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!