Ever come home to an empty fridge? Or what about a fridge that appears full, and yet there’s still nothing to eat? We have, and we know it’s no fun. That’s why we’re sharing eight of our favorite pantry essentials for easy last-minute meals. Take a few pages from our book, and you’ll never have to worry about that empty fridge again!

  1. Sweet Potatoes

We love versatile foods around here, which is why we put sweet potatoes at the top of this list of pantry favorites. Eat ‘em as a standalone meal (with brown sugar, of course!), or check out our One Pan Zweigle’s Chicken Sausage and Veggies recipe for a quick and delicious spin on this staple.

  1. Brown Rice

Brown rice is another great item to keep on hand. Like sweet potatoes, the possibilities are virtually endless. Plus, the long shelf life makes this a great backup food. For an especially tasty impromptu meal, stock up on canned black beans, sweet corn, and jarred salsa, too. A homemade burrito bowl’s not too bad for a last-minute meal, right?

  1. Pasta

Everyone keeps some backup pasta in the pantry, right? It’s such an essential though, we thought we’d include it on this list just in case you need a reminder to go out and grab some more!

  1. Tomato Sauce

Pasta and sauce is a complete no-brainer when it comes to last-minute meals. So of course, you’ll want to keep a few extra jars on hand at all times.

  1. Flatbreads

For another easy last-minute meal, store a package of flatbreads in the freezer. As long as you have some leftover cheese in the fridge and that extra jar of sauce we mentioned above, you’re all set. Not only does this meal include as little as three ingredients, but all you have to do is pop it in the oven and let it cook. The perfect late-night snack!

  1. Zweigle’s Chicken Sausage

We don’t mean to brag, but our chicken sausage is kind of a big deal. Not only is it darn delicious, but it’s already cooked. All you have to do is heat it up! How’s that for a last-minute meal?

  1. Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables are always a good staple to have on hand. They’re the perfect side dish to a simple meal, or you can add them to pasta for some extra flavor and nutrients.

  1. Frozen Fruit

Along with frozen vegetables comes frozen fruit. It’ll last for months in your freezer and can be defrosted for a quick snack or  make the perfect addition to your morning smoothie.

What are your favorite pantry essentials? Is there anything we missed? Let us know on Twitter!