Pantry Dinners

We were out of town the end of last week for the Easter weekend.  We returned home Monday evening and the last thing I wanted to do after a 10 hour road trip was head to the grocery store.  So, we are punting this week with no fresh groceries.  In order to feed us without resorting to eating out, I am thinking pantry meals.

If you have chicken in the freezer, Chicken Tacos are a great pantry meal.  Some chicken, taco spices, cheese and your slow cooker makes for an easy dinner.  If you do not have tortillas, do burrito bowls over lettuce or serve it as chicken nachos with chips.

Similarly, if you have ground beef in the freezer instead of chicken, you can make Slow Cooker Beef Tacos.  I am sensing that Mexican food is a good pantry meal.

We are also fans of all of the frozen burgers at Trader Joe’s.  Our favorites are the Grass-Fed Beef Burgers, the Turkey Burgers and the Chicken Lime Chile Burgers.  They can go right on the grill from the freezer and are ready in around 10 minutes.  Add some frozen veggies and you have a full meal.  I regularly serve mine on lettuce rather than a bun.  A guacamole topper on the Turkey or Chicken Burgers is delicious.

Breakfast for dinner is always a good option for a pantry meal.  Scramble up some eggs and toast or get fancy and make an omelet with all the leftovers in your refrigerator.  If you like to have a sweet dinner, pancakes are always delicious.

Because I just ate it for lunch, tuna salad can also be tasty for dinner as well.  A can of tuna, some mayo and mustard all mixed together then add in some celery and a little salt and pepper.  Serve on a nice crusty roll or on top of a mixed green salad for a light dinner.

Pasta seems to live in everyone’s pantry and it can be mixed with so many things.  Once again Trader Joe’s has pantry items you can keep for just these situations.  They have great marinara sauce.  However, I like pesto on my pasta or even just a bit of olive oil and parmesan cheese.  If you want to add in some protein, try some leftover chicken or look for the frozen grilled chicken strips.

Appetizers for dinner can make a great pantry meal.  I often keep a few frozen appetizers in my freezer also all from Trader Joe’s such as mini chicken tacos, mozzarella sticks or lobster shrimp bites.  If we are really pinched, I can warm a few of these up and enjoy them as a meal.

Finally, not the healthiest of options, but often when I am home by myself for the evening, I plan on a dinner of cheese and crackers.  I try to plan a little ahead of time and have some tasty cheeses in my fridge like an aged cheddar, a brie or a blue cheese.  Then I indulge in a few fancier crackers such as Mary Gone Crackers or water crackers or even some crusty bread, pour myself a glass of wine and sit back and enjoy. –June

 

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

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