Cleaning out your kitchen pantry for spring? Don’t be too quick to throw away those canned goods, spices, and raw ingredients! There’s a wealth of recipes dedicated to the fruits of such scourings, with options for every preference and palate.
Here are 15 waste-not-want-not pantry recipes that are almost too good to be true.
1. Pantry Bars
Skip the expensive and often unhealthy store-bought nutrition bars and whip up a batch of these “pantry mix” treats. Packed with assorted nuts as well as honey and baking spices, these make great portable snacks and midday pick-me-ups for both the budget and health-conscious. You can also throw in leftover baking ingredients such as chocolate chips and mini marshmallows for a guilt-free dessert.
This light and refreshing salad is easy and appetizing, and perfect for serving at picnics and backyard gatherings. As with all pantry recipes, you can add or substitute many of the ingredients with other pantry selections.
Who would have thought a good pantry cleaning could produce a meal most of us consider a guilty pleasure? Grillable cheeses such as Halloumi, paneer, or bread cheese over sweet peppers and black lentils make for a decidedly decadent pantry meal.
Breakfast gets the bistro treatment thanks to this tropical-inspired French toast prepared with coconut milk and drizzled with golden pineapple syrup. Pineapple upside-down cake may have found its morning counterpart!
This is a great option for meal prepping, and makes an especially healthy, hearty dinner during hectic weeknights. For a vegetarian version, you can skip the option of adding bacon to the sauce.
Who isn’t a sucker for creamy, homemade hummus? Skip the store-bought varieties and head to your pantry to whip up this simple, crowd-pleasing classic.
You can use canned or dried beans for this easy starter or first course, and can even prepare it in advance for weekly meal planning.
Tuna casserole is the quintessential comfort meal, and this pantry upgrade features garlic aioli and fiery red peppers for stress-free dining at its finest.
This delicate but filling dish is as lovely to look at as it is to eat, and best of all the ingredients are probably already waiting for you in the pantry! Fresh and fragrant, you’ll definitely want to keep this Persian rice recipe on hand for summertime entertaining.
Spaghetti bolognese is a time-honored favorite and like the aforementioned tuna casserole, an indisputable comfort dish. This pantry pasta bolognese is quick to prepare and rich enough to leave everyone satisfied.
Spanish paella has long been regarded as the gold standard in classic cuisine, and while this pantry rendition may not be considered 100% authentic you can bet there won’t be any leftovers.
Who doesn’t love light and fluffy pancakes for breakfast? This all-American morning favorite can be prepared using standard pantry ingredients, and may just give your crew the jumpstart they need to get started on their own spring cleaning!
Pasta bakes can be prepared in advance, stored in the fridge, then popped in the oven when it’s time to eat, resulting in a savory home-cooked meal on the table in 20 minutes or less. This vegan pantry pasta bake is not only delicious, but also rich in fiber and healthy proteins.
14. Pantry Pie
Vinegar and pie may not seem like a match made in heaven, but this old-fashioned dessert has stood the test of time and ever-changing taste buds. During periods of hardship or scarcity, many Americans had to make due with substitute ingredients, and this pantry pastry is just one of many sweet surprises to come out of history.
This is a fun and tasty way to get the whole family involved in cleaning out the pantry, with the final casserole consisting of everyone’s cupboard finds.