Super Easy Mix & Match Empty-Your-Pantry Casseroles

OMG! This easy casserole recipes guide is a recipes by ingredients on hand idea that makes getting dinner on the table a breeze even if you haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile.

If you are struggling with what to make for dinner when you have an empty pantry and don’t know any empty pantry recipes, the answer is empty your pantry casserole.

Empty Pantry Recipes - easy casserole recipes from ingredients you have on hand in your pantry -- casserole dish shown with two casserole servings in bowls on white background
Let’s make an easy dinner casserole with ingredients you have…

When I am falling short on groceries the first thing I think to make is an easy casserole. Typically, you’ll already have the ingredients on hand and what is easier than throwing some ingredients into a pan!?

Empty Your Pantry Casserole Recipe

I love this casserole recipe. It is so versatile. You can make it with almost anything. This is a great way to use your leftovers and a great easy dinner recipe for beginners!

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What’s A Casserole?

If you’ve never had a casserole you’re in for a treat. A casserole is a meal cooked in a deep dish that is usually hearty and a saucy, creamy, or cheesy dish. A lot of times there is also a meat and carb ingredient, though you have exceptions like sweet potato casserole.

Empty Pantry Recipes - casserole recipe shown with ground beef and other ingredients on hand
Let’s make a ground beef casserole recipe!

This recipe is adapted from the Mix and Match Casserole Recipe via CDKitchen.

Casserole Ingredients Needed

Now pick one option from each category below to add to your casserole:

Pick a Sauce For Your Casserole

  • Can of cream of mushroom soup, condensed — undiluted
  • Can of ounces cream of celery soup, condensed — undiluted
  • Can of ounces cream of chicken soup, condensed — undiluted
  • Can of ounces cheddar cheese soup — undiluted
  • Can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano — undrained
  • Caramelized onions or mushrooms in beef broth
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
Empty Pantry Recipes - dutch oven shown with lima beans, tomatoes, rice and ground beef and a seasoning packet
Let’s add veggies and rice to the empty your pantry casserole!

Pick a Vegetable to Add

You will need 2-3 cups of veggies. Choose from Green beans, sweet peas or corn, Asparagus tips, chopped spinach, frozen veggies, even kale or cabbage will work.

Pick a Meat or Protein Source

Use 1-2 cups of meat or protein. Some of our favorite easy meat/protein ideas are:

  • Canned white tuna in spring water — drained and flaked
  • Chopped cooked chicken
  • Diced cooked ham
  • Chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef — browned and drained
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Tofu — I will often cut into cubes and brown it first
Empty Pantry Recipes  - unbaked casserole in casserole dish smothered with cheddar cheese
Smother the casserole with cheese…yum!

Add a starch of your choice

Or… cover with mashed potatoes, hash browns, biscuits, or a pie crust for a meat pie variation.

Other Ingredients that Make Your Casserole Recipe Even Yummier

  • 3 ounces canned mushroom slices — drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 1/2 ounces chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper — or green
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 1/4 ounce taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
Empty Pantry Recipes finished easy casseroles recipe shown with a piece removed
Time to eat our easy casserole recipes creation…you made this up!

Top the Casserole Recipe with

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Gravy
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup round buttery crackers — crushed
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs

How to Make a Casserole

  1. Combine sour cream, milk, water, salt and pepper with your sauce choice (omit sour cream and milk when using tomatoes).
  2. Stir in vegetable, starch, protein, and, if desired, extras.
  3. Spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  5. Uncover and sprinkle with toppings; bake 10 more minutes.

Empty-Your-Pantry Casserole

Empty-Your-Pantry Casserole

This recipe is adapted from theΒ Mix and Match Casserole from CDKitchen

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sauce Starter:

  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Choose 1 Sauce:

  • can of cream of mushroom soup, condensed -- undiluted
  • can of cream of celery soup, condensed -- undiluted
  • can of cream of chicken soup, condensed -- undiluted
  • can of cheddar cheese soup -- undiluted
  • can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano -- undrained
  • caramelized onions or mushrooms in beef broth

Choose Vegetable (2-3 cups worth):

  • green beans
  • sweet peas
  • corn
  • asparagus tips
  • chopped spinach
  • frozen veggies
  • kale or cabbage

Choose a Protein

  • canned white tuna in spring water -- drained and flaked
  • chopped cooked chicken
  • diced cooked ham
  • chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 pound ground beef -- browned and drained

Choose a Starch (skip if choosing a starch-based topping):

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup uncooked regular rice
  • 4 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 3 cups uncooked small pasta shells

Choose 1 or 2 Extras:

  • 3 ounces canned mushroom slices -- drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 1/2 ounces chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper -- or green
  • 2 cloves garlic -- minced
  • 1 1/4 ounce taco seasoning mix
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery

Choose a Topping:

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup round buttery crackers -- crushed
  • 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • gravy
  • mashed potatoes
  • hash browns
  • biscuits
  • pie crust

Instructions

    1. Combine sour cream, milk, water, salt and pepper with your sauce choice (omit sour cream and milk when using tomatoes).
    2. Stir in vegetable, starch, protein, and, if desired, extras.
    3. Spoon into a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. If using a starch-based topping, add it now.
    4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
    5. Uncover and sprinkle with toppings; bake 10 more minutes.
chicken casserole recipe idea from Kids Activities Blog shown in a casserole pan
Let’s make more casseroles! They are such an easy dinner solution!

More Easy Casserole Recipes from Kids Activities Blog

How did your empty the pantry casserole recipe turn out? What did you add to your casserole recipe?

24 Comments

  1. This sounds so good! My husband is a vegetarian, has anyone tried it with black beans or chickpeas instead of the proteins listed? I think I’ll try it this week!

  2. It’s kinda like going to Genghis Grill, only comfort food style. πŸ™‚

  3. I found you through WFMW πŸ™‚ This recipe looks delicious and is right up my alley! I have a tendency to find a recipe I love, be out of different ingredients and so I start replacing here and there so it’s nice to find a recipe that encourages that πŸ™‚

  4. Yum! Looks like a chicken ala king casserole! I love all of your different ideas. Perfect for when I haven’t made it to the grocery store in a while.

    Visiting from The Mommy Club linky.

  5. My former housemate made casserole almost every time it was her turn to make dinner, yet they were all different. Now I understand how she did it! πŸ™‚ It is possible to choose a bad combination of ingredients, but most of the time her creations were delicious…and she rarely had to go shopping to get dinner on the table; sneaky!

  6. My friend and I were looking at your recipe yesterday, it is an awesome recipe! My friend said ” if you can’t make a meal from this recipe then you just can’t cook”, I agree! Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. This sounds frugal, fun, and delish and is very similar to what I did last night. Fro the protein i used cut up chicken breasts, for the sauce I used a can of cream of broccoli soup and some milk, for the vveggie I used some thawed broccoli florets, and for the topping I used prepared stovetop stuffing. i also added about a cup of grated cheddar for an “extra” and baked it about an hour. So good!

  8. Debmom4ca says:

    This is the kind of recipe to put inside the cupboard door for the times you need to pull supper together quick.

  9. This is completely awesome! I skipped grocery shopping yesterday so guess what my family will be eating… for like the next week? πŸ™‚

  10. I love cooking for the ingredients you have on hand! Great “recipe”!

  11. What a great recipe…I imagine anyone could make this on any given day!!

  12. WOW!.. This is another deliciously-looking recipe. It’s more healthy because it’s veggie. Thanks for sharing it.

  13. Great Idea! We’re working on leftovers tomorrow. Love the idea of covering in mashed potatoes – we often have those leftover.

  14. So glad to find this awesome recipe! I googled ground beef pantry recipes and there you were! We get food from a local church when money is scarce. I used ground beef, sloppy joe sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, canned corn and great northern beans, celery, onion, sweet peppers and cheddar cheese. I’m going for a baked bean hamburger casserole. 90% of the ingredients are from the churches food program. Thank God for them and you

  15. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Michelle! I am so glad that you found us! We have lots of yummy recipes! I hope you enjoy this casserole, that sounds SO good! πŸ™‚

  16. This recipe did not work as written. I used a can of diced tomatoes for the sauce choice and so omitted the sour cream and milk, as advised. A lot of the pasta was still crunchy and the food was too dry. I think you should use another cup of water in place of the milk, instead of just omitting the milk.

  17. Clara Martinez says:

    This was good and tasty. I’m not too excited to review it. It was good but not great. Something about it just needed something extra…something more. It just was not very exciting.

  18. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi. Clara! Thanks for your feedback! The cool thing about this recipe is that you can tweak it to fit your preferences (or what you have in the pantry). Let us know if you add anything different and yummy to it!

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