5 Meal Prep Items You Can Make Using Only Pantry Staples

Today, we're using pantry staples to make some meal-prepping items, such as dry mixes, minute rice, and more. We’re going to be using what we have at home to save money, so we don’t have to worry about buying it at the store.

For example, we will make canned beans, using dried beans, to save money. Dried beans are a lot cheaper than canned, prepared beans. One one-pound bag of dried beans costs less than a can, and I can get about five jars of black beans out of it.

Let's get to stocking our pantry using pantry staples! I hope you enjoy.

How to make minute rice

1. Minute rice

I’m getting started on the minute rice. I’m going to cook regular white rice according to the package directions. Then, we will pop it in the dehydrator.

I always bought minute rice in bulk from Sam’s Club, because it’s definitely a favorite. It’s quick and easy and good to have in case of emergencies. So, now that I have my own dehydrator I’m excited to try it. 

Spreading out the rice

Since this was my first time, I used two cups, so I wouldn’t end up wasting a bunch. I put the rice in my dehydrator at 130 degrees for about 10 hours. First, I spread it as evenly as I could on my trays. 

Dehydrating rice

Then I popped them into the dehydrator and turned it on.

Dehydrated rice

After 10 hours, it was perfect. The grains were totally dry and it really did look like minute rice. The rice was clumped, so I had to break it up.

Once I put the rice in jars, I put the lids on and gave them a good shake, which helped break up the bigger clumps.

Minute rice in a jar

I’m just going to leave these on the counter and let them condition for the next week. I’m going to turn them every day and make sure there’s no moisture in there before I vacuum seal them.

Canning black beans

2. Canned beans

I had one jar of black beans left on my shelf. I definitely need to make more. I love canning beans. They’re so easy. If it comes to it, we could live off rice and beans.

Dry beans are really good to have on hand, but they take time to cook. In an emergency or when you need to eat quickly, having these beans on hand will help. You can easily throw them in different dishes to bulk them up and add protein.

Add beans, salt, and water to jars.

Placing jars in a pressure canner

Put the lids on the jars and place the sealed jars in a pressure canner with water and vinegar. 

Jars of black beans

Here they are all done. I’ll let them sit on the counter for 24 hours and then take the rings off, give them a good wash, label them, and put them in my pantry.

How to make pizza sauce at home

3. Pizza sauce

I used my last pizza sauce jar the other night so it was time to make more. I love the Mrs. Wages pizza sauce seasoning mix. I can’t wait until summer when we have fresh tomatoes, but that’s why we keep pantry staples on hand, like these cans of tomatoes.

It’s funny because Winston asked the other day why we are starting a garden and planting things we don’t eat. We’re not fans of raw veggies and don’t just cut up a tomato. But, I explained to him that I’m planting tomatoes to make tomato juice and sauce, diced tomatoes, pizza sauce, and ketchup.

I always try to keep big cans of tomatoes on hand to pair with Mrs. Wages, because that stuff is so good. 

Pour the canned tomatoes into a pot and add your seasoning (I’m using my Mrs. Wages).

Stirring the sauce

Stir the sauce over heat. 

Blending the pizza sauce

Blend it up. 

Ladling the pizza sauce into jars

Then, ladle it into jars 

Homemade pizza sauce


Placing the jars in a pressure canner

Place in the pressure canner. 

Seasoning for the onion soup mix

4. Onion soup mix

It’s time to restock my onion soup mix. I was getting low, so I pulled out all the ingredients. This onion soup mix is hands down my favorite.

I use a half cup of dry onion flakes, three teaspoons of parsley, two teaspoons of onion powder, one teaspoon of kosher salt, one teaspoon of paprika, one teaspoon of garlic powder, half a teaspoon of sugar, and an eighth of a teaspoon of black pepper.

Onion soup mix

Put the spice mix into the jar, shake it up, and label it.

When I first started making this, I vacuum-sealed it to seal in the freshness, but I went through it way too fast to even worry about it going bad. This time, I’m just putting the lid and ring on it and putting it in my cabinet.

How to make your own brownie mix

5. Brownie mix

Next, I'm going to make brownie mix. I love this recipe and can make three or four jars at a time. All you have to do is add the wet ingredients and get it baked. 

I’m adding the dry ingredients to the jar and giving them a mix. I make one recipe’s worth per jar. 

Adding a cupcake liner to the top

I’m adding a cupcake liner because they’re pretty full and this will help with food particles not getting into your vacuum sealer. 

Vacuum-sealing the brownie mix jars

I vacuum-seal these. 

Using pantry staples

When I vacuum-seal, I don’t add the ring. If it’s vacuum sealed, you should be able to pick up the lid, like you would if you processed a jar in a canner. I don’t use a ring on vacuum-sealed items because if the lid comes off, I want to know about it.

Using pantry staples

Using pantry staples to make basic recipes or recipe ingredients can save you money and help you provide for and feed your family. What are your go-to pantry staples? Let us know in the comments below.

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