With everything that is happening around the world right now, it’s important to have a stockpile of non-perishable foods ready just in case you need them. Once you have your food stored up, the next question is “what can I make out of all of this”? I have created a week’s worth of healthy dinners from your stockpile you can easily make out of your canned foods and non-perishable items.

What to Stockpile For An Emergency

Here are some non-perishable items that are inexpensive and perfect to keep on hand for emergency situations. You can get most of these from Publix or any other local grocery store.

  • Spaghetti noodles or pasta
  • Top ramen
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned beans
  • Canned Soup
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Rice
  • Boxed mashed potatoes
  • Boxed Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned chicken and tuna
  • Saltines or other crackers
  • Bag of lentils
  • Frozen Vegetables

I would also like to say the list below isn’t everything you will need to have on hand in case of an emergency.

You can get our full list of recommendations here:

For prepping on a budget: https://www.optimizedlife.com/prepping-for-covid19-on-a-budget/

For our full preppers list: https://www.optimizedlife.com/optimized-life-covid19-resource-center-and-latest-updates-free-access/

Keep in mind, these recipes are very simple. When you are in a situation where you actually need to use your stockpile, you will not be worried about the best flavors and ingredients.

1) Chili Macaroni

When I make a big batch of chili, I like to make a pound of macaroni noodles to add to it. The easiest way to make chili with what you have in your stockpile is to add a few cans of beans and diced tomatoes together. Then add your chili seasoning and let that simmer. Once it’s ready, put some elbow pasta in the bottom of your bowl then add chili. I don’t mix it all together because I don’t want the noodles to get soggy if I have leftovers but that my personal preference. This is a high fiber and high protein meal that is cheap and simple to make.

2) Vegetable Soup

Add frozen or canned vegetables to vegetable or chicken stock and let simmer. You can add small pasta to it to make minestrone soup. Serve with crackers.

3) Shepards Pie

Cook up some instant mashed potatoes and put in the bottom of a casserole dish. Combine cooked veggies (frozen or canned) with cream of mushroom soup. You can add ground beef if you have it and top with cheese. Cook together in the oven.

4) Chicken And Rice

Boil a whole chicken in a big pot of water. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken from water (save the broth). Remove meat off bones and add back into the broth. Add rice and cook until rice is done.

5) Rice & Beans

Make a pot of rice and stir in your favorite beans. I like to use seasoned black beans.

6) Simple Spaghetti

Cook spaghetti noodles and add in a jar of pasta sauce. Super simple! You can add ground beef or even hot dogs if you want to make it more kid-friendly.  

7) Tuna Casserole

Cook a pound of pasta shell or elbow pasta noodles.  Add in few cans of canned tuna, 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup, a can of peas and up to cup milk (or water if that’s all you have). Add in the cooked pasta. Place mixture into a casserole dish and top with cheese. Cook until hot and cheese is melted. Top with Ritz cracker crumbles (optional)

8) Hearty Lentil Soup

In a large pot, sautee onions until golden brown. Add carrots and celery and cook until tender (if you have them.) If not, just skip this step. Add 1 1/4 cups of lentils, one can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar, 4 cups of vegetable stock, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until ready. You can add more stock if needed to thin it out to make a soupy consistency.

If you have any leftovers, you can freeze it for another day or eat it for lunch the following day.

As a bonus, here are some ideas for breakfast and lunch using a few items in your stockpile.


  • Pancake mix and syrup
  • Bag of grits
  • Box of instant oatmeal
  • Cereal and boxed milk


  • Canned soup and add rice or pasta to make it more filling and hearty
  • PB&J Sandwich
  • Tuna and crackers
  • Top Ramen
  • Boxed Macaroni and cheese with hotdog pieces.

We would love to hear from you! What are some simple meals you make out of your stockpile?



  1. This is just what I was looking for – a checklist of food to have around the house as we are in a semi-lockdown here in Switzerland. It’s especially important since I have a hungry toddler to feed 🙂

  2. These recipes are great and just what everyone needs right now. I actually love tuna casserole, so I’ll be making that for sure!

  3. I pinned these ideas for later. I’m definitely going to need some new ideas during the next few weeks.

  4. These are some yummy ideas! Your vegetable soup looks delicious! My favorite bean to pair with beans and rice is red beans, it’s a southern classic!

  5. This post on the nonperishable items to stockpile and how they can be used in meals is so important right now. Yoi will help to make it easier to feed my family delicious, nutritious options.

  6. This is great, thank you. I’m definitely making some of these next week! Definitely need to stock pile because our store shelves are BARE!!!!

  7. That chicken and rice recipe looks super. I am accustomed to making it the Spanish way–but going to give this a try!

  8. These are great tips, I like all the ideas but my favorite are the rice and pasta. Very easy recipes to make

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