10 (more) Delicious meals in a bag using shelf-stable ingredients

I first started looking into meals in a bag after the wonderful year of 2020 and realizing that anything can happen. Then when busy nights with school, work and extracurricular activities all blend together, having meals in a bag just makes sense!

1. Pasta Primavera:


  • Pasta
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned mushrooms
  • Canned olives
  • Basil – dried
  • Oregano – dried
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and toss with canned tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, and seasonings. Heat through and serve.

2. Quinoa Salad


  • Quinoa
  • Canned beans – I like black beans, but chickpeas also work great
  • Canned corn
  • Diced tomatoes (canned or jarred
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar – I like apple cider, but you can also use balsamic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley – dried
  • Cilantro – dried

Directions: Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Mix with drained beans, corn, diced tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs. Chill and serve as a refreshing salad.

3. Chickpea Curry:


  • Canned chickpeas
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Curry powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rice

Directions: In a pot, combine chickpeas, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Simmer until flavors meld. Serve over cooked rice.

4. Tuna Pasta Salad:


  • Canned tuna
  • Pasta shells or elbow macaroni
  • Mayonnaise – enough to cover everything. Start with a scoop and add more if needed.
  • Mustard – just a squirt
  • Pickles (canned or jarred)
  • Celery flakes – dried
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and mix with drained tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, chopped pickles, celery, salt, and pepper. Chill and serve as a hearty salad.

5. Bean and Rice Burritos:


  • Canned refried beans
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Tortillas
  • Queso cheese
  • Salsa

Instructions: Heat refried beans, black beans, and diced tomatoes in a skillet. Spoon onto tortillas, top with cheese and salsa if desired. Roll up and serve.

6. Lentil Soup:


  • Dried lentils
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Dried onion flakes
  • Dried garlic flakes
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried bay leaves
  • Vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Rinse lentils and combine with diced tomatoes, onion flakes, garlic flakes, thyme, bay leaves, broth powder, salt, and pepper in a pot. Add water and simmer until lentils are tender. Adjust seasoning and serve.

7. Instant Noodle Stir-Fry:


  • Instant ramen noodles
  • Canned mixed vegetables
  • Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Sesame oil – squirt
  • Dried ginger powder
  • Dried garlic powder
  • Sesame seeds (optional).

Directions: Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and stir-fry with mixed vegetables, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger powder, and garlic powder until heated through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

8. Couscous Salad:


  • Couscous
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • Dried basil
  • Dried parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Prepare couscous according to package instructions. Mix with drained chickpeas, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve chilled.

9. Chili Mac and Cheese:


  • Boxed macaroni and cheese
  • Canned chili

Directions: Prepare macaroni and cheese according to package instructions. Heat canned chili separately and serve over prepared macaroni and cheese.

10. Instant Oatmeal with Dried Fruit:


  • Instant oatmeal packets (variety of flavors)
  • Dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, apricots)
  • Brown sugar (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Directions: Prepare instant oatmeal according to packet instructions. Stir in dried fruit, brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste.

These 10 meal ideas demonstrate how easy it is to create delicious and nutritious meals using shelf-stable ingredients stored conveniently in a bag. Whether you’re preparing for emergencies, enjoying outdoor adventures, or simply seeking quick meal solutions at home, these recipes are versatile, satisfying, and require minimal effort. Stock up on these pantry essentials and enjoy homemade meals wherever you go!

Make your own meals in a bag.

These meals in a bag are so easy to make and as an added bonus, they are so customizable. You can take any recipe your family loves, trade out perishables for a shelf stable substitute, and bam you now have a shelf stable meal your family will eat.


Thanks for being here, in this space with me. I wish I had learned how to cook when I was younger, but I didn’t. So this is my way to have things accessible for my kids, whenever they are ready to learn.

Let’s be friends! You can find me on find me on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube.

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