These 17 Pantry Recipes for Emergency Preparedness are going to be your new go to list in the event of a natural disaster, emergency or if you have no idea of what you are going to make for dinner. Let’s stay in and make the best of what we’ve got using staples from the pantry, fridge, and freezer!
Whether you are snowed in, recovering from a natural disaster or need to stay indoors because you are sick or quarantined, we have some simple recipes that you can make with whatever you have at home.
Basic pantry staples to make ordinary items into delicious meals
Beans and lentils – Whether you have them dried or canned you can make a meal that can power your day. If you can find them in a can, this will save you time cooking and use of water.
Rice – long grained, short grained, jasmine, brown rice, wild rice, etc. are all good for giving you energy. When paired with beans or lentils, can be a complete meal.
Ancient Grains, quinoa, barley, etc. – All great carbohydrates that have extra fiber and some extra protein to keep you feeling full longer.
Pasta and noodles – whatever you can get your hands on in different shapes and sizes are an easy way to fill you up.
Canned tomatoes and other veggies – whole tomatoes are best as you can crush these later if you wish. These can be added to soups, stews and pasta to make a delightful tasty meal.
Spices – Your spice drawer is your new friend as they can impart a unique flavor and make any boring staple tasty. Think turmeric, garlic, red chili flakes, salt, pepper, curry powder, cinnamon, basil, dried citrus etc. to give your recipes a lift. Your options are endless.
Bouillon and Broths– Canned and boxed broths like chicken, vegetable and beef bone broth take up so much room. Instead, maybe try a bouillon powder or cubes. Bouillon can be a savior for soups and stews if you do not have any meat or fish to add to the mix. Loads of flavor and pretty cheap too. However, if you have the room, liquid broths are great if you are rationing water. Delicious to cook grains and noodles in without using water.
Canned Tuna, Chicken and Meats – If you run out of proteins in your freezer, you may want to have a few cans on hand to get you through. You can make sandwiches, throw in a little in your stir-fried rice or make a casserole to feed the whole family.
Freezer Staples – frozen vegetables, fruits, shrimp, seafood, meats and poultry are a great way to boost your recipes with extra vitamins, protein and minerals. However, you will be limited by the capacity of your freezer. Frozen veggies, depending on how much room you have in your freezer are a great way to add a little pop of freshness to your meals.
Condiments – soy sauce, oils, vinegars, mayonnaise, mustard, honey, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, etc. are great ways to add extra flavor to boring staples.
Oats, flour, dried fruits, yeast – you can make delicious breakfasts with just a few of these items in your pantry.
Fresh Lemons- You can freeze lemons whole and place in a baggie and squeeze all the air out. Frozen lemons last for 3-4 months. In addition, you can preserve lemons in salt and they can last up to a year.
Olive oil, butter and oils of choice - These are needed to help prevent foods from sticking to the pan and also to flavor foods. Use whatever you have on hand and enjoy.
Water – for both cooking and drinking.
Pantry Recipes for Emergency Preparedness
Recipes, in these kinds of situations, are meant to be adjusted. If you asked us to make a specific recipe right now, we might not even be able to get all the supplies to make it. We know you can't either. As a matter of fact we just went grocery shopping and the isles are quite bare.
Don't panic buy, buy smart. Be prudent! Assess what you have in your house first. You will be surprised the items you will find in the corners of your kitchen. Sort everything out. Get organized. Determine how much space you have in your home and apartment and in your refrigerator and freezer before you grab groceries.
Substitute any proteins, vegetables and spices you have on hand. If you only have part of the ingredients that is okay. Don't put any added stress on yourself.
"If you managed to put any food on the table at all for your family, You are a rock star!" Things are not going to be perfect. Do the best you can and stay positive as this soon will all pass. We are in this all together.
Be creative with your ingredients
- Did you know that you can use tea and/ or beer as a starter base for soups and stews? You sure can! They give a little additional depth of flavor to basic staples.
- Cinnamon is a great spice that helps sweeten items without sugar. Try it in your coffee, if you run out of sugar.
- Olive oil can easily be swapped for butter and vice versa.
- Using coconut milk to cook your rice is delicious and makes your rice taste tropical. Add a little dash of ginger too for a delicious side.
- A great little substitute for eggs in baking is 1 ground flax seeds or 1 ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir and leave set for 5 minutes.
17 Pantry Recipes for Emergency Preparedness
1) Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup)
Sopa de Fideo is a delicious budget friendly Mexican Noodle Soup. Made with toasted angel hair pasta, canned tomatoes, aromatics and broth all in one pan for an easy and delicious meal that even the kids will love. Skip the garnishes and enjoy!
Vegan chickpea (garbanzo bean) and lemon rice is a simple one-pan side dish. Use any type of rice you have on hand.It does not need to be brown rice. Cook your rice according to instructions. If you do not have garbanzo beans, then substitute another bean or lentil. Lemons are a great item to have on hand. Did you know that you can freeze whole lemons and they will last for 3-4 months? You can also use dried citrus zest.
Golden Spiced Noodle Soup is just like getting a big hug from your mom. Easy one pot meal with gluten-free vermicelli noodles, bone broth and loads of anti-inflammatory turmeric, garlic, ginger and onions to keep you healthy and strong. Feel free to substitute dried spices and aromatics, if you do not have fresh. We added bok choy as that is what we had on hand but feel free to use frozen, canned or fresh vegetables. Use what you have on hand. If you don't have veggies, you are still a rock star.
4) Immune Boosting Chicken and Rice Soup
Immune Boosting Chicken and Rice Soup is a warm and therapeutic cozy cold and flu fighting bowl of deliciousness. Feel free to change up the protein to whatever you have on had or you can even add canned chicken. Frozen or canned mixed veggies work well in this recipe too. If all you have is rice, chicken broth and salt and pepper, you are still a rock star!
5) Curried Tuna Salad Roll Ups
Curried Tuna Salad Roll Ups are a super easy no cook meal. Grab yourself a few tortillas and make a simple tuna salad with a little curry powder and you are good to go. You may not have celery or onions to add to it, but that is okay. If you happen to have a few pickles, dice and add them to the tuna salad. You are a rock star!
6) Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils (Mujadara)
Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils (Mujadara) is a delicious vegan side dish. Pantry Recipes for Emergency Preparedness made with Red lentils (or any lentils you have on hand), basmati rice (or rice of choice), caramelized onions and aromatic spices are a huge crowd pleaser and helps bring comfort to the situation. If you happen to have cumin and a bay leaf, that is fantastic. If all you have is salt and pepper, you are still a rock star!
7) Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew
Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew for a quick healthy gluten-free legume one pot comfort meal. If you do not have ham, do not sweat it. You can use any protein you desire or make it completely vegan as all the delicious spices really make this recipe delicious. You can use canned or frozen vegetables but add them after the cooking process. No veggies, no problem, you are still a rock star!
Speedy Spinach Pesto Pasta is a 15 minute pantry special. We used frozen spinach and walnuts to make a pesto and tossed in the pasta, tomatoes and topped with crumbled bacon. Heck! We don't have bacon, do you? A frugal way to dress up this recipe is to add a little homemade bread crumbs on top instead . Feel free to exchange the fresh tomatoes with canned tomatoes and walnuts with any nuts you have on hand. Parmesan cheese in a can is quite handy. If you can get your hands on some, you are a rock star!
Vegan Curried rice is a delicious blend of garden fresh vegetables tossed in a wok with a little ginger, curry and garlicky fried brown rice. Feel free to use dried ground spices, if you do not have fresh. Canned and frozen vegetables all work well in this fried rice. If you happen to have fresh vegetables, you are a rock star!
Hawaiian Luau Rice is one of our most popular recipes and so easy to make. Will make you feel like you are in Hawaii, even if you are stuck indoors. Tropical "canned" pineapple and a can of "Spam" is all you need to feel like a Rock Star!
11) Easy Moroccan Ground Lamb Stew
Easy Moroccan Ground Lamb Stew is a delicious less than 30-minute meal with irresistible warming spices, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and apricots for a quick one pot weekday meal. Maybe we should rename this to Easy ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken or any protein you have on hand. It does not need to be lamb. If you have any protein on hand at all, you are a rockstar!
12) Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Curry
Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Curry is like tasting a party in your mouth with an explosion of spices, herbs and flavors to charm the whole family in under 30 minutes. If you do not have sweet potatoes, then substitute with any potatoes you have on hand. You can make this recipe without a protein too for a delicious vegetable curry. No vegetables...No problem! If you happen to have a can of tomatoes, you are a rock star!
Curried Ham Lentil Soup is the perfect solution for that left over holiday ham and a budget buster cost savings meal. Ham or even lunchmeat ham can be frozen for up to 3 months. If you do not have ham, a bouillon broth will do wonders. Even if all you have are lentils, chicken broth, frozen veggies and curry powder, you are still a rock star!
14) Farfalle Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs
Farfalle Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs is a delicious easy 15-minute dinner with bow tie pasta tossed simply with EVOO, garlic, red pepper flakes and toasty homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Breakfast Ideas with Pantry Staples
15) St. David’s Day Welsh Cakes
St. David’s Day Welsh Cakes are light and fluffy teatime treats that are cross between a pancake, cookie and scone. These little cakes are a welcome treat when you have a Mother's Hubbard's Cupboard. If you do not have raisins, just skip it. You can also use all purpose flour for everything or gluten- free flour mix. Be sure to try these with a little Better than Mrs. Buttersworth's Pancake Syrup to be a real rock star!
16) Better Than Mrs. Butterworth’s Pancake Syrup
Better Than Mrs. Butterworth’s Pancake Syrup recipe can be made in 3 minutes with 3 ingredients and you can have thick, rich and delicious syrup at a fraction of the cost. Delicious drizzled on top of your homemade St. David's Day Welsh Cakes.
17) Cranberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Cranberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are a super chewy healthy breakfast or snack on the go packed with healthy oats, bananas, nut butter, cranberries, pepitas seeds and vegan chocolate chips. You can exchange the bananas with applesauce. Feel free to leave out the items you do not have but you will have to increase the oatmeal to get it to the correct consistency. If all you have is oatmeal, applesauce, peanut butter and honey, you are still a rock star!
We hope this Pantry Recipes for Emergency Preparedness recipe round up gives some ideas to use whatever you have on hand to get meals on the table. Remember, you will not have every ingredient to make every recipe. Exchange with what you do have and you will always be a Rock Star!!! (We are here to help! If you have a question or want a recipe featuring certain ingredients, please let us know)
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Great list and a good informative post. I have most of these items stocked and can't really add much more. My pantries are overflowing right now. 🙂 But since I'm a high risk person, I wanted to make sure I had enough for a possible 3 months stint.
Liz Berg says
A couple of your pasta recipes caught my attention! Perfect to add to our menu! Hope you and your family are doing OK!!! xo
This is such a great resource for inspiration! I've had very limited access to fresh ingredients since the mandatory quarantine began here in California. Thank you for sharing, and please take care.
HWC Magazine says
You are very welcome Hannah. I know this is very difficult on everyone. Stay strong as this will pass and you will be stronger on the other side.
[email protected] is How I Cook says
What s nice collection. Everything looks so good, but I think that tuna salad is calling out lunch to me! Hope all is well!
HWC Magazine says
Thanks so much Abbe! Tuna is our new go to recipe. We do not have celery currently, but we do have mayo so feeling like a rock star! Stay well dear friend.
Roaring with laughter at the moment - in Sydney, just now, the only 'pantry staples' available at any supermarket' are lemons and a few of your condiments ! Oh, water is still running from the tap 🙂 ! Very little meat either - possibly because of the bushfires just before . . . mince supposedly is impossible to get . . . .but I could write pages about the fun 'Coronavirus lock-down' activities people have already thought of ! Including Xmas decorations and lights hung outside windows 'just for fun' ! Our wonderful State Government has taken over the huge Bushfire Crisis Centre, turned it into the COVID19 one . . . . and is making us feel safe . . .SO many are well already, only a handful over the country in hospital . . . .the land of 'put a shrimp on the barbie' will do OK . . .
HWC Magazine says
Oh goody... condiment swirl for dinner! with just a spritz of lemon of course... LOL Things are pretty similar here. The shelves are quite empty. Locals are paying each other off in toilet paper... You know the usual. We are certain you are going to start to see some pretty interesting recipes coming from this pantry kitchen, Please stay well and take care dear friend.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Wonderful post Bobbi with lots of good suggestions.
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Karen. Take care and stay well.
John / Kitchen Riffs says
Our pantry shelves are overflowing, so we're all set to face the next few weeks! Lot of really good tips here, as well as some awesome recipe. Thanks!
HWC Magazine says
So happy to hear that you are all set to go for the next few weeks. Staying in is best right now for everyone. Hope to have more pantry recipes coming your way soon.