No Recipe Pantry Dinner with Pasta and Two Side Dishes

Main Dishes | Recipes by Rezel Kealoha - May 24th, 2018 Last modified on July 14th, 2023

A healthy dinner is possible even if you think your pantry is bare and your fridge is empty.  This No Recipe Pantry Dinner can be made by anyone!

No Recipe Pantry Dinner

Okay.  Here is the story.  I don’t cook during the week unless I have a recipe deadline.  I use a meal delivery service called Go Methodology as when you cook for a living sometimes you just don’t want too.  Anyway my parents were coming back and I had no food in the fridge AND we had to get dinner on the table.  I had condiments and some staples in the pantry so I had make do.

How to make a No Recipe Pantry Dinner Happen

The key thing to making a healthy meal on the fly is to have a stocked pantry meaning try to have the following items on hand at all times:

All these ingredients make a great starting point when you have no where to go.  I knew I had one box of pasta left and thought about what I had to make a dish.  Then remembered we still had some anchovie paste and capers and magic we have a sauce!  I’ve made it a few times before with other variations, but this time I used dried cherries (to counter balance the salty anchovy) and pecans for crunch.  Normally I make this with fresh parsley, but didn’t have any this week so did a mix of cilantro and dill.  In cooking it’s totally okay to experiment.

No Recipe Pantry Dinner

I made this with my toddlers help and it comes together so fast that we had time to play after cooking.

Side Dishes

So side dishes are optional, but we needed to use up some veggies that have been sitting in the fridge for a week.  I roasted some radicchio, portobello mushrooms and endives. Some kale was also starting to wilt away and an easy way to turn it into a dish is to massage it with some vinegar and olive oil.  That was also mixed into the salad and topped with lots of dill.  I tell you olive oil, salt and pepper goes a long way.

Then I had a peak in our potato drawer and saw we had some sweet potato so I also roasted them as a second side dish.

No Recipe Pantry Dinner

Amiee Song’s Sweet Potato Fries

Sadly this is not my recipe, but it’s so good you guys have to make it.  You can see it made step by step by Amiee herself in her Instagram Stories.  It’s super easy with pantry staples.  All you need to do is cut the sweet potatoes into large wedges and coat in olive oil.  Then season with salt and pepper.  This time I used some Tumeric Salt.  It adds a little something something.

No Recipe Pantry Dinner

Dinner is Served

So there you have it, a pantry dinner with no recipes.  With a little digging around and some creativity a healthy quick dinner can happen!  I made it with a toddler helping me and with a play in between.

No Recipe Pantry Dinner

Now let’s eat!  For other meal plan ideas you can have read this post from last year.

No Recipe Pantry Dinner

Pasta with Anchovie, Dried Cherries and Capers

A pasta dish made from pastry staples with interchangeable ingredients. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Paleo
Servings: 8 People



  • 1 Box Pasta cooked according to package directions
  • Anchovy Paste
  • Capers
  • Minced Garlic
  • Dried Cherries
  • Nuts in your pantry
  • Bunch of Fresh Herbs
  • Oilve Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Lettuce
  • Other Vegtables in Fridge
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Date Syrup
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Side Dish

  • Sweet Potato Cut into Thick Wedges
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  • You may have noticed there are no measurements in the ingredients and that what I listed is very free form.  This is to encourage you to play around with what you have.  Cooking its about experimentation and making due with what you have.  In some cases you may have more herbs than nuts or the other way around.  Play around and have fun with this week night dinner.

Make the Pasta Dish

  • Make the pasta and reserve up to a cup of pasta water.  Drain and set aside.
    In a pot place all the ingredients you have found to make this pantry dish and cook until fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper as you wish.  Lossen it up with some of the reserved pasta water.  Then add in the pasta.  Add in more water to get the creamy consistency you want.  Season with salt and pepper again.  Top with more fresh herbs and serve.
  • Make the Salad
    Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and place your veggies on a sheet pan.  I found some radicchio, mushrooms and endive.  I drizzled some olive oil on top and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes and set aside when done.
    As a base for the salad I used some kale and chopped it up finely and massaged some olive oil, salt and pepper and vinegar.  That is the base of the salad that you put on the serving platter and place the rest of the roasted vegetable on top.  If you have more left over herbs place it on top.
    For the dressing, that is free form too.  Drizzle the olive oil, vinegar, and date syrup and season with salt and pepper. 
  • To make the sweet potato (recipe is from Song of Style)
    Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and place the thick cut wedges on a baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes and then flip the wedge and bake for another 10 minutes.  Done.
    Serve everything family style and hopefully you have left overs tomorrow.


This is a cook and taste recipe.  All the ingredients can be interchangeable.  The pasta can be macaroni or spaghetti.  Change the nut from pecans to walnuts.  The roasted vegetables can be anything that is starting to wilt in your fridge. 
This is basically a clean your fridge out weeknight dinner that is meant to be easy and fun.
Did you enjoy making it? I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram @rezelkealoha with the #rezelkealoha!
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