Ten Non-Perishables I Always Have In My Pantry…

I took inventory of my pantry this weekend, and thought it would be interesting to share some of my “must haves”. I stock up on these items when on sale, and they become the base for many easy and inexpensive meals.

1. Canned Tomatoes
-Canned tomatoes are one of the most versatile pantry staples you can have. Use as the base for Crock Pot Chicken Tacos, a quick pasta sauce, Soups, Chili, and more!

2. Canned Beans
-Canned beans, in the absence of homemade beans, are a simple and cheap meal building block. Use to make Chili, add to tacos or enchiladas to stretch your meat, add to salads or soups, or make hummus.

3. Pasta Sauce
-I always have pasta sauce on hand. Besides the obvious 15-minute meal of Spaghetti, pasta sauce can be used as pizza sauce, in a quick sausage and pepper dish, or as a dipping sauce for homemade bread or calzones.

4. Diced Green Chilies
-I feel like I add diced green chilies to everything. Burgers, quesadillas, even to spice up canned beans as a side dish. I also keep diced green chilies on hand to make my famous Jalapeno Cheese Dip.

5. Canned Tuna
-My daughter loves tuna sandwiches, but you could also add canned tuna to salads, pasta, or make a tuna melt for a quick meal.

6. Italian Dressing
-Italian Dressing is the most versatile salad dressing known to man. Marinate chicken and veggies in it, use it to toss a quick and summery pasta salad, or make creamy crock pot chicken by using italian dressing, chicken, and stirring in cream cheese and mushrooms at the end of cooking.

7. Canned Pineapple
-Canned pineapple can be used for ham and pineapple pizza (my favorite!), or grilled and added to rice for a fun side dish. My go to chicken recipes are teriyaki or huli huli, in which I add canned pineapple to the marinade and cook with the chicken for a nice sweet and tangy element.

8. BBQ Sauce
-BBQ Chicken Pizza is one of my favorite uses for BBQ sauce, while my husband loves BBQ Chicken Ranch Salad. Throw some chicken or pork into the crock pot with a bottle of BBQ sauce, cook, and shred for sandwiches.

9. Roasted Red Peppers
-Roasted Red Peppers are often overlooked in their ability to bring a quick meal to the table. I love making homemade roasted red pepper hummus and dipping vegetables and warm pita for a quick meal. Roasted red peppers can also be processed with mayonnaise and seasonings to make a delicious sandwich topping. Add them to pasta dishes, or even paninis.

10. Pasta
-I have plenty of boxes of pasta in various shapes. They are the workhorse of my pantry! Besides the obvious, you can make a fresh tasting pasta salad, add pasta to soups, or even use cold noodles as a topping for a green salad. You can even use spaghetti instead of rice for stir fry.

What are your “must haves” for the pantry? 

Next time I’ll share my must haves for the freezer!

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