Tuna, Beans, and Pasta: 9 Weeknight Pantry Meals

Got a freshly stocked pantry? Whip up a delicious dinner from pantry staples! Each recipe is easy, budget-friendly, and utterly delicious! Give them a whirl tonight!

Three side by side images of pantry weeknight meals. The left image is of a blue bowl with chunky beef chili in it. Slices of avocado are on top of the thick beef and bean stew. The middle image is of a baked sweet potato stuffed with corn, pickled jalepenos, black beans and chopped scallions. The third image is a heaping bowl of spaghetti.

I am a meal planner through and through, but there are times when life just gets so busy that I ask myself the age-old question, What’s for dinner? When that question starts circulating around my brain, I will always turn to my pantry for answers. This is true for me in good times and in bad.

There are a few pantry staples that I always have on hand. I’m talking about canned beans (tons of varieties), tomato sauce, tuna, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, coconut milk, peaches, pears, and pasta, etc. I also keep a variety of squash (it keeps forever!), onions, and potatoes stocked up and ready to go.

A well-stocked pantry can save you when you’re pressed for time or when the government recommends staying close to home!

Not sure where to start when it comes to building up your pantry power? Check out: How to Stock Your Pantry for suggestions, tips and more great recipe ideas.

  • White Bean and Tuna Salad

    White Bean Tuna Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Opening up a can of tuna and some beans makes for an easy lunch! It’s what you need when you’re hungry now and don’t want to spend a ton of time cooking. It’s easier than easy.

  • Tuna and Tomato Pasta Casserole

    Pasta with Tuna and Tomato Sauce
    Elise Bauer

    Tuna and Tomato Pasta If you’re a tuna lover, listen up. Try this pasta bake and be prepared to be amazed at how tuna and tomatoes complement each other so well. Pro tip: Use tuna packed in oil. It works the best for this recipe.

  • Pasta with Tuna and Arugula

    Pasta with Tuna and Arugula
    Elise Bauer

    This pasta dish is simple and comes together in a snap, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in flavor! We used arugula in this recipe, but if you have spinach on hand, go ahead an sub that in.

  • Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce

    Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Italian Sausage Sauce
    Elise Bauer

    When you think of fettuccine, you usually think of it served with alfredo sauce, but we’re serving it with a tomato sauce for an unforgettable dish.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • Pasta with Butternut Squash, Bacon, and Brown Butter

    Butternut Squash Sage Pasta
    Alison Conklin

    You had me at pasta. And browned butter. And butternut squash. All of which are always to be seen at my house. It’ll wiggle it’s way onto your menu rotation in no time!

  • Pasta Puttanesca

    Pasta Puttanesca
    Elise Bauer

    All you need to do is chop some onion and garlic and the rest of the ingredients for this pasta dish come from the pantry. Not only can it be whipped up in no time, but it’s extremely budget-friendly.

  • Cincinnati Chili

    Cinncinnatti Chili
    Alison Conklin

    If you’re really craving chili but want something more exotic this is the dish for you. It’s made from ground beef, pasta, canned tomatoes, and spices. Adding in some unsweetened chocolate is what makes this chili really shine.

  • Easy Vegetarian Chili

    Best Vegetarian Chili with Mushrooms
    Alison Bickel

    No matter how crazy your day has been, you will always have certain spices, cans of beans, and tomato sauce on hand. All these pantry staples can easily be simmered into this one-heck-of-a vegetarian chili. Just don’t skip the toppings!

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • Twice Baked Southwestern Sweet Potatoes

    Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cheese
    Nick Evans

    Stuffed sweet potatoes are the way to go! Beans and corn are plenty hearty when served over the sweet potatoes. If you want a little crunch, add in some bell peppers!