Meal Ideas That Use Mostly (or Only) Pantry & Frozen Foods

Meal Ideas That Use Mostly (or Only) Pantry & Frozen Foods

If you're limited on fresh produce and you've got a pantry and freezer full of foods but don't know how to best use them, here are some ideas to get you started.

Meal Ideas That Use Mostly (or Only) Pantry & Frozen Foods

This post will continually be updated with ideas as they come to me, or as I share them on Instagram!

Recipe ideas that use only frozen/pantry items

Frozen Vegetable Fried Rice
Sesame Stirfry with Edamame and Baby Corn over Rice
Roasted Artichoke and Tomato Orzo with White Beans
BBQ Jackfruit (or Hearts of Palm) Rice Bowls with Beans and Corn
Split Pea Dal with Rice or Quinoa
Pesto Beet Burgers with French Fries and Baked Beans
Tomato Couscous Stew with White Beans and Spinach (frozen)
Hearts of Palm Cakes with Roasted Artichokes and Crispy Chickpeas
Chana Masala with Spinach (frozen) and Brown Rice
Pesto Pasta Salad with White Beans and Roasted Red Peppers

Recipes that use some basic fresh produce

Frozen Vegetable Fried Rice
Cauliflower Gnocchi Bowls with Green Beans and Lentils and Feta
Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry with Spinach
Vegetarian Meatballs with Marinara and Pasta
Roasted Broccoli and White Bean Orzo with Parmesan
Sweet Potato, Lentil and Green Bean Curry
Farro and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Bowls with Avocado and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Turkey Bolognese and Rice Bake with Peas
Black Bean and Zucchini Rice Enchiladas
Lentil Taco Meat Bowls with Bell Peppers and Avocado
Simple Mills Pizza (listing this here, since you need cheese, but will use frozen/pantry vegetables)
White Bean Vegetable Burgers (needs onion, otherwise it’s pantry-friendly)

General Inspiration for Recipes That Use Only Pantry & Frozen Foods

These are less recipe specific and more just for inspiration:

Pasta & Noodles

  • Marinara pastas with roasted or sautéed frozen/canned vegetables (add beans/frozen meats for protein!)
  • Lentil Bolognese (here) served over spaghetti or other pasta
  • Taco pasta – taco seasonings, canned tomatoes (drained), corn, beans, diced green chiles
  • Ramen bowls with noodles, canned/frozen vegetables, soy sauce (edamame, peas, corn)
  • Jarred pestos with roasted veggies and pasta
  • Tuna pasta salad (mayonnaise, cooked pasta, peas or green beans, and tuna)
  • Pasta with garlic powder (or fresh garlic), red pepper flakes, drained canned tomatoes, frozen spinach and white beans
  • Mac and cheese with frozen/canned vegetables
  • Legume-based pasta with roasted canned artichokes and tomato sauce

Grain dishes

  • Frozen/pantry vegetables in a fried rice (example and example) – you can also swap in different grains, like quinoa
  • Vegetable Rice Bake – casseroles with rice, vegetables, tomato sauce and cheese/meat if you have it (example)
  • Mexican style rice bake with rice, corn, black beans, and salsa
  • Quinoa with canned/frozen vegetables, beans and marinara sauce
  • Mexican rice with seasonings, canned tomatoes, beans, and corn
  • Frozen sweet potatoes cooked in chili powder, mixed with black beans and salsa and baked with rice until heated through
  • Warm grain bowl with frozen spinach, walnuts, white beans, garlic powder, and broth
  • Simple bean and rice bowls with salsa
  • Quinoa chili with diced tomatoes, broth, black beans, green beans, corn and seasonings
  • Teriyaki veggie bowls – if you have a jarred teriyaki sauce, you can simply saute canned/frozen veggies and top with teriyaki sauce and serve over brown rice
  • Spicy green beans with quinoa and cashews – cook frozen/canned green beans and carrots in Thai red curry paste and serve over quinoa with crushed cashews
  • Sesame stir fry – cook canned/frozen veggies in sesame oil (garlic too, if you have it), and serve over brown rice
  • Peanut stirfry skillet with edamame and broccoli with quinoa (use a peanut butter based dressing from pantry ingredients like soy sauce)


  • Coconut milk, curry powder or curry paste and canned/frozen green beans, and chickpeas (or with lentils)
  • Combinations: green beans and sweet potatoes with lentils, chickpeas and frozen spinach, peas and sweet potatoes
  • Red lentil curry with canned/frozen vegetables like baby corn, peas, carrots, broccoli


  • Curried Chickpea Salad (here) on a sandwich
  • Salmon burger with canned salmon, peas, and mayonnaise
  • Tuna salad sandwich (add frozen peas for a little crunch and flavor!)
  • Sloppy Joe’s made with lentils

Soups & Chilis

  • Broth, tomatoes, pasta, and canned/frozen vegetables and white beans – add dried Italian herbs for flavor and frozen spinach
  • Canned beans and vegetables cooked in diced or crushed tomatoes with broth and dried herbs
  • Black bean soup – cumin, oregano, garlic powder, black beans and broth cooked and blended
  • Frozen spinach, dried Italian herbs, frozen carrots, white beans and broth
  • Cook white beans with olive oil, garlic, broth, frozen spinach, and serve with toasted bread
with love, Ali

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