cooker, and mix well. Cover the pot, and cook on the low setting for 8 hours. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a Dutch oven, bring to a boil and reduce the heat until the mixture barely simmers. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
Suggestion: Serve with a gorgeous prepared salad.
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