Sometimes, a good recipe that relies on pantry staples like canned and dry beans, onions, garlic, canned and frozen veggies, spices, oats, and dried fruits can be a life saver. While Dr. Yum’s Meal-O-Matic is a great tool for creating custom meals with things you have on hand, we want to make sure you have as many options as possible. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite recipes that use pantry staples exclusively or include a couple of other ingredients that could easily be substituted or omitted. Use this list to help you create meals with what you already have or to plan your limited grocery trips while we’re all social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.


You can use any single variety or a mix of potatoes you have to create a simple and tasty side. Recipe Here.


This quick and easy recipe uses a couple of cans of bean (any kind will do), onions, garlic, and some spices to make a simple dish that can be used as your main over rice or added to other meals as a side. No vegetable juice? You could substitute an equal amount of broth or water. A can of diced tomatoes would work great too!


With lentils, broth, lime, some staple veggies, and some spices you can have a hearty and tasty meal. You can easily omit the mushrooms and fresh cilantro if you don’t have them. This recipe is also a great way to use the allspice sitting unused in the back of your spice cabinet.


Any mix of beans you have would work for this one and you can always use your own mix of spices if you don’t have taco seasoning. Canned corn is a great substitute for frozen and many on the Dr. Yum team make it that way on the regular. No ground chicken? No problem! Another ground meat, canned chicken, or no meat at all are all options.


Canned or frozen corn would be great in this one and you can switch up the beans with whatever you have. If you don’t have a bell pepper, don’t worry. The chili will still taste great without it!


Another great lentil recipe that also uses a lot of cans! If you don’t have the fresh veggies, it will be fine without them and you can, of course, use a mix of spices you have instead of taco seasoning.


If you can’t get fresh broccoli and cauliflower, substitute frozen. Only have one of these two veggies? That’s ok too. All broccoli or all cauliflower will still give you a yummy soup!


With a couple of cans of beans, tahini, lemon, and a few other pantry items, you can make hummus. Because it can be used as a dip, spread, or topper for salads and grain bowls, hummus is a versatile flavor booster. Our Green Hummus uses frozen spinach or you can use fresh if you have it. A jar of roasted red peppers in your pantry means you can make our Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. No chickpeas on hand? If you have cannellini beans you can make our Lemony White Bean Hummus.


These bites are easy and fun to make! You can use any nut butter you happen to have around and regular raisins or another dried fruit would be a fine substitute for the golden raisins. No flax? Leave it out. Don’t have crispy rice cereal? Add some extra oats until you reach the desired consistency.


Not only are these a great way to use ripe bananas, but you can use any mix-ins you have or like. Any dried fruit or chopped nut would work in these.


These are similar to Magic Banana Cookies, but also include grated carrot and nut butter. You can use any nut butter you have and feel free to switch up the mix-ins.