10 Easy Pantry Meals From Your Stockpile To Stay Within Your Budget

Here are frugal and super easy pantry meals to make from groceries that are already in your pantry! Stay in your grocery budget with these simple dinners made from non-perishable items in your kitchen.

With all the natural disasters happening worldwide, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a stockpile of food – especially non-perishable items. Along with more items in your pantry, you need easy pantry staples and meals to make!

     

  

    

What you really need to do is come up with easy meals you can make from pantry items. It’s really not that difficult to come up with an effective food storage system.


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Ingredients for Easy Pantry Meals

. Each of these has multiple uses in our easy pantry meals.

  • spaghetti noodles
  • bite-size pasta noodles (shells, elbow macaroni, etc.)
  • top ramen
  • canned corn, green beans, and other vegetables
  • chili beans or canned chili
  • canned seasoned beans
  • canned stew
  • jars of pasta sauce
  • canned clam chowder (or similar soup in a white sauce)
  • cream of mushroom/chicken soup
  • rice
  • boxed mashed potatoes
  • canned chicken
  • canned tuna
  • saltines or other crackers

Directions

To know how much you should get to make up a year’s supply of food for your family, find 7 meals (one for each night of the week) that your family might eat for dinner. Count out how much of each ingredient you would need for your family for each meal, then multiply that amount by 52 weeks.  Bingo – a year’s supply of dinners! These are easy pantry meals you can put together quickly.

Then add in some cereal and oatmeal for breakfasts, and you’re good to go. In a true emergency situation, you would most likely either skip lunches or use leftovers from the day before.

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Easy Pantry Meals

Recipes for Easy Pantry Meals

Here are some of our favorite ways to mix and match the above items to make delicious, easy pantry meals! The amount we state is estimate based on what would feed our family of four, as well as our style of cooking (lighter on the sauce, etc.). We purposely kept the recipes for them generic so you can experiment a bit to find out what works best for your family. Bon apetite!

*Note: as part of our stockpile, we regularly go to grocery stores to purchase discounted meat and cheese, and we then freeze it in a deep freezer. If you have a generator or your electricity has come back on, you can incorporate it into these meals!

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1) Silly Chili Macaroni

Check out our post on one of the most delicious pantry meals we’ve ever had – silly chili macaroni!

Silly Chili Macaroni is just one of the few ingredients those easy, reliable dishes that hit the spot when you need a simple, delicious meal without any fuss.

It’s super flexible, so you can mix in whatever you’ve got. Plus, it’s a total time-saver on busy days – quick and easy. The best part? You’re likely to find everything you need right in your pantry, making it a budget-friendly choice. And let’s not forget, kids love the nostalgic vibes it brings – there’s something comforting about whipping up a childhood favorite.


2) Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup uses simple ingredients like canned beans, frozen veggies, vegetable broth, dried spices, herbs, and noodles, it’s a quick fix for when you need a comforting meal without the fuss. Plus, it’s adaptable – toss in whatever you have. Whether you’re feeling under the weather or just craving a cozy classic, this soup is like a warm hug for your taste buds. It’s the go-to for easy, homey goodness straight from your pantry.

You may cook up a few packs of ramen noodles. Add in canned chicken, as well as some canned vegetables (like peas, carrots white beans diced, canned tomatoes, frozen broccoli, and corn) for an easy chicken noodle soup. Sometimes we do canned tuna instead of chicken to have a bit of variety.


3-4) Stew & Rice/Potatoes

Make boxed mashed potatoes or a pot of rice. Top with heated canned stew. This is a really easy pantry meal!

Stew & Rice/Potatoes is your pantry’s secret weapon. With canned stew, brown rice, and potatoes, it’s a lifesaver for a quick and hearty meal. The best part? It’s flexible – use what you’ve got. Whether you’re pressed for time or just want a comforting classic, this three side dish, is like a cozy hug from your pantry. It’s the simple, tasty solution for those days when you need good food without the fuss.


5) Rice & Beans

Make a pot of rice and stir in flavored beans. (We like to use seasoned black beans.) If you have any frozen ham or steak, it makes a great mix-in!

With just rice, black beans, diced, fresh tomatoes (canned tomatoes will do), and a dash of spices, it’s a quick and easy go-to, especially when fresh groceries are low. It’s versatile, too – use whatever beans and rice you have. Besides being budget-friendly and filling, this dish brings a taste of comfort and culture to your table. It’s the kind of meal that’s simple, nutritious, and satisfying meals always hits the spot when you need something tasty and reliable.


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6) Simple Spaghetti

Cook spaghetti noodles and add in a jar of pasta sauce for an easy pantry meal. If you have frozen hamburger or hot dogs, then add those in as well! 

One fun idea for hot dogs (especially if you have kids) is to thread the uncooked spaghetti noodles through hot dog slices and cook them together! We also try to get a large variety of flavored pasta sauces (meat, four cheese, etc.) when we stock up so that we feel like there is some variety.

Want to make spaghetti even easier? Learn how to make it in an Instant Pot!


7) Tuna Casserole

This recipe for tuna casserole was handed down from Tiffany’s grandma (the same one who taught her how to make canned apple pie filling) and has even been fed to a general authority when Tiffany was a missionary.

Even better, tuna casserole can be a make-ahead freezer meal!

Tuna Casserole is like a pantry magic trick. With canned tuna, pasta, and a few other pantry staples as basics, it’s a go-to when you’re short on fresh ingredients. Easy to whip up and customize, you can add your twists like frozen peas or cheese. Plus, it’s budget-friendly and fills you up. But what makes it truly special? The cozy, nostalgic vibes – it’s like a taste of home on any busy day. It’s that simple, reliable dish that just feels right for breakfast lunch.


8) Tuna & Crackers

This is an easy one! Just open canned tuna, mix it into sour cream with canned peas frozen corn, and place it on saltines or other crackers (we prefer Triscuits). If you have mayonnaise, we mix it into sour cream with the tuna as well to make a small tuna salad.

Tuna and crackers are like your pantry’s quick fix. Grab some canned diced tomatoes, tuna, and crackers; you’ve got a snack or light meal in no time. It’s easy to jazz up with mayo or herbs, making it as simple or fancy as you want. Not only is it budget-friendly, but it’s also a go-to when you need something tasty on the fly. It’s that no-fuss, anytime snack that just hits the spot.


9) Chowder & Crackers

Warm up a big bowl of clam chowder (or whichever soup you stocked up on). Crumble saltines into the soup, or use the crackers as a spoon to scoop up the soup.

Chowder and crackers are like your pantry’s friendly chef, ready to make your day better. With canned salmon chowder and crackers, it’s not just a meal – it’s comfort served on a plate. Want to get fancy? Throw in some veggies or spices. It’s your call. Perfect for those busy days when you crave something hearty and affordable. It’s that reliable, easy dish that feels like a warm hug when you need it most.


10) Shepherd’s Pie

Cook up boxed mashed potatoes. Mix in warm cans of vegetables like corn and green beans, as well as a can of cream of mushroom soup. If you can, add a hamburger and top with grated cheese and chili powder. Cook in the oven in a casserole dish (if possible).

Made with just canned beans, veggies, meat, and instant mashed potatoes, it’s like a quick, comforting hug in a dish. Easy to whip up, even if you’re not a kitchen pro. Customize it with whatever you’ve got in the pantry. Perfect for those busy days when you want a homemade meal without the fuss. It’s that reliable, budget-friendly option that feels like a warm, hearty treat.


Other Easy Pantry Meal Ideas

Do you have any other easy pantry meal ideas from non-perishable items that your family just loves? Please leave them in the comments below!


More budget-friendly recipes to discover

If you’re looking for the best ways to plan financially for any potential emergencies, this post here will help, but also check out the below.


Pin These Easy Pantry Meals!

If these easy pantry meal recipes were helpful for you, please share them on Pinterest!

An earlier version this post about easy pantry meals was written by Tiffany on The Crazy Shopping Cart

Also check out our easy pantry meals webstory!

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7 Comments

  1. These are some good ideas, when you are in a pinch for time. I wish they were healthier choices though. Pastas from white flour and many canned foods are missing key nutrients that we get from fresh wholesome ingredients. Canned goods can contain a lot of salt, fats and sugars, depending on the types you buy. And unfortunately, the cheaper the canned good, the more likely it is to be unhealthy. Watch those labels when shopping. Pick up healthier options for these products…like whole grain pasta and reduced sodium canned veggies. And try not to have an entire week of these quick and easy meals. We need to eat fresh ingredients too. Thanks for this post though….time is valuable!

    1. While yes, fresh is always better, this is meant to be if you have to live out of your pantry and fresh isn’t available.

  2. Great ideas that also help people use those pantry supplies before they go out of date! (And very helpful in the current era of stay at home lockdowns)

  3. these are fantastic suggestions!
    I love almost everything in this list.
    especially, 1. 3. and 5. are my absolute favs.
    thanks for sharing this awesome list!

  4. These are great ideas! I wish I had space in our current home for a full stockpile but I do love having things ready to go when I’m in a pinch! Thanks for these new suggestions!

  5. I would also suggest that you do a 4 week rotation. Harder to figure out 4 weeks of meals, but essential to have variety in our eating.
    There’s something called “food fatigue”, Children and elderly are especially vulnerable to it. It’s basically they get so tired of something that even though they’re hungry, they just can’t eat it any more and stop eating. Many people will get tired of eating something and start skipping meals if the meals are too repetitious.
    Start out with a one week menu and stock up some meals or the fixings for those meals. Then go to week two, figure out a menu that isn’t a repeat of week one and stock up on that for some meals. Continue on until you have a month of different things (and you can repeat some of the meals if there’s a break between them – scattered over the month.
    I was a Welfare Services Missionary and Family Preparedness was one of the things we were sent out to teach, and where I learned these suggestions.

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