Are you looking for quick healthy pantry meals? Recipes for healthy meals that can be made with what you’ve got in your pantry or freezer can be hard to find. Worry not, we’ve rounded up 22 easy, healthy pantry and freezer recipes for you. To help I’ve added a few suggestions for using these recipes with different ingredients than what they originally called for.
Because if you’re like most busy women, you need to know how to tweak a recipe based on the ingredients you have on hand.
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This easy healthy panty spaghetti is a winner. But if you’re short on time, sub frozen vegetables for the fresh ones and it’ll be even easier. When substituting vegetables think about the density and normal cooking time of the recipes vegetables. Then, swap them with veggies of comparable density and cooking time. This recipe from Inspired taste is healthy pantry cooking at it’s best.
The great thing about this 5-ingredient chili is how adaptable it is. Make it vegan by replacing the meat with tempeh, tofu, or an additional can of beans. Have a bag of frozen vegetables you don’t know what to do with? Use them instead of the beans or just throw them in and up the seasoning a tad. Thanks to The Kitchn, this 5 Ingredient Chili makes a great healthy pantry meal staple.
This easy pantry tomato soup is perfect just the way it is. But if you’re feeding a vegan or trying to use up frozen vegetables it allows for creative tweaks. If you need to make it vegan skip the cheese and replace the heavy cream with non-dairy milk. Want to increase the nutritional value? Throw in frozen vegetables before you blend everything. Just make sure the veggies have been thawed and the excess water squeezed out. After blending, you may need to adjust the seasoning a wee bit. Thanks, Alexandra’s Kitchen for this easy pantry recipe.
This easy chickpea curry is a winner. It’s not only easy but quick, healthy, and made with pantry items. If you’ve run out of chickpeas, get creative and substitute different kinds of beans. Also, curry means sauce so let your pantry determine the ingredients you add to this amazing recipe from A Couple Cooks.
Sandwiches like this are one of my favorites. How you build your sandwich is entirely up to you but boy ‘oh boy – Vegan Yack Attacks way sure looks good. Remember, most any bean can be used as the base for this sandwich. So use whatever beans are in your pantry. This sandwich also makes a great stepping stone to a more plant-based way of eating.
This is another meal that’s easy to adapt based on what you’ve got on hand. Don’t have Italian sausage? Use hamburger, ground turkey, chicken, or pork. Out of breadcrumbs? Make your own by pulsing dried bread slices in your food processer. If needed, pop the bread in the oven until it’s dry enough to crumble. Another bread crumb alternative would be crumbled up crackers or chips. Thanks for this easy pantry stable Budget Bytes.
This is an old favorite and a recipe everyone will love. The best part is they won’t notice it’s been lightened up and made a whole lot healthier. Easy, healthy, and sure to please everyone. Add a bag of defrosted frozen vegetables to boost the “good for you” qualities of this one-pot chili mac from Oh, Sweet Basil.
This is a healthy freezer meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes. If you don’t have shrimp or peas handy, use what you do have. Tofu, tempeh, chicken, pork, or fish would all be a great stand-in for the shrimp. Don’t have peas? Any fresh or frozen vegetable you’ve got will work just as well in this quick rice dish. If you have precooked brown rice or quinoa this dish will be on the table even quicker. That’s a busy night win!
Tamale pie was something my mom frequently put on the dinner table. MInus the meat and cheese, it’s still a favorite of mine. This recipe from Pinch of Yum makes great use of pantry food. Grab the recipe and enjoy an ‘ol dinner favorite of mine. If you want to make it entirely plant-based, substitute beans or tofu for the meat, use a flax egg, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast instead of cheese.
Stuffed acorn squash might be a fall meal but it’s also an adaptable and inexpensive meal. Don’t have acorn squash? Use delicata squash. Only have frozen butternut squash chunks? Cook them up and mix them in with the rest of the ingredients. You could even substitute another whole grain for the quinoa. Use your imagination and what you currently have to guide you. Cookie and Kate put together a great easy, healthy pantry meal.
This meal relies entirely on pantry and freezer staples. Don’t despair if you’re out of chicken, use what you have. Don’t eat meat? Use tempeh or tofu in place of the chicken. If you can remember to take things out of the freezer, this meal will be ready in no time. Bless this Mess created a wonderful recipe that’s able to please everyone at the dinner table.
This vegetable lasagna is quick enough to make on a crazy weeknight but it’d be so much better made over the weekend. Then it’s ready and waiting when your busy week is underway. Get creative with the frozen vegetables you use. You don’t have to stick to spinach. Why not use zucchini noodles instead of the no-boil noodles and really ramp up your vegetable eating game.
Adaptable stir-fry recipes are the best and this one from Cook 2 Eat Well looks like a winner. Play around with the frozen vegetables and protein you use for this recipe. Different vegetables and different proteins will lead to countless new dish options. Serve one version over brown rice, another over quinoa, and another over millet or teff. Let your creativity run wild as you’re using this great recipe.
This pork tenderloin recipe makes use of frozen spinach and jarred sun-dried tomatoes. Because of this, it’s a great recipe for playing with. Use frozen kale or collards instead of spinach or go rogue and add frozen broccoli. Don’t have sun-dried tomatoes? Use olives instead. Let your taste buds lead the way. Dinner at the Zoo has given you a great recipe to start with.
This recipe isn’t a pantry or freezer meal but it can be. Just because the original recipe calls for chicken and fresh vegetables doesn’t mean those are all that’ll work. Open your freezer: What frozen vegetables do you have? What meat do you have? Thaw them and then adapt the recipe to fit what you’ve got. The steps, techniques, and flavor from the sauce will work no matter what tweaks you make to the ingredients. Have fun making use of what you’ve already got.
I pray these healthy pantry recipes we rounded up will help you get healthy meals on the table, despite our current events. With the pandemic and social isolation many of us are undergoing, eating healthy meals is paramount.
Stay tuned for next week’s Food for Thought Friday post – it’ll be all about eating for a robust healthy immune system.
If you’d like more information on why healthy meals matter check out any of the below posts.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Doing a Plant Based Diet Right
- Why It’s Important to Eat Healthy Food
- 20 Reasons to Eat Better
- 12 Easy Steps for Stopping Food Cravings
- Why Diets Don’t Word and What to Do Instead
- Faith + Food – 4 Steps to Christian Mindful Eating
- A Woman’s Guide to Doing Keto Right
- How to Start a Mediterranean Diet in 11 Easy Steps
- Why Losing Weight is So Difficult – Part 1
- Why Losing Weight is So Difficult – Part 2
Until next time...
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31