Last Minute Meals From the Pantry-MainPhoto
Last Minute Meals From the Pantry-MainPhoto

How many times have you run to the grocery store thinking you have nothing at home to prepare supper?

Sometimes the best bites come from preparing a quick, easy, and delicious meal in just minutes with whatever you might have already  have in your pantry.

In fact, there are items that we usually have by default, basics or staples, and we could easily use them to create a great-last-minute meal without rushing last minute to the store.

So here is a list of some of some of the basics that I usually keep at home to make sure that if I run out of prepared meals and I don’t have the time to go grocery shopping and cook, I can always come up with something creative, simple and delicious.


  • Dry pasta, both spaghetti and bow tie
  • Soft corn tortillas
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned corn
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Orzo
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Spanish chorizo
  • Lentils
  • Canned beans (black and garbanzo)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Organic tomato sauce
  • Salsa
  • Chipotle sauce
  • Canned green chiles
  • Anchovies and baby sardines
  • Blue corn chips
  • Pound cake mix
  • Dried fruit (raisins or cranberries)
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Nuts or seeds (raw almonds, pumpkin, pine nuts or sunflower seeds)
  • Chia or hemp seeds
  • Organic soups: butternut squash, lentil or tomato soup, creamed of chicken soup
  • Vegetable or chicken broth, organic, low sodium
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Read Related: Mami-Prepared! 4 Stress-Free, Quick-Fix Meals in a Flash


  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Kale
  • Onions, any kind
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Blue cheese or gorgonzola
  • Sour cream or any other soft cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt or Kefir
  • Grated parmigiano
  • Cream or milk
  • Coconut or almond milk
  • Eggs
  • Any fruit in season
  • Salsa Teriyaki or soy sauce
  • Mustard and mayonnaise
  • Botija olives (these are the purple Peruvian olives, find them in your Latino supermarket)
  • Parsley and cilantro

Tip to always have fresh vegetables handy without leaving your house:
Sign up for a Farm Co-Op membership. They will deliver fresh local produce to your door!


  • Frozen chicken
  • Frozen vegetables (spinach, corn, string beans, edamame, carrots, medley vegetables)
  • Frozen fruits (blueberries, strawberries, mango, pineapple)
  • Frozen seafood (mussels, prawns, baby shrimp)
  • Frozen Ezekiel bread (flourless legume/grain-based bread)
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Veggie burgers
  • Salmon or turkey burgers, organic

Here are some quick menu ideas using the ingredients above:

  • Sausage lentil stew or soup
  • Seafood curry over rice
  • Spinach, cheese frittata
  • Pasta salad tossed with any fresh, canned or frozen vegetables you might have handy, caramelized onions, sardines or anchovies
  • Quick pasta served with tomato confit, green onions, fresh herbs, olive oil and parmesan cheese
  • Baked pasta with Alfredo sauce or Bechamel sauce (cream, cream cheese and parmesan cheese, or any other cheese)
  • Spinach, pine nut orzo al pesto or just olive oil and parmesan cheese on top
  • Chicken fajitas cooked in sesame oil and soy sauce served on soft tortillas with diced avocado, fresh tomatoes, crispy lettuce, with either hummus or mayonnaise
  • Chipotle or cayenne hummus-makes a great quick bite! served with blue corn chips, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some chia or hemp seeds on top.
  • Quick sauteed kale salad with onions, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds. This salad is delicious both warm and cold.
  • For dessert, you can either prepare a quick parfait with the pound cake, whipped cream and fruit, or serve macerated strawberries with frozen yogurt, whipped cheese or cream. Your choice.
  • For a quick, healthy mid afternoon snack, toast some Ezekiel bread and top it with slices of avocado, some olive oil and salt. You can also add some tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese (or any other cheese you might have).
  • Another great quick bite: caramelized onions with raisins on warm bread, with hummus, used as a salad topping, or as a side for any protein.

By now, I am guessing you got the idea. Get hungry and be creative with what you already have at home. It will save you time and, needless to say, money!


½ T coconut oil
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground chicken
1 oz taco seasoning mix
½ cup canned green chiles, chopped, divided
1 T chipotle sauce
1½ cup black beans, drained
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2½ cups cream of corn soup
2 cups sour cream
8 small soft corn tortillas
2 cups shredded queso blanco or mozzarella

Taco Seasoning
1 ounce

1 T chili powder
½ t sweet paprika
¼t cayenne pepper
¼ t red pepper flakes
¼ t onion powder
¼ t garlic powder
½ t dried oregano
¼ t dried cilantro
1 t cumin
1 t sea salt
1 t fresh black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and saute the pork and chicken. Let it brown nicely, about 5-7 minutes. Add the taco seasoning. Stir well to combine flavors.
  3. Stir in half of the chiles, chipotle sauce and black beans. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the remaining chiles, the soup and sour cream.
  6. Lightly grease, or line a 13×9-inch baking dish with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  7. Spoon meat mixture into the center of tortillas. Roll and place in prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining creamy mixture, sprinkle cheese on top, and bake for about 20-30 minutes.