Healthy Dinners from Pantry Staples

A stash of nutritious, quick-cook ingredients means you can whip up dinner in no time flat. We'll show you how to turn basics like potatoes, pasta, and beans into good-for-you meals that taste anything but ordinary.


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Chicken Tagine Stew

Chicken Tagine Stew
Makes 4
Prep 20 m
Cook 31 m

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Great Grains

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Whole Wheat Couscous: Bring 2 cups water or broth to boiling. Take off heat and stir in 1 cup couscous; cover and allow to stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Makes 3 cups.

Bulgur: Place 1 cup medium-grind bulgur in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Gently stir before serving. Makes 3 cups.

Quinoa: Rinse 1 cup of quinoa and add to a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Cook, uncovered, for 12 to 14 minutes or until tender but still a little crunchy. Drain; fluff up before serving. Makes 3 cups.


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Cheesy-Chipotle Flounder

Cheesy-Chipotle Flounder
Makes 4
Prep 15 m
Bake 20 m
Cook 35 m

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Simple Ways to Spice Up Recipes

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Chipotle in adobo adds smoky heat with a minimum of calories and sodium. Stir into mac 'n' cheese, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes to kick them up a notch.

Pickled jalapenos are a zesty addition to egg, chicken, or tuna salads.

Hot sauce gives zing to soups. A few drops of Tabasco and a squeeze of lemon juice will brighten up any dish.


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Cider-Glazed Chicken

Cider-Glazed Chicken
Makes 4
Prep 20 m
Bake 35 m
Cook 13 m

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Quick Sauces

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Easy Remoulade: Stir together 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 2 tablespoons pickle relish, 1 tablespoon each capers and fat-free milk, 2 teaspoons each prepared mustard and dried parsley. Serve with broiled fish.

Curry Sauce: Combine 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt, 3 tablespoons mango chutney, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon each curry powder and ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon each cayenne and salt. Try with grilled meats or as a salad dressing.

Thai Peanut Sauce: Whisk 1/2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter, 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 clove chopped garlic, and 1/3 cup hot water. Spoon onto chicken or pork chops.


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Lemony Penne & Broccoli

Lemony Penne & Broccoli
Makes 4
Prep 10 m
Cook 10 m

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More Ideas for Canned Beans

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Tuna & Red Bean Salad: Mix together 1 can (15 ounces) drained and rinsed red kidney beans, 1 can (12 ounces) drained water-packed tuna, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/4 teaspoon each garlic salt and black pepper. Chill.

Tomato Bean Soup: Heat 1 can (15 ounces) drained and rinsed cannellini beans and 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) reduced-sodium tomato soup. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Top with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bean & Corn Toss: Combine 1 can (15 ounces) drained and rinsed black beans, 1 package (10 ounces) thawed frozen string beans, 1 cup thawed frozen corn, 1/4 cup reduced-fat oil-and-vinegar dressing, and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Chill and serve in Bibb lettuce cups.


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Balsamic Pork Cutlets

Balsamic Pork Cutlets
Makes 4
Prep 15 m
Cook 16 m

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More Balsamic Ideas

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Balsamic Glaze: Boil 1 cup balsamic vinegar for 15 minutes, until reduced to 1/4 cup. Brush on cooked meats.

Balsamic Dressing: Whisk 1/4 cup each olive oil and canola oil, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.


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Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
Makes 16
Prep 15 m
Bake 55 m

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Polenta & Mushroom Sauce

Polenta & Mushroom Sauce
Makes 4
Prep 15 m
Bake 40 m
Cook 27 m

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Lentil Salad with Sausage

Lentil Salad with Sausage
Makes 4
Prep 15 m
Cook 25 m

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Warm Sweet Potato Salad

Warm Sweet Potato Salad
Makes 6
Prep 15 m
Roast 45 m

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Linguine with Clam Sauce

Linguine with Clam Sauce
Makes 8
Prep 10 m
Cook 14 m

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Salmon Cakes with Corn Salsa

Salmon Cakes with Corn Salsa
Makes 6
Prep 10 m
Cook 8 m