Recipes for Pantry Staples and Shelf Cooking

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Looking for some recipes to use up your pantry staples you have an abundance of? Here is a round-up of several recipes for breakfast, main dishes, sides, snacks, and desserts to get you started shelf cooking!

If you’re needing easy recipes to make homemade, delicious, and nutritious meals with pantry staples…….I’ve got you covered.

Cooking from what you already have on hand may be new to some of you but it’s been around for years. It’s how my grandma and mom cooked and it’s called shelf cooking by some.


Keep in mind you can substitute many ingredients if you don’t have exactly what is called for in the recipe. It’s time to get creative and improvise!

If the recipe is calling for chili beans in chili sauce but all you have are black beans or pinto beans then by all means use those. Just add in extra seasonings that would otherwise come from the chili sauce. Like chili powder, cumin, onion, and garlic powder.

If your recipe is calling for canned chicken but all you have is frozen then cook a chicken breast and shred it yourself instead.

Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables can usually be interchangeable depending on the cooking situation. Obviously, fresh will require a longer cooking time because canned and frozen have already been cooked and just need to be reheated so keep that in mind when making recipes.

Main Dishes


Snacks and Desserts

What to stock my pantry with?

You can prepare basic meals with little planning ahead if you keep these essentials in your kitchen. These are the basics needed to stock a pantry/refrigerator/freezer and are the foundation of many meals found on Countryside Cravings. 


  • All purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar: white and brown
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder


  • Salt
  • Seasoned salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Dried oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne powder 
  • Paprika
  • Ground Cinnamon


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar


  • Ketchup
  • Mustard: regular, dijon
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce

Canned goods:

  • Broths/stocks: chicken, beef, vegetable
  • Beans: pinto, chili, black
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes: diced, crushed, sauce, paste
  • Tuna
  • Pasta sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam/jelly
  • Syrup
  • Honey


  • Rice: Long grain white rice, brown rice (or if you prefer- minute rice)
  • Pasta: macaroni, spaghetti, egg noodles
  • Old fashioned oats


  • Cheese: cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Buttermilk


  • Chicken: breasts, thighs or whole
  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Packaged vegetables of choice
  • Packaged fruit of choice

Fresh Produce:

  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Packaged salad greens
  • Some fresh fruit such as: bananas, apples, and oranges

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