The Absolute Best Recipes You Can Make with Your Forgotten Pantry Staples
Your pantry is full of forgotten treasures: the can of kidney beans hiding behind the rigatoni; the unopened pouch of quinoa tucked off in the corner; the lonely tin of canned corn… But these ingredients, along with other overlooked pantry staples, can be used to make some pretty marvelous meals — if you know how to prepare them.
As more people are cooking at home, the Meatless Monday team set out to ask our followers which of their pantry items they’ve found to be the trickiest to cook. Our surveys have revealed that people aren’t quite sure what to do with canned corn, quinoa and canned kidney beans.
We sought the assistance from some of our favorite chefs, bloggers, and Instagram influencers to help us compile a list of superb plant-based recipes featuring popular, yet underutilized, pantry staples. Check out the list below and get cooking!
TexMex Chickpea Corn Fritters from Kevin Curry – Fit Men Cook
When it comes to plant-based patties, fritters always have more fun. These Tex-Mex chickpea corn fritters from Fit Men Cook become nice and crisp after a quick spin in the air fryer (or oven). Canned or frozen corn work for this one, but the big spice blend — smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano — is definitely a must.
Source: Fit Men Cook
Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad from Rachel Paul – The College Nutritionist
Source: College Nutritionist
Garlicky Corn and “Tuna” Pasta from Lenny Wu – Vegamelon
Easy Vegan Jalapeño Cornbread from Jenn Sebestyen – Veggie Inspired
Source: Veggie Inspired
Crockpot Chili from Makenna Hale
Corn and chili were meant for each other. This crockpot chili from Makenna Hale is vegan and free of both soy and gluten.
Source: Makenna Hale
Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie from Naturally Zuzu
Source: Naturally Zuzu
Pro tip from Karla Dumas and the Humane Society Culinary Team: Roast canned corn to naturally caramelize it and bring out the sweetness. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice; add beans and cilantro for a quick side dish.
Instant Pot Vegan White Bean Quinoa from Nisha Vora – Rainbow Plant Life
You can never have enough chili recipes. This recipe for instant pot vegan white bean quinoa chili from Rainbow Plant Life uses coconut milk and cannellini beans, making it extra creamy and delicious.
Source: Rainbow Plant Life
Sweet Potato Quinoa Latkes from Joy Bauer
Holidays, brunch, late-night snack, doesn’t matter; these savory sweet potato latkes from Joy Bauer are the perfect place to put that quinoa. The original recipe calls for egg whites, but to make these latkes completely plant-based, use one of these vegan egg replacements.
Source: Joy Bauer
Fig and Raisin Quinoa “Couscous” from My Organic Diary
Completely gluten free, this recipe from My Organic Diary marries the flavors of North Africa with protein-packed quinoa. Golden raisins, cinnamon, and figs makes this flavorful side dish perfect for pool-side dining.
Source: My Organic Diary
Cherry Mint Quinoa Salad from Lisa Drayer
In addition to her cherry mint quinoa salad, Lisa Drayer covered the Meatless Monday pantry challenge in her recent CNN article, “How to eat less meat and more plants,” that also featured Chef Adam Kenworthy’s quinoa recipe suggestion and physician and chef Dr. Robert Graham’s advice on the health benefits of plant-based eating.
Source: Lisa Drayer
Peanut Butter Quinoa Cookies from DJ Blatner
These peanut butter quinoa cookies from DJ Blatner are seriously inventive and delicious. By using a combination of quinoa, oats, and flax seeds, you’re getting a solid helping of fiber packaged in a sweet, nutty cookie.
Source: Dawn Jackson Blatner
Teriyaki Fried Quinoa from The Foodie Takes Flights
Skip the takeout and sauté your own version of fried rice, or, in this case, teriyaki fried quinoa. Throw in a colorful collection of vegetables: corn, carrots, peas, purple cabbage, and you’ve got yourself a rainbow of a meal courtesy of The Foodie Takes Flight.
Source: The Foodie Takes Flight
Kidney Bean Recipes
Easy Pantry Pasta Bake from Delicious and Healthy by Maya
Clean out the pantry while making a filling family dinner. Use kidney beans (but any can of beans will do), spinach, tomato sauce, and a spice rack’s-worth of seasonings for this better-for-you easy pantry pasta bake from Delicious and Healthy by Maya.
Source: Delicious and Healthy by Maya
Comforting Black and Kidney Bean Chili from James – Healthy Living with James
Source: Healthy Living with James
Zucchini Oat Veggie Patties from Sharon Palmer
Source: Sharon Palmer
Best Vegan Chili from Hannah – Two Spoons CA
Source: Two Spoons CA
BBQ Kidney Bean Kale Burgers from Jenn Sebestyen – Veggie Inspired
These kidney bean kale burgers from our friend Jenn Sebestyen at Veggie Inspired develop a nice crunchy crust after 40 minutes in the oven. A mixture of tahini, apple cider vinegar, molasses, and liquid smoke give these patties that beloved barbecue flavor without the grill.
Source: Veggie Inspired
Click here for more Meatless Monday recipes. When posting pictures of recipes to your social media network, tag @MeatlessMonday use #MeatlessMonday to show the plant-based community your creation.