If you stock the right staples, you can add on to them easily without getting overwhelmed. It's kind of like a capsule wardrobe, only for food. You're controlling the choices to give yourself easy options. Consider varying just one thing at a time (soups, sandwiches, etc.) so you've always got simple things in other categories.
Say you likes sandwiches. That means always stocking bread and spreads. But the meat, cheese, vegetables, etc. could vary with just a couple choices at a time of each.
Algorithms are another great approach. These are like recipes but with "one from row A, one from row B" options. You don't have to stock everything all at once. You can use the poster for reference. Not sure what to make? Just pick a column and go down it.
EDIT 2/3/20 -- I realized from comments that several folks could use a list of pantry staples for a small apartment. Start with those basics and that will make it easier to create variations. When you keep your list of staples concise, there's less risk of choice paralysis. Just use the size and shape of that list to customize as needed for what you usually make. If you cook ethnic cuisine, there are pantry lists for most of those too, and you can look up yours.