Here's a meal plan for pantry recipes to get you through any situation. Including breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes relying on shelf-stable dried goods, canned foods and frozen food, like frozen cauliflower, frozen shrimp, frozen broccoli, frozen chicken and more.
You'll also find a meal plan grocery list and tips and tricks for stocking your pantry. Keep your kitchen stocked with these staples and you’ll always have at least one full week of pantry and freezer meals on hand!
There are many different reasons you may need to rely on a well-stocked pantry and freezer for a prolonged period of time. Unexpected events or unforeseen circumstances can keep you stuck at home or make it difficult to do your regular weekly grocery shopping.
Since these situations are unplanned, the key is being prepared. Or course, this doesn't mean you need to have a freezer and pantry stocked to feed a large crowd for three months. Instead, stock your pantry and freezer with versatile staple ingredients that you can use in a variety of simple pantry recipes that are easy to throw together.
With this in mind, here's a list of easy healthy pantry and freezer recipes you can turn to whenever you need them, as well as non-perishable items and frozen ingredients that you can use to proactively stock your kitchen.
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Tips & Tricks for Stocking Your Pantry & Freezer
Not all pantries and freezers are stocked equally. Here are a handful of tips and tricks I use to ensure that my pantry and freezer stays stocked with healthy and nutritious ingredients that I can use in a pinch:
- Buy frozen onions and peppers to use in place of fresh–this is especially good for soups, stews, chilis, sauces and basically any recipe that goes in the crock pot
- Buy frozen avocado chunks or freeze your own–this clever trick will help you whip up healthy smoothies or you can even thaw the avocado and make avocado tuna salad with canned tuna
- Freeze overripe bananas to use in smoothies and other recipes–you can also use them to make banana "ice cream" in the food processor (just cut into chunks and blend until smooth)
- Meal prep cauliflower rice in big batches–this is a really easy side dish or meal base for a variety of healthy cauliflower rice pantry recipes (for everything from Buddha bowls to casseroles)
- For shrimp recipes, you can use frozen shrimp–they thaw quickly in a bowl of cold water
- Buy some fresh vegetables and fruits that will keep longer (like sweet potatoes, butternut or spaghetti squash, lemons, limes, onions, garlic, carrots, and celery)
- Meal prep spaghetti squash and freeze in single portions to pair with Bolognese sauce
- Eggs keep pretty well in the fridge or freezer (separate yolks and whites before freezing). Here's a chart that explains how long.
And in terms of choosing recipes that use pantry and freezer ingredients, look for:
- Recipes with canned coconut milk
- Recipes with canned or jarred vegetables, sauces, salsas, and ghee
- Recipes with frozen fruit
- Recipes featuring vegetables that you can buy frozen (like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, butternut squash, bell peppers, onions, carrots, etc.)
And don't forget that you can roast frozen vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower–they're perfect for homemade soups. You can even use frozen cauliflower to make mashed cauliflower as a stand-in for mashed potatoes.
Remember, buying frozen veggies and fruit doesn't mean your ingredients are any less healthy. In most cases, frozen veggies and fruits are frozen at peak ripeness, meaning they're actually loaded with nutrients. Fresh has its perks, but in a pinch, frozen will do just fine.
Pantry & Freezer Meal Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Whether you're looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner recipes, here's an entire week's worth of recipes that you can make entirely with pantry and freezer staples.
Frozen fruit is a great alternative to the fresh serving of fruit you might be used to in kicking off your day. You can make these smoothies with frozen fruit and canned goods!
Here are 7 freezer and pantry breakfast recipes:
- Breakfast Sausage + Eggs (8 servings, sausage is freezer-friendly)
- Strawberry Coconut Smoothie (2 servings)
- Pumpkin Coconut Smoothie (2 servings)
- Chocolate Coconut Smoothie (2 servings)
- Key Lime Pie Smoothie (2 servings)
- Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes (2 servings)
- Gluten-Free 'Instant Oatmeal' (2 servings)
While soups are a great fail-safe for healthy lunch recipes that rely primarily on pantry and freezer staples, the avocado tuna salad is also a great choice. Grab some frozen avocado (or freeze your own!) and dig in.
Here are 7 healthy recipes that are perfect for lunch:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (4 servings)
- 10-Minute Tomato Soup (4 servings)
- Avocado Tuna Salad (4 servings)
- Sweet Potato Soup (4 servings)
- Easy Broccoli Soup (4 servings)
- Crock Pot Chicken Soup (4 servings)
- Cauliflower Celeriac Soup (4 servings)
Frozen meats–like chicken, shrimp, ground beef, turkey and pork–are the perfect solution to pantry and freezer cooking when dinner time rolls around. Best of all, most of these recipes require minimal hands-on cooking time. Making them a no-fuss meal to pull together if you're short on time or energy (or both).
Here are 7 healthy dinner ideas:
- Instant Pot Ribs (4 servings)
- Instant Pot Frozen Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice (4 servings)
- Homemade Meatloaf (4 servings)
- Crock Pot Cauliflower Chicken Chili (6 servings, leftovers are freezer-friendly)
- Crock Pot Turkey Bolognese Sauce with Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (6 servings, leftover sauce is freezer-friendly)
- Crock Pot Whole Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables (4 servings)
- Garlic Roasted Shrimp with Zoodles (4 servings)
Pantry & Freezer Meal Plan Grocery List
I'm a big fan of keeping a stocked pantry and freezer, not only does it make regular everyday cooking easier, but it also provides a little security should I not be able to get to the grocery store when I had originally planned.
This list may look like it includes a lot of produce, but a lot of it can be bought frozen or is freezer-friendly. Don't be afraid to buy fresh and freeze it yourself!
Here are the ingredients you'll need to pull together this pantry and freezer meal plan:
- 3 limes
- 4 lemons
- 5 celery stalks
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 2 cups celeriac
- 1 parsnip
- 15 cloves garlic
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 poblano pepper
- 9 carrots (or buy frozen)
- 1 red bell pepper (or buy frozen)
- 2 medium zucchini (or buy frozen zucchini noodles)
- 3 ⅓ avocado (or buy frozen)
- 1 large butternut squash (or buy frozen)
- 6 bananas (or use frozen)
- 6 onions (or buy frozen)
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 x 16-ounce bag plain frozen broccoli
- 2 x 16- ounce bag frozen cauliflower
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 organic chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
- 2 organic chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 10 boneless, skinless frozen chicken thighs
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 racks pork ribs baby back or St. Louis style ribs
- 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
- 1 whole chicken
- 8 ounces frozen peeled and deveined shrimp
- 12 eggs
- 2 x 28 oz can organic tomato puree
- 2 cups prepared salsa (sugar-free, paleo)
- 2 x 5 oz cooked or canned wild tuna
- 15 ½ cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 x 28 oz can whole tomatoes
- 2 x 6 oz can tomato paste
- pure maple syrup, to taste
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup organic pumpkin puree
- ⅔ - 1 cup cashew milk
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup + 4 tablespoons almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
Sauces, Oils & Vinegar
- 11 tablespoon ghee or organic extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons duck fat (or fat of choice)
- coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons rubbed sage
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked hot paprika
- 13 teaspoons sea salt
- 11 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
- 5 tablespoons chili or taco seasoning
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb blend
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (can substitute cinnamon and ginger)
- 2 scoops marine collagen
- fresh chives, cilantro or other herbs (you can easily grow your own herbs on a window sill)
- BBQ Sauce (store-bought or homemade sugar-free BBQ sauce)
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
Please note that I haven't included items like water or ice since you're likely to already have these at home.
There are also online grocery tools–like Instacart for delivery from your local store or online meat and organic grocery delivery services–that can help you get groceries to your home in a pinch. All of these online grocery services offer direct-to-door drop-off.
It's Time to Get Cooking!
Now you have a full pantry and freezer-friendly meal plan of recipes to refer to whenever you need it. Use it to stock up in advance so your family is always prepared, should you need to lean on your pantry and freezer to get you through a challenging time.
Looking for more recipe collections? Check out:
- 20 Quick & Easy Salmon Recipes - substitute thawed frozen wild salmon for fresh (here's where to buy salmon online)
- 20 Easy Ground Beef Recipes - many of these recipes are perfect for using up frozen ground beef
- 21 Easy Chicken Recipes for the Crock Pot - great no-fuss recipes to use frozen chicken (make sure to thaw it first!)
- 5 Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners - these are easy recipes that require only a handful of ingredients
- 15 Quick & Easy Shrimp Recipes - substitute thawed frozen shrimp for fresh
- 25 Healthy One Pot Meals - quick and easy meals that can be easily adapted to use pantry and freezer staples
- 10 Easy Paleo Muffins You Can Make This Weekend - many of these recipes can be made with dried or frozen fruit instead of fresh