This master recipes list of Pantry Cooking using shelf-stable ingredients will be one that I'm continuing to update during this weird time of our lives.
I've decided to include both savory and sweet items in this list. Because, well, we all need dessert from time to time. But the list is weighted toward savory items to get you through rough times.
Cooking can be flexible
For the savory or, what I call, "cooking" recipes, things you can serve for dinner or lunch, know that you can change up these recipes, using the recipe as simply a guideline rather than as a strict rule.
For sweet recipes or "baking" recipes, I usually recommend following the recipe closely, but cooking is simply use what you have and what you like.Use a little more of something you like a lot. Or leave out things you don't like or don't have.
Be creative with the ingredients for a cooking recipe. I’ve made lots of suggestions to help you along. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
This collection is organized chronologically, with my most recent posts at the top.
Many times a cooking recipe is simply a guide to how to cook something. You can swap lots of things in a savory dinner recipe like soups or stews.
Does your recipe call for tomato sauce but you don’t have any? Try thinning some tomato paste with water, or use a jar of spaghetti sauce instead. Do you have a can of diced tomatoes? Use that - you can drop it all in a blender to create a smoother consistency. Use a jar of salsa if you have that. Or, maybe you have fresh tomatoes from your garden, use those - simply cook them down to a sauce.
Don’t have any onions for that recipe? Just leave them out or use dried onion flakes. Or, swap in celery or fennel bulb.
No fresh chicken in the house? Try using a can of chicken or tuna instead.
All purpose flour can be made by combining equal parts bread flour and cake flour.
If you run low on baking powder you can mix some up at 2 parts cream of tartar + 1 part baking soda.
Hopefully you get the idea, don’t think of the recipe as a strict list, think of it more as a guide.
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General cooking and kitchen tips
For fresh veggies that last a long time, choose onions, shallots, garlic, hard squashes (like butternut and acorn), and potatoes. These types of fresh veggies should keep for a month or longer if stored in a cool dark place, like a closet or a garage.
Think about freezing some of those fruits and veggies. Chop it, place it in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet, and freeze it. Once it’s frozen, transfer it to a ziptop freezer bag. Don't forget to freeze lemons as well.
Turn those veggies into broth. Then you can freeze the broth if you need to.
Go through your fridge, freezer, and cupboards before going to the grocery store. Make a meal plan or list of meals from what’s there, and keep in mind that you may need to be flexible with what you can find at the stores.
List of things that are good to keep in your pantry
These are some of the things I try to keep in my cupboard all the time. Essential panty goods, if you will. The list can be made to your preference as well - leave some things out of your panty, add some things in. It's just a basic idea of some things to try to keep around. And, it helps with everyday cooking to have these things in your house.
- Canned beans
- Dried beans
- Dried lentils
- Canned tuna or chicken
- Canned vegetables and fruits
- Jarred roasted red peppers
- Canned tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes
- Canned soups or stews
- Jarred spaghetti sauce
- Canned coconut milk
- Canned evaporated milk
- Canned sweetened condensed milk
- Baking soda and baking powder
- Sugar (white and brown)
- Chocolate chips
- Dried fruit
- Nuts (keep these in the freezer for longer life)
- Frozen veggies
- Frozen fruits
- Peanut butter