5 Easy Pantry Dinners for Busy Weeknights

Easy Pantry Dinners
Have you ever set out to create a fancy dinner, only to end up staying late at work and caught in traffic on your way home? Or made restaurant plans, then had your pal cancel at the last minute, leaving you hungry and wondering what to do instead? We’ve all been in these sorts of situations, where you feel caught between wanting to make a nutritious, home-cooked meal and the desire to throw in the towel and reach for the takeout menu.

So how does one still get dinner done when time and energy are in short supply? Look to your pantry: by adding on a few shelf-stable items to your FreshDirect order, you’ll always have a quick, convenient, and tasty meal at the ready. It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish with an all-purpose sauce, some grains or pasta, and a few simple veggies or proteins.

There are a lot of great pantry dinner solutions to discover on FreshDirect. Get started on your weeknight meal quest by trying one of these dishes with our favorite items from the cupboard.

Easy Pantry Dinners Spaghetti Tomato SauceJust FreshDirect Pasta Sauce with Spaghetti
When you use a sauce made with flavorful, high-quality ingredients, the classic dish of tomato-smothered pasta will never get old. We work with a small artisan producer in Italy to source our pasta sauces, which are made with 100% whole-peeled Italian tomatoes, pure olive oil, fresh basil, and aromatic seasonings. Simply heat them up and toss with your favorite pasta—you can even use our own pre-cooked spaghetti to make things super simple. And for some extra protein, add our house-made meatballs, which are great to keep on hand in the freezer.

Easy Pantry Dinners Shakshuka SauceShakshuka With Mina Simmer Sauce
Shakshuka is a Mediterranean recipe with poached eggs in a spiced, tomato-based sauce. Making it from scratch is a nice Sunday brunch project, but it’s way more practical to grab some Mina shakshuka sauce on a busy weeknight. This jarred version is ready to use and has just the right balance of hearty flavor and gentle aromatics. Just simmer it in a pan, crack in some eggs and grab a hunk of bread for sopping all that goodness up.

Easy Pantry Dinners Zoodles LemongrassZoodles With Haven’s Kitchen Nutty Lemongrass Sauce
The beauty of zoodles is that they work equally as well in Asian-inspired noodle dishes as they do in Italian-style ones. All it takes to cook them is a quick sauté in a pan, then a toss in something like the Nutty Lemongrass Sauce from our friends at Haven’s Kitchen. Add on some chopped cilantro and maybe a few cucumbers and peanuts and you’ve got a bowlful of deliciousness that one ups your average sesame noodles.

Easy Pantry Dinners CurryMaya Kaimal Curry Over RightRice
Simmer sauces from Maya Kaimal make it easy to enjoy Indian flavors anytime—all you have to do is add in some cut meat and/or vegetables and cook everything through in a pan. We especially love pasture-raised local lamb leg cubes and carrots in their Madras curry sauce. Serve it all over the grains of your choice—our pick is quick-cooking RightRice made from protein-rich ingredients.

Easy Pantry Dinners Banza Gluten Free PastaCacio e Pepe Mac ‘n’ Cheese
What is cacio e pepe, you ask? In Italian, that’s cheese and black pepper pasta—in other words, a fancy mac ‘n’ cheese. We love taking Banza’s white cheddar mac (which is truly a step up from your average boxed pasta since it has gluten-free elbows and a sauce made with real cheddar), then adding a few generous shakes of freshly-ground black pepper, resulting in a sophisticated version that’s definitely not just for kids.
Shop pantry dinners on FreshDirect.