How to Stock Your Pantry for Emergencies (+ Recipes!) (2024)

Emergencies come in all forms: a storm that takes out your power for several days, government stay-at-home orders, as well as the everyday emergency of "what's for dinner?!" Having a well-stocked pantry and a plan for how to use what's in it is a must. Here are our suggestions for what to stock and what to cook for anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

The list below covers a lot of ground, but isn't exhaustive or exclusive. If your family doesn't ever really eat yogurt or frozen shrimp, no need to stock those items. Double up on the items that you DO eat regularly so you know you'll have good food choices for the coming days and weeks.

Also think about breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and plan your shopping list and recipes accordingly!

Long-Lasting Fresh Foods

These items should keep for at least two weeks or more in your fridge or pantry. Also, remember that you can buy many fresh foods and freeze them for later, like berries and many vegetables, or turn them into freezer foods, like freezer burritos and casseroles.

  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Milk (check the expiration dates; now is the time to buy UHT milks and dairy)
  • Cheese (also freezes well!)
  • Butter (also freezes well!)
  • Tofu
  • Bread (also freezes well!)
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Hearty greens, like kale, collards, and spinach
  • Hard squashes, like acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges

Dry Pantry Items

  • Canned beans and dried beans
  • Chicken stock
  • Canned tuna and other canned fish
  • Pasta and rice noodles
  • Rice and other dry grains
  • Oatmeal
  • Canned and jarred vegetables, including diced tomatoes
  • Canned and jarred fruit
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts
  • Jarred tomato sauce
  • Cans of soup
  • Peanut butter and other nut butters
  • Olive oil and other cooking oil

Freezer Foods

  • Meat and seafood: chicken, ground beef, sausage, fish, shrimp, pork chops and tenderloin, chuck roast
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen fruit
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Frozen pasta, like tortellini, ravioli, and dumplings
  • Other favorite frozen prepared foods (looking at you, ice cream)
  • Best Beef Chili

    How to Stock Your Pantry for Emergencies (+ Recipes!) (1)

    Everyone needs a recipe for classic beef chili. Make this one your go-to! It's made with corn, peppers, tomatoes, and beans, and makes enough to freeze for later!

  • Tuna Patties

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    Quick, easy, delicious tuna patties! Best thing you can make with canned tuna. Kid-friendly, Budget-friendly.

  • Pasta Puttanesca

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    Pasta Puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta dish that's ready in under 40 minutes! Make it with canned tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, canned anchovies, jarred olives and capers. So simple and so good.

  • Pasta e fa*gioli

    A soup of many names, Pasta e fa*gioli, Pasta fa*gioli, or Pasta Fazool, this classic Italian soup of beans and short pasta with tomatoes and vegetables is a classic favorite.

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.

  • Black Bean Soup

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    This hearty black bean soup is what you need on a cold and dreary day! Made with ham shanks, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, onion, cumin, and chili.

  • Minestrone Soup

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    Minestrone soup is an Italian classic! This version is made with cannellini beans, chicken stock, cabbage, potato, zucchini, carrots, plum tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.

    9985

    Baked Ziti - classic Italian American comfort food of pasta baked with sausage, tomato sauce and all kinds of gooey, yummy cheeses. So EASY and so good!

  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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    The BEST homemade chicken noodle soup! This version is made from scratch, so it's light and nourishing. All the goodness from the chicken in one pot of soup. Just what you need to recover from a cold or the flu.

  • Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

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    Slow Cooker Chicken Chili is perfect for busy weeks! Make it with chicken thighs or breasts, onions, celery, black beans, frozen corn, chicken broth, tomato puree, and spices. Combine everything in a crockpot or slow cooker, and let it simmer all day while you're away.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.

  • Easy Shepherd's Pie

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    American favorite shepherd's pie recipe, casserole with ground beef, vegetables such as carrots, corn, and peas, topped with mashed potatoes.

  • How to Cook Rice on the Stovetop

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    Making white rice is easy! Avoid crunchy, mushy, or burned rice with these simple steps. Ready in under 30 minutes.

  • How to Cook Brown Rice

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    PERFECT brown rice! Slow and low is the way to go. Yes, it takes a little longer than white rice, but it’s not any harder. We have a few hacks to bump up flavor and ensure fluffy results.

  • How to Cook Dried Beans

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    Here is (literally) everything you need to know about cooking dried beans at home. With a few tips, beans are really so easy, and there are literally hundreds of ways you can use them! The texture can't be beat, and you can always freeze what you don't use.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.

  • How to Bake a Potato

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    Baked potatoes! The best ones happen the old fashioned-way: in the oven. Here’s the scoop on making perfect baked potatoes. (Spoiler alert: no foil!)

  • How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs: 3 Fool-Proof Ways

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    Perfect, easily-peeled hard boiled eggs can be surprisingly tricky to pull off, especially when you need to make a big batch for Easter or a summer potluck. Here are three different ways that we've found give us consistent results, every time. Pick one to try the next time you need hard boiled eggs!

  • How to Make Chicken Stock

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    Three tried and true methods for making GREAT homemade chicken stock. One method involves simmering a chicken carcass with vegetables. The other methods require sautéing chopped pieces of backs and wings first, before simmering with water and veggies.

  • How to Poach Chicken, the Quick and Easy Way

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    Poaching chicken is the EASIEST way to cook chicken for quick weeknight meals! Great for making shredded or sliced chicken for easy soups, lunch salads, burrito bowls, and more.

How to Stock Your Pantry for Emergencies (+ Recipes!) (2024)
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