When you’re craving something delicious that won’t ask too much of you—especially on a weeknight—canned food saves the day. From chickpeas and beans to tomato sauce and tuna, there’s no shame in keeping your time in the kitchen to a minimal with the help of these pantry staples. Here are seven dinners to cook this week, each starring an easy-to-use canned or jarred ingredient.
Here’s What to Cook Every Night This Week (March 1 – 7)
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 large white onions
12 garlic cloves
2 jalapeños (or 1 Scotch bonnet)
1 red onion
1 large tomato
1 ounce arugula
2 large poblano peppers
1 large sweet potato
12 ounces frozen corn
One ¼-inch piece ginger
1 bunch asparagus (about 7 ounces)
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch thyme
2 bunches cilantro
1½ pounds chicken strips
1 stick butter
One 5.2-ounce container Boursin cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 half-pint heavy cream
2 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
9 ounces plain yogurt
10 ounces couscous
4 Kaiser rolls
16 slices sourdough bread
Canned or Packaged Items
8 ounces chicken broth
16 ounces chicken stock
Two 5-ounce cans oil packed tuna
Three 15-ounce cans black beans
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas
Sesame seeds (white and black)
One 4.4-ounce tin mackerel in sunflower oil
One 14-ounce can tomato sauce
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 32-ounce carton vegetable broth
16 ounces natural peanut butter
Salted peanuts, for garnish
Pantry Ingredients: kosher salt, extra-virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, vegetable oil, allspice, smoked paprika, cayenne, mayonnaise, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, dried thyme, chile powder, cumin, coriander, curry powder, chile paste
Monday: 15-minute Mediterranean Couscous With Tuna And Pepperoncini
Monday is no match for this lightning-fast meal that boasts a whopping 30 grams of protein. The toughest part is waiting for the couscous to boil.
Tuesday: Quick And Easy Spicy Coconut Black Bean Soup
Starting with canned beans saves you literal *hours* at the stove, but the real secret to this soup is blending it for a thick, creamy consistency.
Wednesday: Chickpea Burgers
Bye, excessively dry veggie patties. Puréed chickpeas (and a generous slather of mayo) keep these handhelds nice and moist.
Thursday: Mackerel Asparagus Salad With Sesame Vinaigrette
Don’t knock tinned fish ’til you try it. Mackerel is rich and mild, so it’s great for beginners. Look for labels that read “pole caught” to ensure you’re buying sustainable, ethically sourced fish.
Friday: Grilled Cheese And Tomato Soup Casserole
Your inner child is starving, and it wants gooey Boursin-mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches baked in creamy tomato soup. (And if you’re short on time, canned tomato soup totally works here.)
Saturday: One-pot Vegetarian Chili
This soul-warming entrée lets your pantry really shine, since it calls for canned chickpeas, crushed tomatoes, black beans and frozen corn.
Sunday: Chicken Satay With Coconut-peanut Sauce
These curry-yogurt chicken skewers served with a spicy, savory dip made from canned coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce and other staples are fancy enough for a dinner party.