Cooking Out of Your Pantry

Happy Spring 2020! Today and in the upcoming weeks I will be sharing some meal suggestions with common items you may have in your pantry, freezer, and cupboards. Personally after 40+ days of being in “lockdown” I’ve been fortunate that I have not felt desperate for a lack of items to be able to pull a meal together.

My pantry stock goes up and down over the months. I always try to pick up an extra can or two of something to have on hand “just in case” on regular basis, but now that going to the grocery is more of challenge than before and availability may be scarce on an item from time to time I’m trying to build a better cushion. Also, in the back of my mind is hurricane season is right around the corner and I want to be prepared with common ready to eat items in case we find ourselves without power for any length of time.

Two protein items I like to have on hand are canned chicken and tuna. I prefer good old “regular” canned tuna in water or oil, but I’ve noticed there is a large selection of pre-seasoned, ready to eat varieties available if that’s something you like.

Here are some of my favorite dishes. Almost everything I make is done by memory and I rarely follow a recipe, however, if you rely on recipes there are thousands of websites to help you along. One thing I’ve learned is that recipes are basically a framework or guide to preparing a dish. Don’t be afraid to omit what you don’t like or don’t have in a recipe or to substitute something else if you prefer. Keep it simple!

Canned Tuna

Tuna salad for sandwiches, in a wrap, on crackers
Tuna drained in a salad
Tuna macaroni salad
Tuna noodle casserole
Tuna macaroni and cheese
Tuna rice casserole
Tuna cheeseball
Tuna burgers/patties
Tuna melt
Tuna (plain or salad style) stuffed in a tomato or avocado

Canned Chicken
Chicken salad for sandwiches, wrap, or on crackers
Chicken cheeseballs or dip
Chicken noodle/pasta casserole
Buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese
Chicken rice casserole
Chicken cakes (similar to crab cakes)
Chicken noodle soup
Chicken taco soup
Chicken rice soup
White chicken chili

What’s in YOUR Pantry?

Canned Proteins: tuna, chicken, salmon, Vienna sausages, SPAM

Canned Vegetables: green beans, peas, corn, mixed vegetable, your favorite canned vegetable, chili beans, black beans, cannelini beans, baked beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste
Canned Soups: tomato, vegetable, cream of anything
Instant Potatoes
Varieties of pasta
Spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, taco sauce
Bouillon, spices, seasonings



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