A well stocked pantry is really important for being able to make quick dinners and get the most milage of quick and easy dinner recipes. (After all, what good is a great collection of quick easy dinner recipes without the quick easy food to prepare them?)
Having simple key ingredients in your cupboard, refrigerator and freezer and some easy meal planning makes it possible to pull together your quick easy dinner ideas with minimal effort and stress. (And isn’t that what making healthy easy dinners is all about.) When you want healthy food fast, it pays to plan and figure out what healthy foods to buy.
The grocery store shelves are lined with lots of healthy convenient foods and quick and easy food that can help. Of course, what you choose to buy is personal, based on your family’s likes and dislikes and the kinds of easy everyday healthy dinners you prefer to make.
Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you have to buy lots of ingredients all at once. Just find 4 or 5 quick and easy recipes for easy healthy dinners and pick up the staple ingredients for them. Then slowly and steadily add to your larder over time.
Before you know it you will have a well stocked kitchen that supports your desire to cook easy quick dinners in minutes.
To give you some ideas. Here are the things I like to keep stocked in the kitchen so I can whip up quick dinners at home without having to resort to expensive takeout or less than healthy fast food.
Healthy Convenient Foods for Quick and Easy Dinners
In the Freezer
- Chicken breasts or thighs
- Lean ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Pre-cleaned shrimp
- Wild salmon
- Mixed vegetables
In the Refrigerator
- Pre-washed bags of salad greens
- Parmesan cheese
- Salad dressing (I spend 5-10 minutes each week making my own but there are good bottled brands to choose from too.)
- Plain yogurt
- Milk (dairy or non-dairy)
In the Pantry
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Canned tomatoes (tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes)
- Canned beans (black, pinto, kidney, cannellini, chick peas)
- Canned vegetables (artichoke hearts, corn)
- Jarred roasted red peppers
- Canned tuna
- Canned salmon
- Jarred marinara sauce
- Tomato soup
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Rice (mixes and quick cooking brown rice)
- Dried pasta (spaghetti, ziti, shells, etc.)
These foods can be combined in dozens of ways to create quick easy dinner ideas. And on those days, when even that won’t work, you can always turn to one of my fall back quick healthy dinners, which is to grab a rotisserie chicken, a loaf of really good whole grain bread and bag of caesar salad at the market.
When you get home, enlist some help to slice the chicken and bread while you mix up the salad. (I love to doctor mine with a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice, splash of Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground black pepper.
It’s a quick easy dinner solution that can be ready in minutes and is so much healthier than takeout pizza, fried chicken or most anything from most food places.
What is your favorite recipe for a quick dinner or favorite easy foods for your pantry?
More Quick & Easy Dinner Ideas & Recipes
Simple Ground Beef Recipes – that are perfect for quick easy dinners
Simple Meatloaf Recipe – a quick and easy meatloaf recipe with minimal ingredients
Salmon Cakes/Salmon Patties Recipe – a quick and easy dinner recipe using canned salmon
Shrimp and Pasta Recipes Easy and Delicious – quick and easy dinners with pasta and shrimp
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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