Meal Prep Recipe Spotlight: Pantry Meals

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It's time for some fun recipes that feature pantry staples! Here are three of my favorites...

Baked Ziti:


  • 1 pound ziti, dry - plain or whole wheat
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 26 ounces low-sodium pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook ziti according to package directions. Drain in colander and rinse lightly.
  3. Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, then add the cooked noodles.
  5. Place the ziti mixture in a large baking pan. Top with cheese and oregano. Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot.

Chef's Tips:

This dish goes very well with a fresh green salad.

Vegetarian Chili Pot:


  • 1 cup instant brown rice
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no-added-salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized microwave container.
  2. Cover and microwave on high for 12 minutes.
  3. Stir and serve hot.

Chef's Tips:

Drain and rinse those beans before adding them to your dish. No one likes slimy beans!

Dorm Room Mac and Cheese:


  • 1 box macaroni and cheese
  • 1 can no-salt-added peas (can also use frozen)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated or matchsticks carrots, raw
  • 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, or use a packet that you pick up at a pizza place


  1. Place 2 cups of water in a large glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Add the noodles from the macaroni and cheese box and cook on medium for 6 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and peas and cook 1-2 more minutes. Drain and add the milk and half the cheese mix. Stir and cook 1 minute.
  3. Top with Parmesan cheese

Chef's Tips:

Use the rest of the matchsticks carrots by mixing them with vanilla or plain yogurt and raisins to make a carrot salad.

Consider adding one can of low-sodium tuna in water -- simply drain it and add the tuna with the milk!

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