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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pantry Cooking

Yesterday I mentioned pantry cooking. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the word, it means to make meals from your pantry (and fridge and freezer) instead of going grocery shopping. It's a great way to use up the items that got pushed to the back of the shelf or hidden under other items in the freezer, as well as a way to save money by not shopping that week. If your typical grocery budget is $100 weekly and you are able to not go shopping for a week that is an extra $100 in your pocket.

The past couple weeks I have been doing a lot of pantry cooking and spending way less at the grocery store because of it. Using up pasta from the shelves, chicken from the freezer, frozen vegetables and canned goods has helped me use up items before they went bad and saved us some money which we were able to use in other areas.

I recently ran across two bean recipes at The Path to Frugality which called for ingredients that I already had on hand and usually have on hand. I love recipes like these! My husband is not a big bean fan but even he liked both of these recipes. I thought I would share here but I suggest you visit Martha over at her blog as she will be posting more pantry recipes as well!

Hungry Boys' Casserole
1 lb. hamburger
1 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (or substitute dried minced garlic)
1 can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 - 1 lb. cans pork n beans, undrained
1 tomato paste can full of water
Brown the hamburger with the celery, onion and garlic til hamburger is cooked and vegetables are tender. Drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Pour into a casserole dish (I use an 11 x 7 inch rectangular pan). Top with drop biscuits (recipe follows).
1 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup margarine
1/2 cup milk
Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the margarine. Add the milk and stir into a dough. Drop by tablespoons on top of bean mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Chili Beef Casserole
1 lb. ground beef (or less)
1 small onion chopped
1 16 oz. can pork n beans, undrained
1 can corn, undrained
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cups corn chips OR cornbread batter
1/2 cup (or less) shredded cheese - can be optional
In skillet brown ground beef with onion, rinse or drain the fat. Add the beans, corn, and chili powder. Pour into a casserole dish and top with the corn chips OR make a cornbread batter from 1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix OR do as I do and make your own cornbread batter from scratch. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

What is your favorite pantry meal?


  1. thanks so muh for the zaza couture dress! it's adorable on my niece's daughter. the first time she wore it, she twirled around until she was "baby drunk". she wants to wear it everyday! thanks again!

  2. Lee, so glad that it fits and that she loves it! It is such a pretty dress and I bet your neice looks adorable in anything! :)

  3. Here is a pantry meal we enjoy and had tonight, in fact.
    Prepare a box of stuffing mix, without the butter, add 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, a can of mushroom soup, and 2 cups of zucchini cut in 1" cubes. I usually add some diced onion. It is a good use for zucchini that has been cubed and frozen. I usually have cooked and cubed chicken frozen, too.

    Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, depending on how you prefer the vegetables. I have substituted frozen green beans or peas for the zucchini.


  4. Another good, inexpensive meal is to use eggs to make a meal, using leftovers, such as rice, potatoes, vegetables, maybe even small, cooked pasta or cut-up spaghetti. Heat the leftovers, pour beaten eggs over, and scramble the eggs. You could add any meats, as well. Season well with salt and pepper. You can add cheese at the end and allow it to melt before serving. When I use rice, I usually season as for fried rice.


  5. Thank you for the recipes, Carol, they sound delish! We will be trying these soon (and luckily, they are all things that I typically have on hand at all times!).



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