Unlock 5 Days of Meals with Pantry Staples: Your Free Weeknight Meal Plan

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I’m going to make a bold assumption: you probably have a pantry and fridge stocked with those dependable staple items. You know, the usual suspects like flour, oil, canned beans, tomato products, bread, vinegar, pasta, an assortment of dried herbs and spices, and maybe even a half-used bag of shredded cheese. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.

It happens to all of us—staring at those pantry staples and wanting to whip up something fantastic but tired of the same old recipes like spaghetti and jarred pasta sauce.

Today, I’ve got everything you need for 5 weekday meal ideas, and guess what? Their ingredient lists are primarily composed of those trusty pantry and refrigerator items. You might need to grab a few extras from the store, but my hope is that you already have most of these ingredients at home. So, let’s get back to basics – with basic ingredients but far-from-basic recipes.

Sweet Italian Sausage with Kale and White Beans

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Now, here’s the exciting part:

This week, I’m trying something new. I’ve gone one step further and tackled some of your grocery shopping for you—well, not literally, but I’ve created Instacart shopping lists (linked to Aldi/Kroger) for each day’s menu. I’ve got all the ingredients for each recipe ready to go. All you have to do is add them to your cart and place your order. Always double check the ingredients in the recipe before shopping to just make sure you don’t want to swap anything out or need any additional staples. The availability of ingredients in the recipe links may vary depending on location or season as well.

I won’t link the following items if they’re in any of the recipes because I’m going to encourage you to ALWAYS have these essentials in your pantry and fridge:

  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Flour
  • Sugar

This Week’s Menu

Now, let’s dive into the exciting part—the menu! I’ve handpicked 5 menu ideas just for you and included links to the recipes. Your task? Simply jot down the ingredients and head out for your grocery shopping adventure (OR you can simply click each ingredient image and add it to your instacart order).

Each day also comes with additional notes, tips, and recommendations to help you prepare these delicious meals. Unless specified otherwise, all recipes are designed to serve four people.

Meatless Monday

Total Time from Start to Finish: 40 minutes

Notes and Recommendations: This recipe can be eaten as is or with additional sides. Corn and Chip with guacamole are a great option.

Meal Prep Tips: You don’t have to use a yellow onion. Use whatever type of onion you have on hand. Dont forget your extra fixin’s.



Total Time from Start to Finish: 15 minutes

Notes and Recommendations: If you don’t like seafood, this meal can be enjoyed without any added proteins or you can swap the shrimp out for a protein of your choice (Grilled chicken is always a great option).



Total Time from Start to Finish: 10 minutes

This recipe yields 2 servings. If you need more, scale this recipe up.

Notes and Recommendations: If you can get your hands on some furikake, get it! It’s going to elevate this recipe so much more than settling for everything bagel seasoning.



Total Time from Start to Finish: Approximately 20 minutes.

Technically this is a no-recipe, recipe. As outlined, this recipe feeds 2-3.

Notes and Recommendations: If you’re cooking for four I recommend using 2 cans of beans, a pack of sausage, and a full bag of kale. I like to use a decent amount of broth. Get creative with this recipe!



Total Time from Start to Finish: 30 minutes

The soup recipe is for 6 servings. Make recipe adjustments based on your portion needs.

Meal Prep Tips: This recipe calls for whole tomatoes. I’ve never used whole tomatoes when making this recipe. THREE 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes works just as well.

Notes and Recommendations: If you’re looking for something more substantial, add in a grilled cheese! CLICK HERE for a great recipe.


I hope you’re as excited as I am to cook from these pantry-staple recipes. Remember, cooking should be an adventure, not a chore. So, embrace what you have in your pantry, get creative, and enjoy the results!

Feel free to share your experiences and variations of these recipes on social media and tage me @PinchPlateParty. I love hearing from you and seeing your culinary creations.

Until next time, happy cooking!

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