Recipes Made with Shelf-Stable, Commonly Frozen, or Basic Refrigerated Ingredients You Can Easily Keep on Hand
~ These Pantry Staples Recipes are ones that our family adores, even when we don’t have to stockpile ingredients and meticulously plan ahead for shopping trips. But, with all the uncertainty right now, they’re especially perfect! From snacks to sides to entrees … even desserts! We’ve got plenty of nutritious, truly delicious recipes you can plan waaaaaay ahead for, keeping the ingredients on hand and ready for action anytime! ~
Like just about everybody else, right now, I’m planning my own family’s meals even further in advance than usual. I’m thinking about ingredients that might be difficult to find sometimes. And, I’m definitely trying hard to be socially responsible in limiting the number of times we’ll have to go out to the grocery store.
I realized that – unless we want to be eating ramen noodles every night for the next month (spoiler alert: we don’t!) – I needed a solid plan for how to shop and cook in the midst of the unpredictability we’re all coping with at the moment.
And, I went back through our favorite recipes and looked at every recipe we’ve ever posted here on our site.
Yep – Every.Single.One.
It took awhile, but it was so worth it! Now I’ve got a terrific list of pantry recipes I know my family loves, that I can shop for days, weeks … in most cases, even months ahead of time.
I thought this list might be helpful for all of you, too. (And if you do find it helpful, please pass it along to anyone else you know who’s struggling to figure out how to put together grocery lists and plan meals.)
What Types of Pantry Recipes Are Included?
I debated for quite awhile about where to draw the line on which “pantry ingredients” to include. Ultimately, I decided to go with:
1) Recipes that include shelf-stable ingredients you can keep on hand for months.
2) Plus, recipes that also include freezer items like frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as ingredients that are usually purchased fresh but are commonly/easily frozen (specifically, ingredients like ground beef, chicken, overripe bananas, bread, and cheese).
3) And additionally, recipes that call for slightly more perishable ingredients that are still very durable and are generally considered to be “common pantry staples.” So, I included recipes that use potatoes, onions and garlic … as well as refrigerated eggs, milk, and butter.
But to help me keep everything straight (and to help you out, too, of course!) … I’ve tried to note which types of ingredients each recipe includes.
So, if you’re looking for ONLY shelf-stable recipes, you can pick those out at a glance. Or, if you were able to snag a terrific deal on some ground beef and you’ve got a little stockpile of it in your freezer … well, then you’ll find just the right recipes for that, too. You get the idea!
One additional thing I thought you might find useful: I’ve also noted if a recipe is freezable after you make it. That way, maybe you could make a double batch to stockpile homemade foods in your freezer that you can pull out later.
Just gives you more options and a broader array of yummy meal options that are conveniently ready to go.
(Psssst … if you’re into stocking the freezer, take a peek at the complete list of all our make-ahead, freezable recipes – although please note that many of those include ingredients beyond merely “pantry staples.”)
The Bottom Line
Right now, we’re all struggling to figure out the best way to stay healthy (which includes eating nutritious foods). And we’ve all got to find strategies for staying home more and grocery shopping less often. I hope these recipe ideas will come in handy, and maybe give you a little inspiration.
Maybe they’ll even be a bright spot in the difficult days ahead, as you have fun trying out something new, and your family enjoys digging into a delicious, homemade recipe instead of digging out another ho-hum packet of ramen noodles.
My heart goes out to so many people today, for countless reasons. I hope that, in some small way, this list will help someone, somewhere, to get through these difficult times a little bit easier.
In just 5 minutes, these delicious chicken tacos are in the crock-pot and cooking away! Ridiculously easy, and they can be served very simply just wrapped in tortillas ... or you can embellish with whatever favorite taco toppings you have on hand.
This recipe makes a nice, big batch of contest-winning chili! But this is no ordinary chili – it's got a craaaa-zy (and amazing) flavor twist that people go ... ahem ... crazy over! NOTE: Freezable After Cooking (Stock Up!)
A delicious, gourmet-tasting meal (with the easy cleanup of a sheet pan dinner)! Baked chicken and red potatoes are elevated with a cheesy, sun-dried tomato topping and a drizzle of honeyed balsamic. You won't feel like this meal was born out of a pantry stockpile, that's for sure!
This soup is deliciously filling, nutritious, and super-easy. And it's brimming with yummy Mexican flavors! Simply toss everything in the slow cooker, and you’ll have a scrumptious dinner that's ready when you are!
Recipe Includes: • Shelf-Stable Ingredients • Freezable Chicken • Cheese • (the optional toppings are not necessarily pantry staples)
Dump the ingredients in your slow cooker and walk away – so very easy with basic ingredients and pantry staples! Mmmmmmm ... a creamy, satisfying soup with the sweetness of corn and just a hint of smoky bacon. So comforting and absolutely delicious! NOTE: Freezable After Cooking (Stock Up!)
This recipe is so simple, with mostly hands-off cooking time! And you can enjoy it with just the basic ingredients ... or dress it up with taco toppings like lettuce and tomatoes if you happen to have some.
Recipe Includes: • Shelf-Stable Ingredients • Frozen Ingredients and Freezable Ground Beef • Cheese • Onions and Garlic •
Craving takeout sweet and sour chicken ... or pizza ... but don't want to leave the house? This is kinda like your favorite Chinese sweet and sour chicken, combined with a barbecue chicken pizza … all on top of a trendy flatbread crust! And you can make it at home in less than 30 minutes!
A comfort food classic gets a fun little kick – satisfyingly delicious without being too spicy. Loaded with sunshiny sweet corn flavor, plus southwestern flair from pantry staples like salsa, black beans and green chiles. So easy – simply mix everything together right in your slow cooker! NOTE: Freezable After Cooking (Stock Up!)
Just like all our no-bake energy balls, this Crunchy Granola Snack Bites recipe relies on a few shelf-stable pantry staples. And, they're VERY easy to make! Our energy balls are filled with protein and whole grains to keep you full and power you through your day! NOTE: All Snack Bites Recipes Are Freezable After You Make Them (Stock Up!)
Recipe Includes: • Shelf-Stable Ingredients •
Also be sure to check out all our other energy ball recipes:
If you've got 5 minutes (and 4 basic pantry ingredients), you can make one of our all-time most popular recipes! A fun little snack that will definitely disappear in a flash! (For a different flavor twist, try our Pumpkin Pie Spiced Candied Pecans, too! They're also made with completely shelf-stable ingredients.)
Plain 'ol popcorn kernels keep well in the pantry, for a loooong time! After LOTS of testing, we’ve discovered the tips and secrets to help you make super-fast microwave popcorn without any oil, butter, or extra appliances … using just a simple paper bag! (If you wanna get fancier, take a peek at our list of Popcorn Toppings and Seasonings!)
This bar cookie adaptation of the hugely popular Derby Pie is an easy dessert you can whip up from basic pantry ingredients you probably always have on hand! It's filled with whole grains, but so fabulously decadent that my son requested it for his birthday!
Grab a few ingredients from your pantry, and you can throw together this amazing cake in just moments! Way beyond plain angel food cake, this one's jam-packed with juicy pineapple, crunchy almonds and toasted coconut. It's quick and simple, yet really delicious!
With only 5 minutes of prep, you'll get wonderfully creamy, melt-in-your-mouth fudge! Bonus: it's so much healthier, too, since you don’t have to dump in loads of extra sugar or sweetened condensed milk (like with most fudge recipes). But don't worry – no one will ever guess that this deeply, darkly chocolaty fudge is actually better for them. It's got all the yumminess with none of the guilt!
These bars are seriously addictive, filled with crunchy almonds, sweet-tart dried blueberries and creamy white chocolate. Nutrient-rich (healthy enough for snacking, too), and so quick to make! NOTE: Freezable After Making (Stock Up!)
Surprise! These amazingly delicious bars get a big nutritional boost from shelf-stable chickpeas (but nobody will ever guess)! Dense, moist, crumbly and chewy like a “normal” blondie recipe, but these are secretly lower in fat, and higher in protein and fiber! Or, if you prefer cookies instead of bars, try our Chickpea Cookies, too. NOTE: Freezable After Baking (Stock Up!)
Recipe Includes: • Shelf-Stable Ingredients • Eggs and Butter •
A decadent treat to lift your spirits – ready in less than 10 minutes using entirely shelf-stable, pantry ingredients! Serve it with luscious fresh fruit if you have it, or with shelf-stable graham crackers!