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Your pantry is only useful if you can make tasty, filling meals from it.  It is vital that you purchase “ingredients” rather than meals, so that you can make a wide variety of foods. Not only is this healthier, but it is also a much more cost-effective way to build a stockpile.

The ingredients that you buy or preserve are the basis of your future health should a situation arise in which you must rely on your pantry.  It is imperative that you have the ability to cook from scratch if you intend to use a pantry full of ingredients, so brush up on your skills by using these items now, and not just storing them away.

I have gotten a lot of requests for meal plans based on pantry items.  This is challenging because every family has different preferences and different items available to them at a good price.  So the following is simply a list of meals that we have at Chez Organic Prepper, heavily based on pantry items.


  • Granola with homemade yogurt and fruit
  • Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
  • Homemade muffins
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Eggs and toast
  • Toast with peanut butter
  • Cornbread with butter and jam
  • Breakfast cookies

Lunch box fillers

  • Sandwiches made from leftover meats
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Thermos of soup
  • Yogurt with fruit and granola
  • Pasta salad
  • Home-baked treats
  • Salad
  • Crackers with peanut butter
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Homemade calzones
  • “Platters” – an assortment of meat, cheese, veggies and crackers in a divided container
  • Thermos full of leftovers


  • Potato soup
  • Onion soup
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Split pea soup
  • Spaghetti with meatballs
  • Salad with chicken and homemade vinaigrette
  • Beans and rice
  • Baked beans and biscuits
  • Chicken and dumplings
  • Bean burritos
  • Curry with potatoes, chickpeas and cauliflower
  • Pasta with pesto sauce
  • Chili
  • Noodles with peanut sauce
  • Baked macaroni and cheese
  • Creamy rice with veggies (rice cooked in milk instead of water – it tastes similar to risotto)
  • Roasted meat with vegetables (a meal that creates lots of wonderful leftovers!)

Leftover Makeovers

If you only have one or two servings of a leftover and 4 people to feed, don’t despair.  Often the addition of grains or some broth can help you extend it to create a new dish to serve to your entire family.

  • Leftover chili baked with rice and cheese
  • Leftover spaghetti sauce baked with pasta and homemade cottage cheese
  • Leftover soup
  • Fried rice made with leftover meat
  • Pasta with whatever veggies and leftover meat are on hand, tossed with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan
  • Stroganoff made with leftover beef
  • Baked potatoes topped with whatever you have left over
  • Biscuit crust atop leftovers to make a “pot pie”


Click HERE to learn more about repurposing leftovers.

What thrifty, pantry-based meals are the favorites in your household?


original article can be found here:

About the author:

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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