45 Pantry Meals for Tough Times or Tight Budgets
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The recent Coronavirus pandemic has made life difficult for everybody. Many are unable to go to the local grocery store to restock on the fresh produce. People are pinching pennies as they aren’t working and bringing in the income they had been. Canned goods and dried staples have been the savior for a lot of people, turning also to dried goods like pasta, beans, and rice and whipping up pantry meals from these gems that help the budget, fill the belly, and can be packed with protein.
During these tough times, it is a good idea to go for pantry meals as they have a great shelf life. This article focuses on our collection of 45 pantry meals that are a boon for tough times.
45 Pantry Meals for Tough Times
Bread can be hard to find at the stores and a staple for pantry meals. It helps fill you up, gives you energy from the carbs, and pizza? Pizza is a great way to really stretch meat and veggies in a tasty way!
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes
When it comes to breakfast recipes, the peanut butter oatmeal pancakes are a clear winner. With no added sugar, these pancakes are nutritious and healthy.
- Vegan Cinnamon Apple Bread
If you love everything about cinnamon and do not have any problem with the concept of vegan, then the vegan cinnamon apple bread is a perfect breakfast treat for your family.
- No Yeast Pizza Dough
The no yeast pizza dough is the easiest way to make fresh homemade pizza for the entire family. If you want to make dinner in a jiffy, then this recipe is perfect, as it takes only 15 min.
- Drop Biscuit Recipe
The drop biscuits are also known as emergency biscuits as one needs only five essential ingredients to make them and around 25 minutes. The biscuits are tender, fluffy, and tastes great.
- Classic Corn Casserole
The classic corn casserole is the perfect dish for any kind of holiday. The sweet corns and the cream cheese make this dish fantastic.
- Soft Flour Tortilla Recipe
This homemade soft flour tortilla recipe produces soft tortillas that are perfect for burritos or soft tacos. The tortillas are great to taste and very easy to make. Just check out how versatile tortillas are HERE – we found 17 ways to use them!
- Grandmas Easy Bread Recipe
The grandma’s easy bread recipe is made from scratch and is very simple to make. It is soft, delicious, and has a hint of sweetness that makes this bread irresistible.
- Zucchini Bread
The summer zucchini bread recipe is easy and delicious and can be made with the help of pantry ingredients that you may already have in your kitchen.
- Instant Pot Muesli Bread No Knead
The instant pot muesli bread is a crusty bread loaf that has a unique combination of ingredients like apricot, coconut, and muesli. No kneading is required here as the instant pot can be used to get the bread dough to rise.
- Apple Fritter Pull-Apart Bread
The apple fritter pull-apart bread is like a Fall package! If you love apple fritters, then there is no reason why you will not enjoy this loaf of bread that is studded with gala apples.
- Water Cake
The water cake is easy to make as it requires only a few staples. There is no need to add milk or eggs; only a very few cupboard ingredients.
- Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies
The Funfetti cookies are very pretty looking, and they have a delicious taste. As these are very simple and fast to make, you can make them anytime and have them as treats. The children will love these Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies.
Rice is perfect for pantry meals – you can get a large amount for practically pennies and it lasts a long time. There was rice and pasta in the Egyptian pyramids that could still be eaten safely today. If that isn’t enough of a reason for the Doomsday Preppers in all of us, I don’t know what is.
- Dannelles Zesty Mexican Rice Recipe
The Mexican rice recipe has been tweaked a little here with the addition of carrots and peas. The addition of the vegetables makes this dish a bit sweeter and tastier.
- Traditional Cuban Yellow Rice
The traditional Cuban yellow rice looks excellent, and the subtle taste makes the dish very enticing.
- Parmesan Garlic Risotto Recipe
Risotto is an easy Italian dish that boasts of a soft texture and a mild flavor. The recipe is made tastier with the addition of Parmesan cheese, making it one of the most delicious things on the planet.
- Easy Peasy Spanish Rice
The Spanish rice is a simple and delicious accompaniment to any Mexican meal. The dish can be made in a matter of minutes with tons of flavor and delicious ingredients like ground beef and turkey.
- Easy Rice and Beans
The rice and beans are very popular and easy to make side dish. The best part is that you can even prepare it ahead and can also alter the flavor to match the main course that you will be having.
- Easy Mexican Rice Recipe
The restaurant-style Mexican rice can be easily prepared at home, and it also tastes much better! It is full of flavor and a very refreshing one-pot meal.
- Vegan Fried Rice
The vegan fried rice is an easy dish that can be made with just a few ingredients that you probably have in your freezer or pantry. The vegetables can be altered as per your liking.
- Easy Chicken Rice Soup Recipe
The homemade easy chicken rice soup recipe has an unbelievable flavor and is an easy to make meal preparation which can be made ahead also.
- Lentil Brown Rice Soup
The lentil brown rice soup is a filling meal with loads of greens and spices, which makes it full of flavor and protein. It is available in a dry soup mix format that is affordable and ideal for weeknights.
- Hibachi Fried Rice
The Hibachi fried rice is super easy to make and is a wonderful side dish for your Japanese dinners. It is a complete meal, and the flavors are simply amazing.
- Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole
The vegan broccoli rice casserole is a tasty and healthy dish. It can be used as both a side dish and/or the main dish. You can add ingredients like fried onions and vegan sausage to make the dish delicious.
- Instant Pot Rice Pudding
The instant pot rice pudding is very creamy and heart-warming comfort food. The dessert is full of flavors and super addictive!
- Easy Rice Pudding
The rice pudding is a quick and easy recipe that can be had either hot or cold. It is an old-fashioned dessert but very comforting.
Dried beans are an ideal, shelf-stable protein source for preppers. They are high in nutrition and a great option when it is hard to find meat like chicken, beef, or pork. It makes perfect for pantry meals!
- Amazing Crock Pot Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
The lentil sloppy Joes are a plant-based version of the classic, and it has the same flavor, although it does not have any meat. These are perfect for your family when you are looking for a meatless meal.
- Calico Beans
The calico beans are a great recipe that can be used in your next BBQ or cookout. It is easy to make and is full of flavors.
- Texas Caviar
The Texas caviar recipe is loaded with black beans, black-eyed peas, Roma tomatoes, sweet corn et al. The dish is very healthy, and you can add bell peppers to make it more delicious.
- Knockoff Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli Soup
It is a hearty, one-pot soup that is entirely inspired by Olive Garden. It is a knock off recipe, and taste is the same as that of the original.
- Pea Soup Frozen
This delicious and nutritious pea soup can be prepared with the help of frozen peas. It needs just four ingredients and 15 min of cooking time.
- Red Lentil Dahl
The one-pot dish is a comforting Indian curry, and it is naturally free from gluten. It can be used as a midweek meal for the whole family.
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese Sauce
The vegan lentil Bolognese sauce recipe is much in demand as it is healthy, nutritious and takes less than 30 min to cook. You can use this recipe for weeknight family meals.
- Lima Bean Soup
The Lima Bean Soup is very creamy and delicious and is quite filling! It is one of those soups that your family can enjoy for a lot of years.
- Easy Rice and Beans
The rice and beans recipe is easy to prepare and can be used as a side dish. One just needs a few staples from the pantry to make this dish in a quick time.
- Molasses Baked Beans
The molasses baked beans are a hardy and delightful dish that will remind everyone of the summertime meals. They taste delicious with hot dogs or steak, and you can make them a part of your weekend get-togethers.
- Vegan Sweet Corn Fritters Easy Quick Recipe
The vegan sweet corn fritters are a quick savory snack. It tastes great when you need a quick snack on a busy weekday.
- Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe
The classic Minestrone soup is a classic vegetarian dish that is healthy and easy to make. It is vegan and tastes incredible when prepared with chickpeas and rice.
Get your recipe of Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe here
- Vegetarian Taco Soup
The taco soup is a vegetarian soup that is perfect for a meatless day. The soup can be served with cornbread.
Pasta is so incredible – and can be gluten free, have added protein, fresh, or dried. At about a buck a box? It can help stretch meat with veggies in a sauce for a casserole or soup. It is on sale every 6 to 8 weeks and worth stocking up on for your pantry meals as a simple solution.
- Pizza Casserole Recipe
The Pizza casserole recipe is everyone’s favorite as it takes only 10 to 15 min to prepare and is made with only 6 to 7 ingredients.
- Rigatoni Bake
The rigatoni bake tastes very similar to lasagne, but it is more flavorful as it is topped with loads of Parmesan cheese. It is an easy, weeknight dinner option for the whole family.
- Instant Pot Mac & Cheese
The mac and cheese is everyone’s favorite comfort food, which can be easily made in the instant pot in a few minutes.
- Spaghetti with Garlic and Olive Oil
It is a quick and easy authentic pasta dish that requires minimal effort and addition of only a few simple ingredients. It is a perfect recipe for those nights when you decide to buy pasta for dinner.
- Mushroom Pasta
The mushroom pasta recipe is perfect for the slow cookers, and you can prepare it during the weekends when life is less hectic for you. Just set your slow cooker for 2 hours to get the perfect mushroom pasta!
- Easy Dinner Silly Chilly Macaroni
It is difficult to think of delicious recipes that your children will love on weekends. Thankfully, the easy dinner silly chilly macaroni recipe is easy to make and fantastic to taste with shredded cheese and mild-flavored chilies.
- Sesame Noodles
The 15-minute sesame noodles recipe is top-rated as the dish can be made easily and quickly. One can serve it warm or cold, and the taste can be enhanced by adding in more vegetables.