Pantry Meal Ideas using only non-perishables

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Pantry meal ideas are always great.

There are a lot of foods you can make with products you already have in your pantry and that are non-perishable. This can come in handy in case you can’t get fresh groceries for a while.

For example with the recent events with being under quarantine in case you could have the coronavirus.

Or simply if you don’t feel like going to the store after a long day.

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Let me start off with ingredients that are always good to have in your pantry:

  • noodles, rice, tortillas, beans, and potatoes
  • chicken broth (either canned or the seasoning)
  • Cream of wheat
  • Oil and Yeast
  • Cereal
  • Flour, Sugar, Salt and other baking ingredients (baking powder, baking cocoa,…)
  • Canned vegetables, fruit and tomato sauce
  • refried beans, canned soup
  • Canned meat (like Spam) and Tuna (or other canned fish)
  • Canned meals (like chili, beefaroni,…)
  • Ramen noodles
  • Evaporated milk or powdered milk
  • Instant Potato Mix, Instant pancakes, instant anything
  • Nuts of all kinds (almonds, cashews, Pecans, …)
  • Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds
  • Honey
  • shelf-stable milk (can be found in the Hispanic aisle at Walmart)

Cream of wheat

Cream of wheat can easily be made without milk. It is a great source of iron and tastes almost as good as it is with milk. Throw in some honey and cinnamon and you have a delicious breakfast. It can also be topped with canned fruit. Alternatively, you can use shelf-stable milk to make the cream of wheat.


All you need to make a quick bread is flour, oil, salt, sugar, yeast, and water. That’s it. I like to use 2 cups lukewarm water and throw about a tablespoon yeast in there with a pinch of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt. Add some oil and about two 4 cups of flour. (Add more water or flour depending on the consistency, you want a dough that is not too sticky and not too dry.) knead it really well (takes about 5 minutes) and let it rise for at least 1 hour and bake at 450 F preferably inside a Dutch oven (the dutch oven should be heated up in the oven before you put the dough in) for a crispy crust. If you are gonna put it in a normal baking dish but a pan with water on the lower baking sheet. The baking time is about 60-90 minutes.

homemade bread

Noodle salad 

The possibilities for noodle salad are endless. Canned corn, canned peas and carrots or spam are great ingredients. Mix it with some water and spices and there you go (mayo would be more delicious but we only want to use non-perishable food right now)

Tomato noodle soup 

We love to eat this soup. All you need is canned tomato sauce and noodles. I prefer the small ABC noodles. Dump the tomato sauce in a pot with some water and cook the noodles right in there, add spices to your liking and you’re done.

Spam and rice 

Fry some spam, cook rice and add canned vegetables or tomato sauce to it and voila – you got yourself a meal.

Ramen noodles with spam 

My husband loves his ramen and his spam so naturally he combines both. (Preferably with an egg) all he does is cutting up the spam and throwing it in the ramen noodle soup.

Potato and carrot stew

Carrots and potatoes can be stored in the pantry for a long time. And as simple as this stew sounds – it is so good. I just dice potatoes and cut carrots and cook it all until done in water. Add spices and you got your stew. Optional you can purée the whole thing and have a creamy soup. Eat it with a slice of your homemade bread. 

Pizza knots

For a recipe with dough from scratch click here. Pizza knots can be a good side dish for anything. Crunchy, crispy and delicious. Instead of rolling the dough to a whole sheet you can cut it in stripes and fold it. Use a bit of water as “glue” and sprinkle garlic salt on top.

You can also knead more ingredients in the dough like chia seeds or sunflower seeds.

Cans for pantry

Pot pies

Yes, you can make pot pies with the pizza dough. Add canned vegetables or even canned chicken and other meat and make it creamy with corn starch (boil a little water and add spices, in a separate bowl mix only a small amount of cold water with corn starch to a paste and add to the hot water) 
You can also use shelf-stable milk to make a creamy sauce with the same mixture of corn starch and water.

Rice and beans

The classic Mexican side dish to any meal. All you need is a can of refried beans and rice. Warm up the beans and cook the rice with spices.

Homemade beef jerky

It’s actually not too hard to make and takes a few hours. Marinate/season your meat and cook it on low temperature in the oven. There are plenty or recipes available online. 

Do you still need some ideas on how to organize your pantry? These products might come in handy:

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