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.
I mapped out a detailed Once-a-Month Grocery Shopping Plan.
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).
One safety note here: be sure to thaw raw meats (in particular) properly and completely before using them, and remember that it’s not considered safe to use frozen meat in your crock-pot.
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.
Stay well, friends.