Let’s face it, we’re all going to have one of those days, or even one of those weeks. We’ve lost track of time & here it comes, “What’s for dinner?” is asked from down the hall, when the kids get in the car or when your own stomach starts to rumble.

Being prepared for these kinds of days is a life ring you’re guaranteed to catch. Here are some of our favorite pantry dinners that never let us down.

Fancy up your Ramen Fixins: In my house, you can always find a few bags of ramen in the pantry. I know, I know, it’s sky-high in sodium & not even that filling. But with a few extra fixins you can quickly upgrade your dinner by adding lots of color & flavor.

  • Sauté some garlic & ginger in your pot before adding the broth
  • Swap the included flavor packet for a scoop of miso paste
  • Add some sauces to your broth like sriracha, fish sauce, soy sauce or (my favorite) a dash of toasted sesame oil
  • Add some protein, pulled chicken & beef are great options
  • Get some veggies in the mix, (frozen, fresh or canned will do) corn, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms & broccoli florets
  • Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, green onion, cilantro or nori/dried seaweed. (A squeeze of lime juice will definitely elevate the flavors you’ve got brewing.)
  • Top if off with a ramen egg

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Oven Baked Taquitos: One of the best grocery items on our list of staples are ready to cook flour tortillas. We keep them in the fridge (plus a back-up in the freezer) to cook when we need & now we always have fresh tortillas. To make a quick batch of taquitos start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees & see what you’ve got in the kitchen:

  • Choose a protein, have any frozen ground beef in the freezer? Leftover chicken or a can of black beans? Mix your choice of protein with some shredded cheese & a few scoops of your favorite salsa.
  • Have any vegetables to add? Slice up & sauté an onion, some bell peppers or a handful of spinach.
  • Fill the tortilla, right down the middle, with your mixture & roll the tortilla up tight. Place as many taquitos as you can (or want), seam side down on a baking dish. Lightly brush on some olive oil & bake until lightly browned & crispy, ~18-20 min.
  • Try topping with some salsa, cilantro or sour cream.
  • Need a side? My all time FAVORITE pantry side is to mix a can of corn with a can of (rinsed & drained) black beans, it’s a sweet & savory combo I can’t get enough of!

Tortilla Pizza Making Station: We often have a Tortilla Pizza Making Station when it’s time to clean out the refrigerator of leftovers or finish off some items that only have a few good days left. The assembly is fun & the bake is quick. Place your pizza on a sheet pan in the oven around 350 degrees until the tortillas are toasty & your toppings are done!

  • All the cheese, protein & vegetables we’ve got. A great combo: deli turkey, brie cheese & apricot or peach jam
  • Salsa, sauces, hummus & any other dips. You could make a feta, olive & artichoke tortilla pizza, served with a side of hummus for dipping
  • We like to get creative & think outside of the box, like peanut butter & bananas!

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