9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Pantry — And Make Something Delicious

Clear out your pantry with these recipes.

Updated on March 28, 2024
Food Network Kitchen's Shortcut Chicken Enchiladas for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

FNK_ShortcutChickenEnchiladas_H

Food Network Kitchen's Shortcut Chicken Enchiladas for THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSGIVING/12 DAYS OF COOKIES/LAST-MINUTE SIDES, as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

It’s that time of year when clutter starts to make you itchy. Spring cleaning can evoke feelings of needing to refresh. You might have the instinct and take what’s been sitting around and chuck it, but don’t be too hasty.

Suddenly, clearing out a pantry stuffed with cans and jars picked up over a year of grocery shopping feels urgent (just because a can of tomatoes can last a year-and-a-half in your pantry doesn’t mean you want to look at it for that long). Here are recipes that will open up much-needed space on your shelves.

Shortcut Chicken Enchiladas (pictured above)

Pick up a rotisserie chicken on the way home from work, grab some tortillas and cheese from your fridge, and pull a can of refried beans and a jar of salsa from your pantry to have dinner on the table in under an hour.

Photo by: David Malosh

David Malosh

It makes a lot of sense to buy grains in bulk, but if your overnight oats routine didn't take like you thought it would (no shame there), try these low-effort muffins for a new way to find your fiber. Dried pineapple is a sudden sweet twist in these hearty treats.

Think beyond dinner and use that pantry clearing to make dessert. Those leftover almonds are an excellent base for biscotti. Put that bulk bag of chocolate chips to use and pair it with instant coffee for a perfect after-dinner coffee accompaniment.

Food Network Kitchen’s Vegetarian Cornbread Topped Cast-Iron Skillet Chili.

Food Network Kitchen’s Vegetarian Cornbread Topped Cast-Iron Skillet Chili.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Make some room on your canned veggies shelf and your baking shelf with this super-satisfying skillet dinner. Canned tomatoes and kidney beans get an extra burst of freshness from butternut squash — buy the pre-cut kind at the grocery store to make the prep even easier on yourself.

Build Your Holiday Feast

Photo by: Ryan Liebe

Ryan Liebe

Breathe new life into those leftover raisins by turning them into a party-ready appetizer. Pair them with a whipped ricotta for a sweet spin on a creamy dip. Plus, if your homemade pesto left you with some extra pine nuts, they will make an excellent crunchy finish.

Rigatoni Pie

Rigatoni Pie

Photo by: Armando Rafael ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Armando Rafael, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

We bet you already have every ingredient you need to make this dinner party-ready main. Raid your pantry for canned tomatoes to make the sauce, or sub in a jar of marinara — either option will be delicious.

FNM_15_OctNov_Casseroles_132694.tif

Photo by: Steve Giralt

Steve Giralt

Ree Drummond knows that a casserole is often the best way to take advantage of kitchen shortcuts. Cans of pinto beans, kidney beans and corn easily add heartiness to this dish. Jarred salsa and enchilada sauce bring the zip.

APRICOT OAT BARS
Giada De Laurentiis
Giada at Home/Walk for Life
Food Network
Cooking Spray, Dried Apricots, Allpurpose
Flour, Light Brown Sugar, Ground Cinnamon, Sea
Salt, Baking Soda, Oldfashioned
Oats, Walnuts, Unsalted Butter, Egg, Vanilla Extract

APRICOT OAT BARSGiada De LaurentiisGiada at Home/Walk for LifeFood NetworkCooking Spray, Dried Apricots, AllpurposeFlour, Light Brown Sugar, Ground Cinnamon, SeaSalt, Baking Soda, OldfashionedOats, Walnuts, Unsalted Butter, Egg, Vanilla Extract,APRICOT OAT BARS Giada De Laurentiis Giada at Home/Walk for Life Food Network Cooking Spray, Dried Apricots, Allpurpose Flour, Light Brown Sugar, Ground Cinnamon, Sea Salt, Baking Soda, Oldfashioned Oats, Walnuts, Unsalted Butter, Egg, Vanilla Extract

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

If you find you can’t commit to an oatmeal-for-breakfast habit, turn those languishing oats into on-the-go snacks. Layer these bars with a mixture of apricot jam and dried apricots for a filling that’s both sweet and chewy.

Ina Garten offers up a chunky, substantial cookie recipe packed with pecans, raisins and three cups of oatmeal so you can empty your pantry while filling your cookie jar.

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