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30 Minute Meal: Pantry Staples

May 19, 2020


Steph Dekker

30 Minute Meal: Pantry Staples

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time observing First Grade math lately. No matter how many story problems I see, I can’t seem to come up with an answer I like for this one. More meals at home + More hungry people at home = _____? Time and time again I come up with… No idea what to cook anymore! Amiright? If you’ve found yourself staring longingly into the cupboards and refrigerator just waiting for a meal to present itself to you, you are not alone. And- you’re also in luck! Today I’m sharing a 30 Minute Meal using pantry staples. This is Steph, by the way. I’m excited to get cooking with you again!

This time I chose to serve Creamed Chicken on mashed potatoes with biscuits on the side. Need to cut some time from your dinner prep? Throw making homemade mashed potatoes right out the door! Many times I have served Creamed Chicken on top of biscuits when I’m in a hurry to feed kids between school and practice.  You can essentially serve Creamed Chicken on top of any starch you like. Biscuits, mashed potatoes, cooked noodles… it’s all delicious. I’m sure there’s also a healthier, yet tasty option I haven’t thought of. Let’s be honest, I also haven’t put a lot of thought into it because I love carbs.

I can’t take credit in any way for this chickeny goodness. This one is straight out of the most used and loved cookbook in my house – the binder of recipes I copied down from my momma’s kitchen when I moved into my first apartment. Much like this meal, it’s not fancy but boy is it full of tasty memories. Let’s get started:

Pantry Staples Needed

  • Canned chicken OR leftover shredded chicken from another meal earlier in the week [This Easy Garlic Chicken is perfect!]
  • Chicken broth OR your bouillon substitute of choice
  • Flour, pepper. parsley and poultry seasoning (or any spices you like to use with chicken)
  • Canned peas and carrots OR fresh OR your veggie substitute of choice
  • Instant mashed potatoes OR make homemade mashed potatoes
  • Ground thyme, brown sugar and salt if making Glazed Carrots

Refrigerator Ingredients Needed

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Refrigerator biscuits, if desired. I used Pillsbury Grands Original Southern Homestyle

Have you gathered everything? Great! Now let’s talk logistics. When you’re making a few different parts to a meal it can be tricky to get it all done at the same time. A few tips and tricks I’ve picked up with this meal specifically:

  • Start heating the oven right away. It doesn’t take long to make Creamed Chicken. Depending on how long your biscuits bake they very well could have the longest cook time. Once the required temperature is reached on the oven, you’re ready to put them in at just the right moment according to the bake time on your package.
  • If you’re making mashed potatoes and glazed carrots from fresh ingredients- get those babies washed, peeled, cut and into their own pots to start boiling. They take about the same amount of time to reach desired tenderness. I always start with the potatoes then once those are heating up, start peeling carrots.
  • A note on the carrots – For some reason, I have just not had luck getting baby carrots to soften enough no matter how long I boil them. Regular, long carrots that need to be peeled and cut are best for this recipe. Or simply use a drained can of carrots. If all you have are baby carrots but you want to test out this recipe, you could try cutting them in half the long way to see if that helps. I haven’t tried it so no promises, but it just may work during this time when trips to the store are more limited.
  • Once your potatoes and carrots are on their way to tender perfection, you’re ready to get started with the Creamed Chicken. It only takes about 15-20 minutes to get it warmed and thickened to the right consistency. If needed, as long as you stir it regularly, it can stay on the stove on the lowest setting as the rest of the meal finishes cooking.

30 Minute Meal: Pantry Staples

Creamed Chicken

Transform leftover chicken into this delicious meal in 30 minutes or less!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Steph Dekker


  • 3 T Butter
  • 3 T Flour
  • 1.5 C Chicken Broth
  • 1.5 C Milk
  • 1/4 t Pepper
  • 1/2 t Poultry Seasoning
  • 1/4 t Parsley
  • 2 C Cooked or Canned Chicken


  1. Melt Butter over medium heat in saucepan, add Flour stirring until thick.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Slowly add Milk and Chicken Broth, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pepper, poultry seasoning and parsley. Cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring occasionally.

  3. Add shredded or canned chicken (drained) and continue cooking until heated through. If needed while finishing other parts of the meal, turn stove to lowest setting and stir regularly.

Recipe Notes

Serve on top of mashed potatoes, biscuits or noodles.

And now for my favorite side dish – Glazed Carrots. Why is this a go-to? Carrots keep in the fridge for what feels like forever, so I always have them around. They’re tasty. They pair well with most meals. And most importantly, my kids love them. If my kids say “Yum! We’re having <insert vegetable here> with dinner?!” you better believe I’m making said vegetable regularly!

Glazed Carrots

Delicious and easy side dish to add to your rotation!

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Steph Dekker


  • 8 Carrots washed, peeled and cut
  • 5 C Water
  • 1 T Butter
  • 1/4 t Ground Thyme
  • 1.5 T Brown Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Wash, peel and cut Carrots to desired size. Add to a saucepan with Water and bring to a boil.

  2. Boil carrots until desired consistency is reached. Check after 10 minutes and as needed until done. Drain carrots and return to pan.

  3. Add Butter, Brown Sugar, Ground Thyme, Salt and Pepper. Stir until butter and brown sugar are melted. Typically, the heat from the pan is enough to melt them.

Recipe Notes

This recipe works best with long carrots that need to be cut and peeled, baby carrots do not tend to tenderize as well. Can also heat up drained, canned carrots and add seasonings.


There you have it friends, a miracle has occurred! Your pantry just produced a meal and you just served a filling dinner in 30 minutes or less. What else can we accomplish today? I feel like the possibilities are endless.

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