Pantry Must-Haves for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Pantry Must-Haves for Easy Weeknight Dinners

I love to cook, but I’m also lazy AF. With an hour commute home each night after a long ass day, the last thing I want to do is come home and first start thinking about what we’re having for dinner or spend an hour cooking.

While I could order in each night, it truly just doesn’t do it for me and I get sick of it quickly – the portion sizes are huge (as a member of the Clean The Plate Club since 1991, this is dangerous!) and it’s an expensive habit that adds up quick.

That’s why I’ve honed in on the perfect pantry and shopping list to make weeknight meals seamless. I always keep these items in our house so that all I need to do is add ingredients into a pan or my air fryer for a full meal in 30 minutes or less.

The Mostly Glossy Pantry Shopping List


  • Trader Joe’s Shawarma Chicken Thighs *pop in the air fryer for ~10 minutes on each side for a quick salad topper, or to stuff in pita*
  • Trader Joe’s Spicy Jalapeno Sausage *I always keep a pack in the freezer – defrost, slice and sautée with vegetables for an easy meal*
  • Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer *if you love Indian food the way I do, this is perfect to keep in the freezer and pair with chicken in masala sauce*
  • Frozen salmon burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, etc. *I always keep some in my freezer for those nights where we’re just too lazy to get creative* 


  • Chicken *I always have some chicken on-hand since it’s pretty hard to fuck up.*
  • Ground meat *whether it’s ground beef, ground turkey or ground lamb, you can’t go wrong for quickly making a meat sauce, homemade burgers, or tacos.*


  • Palmini *add your protein of choice, your favorite veggies and your favorite sauce for a quick, easy “pasta” dish*
  • Banza Pasta 
  • Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi *the trick to getting the perfect gnocchi is to ignore the cooking instructions – instead, air fry them*
  • Siete Tortillas *love using these for quick quesadillas*
  • Almond Flour *I use this, mixed with spices, to create a healthier breading for chicken*



  • Frozen vegetables *while I prefer fresh vegetables, I always keep 2-3 bags of frozen broccoli and cauliflower on hand for those weeks I don’t have time to food shop*


Should I put together recipes for some of my favorite weeknight meals? What is your go-to quick dinner recipe? Tell me in the comments.


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