Using Pantry Staples in New Ways: Appetizers and Dips

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A few weeks ago we shared some quick and easy main dish recipes to help use pantry staples in new ways. This week, we are taking the same concept of using items we have on hand in new recipes, but we are applying it to appetizers and dips. These recipes not only use pantry staples but also use items you are likely to already have in your refrigerator, too. Whether you need something quick to take to a gathering/ party or you are just looking for a way to start meal-time off in a different way, these recipes are for you! Not only will they allow you to use items you likely already have at home, but the best part is that they are virtually effortless and each require only 5 ingredients or less.

Next week, look for part three of our pantry staple recipe round-up with ideas for desserts and treats. Enjoy!


Easy Peasy Guacamole

Pantry Staples Needed- Rotel


1 can of your favorite variety of Rotel (Original, Mild, Mexican with lime and cilantro, etc.)- drained

2-3 avocados


Mash avocados halves in a medium-size bowl until they are small chunks. Mix in the contents of a drained can of Rotel. Serve immediately or refrigerate if chilled guacamole is preferred.


Chile Cheese Tart

Pantry Staple Needed- Canned Green Chiles, Refrigerator Staple Needed- Shredded Cheese


1 package refrigerated pre-made pie pastry (2 sheets)

1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles- drained

2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar and Monterey Jack blend)

¼ tsp. chili powder

Salsa and/or sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Place one sheet of pie pastry on an ungreased pizza pan or baking stone. Sprinkle chilies and cheese over the pastry to within ½ inch of the edge. Top with remaining pastry.

3. Seal pastry edges together with the tines of a fork and prick the pastry throughout with a fork to prevent bubbles. Sprinkle pastry with chili powder.

4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into pizza-style wedges. Serve with salsa and/or sour cream.


Mexican Pie Dip

Pantry Staples Needed- Jar of Salsa and Canned Chili, Refrigerator Staples Needed- Cream Cheese and Shredded Cheese


1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 (16 oz.) jar of salsa

1 (15 oz.) can of chili (with or without beans depending on preference)

2 cups shredded cheese (any variety)

Tortilla Chips or Veggie Slices


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium glass pie dish, spread the cream cheese evenly across the bottom. Pour in the salsa and spread it evenly over the cream cheese. Pour in and evenly spread chili over the salsa. Top with shredded cheese.

3. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve with tortilla chips or veggies as dippers.

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