11 Dinners Already Hanging Out in Your Pantry

I once believed that Kalamata olives were a staple in everyone’s pantries. They certainly were in mine growing up. My mom would go through jars almost weekly, adding the briney bites to salads and roasted chicken and fish. Often, my sister and I would steal two or three as pre-dinner snacks straight from the jar. It wasn’t until I casually brought it up to my coworkers that I realized not everyone kept Kalamatas on standby.

All of this is to say, “pantry staples” are relative. You might never be without a can of tomatoes or bag of kidney beans, while your best friend swears that every kitchen needs cans of tuna. (You bet I always have my Kalamatas.) But no matter how different our pantries might look, chances are that we all have a satisfying meal or two hanging out in there. Want some inspiration? Here are 11 dinners I think most pantries can make—even ones without olives.