Inspire Me

14 simple dinners you can make with pantry staples

Whether you are trying to stick to a budget or want to be prepared for emergencies, knowing how to make the most of the ingredients you have on hand is a great cooking skill. To help, we've rounded up 14 recipes that make the most of pantry essentials.
baked chickpea and egg shashuka

Our top tips for having a well-stocked kitchen:

  • Regularly check your most commonly used ingredients such as spices, spreads, sauces and oils, and top them up when needed. Don’t forget about cleaning products too – e.g. paper towels, dish-washing liquid and dishwasher powder – you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.

  • Having a variety of canned legumes, vegetables and fish makes cooking a breeze. Chickpeas, lentils, beans, tomatoes, salmon and tuna will all keep for weeks, so it’s a great way to ensure you always have nutritious ingredients on hand.

  • As well as cans, have a shelf filled with plenty of dry goods such as rice, pasta, lentils and beans – these will help you make your meals go further.

  • Vegetables such as pumpkin, kūmara, potatoes, onions and garlic are handy to keep on hand, as they keep for months when stored correctly.

  • If you have room, regularly stock your freezer with meat, bread, fruit and vegetables. Dairy products like milk and butter also freeze well, or you could go a step further by cooking or baking in bulk and freezing some for later.

  • Eggs are another great long-life source of nutrition – they should keep for 3-5 weeks and are handy to have for cooking and baking.

  • Make use of your windowsill for growing herbs or sprouting beans so you are always able to add plenty of flavour to your dishes.

Egyptian-style beans
May 21, 2018

Egyptian-style beans

This Egyptian-style beans recipe is popular as a breakfast dish as it’s cheap and robust enough to sustain you all day. Served with freshly baked flatbreads, for a delicious midweek meal.
By Nici Wickes
Gluten Free
April 30, 2010

Curried kumara and lentil soup

Recipe is not suitable to freeze. Lentils that float to the surface when covered with water are usually old; it’s best to discard them. Note
By Woman's Weekly Food
Potato and egg rendang
July 30, 2018

Potato and egg rendang

In an aromatic sauce, this perfectly rich potato and egg rendang is bursting with flavour and is perfect served with rice and topped with fresh coriander for an incredibly warming family meal.
By Sarah Murphy

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