More pantry meals

Wish I had a nice big pantry like this one. Once upon a time I lived in an old farmhouse that had a walk-in pantry with drawers, shelves, counters and a window!

Well, many of us are now sheltering at home, and living off what we have in our pantries, refrigerators and freezers. I added more meat to the freezer this week, and some additional canned goods, so I’m doing pretty well at the moment. I have been thinking about what I have available to eat if the fresh and frozen items become scarce.

This dish caught my eye, as it’s similar to dishes I have done in years past with canned tuna or chicken, canned soup or broth and whatever pasta and veg (fresh or canned) that I have available. Maybe you have too.


350g (¾ pound) uncooked macaroni (or ½ of our fresh pasta recipe
30 mL (2 Tbsp) oil
1 onion, diced
1-2 ribs celery, diced
45 mL (3 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
625 mL (2½ cups) chicken / vegetable stock or water
375 mL (1½) cups milk
2 cans (6 ounces each) tuna, turkey, salmon, etc drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas (or canned or fresh)
250 mL (1 cup) breadcrumbs / panko / crushed potato chips / crushed crackers
Salt and pepper to taste

NOTE: He also added sliced mushrooms, although they aren’t in the ingredients list.


Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Heat oil over medium-high; add onion and celery, cook until softened.

Add flour and whisk to coat vegetables with flour. Slowly whisk in stock, then milk.

Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened.

In a pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until barely cooked; drain.

Stir in pasta, tuna, and peas; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top with breadcrumbs or chips. Bake until crust is golden, about 20 minutes.

Noodles and pastas are often a good basis for a meal, or a side dish. A dish that my dad made when I was a kid was what he called noodles and breadcrumbs. It was simply cooked noodles combined with lots of melted butter, onions, and sauteed bread crumbs/croutons, then baked in the oven; he may have also added poultry seasoning. Grated cheese on top might be a nice addition.

Here is another recipe that would qualify. I got it from my son-in-law’s mother.

Sauerkraut mit Noodles

1 jar Sauerkraut (24-32 Ounce Jar) Or Fresh
2 sticks Butter (recipe as written; I use less)
1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
½ pounds Mushrooms, Sliced
½ pounds Egg Noodles, Dry
½ teaspoons Salt, Or To Taste
¼ teaspoons Pepper, Freshly Ground, Or To Taste


Drain and rinse sauerkraut. Place in a large saucepan, and add water just to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook 20 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion and sliced mushrooms and saute until tender, but not brown, 10 or 15 minutes. Add sauerkraut to mixture.

Using the same pan you used for the sauerkraut, cook noodles in boiling salted water. Drain and add to sauerkraut, onion and mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: My son-in-law’s mother often prepared this dish for potlucks or buffets. It is very good served at room temperature. Yes, I know it calls for a lot of butter, and I suppose you could reduce the quantity, but try it first as written. You could also use canned mushrooms.

Any other good suggestions for pantry meals?

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41 Responses to More pantry meals

  1. Menagerie says:

    Is it off topic to say I want that pantry? I have a pantry now, not large, but suitable for me. However, I the last year I have come to realize that if I were to build a house, I’d probably make the pantry much larger than the kitchen, and it would have a countertop full of outlets for small appliances like the toaster, crockpot, etc.

    I’m using up some noodles soon I think. I’ll toss in whatever meat I have along with broth and vegetables.

    Because I have some amount of frozen fruits, berries mostly, I have been cooking some muffins. I’ll use some now that it is warmer in smoothies and mixed with kefir. Muffins are bad enough, I don’t want to make cake with them.

    I used to make a fruit salad with a little sprite in it to sweeten up the berries a little, and I put some chopped pecans in, which I also have a lot of onhand. So, I might mix berries with a little kombucha and see if I can sneak that in on my husband.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Menagerie says:

    I bet that would be good with spaetlze. I have a half dozen or so packages of that I overbought on. I also have sauerkraut, just need to get mushrooms.

    Liked by 2 people

    • czarowniczy says:

      Spaetzle with a heavy garlic butter and mushrooms, maybe some white cheese grated on top.

      Liked by 3 people

    • stella says:

      I thought about spaetzle too, and I’ll bet that is how these dishes were made originally. I’m having sauerkraut and pork for dinner tonight. Maybe I’ll roast the rest of the butternut squash that is in the frig.

      Liked by 2 people

      • stella says:

        The noodles and breadcrumbs would be good with the pork too, but I have a surfeit of potatoes at the moment …

        Liked by 1 person

      • stella says:

        Dinner is good. I roasted butternut squash with oil spread on the cut side and sprinkled with 5-spice powder (cut side down). I never used that spice before on squash, and it is good. Cooked sauerkraut with apple slices, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. I forgot to add caraway seed, and almost burned it, but it’s good anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. czarowniczy says:

    Give your hubby my sympathies…kombucha, brrrrr…..I’ll have a Long Island ice tea, that’s fermented too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. auscitizenmom says:

    I would love to have that pantry. 🙂 However, it is bigger than my whole kitchen. I figure I can probably make it a whole month with what I have. After that, I will start losing weight.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. czarowniczy says:

    Our kitchen is our anchor, when we built we made it our entertainment center. We never regretted the pantry, especially after Katrina, that;’s what shaped our design. We had a tiny late-50s size coat closet-sized pantry with a few cupboards, adequate for day-to-day in the city but not in an out-of-the ordinary situation. The 6x12x10 one we built seemed a bit large but it’s been a blessing.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. stella says:

    Speaking of making do with what you have, I made tuna macaroni salad today. I usually put chopped sweet pickle in mine, but I don’t have any. I substituted some sliced olives and cut up a marinated artichoke heart along with chopped onion and celery. Low on mayo, so I mixed it with sour cream (I have plenty of that). Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. It is very different from what I usually make, but surprisingly good!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. czarina33 says:

    Hot naked spaghetti. Just add oil (olive, butter or whatever you like), smashed garlic (or garlic powder), a touch of salt and, if you desire, parmesan cheese.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pantience says:

    Oatmeal and any kind of beans –with a little salsa– is easy, filling, tasty & dang healthy.. .

    Liked by 1 person

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