Today I am sharing ten pantry staples that can be used for quick, easy meals. These are especially good for quick weeknight suppers that are ready in less than 30 mins. Always having these to hand in your pantry or freezer means you end up with delicious, satisfying meals no matter what.
1. Couscous: This delicious and versatile grain cooks really quickly. It is as simple as pouring boiling water over it and covering. Add in some lemon, lime and herbs for a quick healthy salad base, thrown in some grilled vegetables and feta or serve it under a bed of some pomegranate and pistachio. Also serve it as a side with soups, casseroles or cooked meats.
2. Pasta: Pasta is very versatile, comes in various shapes and flavours and has a long shelf life so it is the ultimate pantry staple. I always have Barilla Capellini no 1 on hand. This cooks in 4 mins and is perfect for days when mini chefs have to eat and have to eat now. Quick meal ideas using pasta include homemade pesto, garlic and chilli spaghetti, adding in some fruit like this melon, mint and pancetta pasta salad or simply tossing in some olive oil and grated cheese.
3. Tinned beans: Having a selection on tinned beans, chickpeas in your store cupboard is an inexpensive and quick way to add some protein to your meals. They are easy to toss into salads, blend into delicious dips like hummus and add into soups and curries. You can also roast these in the oven for a quick healthy snack.
4. Eggs: Eggs are one of my main go to ingredients for very quick meals. They are inexpensive, suitable for vegetarians, full of protein and are very versatile. You can make frittatas like this asparagus frittata, pancakes, omelettes and scrambles. You can add them to salad and even make a delicious egg curry. On super tired days nothing beats a fried egg on a slice of bread, all topped up with a banana. Seriously.
5. Frozen vegetables: Need I say more. These can be made into delicious soups like this spinach soup, sautéed with olive oil and mixed into pasta or couscous, and can be easily transformed into stir frys, salads or frittatas. A firm favourite of OH is pasta topped with sautéed peas and anchovies.
6. Smoked mackerel: This is a good freezer staple as it freezes very well, thaws quickly and is delicious which ever way you eat it. Blend into a smoked mackerel pate, make scrambled egg mackerel on toast, add to quinoa, pasta or potatoes. On healthy days, you can pile some smoked mackerel, apple and yoghurt on rye bread or serve it grilled with plantains.
7. Yoghurt: Yoghurt is a good fridge staple for lightening up dips like guacamole and courgette dips, whiz up in smoothies or pancakes for light suppers, whip up a salad dressing or yoghurt sauce, and pour over granola or porridge oats. And on your very tired days, simply top with some honey or fruit, kick back and dig in.
8. Anchovies: These are not quite everyone’s cup of tea but I had to add them here as these are OH’s favourite store cupboard staple. They can be used as savoury fillings for pancakes, cooked in olive oil and chilli as a pasta sauce, or added to yoghurt as dip. One of our firm favourites are anchovies and fried crispy bread crumbs as a pasta topping. Just divine.
9. Pitta bread: This simple bread is tasty, versatile and can be stored in the freezer so you always have some to hand. You can serve it with dips, as a wrap and as sandwich bread and even as a convenient pizza base. Crispy toasted pitta chips add crunch to any salad or soup.
10. Frozen berries and bananas: Next time you come across a deal on berries or banana buy a ton and freeze them . You can use these in smoothies, pancakes, porridge oats and yoghurt, And do you know you can just blend frozen banana straight form the freezer and make an ice cream? Yeap.
I hope my list of pantry basics for quick easy meals has inspire you. Please leave me a comment letting me know how you stock your pantry for those quick meals.
Some other quick meal ideas from around the web.
Roasted vegetable couscous at the Hedgecombers.
Spaghetti with lemon sauce at the Spicy Pear.
Lacy heart pancakes at Glamorous Glutton.
Budget stir fry at Happiness is Homemade.
Fusilli with broad beans and mint at Bangers and Mash.
Pea and vegetable frittata at Lavender and Lovage.
Banana pancakes at Eat Your Veg.
Chickpea curry at Our Neck of the Woods.
Greek salad pasta at Fuss Free Flavours.