It's pretty much a universal thing, when you get home from a long day, the first thing you do is open the fridge, open the pantry, and assess the food situation. If it looks bleak, things like this start running through your mind, "Should I have stopped and picked something up on the way home? Is any of this edible? There's that takeout menu from the Chinese place down the corner, looks like it's going to be a kung pao chicken night again." But before you make any rash decisions out of hunger (or you might even be hangry, depending on how far along the spectrum you are) here are some great and tasty ideas that can be whipped up with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge.


Got cereal? Then you're well on your way to something that doesn't need a bowl or a spoon. There are some pretty cool uses for cereals that we've found - and also, it doen't need to be fresh cereal either. Sometimes stale cereal is great to bake with, so keep that in mind. Crunchy cereals like cornflakes also make a great coating for items like chicken and hash browns.

Cornflake-Crusted Chicken
Cereal and Milk Bars


Unless you or someone in your family has a peanut allergy, peanut butter tends to be an ingredient that nearly everyone has in their pantry at all times. It's a versatile ingredient that can be used in savory dishes, desserts, and snacks. One of our favorite uses? As the main ingredient in our most popular 6-ingredient cookie recipe ever.

If your fridge is already stocked with some chicken (or you can get creative, even cauliflower florets would work well here!) you can whip it up in a skillet with some scruptious Peanut Butter Sauce to accompany it.

Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

Last but not least, our latest peanut butter craving looks a lot like this drool-inducing flavor explosion milkshake below. If you've got a blender and some leftover candy from Valentine's Day lurking around somewhere, dessert is all set. We topped ours with Reese's Cups, tons of whipped cream, and chocolate syrup, and have zero regrets about it.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Shake


This standard pantry ingredient has been garnering some attention for it's great versatility. Lately we've been hearing about oatmeal made with coffee and even it's not-so-sweet side that people are calling "svoats," short for "savory oats." Our own editor Hayley even gave her two cents on oatmeal's savory side, and shared with the world this marvelous creation called Tex-Mex Oats.

Tex-Mex Savory Oats

But for those looking for more of a sweet take on oatmeal, I love this bowl made with sunflower seed butter (have you tried SunButter? It's my new favorite thing) along with cocoa and bananas, because those ingredients always taste great together.


When I was in college I used to eat massive bowls of oatmeal daily, and I used the same recipe every time, because it was just so good. I'll go ahead and take the walk down memory lane and share it with you guys here below:

My College Days Oatmeal Recipe:

  • 1 cup plain oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


For a quick protein and omega-3 boost in the middle of your day (or at the end of it), reaching for canned tuna as an ingredient is a significant choice because the proteins are so much better for you and more satisfying than reaching for a bag of chips when you're pantry is empty and you're hungry for just anything. A really easy tuna recipe, if you also have bread, is to whip up a quick tuna melt and top it with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. We used avocado and tomatoes, but anything goes here, and you can use whatever you want.

If you have crackers or even some stale bread (hey, it's kinda like bruchetta toasts, right?) you can use those to dip into a simple tuna salad.


Oh boy, if you've got a carton of eggs hanging around in the fridge you better believe you can make something awesome out of those. If the only thing you've ever done with eggs is scramble them occasionally for breakfast, you're going to like these new ways to whip them up.

Our first in the lineup is a recipe otherwise known as shakshuka, which has its origins in Israel and is an otherwise meatless dish. I love this recipe because an item that most people also usually have tucked away in the back of their pantry (guilty as charged) are cans of tomato or pasta sauce. On top of that, if you have crackers, pita chips, or bread to dip in this marvelous masterpiece, you're all set!

Eggs Simmered in Tomato Sauce

Fried eggs go really well with all kinds of things. You can use them to top burgers, bowls of noodles, roasted cauliflower, potatoes, or even some toast, like in the recipe pictured below. If you don't have the ingredients to whip up your own pesto, you might have some jarred pesto on hand, or you can get creative and simply top the toast with mashed avocado and a little bit of olive oil.

Mustard Green Pesto and Egg Open-Faced Sandwiches

Also, you can never go wrong with a classic omelet.


Last but certainly not least, check out the link below for 21 different uses for white bread. You're welcome.

21 Recipes That Call For White Bread

For more daily tips, tricks, and featured recipes, pay us a visit on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and help us spread the love! And as for you guys, do you have some favorite tried and true recipes made with essential pantry items? Leave us a comment below, we love hearing about your kitchen adventures. Happy Cooking!