I’ve decided to share some Recipes Using Shelf Stable Ingredients, and I’ve organized them by the item itself. So if you’re looking at that can of tuna on the shelf you can get some ideas for that item.
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How are you all doing?
This is such a confusing time, and I think most of us are still spinning and trying to figure out how to shift our lifestyle to cope with bare grocery shelves, staying at home, and restaurants closing.
Emergency preparedness is for everyone, anytime. Maybe it’s because of an earthquake or a hurricane. Or, maybe you aren’t as prepared as you’d like to be for the empty grocery store shelves that we are seeing now.
But, I’d bet that you have some pantry items, some self-stable ingredients. And, I’ve collected some recipe to help you use those ingredients.
These recipes do use some other fresh ingredients, I’m also hoping you have some other things on hand and can stretch them using the canned & packaged goods. Or, leave some of the fresh things out. Or, be creative with the ingredients. I’ve made lots of suggestions to help you along. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Many times a dinner recipe is simply a guide to how to cook something. You can swap lots of things in a dinner recipe.
Beans, for example, the recipe may say to use black beans, but white or kidney beans will work just as well.
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.
Don’t have any onions for that recipe? Just leave them out or use dried onion flakes.
No fresh chicken in the house? Try using a can of chicken or tuna instead.
Hopefully you get the idea, don’t think of the recipe as a strict list, think of it more as a guide.
So, here are some of the recipes I’ve gathered up to help. I’ll keep working on recipes for when the world settles down again. We all have to eat right?
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Note: many of these recipes will also work with canned chicken
Cranberry Pecan Tuna Salad – mayo lasts a long time in the fridge, dried fruit like cranberries is a great shelf stable item, and can be swapped with other dried fruit like raisins if you want. Onions can be replaced with dried onion flakes in a pinch.
Egg, Tuna, and Cheese Crepes – these are all basic ingredients. If milk is in short supply, you can use evaporated milk. Also, think of the crepe as a nice blank canvas to stuff with other goodies.
Tuna Burgers – lots of shelf-stable items, and again, fresh onions can be replaced with dried onions. No buns? Serve them on bread, rolls (we have some frozen bread rolls in the freezer, you may too), bagels, or even no bun at all.
Tuna Noodle Casserole – I have an easy no bake tuna noodle casserole, and a baked classic tuna noodle casserole.
Spicy Tuna Roll Sushi – surprisingly shelf stable ingredients. Mix up any fresh additions that you have around.
Tuna Enchiladas – this recipe has lots of fresh ingredients, but use it as a starting point for an idea. Use jarred green salsa instead of the tomatillo sauce if you want. Use evaporated milk instead of the fresh milk.
Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Tuna – Gnocchi are sold in a shelf-stable version, check near the pasta. You could replace the fresh mushroom sauce with canned cream of mushroom soup.
Canned or dried beans
Slow Cooker Mexican Bean and Brown Rice Stew – lots of good shelf stable ingredients here.
Pasta e Fagioli Soup – a great soup with lots of possibilities. Have extra canned veggies? Throw them in. Soups are so easy to change up. Have some chicken in the fridge? Toss it in.
Easy Black Bean Enchilada Soup – frozen corn can be replaced with canned corn. You can leave out the carrots if you like, or use frozen ones. Use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
Black Bean Burgers – no black beans in the house? Swap some other bean into these.
Red Pepper and White Bean Stew – Those jarred roasted red peppers are great for this!
Black Bean Burritos – tortillas last a long time, and these burritos are great!
White Bean and Sausage Soup – we always have sausages in the freezer. If you don’t have any sausages, swap in any other meat or protein, or simply leave the meat out. It’s a complete meal without it as well.
Slow Cooker Chipotle Bean Dip – this one’s an appetizer, but you can serve it in tacos as a main course, make burritos and smother them with salsa or enchilada sauce for a baked enchilada.
White Bean Potato Tacos – Potatoes last a nice long time in cool storage. And, again, this filling can be turned into tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or eat it like a dip with chips.
Smoky Black Bean Chili Soup – If you don’t have tomatillos try some jarred green salsa instead. I turned my leftovers into Stacked Enchiladas.
Red Lentil and Artichoke Stew – great comfort food using mostly shelf-stable ingredients. No red lentils? Just use the brown ones and adjust the cooking time a bit.
Lentil Soup – one of my favorite meals! Use frozen veggies if you have them instead of fresh.
Lentil Tacos – some lentils, salsa, frozen meatless crumbles (or ground beef), some spices and you have dinner! I often have these for dinner when my husband makes a big batch of carnitas for himself.
Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew – a great healthy vegetarian comfort food meal.
Tomato Lentil Soup – Again, no fresh veggies, use frozen or dried.
Slow Cooker Lentil Taco Salad – uses both lentils and rice
Lentil Chili – healthy comfort food that starts in your pantry
Chipotle Roasted Lentils – this is one of my favorite ways to make lentils. So yummy and quite fun. Use the recipe as an idea, because you may not have tofu or oranges or shallots. But that bed of lentils is amazing!
Blackened Shrimp Pasta – This is a simple pasta dish with just a handful of ingredients. I always have shrimp in the freezer, or try scallops, or any other fish you may have.
Pasta Salad – use a bottled dressing, some pasta, any fresh veggies, or defrost some frozen veggies, and some canned beans for this.
Miso Tahini Pasta – if you have miso paste and tahini in your fridge, you are in for a treat with this vegan pasta. Leave the mushrooms out, or use canned mushrooms. And use dried garlic if you don’t have fresh.
Chow Mein Noodles – This noodle dish uses pantry items for the sauce. You can leave the veggies out, use what you have in the fridge, or use frozen veggies. Add in some tofu or chicken if you have it for protein.
Pesto Shrimp Pasta – I often have jarred pesto in the cupboard. I know I also have a container that I threw into the freezer who knows how long ago. Use jarred roasted red peppers if you don’t have fresh, or simply leave them out. I also have a basic Pesto Pasta recipe.
Nacho Pasta – Do you have a jar of Alfredo Sauce in there? Mix it up a little and turn it into a Mexican flavored meal.
Paprika White Wine Pasta – leave the spinach out if you don’t have any.
Enchilada Pasta – use tortellini, ravioli, or any plain pasta you have in this quick dinner.
Cook your pasta in red wine for a fun color to your dinner
Pasta and Chickpea Soup will help you use a jar or spaghetti sauce creatively.
Italian Tomato Soup will also help use some spaghetti sauce from a jar. don’t have any orzo? Simply pop in another small pasta shape.
Cilantro Lime Rice can be served with any Mexican meal either on the side or in things like tacos. I also make this same recipe in the rice cooker or the pressure cooker. Also, I make it sometimes without the garlic, lime, or cilantro for a plain rice – just use the same amounts. I also have a recipe for Chipotle Rice, which is another great side.
Broccoli Rice Au Gratin Homemade Rice-a-Roni – I have two versions – pressure cooker and stove top. Both use pasta and rice.
Spanish Rice Casserole – a great way to extend one of those boxed rice mixes. My Vegetable Rice Casserole is another recipe that uses a boxed rice mix as the base. Many of these boxed rice mixes are swap-able in both of these recipes too.
Fried Rice is a great way to use leftover cooked rice. And My recipe uses frozen veggies.
Cajun Shrimp with Rice – is a recipe I came up with because I was trying to use stuff that was already in the house. Frozen shrimp from the freezer, shelf-stable rice, veggies, and some spices.
Dessert Rice Pudding is another delicious way to use leftover rice. This is why I often make my rice plain with no garlic added. I want dessert!