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17 Easy Pantry Meals You Can Whip Up On Busy Nights

Whether you're busy, cooking in a dorm room, or just feeling lazy.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

It's back to school season, which means you're bound to have some nights where making a gourmet meal from scratch just isn't going to happen. So the next time you're feeling too lazy or busy to cook, try one of these easy recipes you can throw together using common pantry items.

1. Taco Mac 'n' Cheese

I Wash You Dry / Via

Start with your favorite boxed mac 'n' cheese, then add taco meat and your go-to Tex-Mex toppings like salsa, avocado, or jalapeño. Get the recipe.

2. Faux Shoyu Ramen

Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

Sure, instant ramen is a college kid's best friend, but it's easy to jazz up into an actually satisfying meal. Try this version that gets garnished with bacon, scallion, and egg. Get the recipe.

3. Spinach Tortellini Tomato Soup

Le Creme de la Crumb / Via

Upgrade a can of tomato soup with the help of some sautéed or microwaved spinach and cheese tortellini. Get the recipe.

4. Loaded Sweet Potato

Kara Lydon / Via

You can cook sweet potatoes in the microwave if you don't have access to a stove. Voilà: A perfect dorm room meal.

5. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Flatbread

The Almond Eater / Via

You can make this no-cook pizza just about anywhere. Just grab some store bought naan, hummus and any Mediterranean veggies. Get the recipe.

6. 10-Minute Corn & Bean Quesadillas

Tastes Better From Scratch / Via

All your need are tortillas, canned corn, beans, and a microwave to make these quesadillas in no time. Then, get as fancy as you'd like with additional toppings or salsas. Get the recipe.

7. Mexican Corn Dip

Damn Delicious / Via

Frozen or canned corn goes a long way with the help of mayo, lime juice, Cotija cheese, and some basic spices. Get the recipe.

8. Jalapeño Cauliflower Shells & Cheese

Love and Lemons / Via

If you have mac 'n' cheese on hand, you're just minutes away from this veggie-packed, sophisticated mac 'n' cheese. Get the recipe.

9. Canned Salmon Salad

iFood Real / Via

Use canned salmon, Greek yogurt, and whatever veggies you have on hand to make this crunchy, creamy salad. Get the recipe.

10. Chickpea Tomato Minestrone

Vegetarian Ventures / Via

Save yourself time and energy by using canned tomato soup as the base of this minestrone. Then, add your fave pasta and canned chickpeas from the pantry. Get the recipe.

11. Spicy Tuna Wraps

Chelsea's Messy Apron / Via

When you're craving a spicy tuna roll but you're surviving on a college student's budget, remember these easy and affordable wraps. Get the recipe.

12. Three-Ingredient Mexican Rice

Jo Cooks / Via

All you need are three ingredients — rice, enchilada sauce, and chicken broth — to throw together this filling dinner. If you don't have access to a full kitchen (say, in your dorm room), just grab some microwaveable rice. Get the recipe.

13. Marinated White Beans on Toast

How Sweet Eats / Via

Forget about all the fancy marinade ingredients. All you really need are white beans, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon. Spoon the zesty bean mixture onto some toasted bread, and you'll be shocked at just how satisfying it tastes. Get the recipe.

14. 15-Minute Mediterranean Salad

Jessica in the Kitchen / Via, Jessica In The Kitchen / Via

Toss this chickpea salad into a wrap, between two slices of bread, or eat it straight with a fork. There are no fancy kitchen appliances necessary. Get the recipe.

15. Black Bean Taco Salad

Crunchy Creamy Sweet / Via

Canned beans and corn make the base of this cheap and quick dinner. You can dress it up with additional veggies like tomato, onion, jalapeño, and avocado. Get the recipe.

16. Spaghetti al Limone

Cooking with Curls / Via

All you really need to make this pasta dish is some noodles, olive oil, lemon, and parmesan cheese. Get the recipe.

17. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Pass The Plants / Via, Pass the Plants / Via

Soak a can of chickpeas overnight until they're nice and soft. Then, mix the chickpeas with something creamy like mayonnaise or avocado and some chopped veggies for crunch. It's the perfect college lunch or dinner on the go. Get the recipe.