Pantry Meal Ideas When You Can’t (or Won’t) Leave the House

Global pandemic got you nervous about food prep? These pantry meal dinner ideas have got you, boo. Keep a list of “throw-together” pantry meals on hand, and quell the panic that hits when you hear of stored running out of toilet paper.

Pantry meals are perfect for times when you can’t get – or aren’t in the mood for, or don’t have the cash to- get to the grocery store for fresh ingredients. And they’re super budget-friendly and often easy to make, too!

Pantry meals aren’t only for times of emergencies.

I’ve used pantry meals in the past for weeks when I am too busy to get to the store and figuring out grocery delivery is more complicated than I have the mental bandwidth for (we’ve all been there).

It’s helpful for times when we’ve gone through a broke patch and I’m trying to use up what we have before hitting the store.

And, not that I’m naturally a doomsday prepper or anything, but I when you’ve got a family to feed and word’s out about global quarantine, you can bet I’m thinking about how I’ll keep my family fed and healthy while stuck indoors.

Read: 17 Meals to Make When You Don’t Have Any Food In the House

It’s a fact of life, and while I may not be out in my backyard digging a bunker just yet, it helps to be somewhat prepared. 

Plus, pantry meals are literally pulling a meal out of thin air. That’s pretty cool!

Anyone can make a good dish with a ton of gorgeous ingredients from a farmer’s market. It takes a true chef to pull something together out of thin air. 

I’ve been a proponent of getting some pantry meals on lock for quite a while now. I even dedicated a section of my mini-resource, Uncomplicated Backup Meals, to the “cause”. I even have a 35-deep Pantry Meals Recipe Pack bonus in the Uncomplicated Kitchen Bundle (a collection of the mini-resources I offer that go over each of the three-step system I teach for stress-free weeknight cooking) 

For a limited time, you can access Uncomplicated Backup Meals PLUS the never-before-offered bonus of 35 Pantry Meals Recipe Pack AND 200 Freezer Meal Recipes, for just $27! Click here or the banner below to buy. 

Pantry meals recipes and cooking with what you’ve got on hand is obviously nothing new, though.

In fact, the BEST place to find recipes that work as pantry meals are found in more old school recipe locations, like: 

What exactly is a pantry meal, anyway? 

A pantry meal is any meal that can be put together with all or mostly shelf-stable, non-perishable ingredients. 

Pantry meals are not cooking from leftovers, or freezer cooking; think “doomsday preppers” but make it gourmet. 

Here are a handful of my favorite Pantry Meals: 

Chickpea, Tomato, and Spinach Stew

I make this with frozen spinach and all shelf-stable ingredients. It comes together quickly and it’s even better the next day! 

Tuna Noodle Casserole

The meal of my childhood. Made with tuna, canned soup, noodles, and something crushed on top (my mom loved French’s fried onions, others love Ritz crackers).

Spaghetti or ziti

Canned sauce and pasta, topped with a shower of canned parmesan. It’s not fancy, but it works. 

Black Bean Soup

Black beans, spices, and broth are all that’s between you and this crazy simple soup

Cold Sesame Noodles 

Sesame, soy sauce, seasonings, and noodles- and you’ve got dinner!

Don’t forget, I’ve got a list of even more pantry meals (over 35 of ‘em!) plus guides on how to put together and how to freeze a crapton of meals to save for a rainy day (or a quarantine, perhaps?) Click here for more information, and stay healthy and safe! 

Uncomplicated Backup Meals

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