Close up of a partial plate of baked ziti.

Simple Weeknight Dinners With Kitchen Pantry Cabinet Staples

The new year is in full swing, and as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, it seems like life gets a little bit busier. It may seem impossible, but whipping up a home-cooked meal is one DIY task you can and should tackle. For dinner in less time—and for less money—than ordering takeout, here are a few of our favorite weeknight dinners that are easy to make and easy to love. Best of all, they include simple, staple ingredients that you probably already have in your refrigerator and kitchen pantry cabinet.

Hamburger Pie

This savory dish from Better Homes and Gardens is family-friendly and super fast. It starts with store-bought, refrigerated mashed potatoes, and features ground beef and Cheddar cheese, plus kitchen pantry cabinet staples like canned tomato soup, green beans, and basic seasonings from your spice drawer. Prep time is 30 minutes or less. Just pop this pie in the oven and bake at 350 for another 30 minutes. The result is an easy and delicious dinner in an hour flat. For the full Hamburger Pie recipe from BHG, click here.

Baked Ziti

Who doesn’t love a pasta casserole topped with melted Mozzarella cheese? Instead of spending time making a homemade lasagna, give this quick and easy weeknight meal a try. Grab a jar of marinara from your kitchen pantry cabinet and boil up some Ziti according to package directions. If you can’t find a box of Ziti, you can use whatever macaroni you have, from Penne to Rigatoni. Then follow this easy and inexpensive recipe from Spend with Pennies. Serve Baked Ziti with a salad and homemade garlic bread. Don’t worry if you don’t have fresh garlic. Butter and a bit of garlic powder from your spice drawer will do.

egg fried chicken rice bowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Fried Rice

Rice is a kitchen pantry cabinet staple, and is a great base for an easy weeknight dinner with ingredients you already have on hand. This tasty dish is perfect for leftover rice, or make it fresh on the stovetop. Feel free to swap out the chicken for shrimp or pineapple, and add more veggies, like broccoli, asparagus, peppers, or mushrooms. Chicken Fried Rice takes about 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to cook. For a complete list of ingredients and an instructional video from Delish, click here.

As you can see, dinner doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. What’s your go-to simple weeknight dinner that calls for kitchen pantry cabinet staples?

 

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