8 Powerhouse Pantry Staples Parents Need to Make Dinner Happen

Welcome to Kids & the Kitchen, our new landing pad for parents who love to cook. Head this way for kid-friendly recipes, helpful tips, and heartwarming stories galore—all from real-life parents and their little ones.

You live and breathe by list…

Welcome to Kids & the Kitchen, our new landing pad for parents who love to cook. Head this way for kid-friendly recipes, helpful tips, and heartwarming stories galore—all from real-life parents and their little ones.


You live and breathe by lists, Google Docs, or a cryptic collage of sticky notes on the fridge. We’re right there with you, parents. But no matter how organized you are, it can feel like a Sisyphean task to get dinner on the table for the whole crew seven nights a week. Even with the occasional pizza delivery in the mix, a well-stocked pantry is key.

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The 6 Pantry Essentials in My Shanghainese-American Kitchen

Welcome to Betty Liu’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring 6 pantry staples stocking Betty’s Shanghainese-American kitchen.

China …

Welcome to Betty Liu’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring 6 pantry staples stocking Betty’s Shanghainese-American kitchen.


China is a vast country with various geographies, terrains, and climates. As culinary preferences stem from the ingredients available from the land, it is not surprising that cuisines across China vary immensely. When I visit China, I take great joy in discovering and trying other regions’ cuisines, but despite my love for this vast spread of regional cuisines, I keep coming back to the food I grew up with, the food that brings me the most comfort: Jiangnan (江南) cuisine. My family is from this region, and this is the food I grew up eating. My debut cookbook, My Shanghai, is an homage to my family’s cooking—homestyle cooking from the Shanghai region and surrounding areas—and a written record of recipes that had previously been passed down orally. I grew up with the flavors of this region; it is no wonder this has helped shape my pantry, which is unequivocally Shanghainese-American.

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12 Household Essentials We Always Buy In Bulk Online

Going to the grocery store every time I run out of toilet paper or laundry detergent is such a drag. Don’t get me wrong, it usually means I can pick up some more ice cream but having to carry a large and unwieldy package of TP or drive 20 minutes just …

Going to the grocery store every time I run out of toilet paper or laundry detergent is such a drag. Don’t get me wrong, it usually means I can pick up some more ice cream but having to carry a large and unwieldy package of TP or drive 20 minutes just to get two things is not my idea of a fun time.

That’s why I buy most of my household essentials in bulk on Amazon, either through Prime, Fresh, or its Subscribe & Save options. All three give you the ease and convenience of shopping in your PJs, but there are slightly different advantages with each one.

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The 4 Basque-Pyrenees Pantry Essentials in My Kitchen

Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.

As a longtime home cook,…

Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.

As a longtime home cook, former grocery buyer for a specialty food shop, and now recipe developer, my pantry remains much more well-traveled than I am—from Malaysian sambal and shrimp paste to Pragati turmeric from Andhra Pradesh, to Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and Basque peppers. The euphoria I was filled with at the first thought of sharing my pantry was quickly replaced by stomach-dropping dread—what region or country was I actually qualified to write about?

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The Star of My Kitchen? This Do-Anything Plant-Based Protein

Vegetarians spend a large part of the day trying to figure out ways to add more protein to their diet. Even for an Indian vegetarian, whose average meal is more or less balanced—carbohydrates from roti or rice, vitamins and minerals from sabzi, and pro…

Vegetarians spend a large part of the day trying to figure out ways to add more protein to their diet. Even for an Indian vegetarian, whose average meal is more or less balanced—carbohydrates from roti or rice, vitamins and minerals from sabzi, and protein from dal—it can be exciting to move beyond lentils and sprouts in search of more protein.

Beyond the everyday staples above, the most obvious vegetarian choice of protein across the country is paneer, followed by tofu and soy granules. I like to crumble ample amounts of tofu in my morning burji (a spiced scramble of sorts) and make keema out of soy granules, sometimes stuffing it into a samosa to make a quick snack. I turn chickpea mash into kebabs, saving paneer for rich vegetarian kormas and saags. But with so much noise around dairy (for reasons related to human health and animal welfare), the lack of availability of homemade tofu, and the fact that soy granules always come out of a cardboard box, meeting tempeh has changed the game for me.

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The 5 Pantry Essentials in My Mexican-American Kitchen

Welcome to Esteban Castillo’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring five staples stocking Esteban’s Mexican-American kitchen.
One of t…

Welcome to Esteban Castillo’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring five staples stocking Esteban’s Mexican-American kitchen.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received came from my mom, when she told me, “Aprende a cocinar una buena olla de frijoles y nunca tendrás hambre,” or, learn how to make a good pot of stovetop beans, and you’ll never be hungry. After she told me this, I realized frijoles de la olla, with pinto beans swimming in a broth with aromatics like onion, cilantro, and garlic, regularly kept me and my siblings fed when our parents couldn’t afford to put anything else on the table. So when I was first learning how to cook, I made sure to follow my mom’s advice: I perfected a pot of beans.

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The 7 Pantry Essentials in My Malaysian Kitchen

Welcome to Yi Jun Lo’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring seven staples stocking Jun’s Malaysian kitchen.

“Malaysia, Truly Asia.” I…

Welcome to Yi Jun Lo's Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring seven staples stocking Jun's Malaysian kitchen.

"Malaysia, Truly Asia." It’s the singsong slogan my country is known for, blared in our travel ads across the world, with scenes of brilliant blue seas and dew-dropped rainforest accompanying the tune. While lush greenery and picture-perfect beaches are what many think of when it comes to the country, I’ve always thought they don’t show off just how "truly Asian" Malaysia is. To me, there’s no better example than our food. It’s where I see, smell, and taste the true extent of our multicultural, multifaceted country—without the need for any slogan-slinging or airbrushed ads.

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The 7 Pantry Essentials in My Nigerian Kitchen

Welcome to Ozoz Sokoh’s (aka Kitchen Butterfly) Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring seven staples stocking Ozoz’s new Nigerian kitche…

Welcome to Ozoz Sokoh's (aka Kitchen Butterfly) Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring seven staples stocking Ozoz's new Nigerian kitchen.


Seven staple ingredients have followed my seven moves, across four countries, over 23 years, forming the bedrock of my Nigerian pantry. Equipped with these core items, I am confident that a satisfying meal is mere moments away—whether I’m cooking at my mum’s in Warri, on the southern coast of Nigeria; or in my Canadian kitchen with my children; or in my future not-sure-when NYC home.

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Classic Tuna Pasta Salad

This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch. There’s a magical meal fix out there, and we’re here for it. It’s a can of tuna. That sounds a little 1960’s, right? But there’s a reason why canned tuna was so popular in previous decades. It’s a cheap protein that’s super shelf stable. And you can transform it into seriously tasty meals: like this nostalgic Tuna Pasta Salad! It’s creamy but not too rich, with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of dried dill. It’s a seriously simple pantry meal that gives us cozy nostalgic vibes…and it works as a make-ahead lunch too. Here’s more about it! Ingredients in tuna pasta salad This tuna pasta salad is a retro style recipe with a modern spin! We tried to take all that’s good about tuna pasta salad of the past, without the gloppy, overly rich mayonnaise. This recipe uses about half the mayo than the 1970’s version, so it’s just creamy enough. Here’s what you’ll need: Tuna, packed in water Pasta: short noodles of any type Frozen peas Mayonnaise Red onion Green onion (or substitute onion powder) […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch.

Tuna pasta salad

There’s a magical meal fix out there, and we’re here for it. It’s a can of tuna. That sounds a little 1960’s, right? But there’s a reason why canned tuna was so popular in previous decades. It’s a cheap protein that’s super shelf stable. And you can transform it into seriously tasty meals: like this nostalgic Tuna Pasta Salad! It’s creamy but not too rich, with a splash of white wine vinegar and a sprinkle of dried dill. It’s a seriously simple pantry meal that gives us cozy nostalgic vibes…and it works as a make-ahead lunch too. Here’s more about it!

Ingredients in tuna pasta salad

This tuna pasta salad is a retro style recipe with a modern spin! We tried to take all that’s good about tuna pasta salad of the past, without the gloppy, overly rich mayonnaise. This recipe uses about half the mayo than the 1970’s version, so it’s just creamy enough. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tuna, packed in water
  • Pasta: short noodles of any type
  • Frozen peas
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red onion
  • Green onion (or substitute onion powder)
  • Mayonnaise
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dried dill
  • Feta cheese, optional

It’s so easy to make this recipe: literally just boil the pasta and mix together the pasta salad ingredients. It’s mind-blowingly simple and uses mostly pantry ingredients! The only refrigerated ingredient is the green onion, which is optional. A few notes on storage, though…

Tuna pasta salad

Make it even creamier, if desired

Love a super creamy tuna pasta salad? The amount of mayo we’ve used here is about 1/2 the amount of a traditional super creamy pasta salad. You can add one of two things to this pasta salad to get an even creamier texture:

  • Add 1/4 cup Greek yogurt. We love using Greek yogurt in combination with mayo to get extra creamy sauces with less calories (like our Ranch Dressing). Do this if you’re going to eat it right away. But if you’re planning on leftovers, don’t use the Greek yogurt! The texture gets gummy in the fridge (see below).
  • Add 1/4 cup sour cream. Sour cream has a nice rich texture that doesn’t get quite as gummy as Greek yogurt in the fridge. The downside? it’s got a few more calories. If you’re going for a splurge, it makes for a nice creamy texture.

Eat immediately, or use as a make ahead lunch

This tuna pasta salad is best immediately, in our opinion! We usually eat it for dinner with some sides (see below). If you’d like, you can make it ahead for lunches throughout the week! Here’s what to know:

  • Refresh the texture and flavor before serving. This pasta salad can become drier in the refrigerator. We suggest swirling in a little mayo or sour cream before eating, and refresh with a few pinches of salt if you like. The added sour cream option above is nice if you’re wanting creaminess to hold up over several days.
  • Allow it to come to room temperature before serving. This one is best at room temp; it’s not designed as a cold pasta salad.
Tuna pasta salad recipe

Make tuna pasta salad into a meal!

This tuna pasta salad is the perfect pantry meal: with a few simple items, you’ve got dinner! It’s especially perfect for snow days or evenings where you just don’t have the energy to think. Here are a few ways you can accessorize it for lunch or dinner:

More tuna recipes

Tuna to the rescue! Canned tuna is great for throw-together pantry meals. Here are a few more of our canned tuna faves:

Tuna pasta salad

This tuna pasta salad recipe is…

Pescatarian. For gluten-free, use gluten free or legume pasta.

Print
Tuna pasta salad

Classic Tuna Pasta Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

This tuna pasta salad recipe is creamy and satisfying! It’s a protein-packed quick and easy dinner or make ahead lunch.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta: shells or bowties (farfalle)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 green onions (or 1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 5-ounce cans tuna
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta (and peas): Start a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside; usually around 7 to 8 minutes. In the last 1 minute, add the peas. Drain the pasta and peas, then rinse with cold water. 
  2. Prep the remaining ingredients: Meanwhile, thinly slice the green onions. Mince the red onion. Drain the tuna and flake it with a fork. Place them in a large bowl with the mayonnaise, white vinegar, dill, and kosher salt
  3. Mix: Once the pasta and peas are cooked, add them to the bowl and mix. Taste and adjust flavors if desired, adding black pepper as necessary. Serve immediately. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days: before eating, allow to come to room temperature. You may want to add a swirl of mayo or sour cream and a pinch of salt to refresh the texture and flavor. 

Notes

*Make a super creamy pasta salad by adding 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream. Only use Greek yogurt if you’re not planning to save leftovers; the texture can become gummy in the refrigerator. For saving over several days, sour cream is the best option. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Tuna pasta salad, Tuna pasta salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

11 Pantry Storage Ideas Using Around-the-House Items

Welcome to Storage Wars, a new series about the best ways to store, well, everything. From how to keep produce orderly in the fridge (or not), to ways to get your oddball nooks and crannies shipshape; and yes, how to organize all those unwieldy contain…

Welcome to Storage Wars, a new series about the best ways to store, well, everything. From how to keep produce orderly in the fridge (or not), to ways to get your oddball nooks and crannies shipshape; and yes, how to organize all those unwieldy containers once and for all—we've got you covered.


Is it weird to say that one of my passions in life is organizing cabinets? I find it incredibly satisfying when pantry items are neat and accessible, and I’m forever buying bins and baskets to help organize my pantry ingredients. However, the cost of these little items can add up (not to mention that it’s single-use plastic, which isn’t exactly an eco-friendly choice), and it got me thinking: There’s got to be a better way to keep cupboards organized with things I already have around the house.

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