What a whirlwind month this has been. I started writing this when I was packing my apartment in the city, and people were still able to, you know, leave their homes. Now, I live in the suburbs, we’re becoming accustomed to our entire life being confined to the four walls of our new house, and I can’t barely remember a time when “screen time rules” didn’t elicit hysterical laughter from every mom I know.
Like many of you, I’m sure, the entire state of Illinois is on lockdown – officially the euphemistically named “shelter in place” – as a result of the coronavirus. What a memorable spring.
No one has been unaffected, especially when it comes to normal rituals like grocery shopping. For many weeks after the Shelter in Place went into effect in Illinois, food and supplies were scarce. Not famine scarce – not even close – but certainly first world scarce.
It was scary and anxiety-inducing, but as someone who has been a devotee of pantry and freezer cooking for years, I had to remind myself that I was well-equipped for this situation. And I want to help you feel that way too. I can confidently tell you, from years of experience, that there are plenty of recipes you can make with the pantry items you already have.
Whether you’re trying to pull dinner together with a near-empty fridge or you want to bake as an indoor, kid-friendly activity, there are plenty of recipes you can make using non-perishable items.
20 Recipes Made With Pantry Ingredients
Even when a half-empty fridge and freezer, you can still make a homemade meal. Below, you’ll find 20 gluten-free recipes made primarily from non perishable, pantry food items.
1. Apple Cider Vinaigrette
If you run out of salad dressing, there is absolutely no reason to run to the grocery store. This apple cider vinaigrette is made with ingredients already found in your cupboard, including olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, and spices. Simply combine in a mason jar and shake until well combined.
2. Nut Free Breakfast Cookies
Cookies for breakfast? These healthy (I promise) cookies are made with bananas, sunflower seed butter, monk fruit, eggs, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, raisins, and shredded coconut.
3. Homemade Fig Newtons
Don’t bother heading to the store for the packaged version, because these grain-free, naturally sweetened fig newtons are far better. Made with figs, orange zest, orange juice, and maple syrup for the filling, and an almond flour and coconut flour crust, you’ll find these ingredients already in your cupboard.
4. Paleo and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze
It may not be fall, but if you have an extra can of pumpkin puree stored in your cupboard, I highly recommend making this recipe. Made with almond flour, arrowroot, coconut sugar, pumpkin puree, and avocado oil, it’s a delicious treat to enjoy as dessert, or with your morning cup of coffee.
5. Mediterranean Tuna Salad
The butcher and seafood counter may be looking a bit sparse, but you can still enjoy a protein-packed meal using non-perishables. This Mediterranean tuna salad uses canned tuna, jarred sun dried tomatoes, celery, and shallots. Feel free to use dried basil instead of fresh if you don’t have any on hand.
6. Paleo and Gluten Free Waffles
With the exception of eggs, these gluten-free waffles are made entirely from pantry ingredients. With avocado oil (feel free to substitute olive oil), almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut sugar, and apple cider vinegar, they’re crunchy on the outside while soft on the inside.
7. Lemon Dijon Tuna Burgers
If you searched your freezer for a pound of ground beef or turkey and came up empty, try these for burger night. Made with canned tuna, coconut flour, dijon mustard, and lemon juice, these burgers are made entirely from non perishable ingredients.
8. Gluten Free Refrigerator Oatmeal
Even if you’re cooped up inside all week, prepping your meals can still make your WFH (work from home) life easier to manage. This refrigerator oatmeal can be prepared the night before, using rolled oats and canned coconut milk. Enjoy it the next morning as you prepare for those early-AM conference calls.
9. Gluten Free Skillet Cornbread
While many cornbread recipes use dairy milk (which expires in a week or less) this gluten-free, dairy-free version is made with canned coconut milk. Use gluten free, all-purpose flour, eggs, cornmeal, corn flour, and coconut oil for the remaining ingredients.
10. 20-Minute Curry Noodles
Rice noodles can be an excellent way to enjoy some of your favorite Asian-inspired dishes, even when not grabbing takeout. These curry noodles use canned coconut milk, lime juice, curry paste, and gluten free rice noodles. Feel free to use frozen veggies if you don’t have any fresh on hand.
11. Pistachio Orange Rice Pudding
Keeping a bag of rice on hand can prove incredibly useful during an “empty fridge” moment. This pistachio orange rice pudding can be enjoyed as breakfast or after-dinner treat, using brown rice, tapioca starch, pistachios, honey, and almond milk or coconut milk. Feel free to substitute orange juice or zest for the orange blossom water, or omit entirely.
12. Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies for Your Non Paleo Friends
Your “non paleo” friends will never know these chocolate chip cookies are grain free. Made with almond flour, coconut sugar, maple syrup, chocolate chips, and coconut flour, you can find all the necessary ingredients stocked in your kitchen.
13. Lemon and Green Pea Risotto
If you have a box of vegetable broth and arborio rice in your cupboards, you can certainly whip up this dish for an entree or side. Plus, you can make this recipe with frozen peas (or other frozen vegetables) rather than fresh.
14. Chocolate Paleola
Looking for a hearty, delicious homemade breakfast cereal? This paleo granola is made from ingredients you’ll find in your cupboards, such as nuts, cacao powder, shredded coconut, nut/seed butter, and coconut oil. For non perishable toppings, consider adding dried fruit or chocolate chips.
15. Edible Cookie Dough
If you’re out of milk, eggs, or other perishable items, you can still enjoy a sweet treat. This edible cookie dough is made from 100% non perishable ingredients, including coconut flour, flax meal, creamy almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and coconut milk (or other milk of choice).
16. Tropical Hempseed Granola
Made with macadamia nuts, cashews, shredded coconut, and dried tropical fruit, the ingredients in this granola can all be found in your cupboards. To hold it together, use a blend of coconut oil, maple syrup, and your favorite nut/seed butter of choice.
17. Paleo Death by Chocolate Cake
If you’re really craving an indulgent treat, this moist, perfectly sweet chocolate cake will do the trick. You’ll need cocoa powder, arrowroot flour, avocado oil, eggs, coconut sugar, and almond flour for the batter. The buttercream frosting is optional, if you don’t have a lot of butter. In a pinch, finish the cake with chocolate ganache instead.
18. Quinoa Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Capers, and Pine Nuts
To make this recipe from all non perishable items, simply swap the grape tomatoes for sundried tomatoes. If you don’t have quinoa spaghetti in your pantry, use four servings of another gluten free noodle of choice.
19. No-Bake Chocolate Macaroons
While some macaroons use egg whites (like these funfetti macaroons and this peppermint version), this variety gets along without. Combine shredded coconut, chocolate hips, coconut oil, and vanilla for an easy, no-bake treat.
20. Grain Free Gnocchi
If you have a box of pizza dough stashed in your cupboards, you can make this homemade gnocchi by combining it with potato puree (or squash or pumpkin). Top it with a jar of pasta sauce, or make your homemade marinara sauce using this recipe.
You Can Pull Dinner Together Using Non-Perishable Food Items
For the nights where you think, “I have nothing to eat,” remember that canned tuna, coconut milk, rice, and oatmeal go a long way. Pasta dishes, tuna burgers, and risotto are just a few main courses you can whip up in a pinch — even when your fridge looks pretty sparse.
Be sure to use the “search” filter at the top right-hand corner of this website to search for recipes containing your non-perishable items. And check back here next week when I share recipes that can be made with frozen items.