5 Inspiring Pantry Dinner Ideas

Kick the doldrums out the door with this week's inspiring meal plan. Make a dry rub with pantry spices for Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa and use all those avocados for a delicious Avocado Chicken Salad.

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, Army wife, and a Simply Recipes recipe tester and developer!

On a Whim should be the title of my life’s album.

I often get these bursts of recipe inspiration that leave me barreling to the grocery store to pick up ingredients before the mood passes. And, yes, the mood always seems to pass.

As a result, I’ve been keeping certain ingredients on hand at all times. That way, if a craving strikes, I can satisfy it with little to no mad-dash-to-the-grocery-store stress. If you’re ever in doubt about which pantry supplies are a must (or those you’re highly encouraged to have on hand), check out this article on How to Stock Your Pantry. It’ll come in handy as you face the rest of the summer with hungry families.

One last thing: Looking for dinner ideas? You’re in the right spot! We just launched our new paid meal plan service. We have delicious meal plans to suit every taste and lifestyle — Healthy Eating, Family Favorites, and Vegetarian just to name a few. These one-week plans are $1.95 and, with them, you get a dessert and weekend prep recipe and a shopping list. They’re beautifully designed and perfect to print and save or simply load and cook right from your computer!

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Chinook and Coho salmon should be available right about now. The dry rub used to season the salmon fillets in this recipe can be doubled and stored. Keep it in the pantry and you’ll have an on-the-fly rub for your meats, poultry, or shrimp.

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Puerto Rican Rice with Pork

This is a staple of the Puerto Rican diet. You’re never without a meal if there’s rice and bacon in the house. This recipe features the underutilized, but convenient, salt pork. In a pinch, bacon, pancetta, or even ham can be used in its place. Top this rice dish with a fried egg and marvel at how something so humble can taste so rich.

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Avocado Chicken Salad

I don’t know about you, but I seem to always have avocados on hand. Additionally, chicken breast is always lingering in my freezer or pantry. Canned chicken is underrated, and, on a whim, can be transformed into this chicken salad which is something special. Of course, fresh chicken is preferred, but again, on a whim, we do what we must.

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What does jackfruit taste like?

You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate the flavors of these meatless tacos. Check out your grocer’s produce section where the tofu is and you’ll be surprised to find prepared, packaged jackfruit ready to use. If you’re feeling adventurous, buy a segment of a jackfruit (they’re HUGE so you may want to have your store employee cut it to order).

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Mushroom Burgers

Let’s get the grill going, but instead of making a boring burger, switch things up and make Swiss burgers instead. The savory caramelized onion and mushroom topping is held in place with gooey Swiss cheese, making these burgers an epic way to jumpstart the weekend.

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Weekend Baking

Rice Pudding

What I don’t want to jumpstart, however, is my oven. I’m giving my AC a rest from working overtime in this summer heat and making this weekend’s dessert on the stove. No, I won’t be sweltering over hot burners, either. A few minutes of boiling and the rice is ready to chill. Cool and creamy is the best way to finish this week.

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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  1. Catherine

    I’m not a good cook but these look brilliant thank you

  2. Amanda Sharp

    All of these recipes look fantastic!