Whether made with entirely pantry items or with some frozen veggies in the mix, these recipes are perfect when you haven’t been able to grab groceries in a while and you want dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. If you’re looking for some simple, tried-and-true staple meals to get you through busy weeks, these 20 vegetarian pantry meals are the way to go.
Many of these recipes freeze well too if you like to meal prep in bulk and save leftovers. For even more ideas that are vegetarian and freezer-friendly check out our recently published Plant-Based Freezer Meals roundup!
Vegetarian Pantry Soups
Soups are one of the easiest vegetarian pantry meals to throw together and can often be made in a single pot. All you need is some beans or lentils, dry grains, spices, broth, and canned or frozen veggies to build a flavorful and balanced pantry soup. If you have an onion in your pantry, even better!
While they all rely on similar ingredients, these six hearty vegetarian soup recipes each have unique flavors and textures to offer, with plenty of plant-based protein to support post-workout recovery. Pair with toast or cornbread for extra carbs to support your active lifestyle, and using shredded cheese or nutritional yeast as a topping can add additional protein and flavor to the meal.
Vegan Southwest Soup
Vegan 3 Bean Chili
Spicy Harissa Bean Soup
Rice & Bean Soup
Quick & Easy Vegan White Bean Chili
Three Bean Lentil Chili
Vegetarian Pantry Curries
As long as you have canned coconut milk and the right spices on hand, it’s easy to throw together a vegetarian curry. The addition of lentils or beans adds protein, and you can meet carb needs (plus further increase protein content) by pairing with a grain like rice, naan, or pita.
Green Lentil Coconut Curry
Instant Pot Lentil Curry
Black Bean Curry
Vegetarian Tacos & Taco Bowls
Tacos and taco bowls are a quick meal that can be made with staple ingredients and are great for leftovers too. While there are some shelf-stable tofu brands out there, note that for the sofritas recipe below we recommend using the extra firm tofu sold in the refrigerator section. This means it isn’t technically a pantry meal, but note that tofu lasts a long time in the fridge (it typically has a “best by” date at least a couple of months out). The lentil taco meat, on the other hand, is a true panty meal that only requires 3 ingredients, plus some taco shells (and added veggies if you have them on hand).
Easy Lentil Taco Meat
Homemade Chipotle Sofritas Bowl
Burgers are another vegetarian pantry meal that comes together fast if you have canned legumes on hand. Both of these recipes also call for canned green chiles for a bit of spice and chickpea flour to help bind them together. Grab some burger buns from the freezer, grill up some sweet potatoes to use as “buns, or serve your burgers on toast!
Chickpea Black Bean Burgers
Lentil Taco Burgers
While many breakfast protein sources require refrigeration, protein powders, shelf-stable milks, and nuts & seeds are protein-rich pantry ingredients that work well in breakfast recipes. Note that a shelf-stable soy milk will provide significantly more protein than other plant-based alternative milks, and when selecting a protein powder be sure to pick one that’s third-party tested (NSF, Consumer Choice, USP, Informed Choice etc.) since supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Pair your protein source with oatmeal, dried fruit, or other carbohydrate-rich ingredients to support energy levels.
Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes
Overnight Protein Oats
Other Vegetarian Pantry Meals
From pasta to stir fry to sloppy joes, there are plenty of other pantry meal options. Get five more balanced pantry recipes below, and check out our Plant-Based Freezer Meals Roundup, Protein-Rich Plant-Based Recipe Roundup, and Plant-Based Pasta Roundup for even more plant-based meal ideas!