Friday, March 25, 2011

Pantry party: shrimp and artichoke pasta

About once a month I freak out about how much money my husband and I spend at the grocery store and declare a pantry party. The phrase "pantry party" is actually pretty ridiculous because 1) I do not have a pantry and 2) it's not really a party.

A pantry party is a meal that must be made entirely with the ingredients you have in your pantry (or cabinets/fridge/freezer). I have no idea where the phrase pantry party came from, so I can't claim it as my own.

Depending on the day, some pantry parties are more successful than others. This shrimp and artichoke pasta happened to be one of the more successful dishes. Pantry party meals are great for creativity and saving money.

Shrimp and artichoke pasta


1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti noodles
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons olive tapenade
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
4-6 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 can red kidney beans, drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can 14 oz diced tomatoes
20-30 large cooked shrimp


Cook spaghetti noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet on medium to high heat, add the olive oil. Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add in the artichokes, diced tomatoes (with all the juices) and olive tapenade. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Turn heat down to low, add the beans and heavy cream. Add the spaghetti noodles and toss to coat. Add the shrimp and toss to incorporate.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon parmesan on top of each serving. I think feta would be awesome on this pasta, as well.

Of course, the beautiful thing about this recipe is that many of the ingredients (such as artichokes, beans, etc) can be substituted for whatever you have.

Does your household have the equivalent to a pantry party? What are your money-saving tips when it comes to making meals and/or grocery shopping?  Please comment and share!


  1. We do this! with varying success depending on what's in the freezer, and 9 times out of 10 involving pasta of some description and chorizo sausage. For some reason we always seem to have a bit of chorizo sausage left over in our fridge... x

  2. Yum, that pasta looks delicious. I don't really have any money saving tips for grocery shopping besides plan ahead and stick to your list which are pretty obvious. I always want to impulse buy at the grocery store, so my husband does most of the grocery shopping.


  3. I do this every once in a while, and things normally turn out pretty darn good! Pasta is usually part of the dish and then some type of protein (shrimp, clams, pork) that I dig out of the freezer. I don't have any money saving tips - unfortunately, I always go overboard at the grocery store. :(

  4. This looks so yummy! Too bad I can't eat shrimp but I bet it would be great with chicken or scallops???

    You know that Jay and I have pantry parties every now and then as well! We hate to waste any of our food and the less money we spend on groceries, the happier Jay is! :)


  5. No way!! My husband and I are doing the SAME thing! This all happened after we started tracking all our receipts... Crazy, I was going to do a post similar to this - not surprised we're on the same page, once again ;)

  6. Just found your blog recently and love it :) We do this at least once a month! I laughed when I read about your "freak out" moment because I have those too haha

    Shrimp is a favorite meat to use because they are so versatile - one of my husband's favorite "pantry party" dishes is shrimp with a black bean and corn salad. You basically rub the shrimp with a little chili powder and sautee, and then add in a can of black beans, a can of corn, and a can of diced tomatoes with chili. It's delicious, and super fast.

    I also use whole wheat spaghetti often and shred and toss in any fresh produce that we have that is about to go bad - tossed with a little chicken broth and olive oil, salt and pepper, it's delicious, fast and healthy!

  7. sounds delicious! it's scary looking at how much we spend at the grocery store isn't it!? where does it all go!? haha.

  8. This is our new thing! The last 5 meals we prepared have been 100% from what we already have in the fridge and freezer. We make it up on the fly.
    Last night was linguini pasta with arugula, portabella mushroom in white wince sauce served with alaskan salmon. It was delish, quick and easy.

  9. Found this link while searching Google, thanks