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9 Delicious Quarantine Meals Made With Canned & Dried Foods

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Delicious Quarantine Meals

Whether you are stuck at home needing a tasty meal, or your pantry just needs a good clear-out, why not get creative with some new recipes. In good times and bad, cooking with a loved one or sitting down to share a delicious dish with family can bring us together and make things feel a bit more normal. 

No matter the context, whether it’s a pandemic, snowstorm, natural disaster, or power outage…you’ll be able to get all of your nutritional needs from your pantry (and a few optional fresh ingredients, if you have them).

With plenty of energizing protein, nourishing vitamins, and healthy fats, you’ll be amazed at how well you can eat with these basic and humble pantry items.

Here are our top recommendations for delicious meals using canned and dried foods, including a few ideas for sweet treats to enjoy afterward.

Sriracha Tuna Bowl

Featuring canned tuna and that brown rice you found in the back of the cupboard, this is pantry food taken to new heights. You’ll enjoy a solid serving of protein and fiber, all drizzled in a flavorful sauce that’s to die for.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1 bowl

Ingredients

Sriracha Mayo Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar

(If you want to keep this recipe extra simple, use only the mayonnaise and Sriracha)

Tuna Bowl

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 (5 oz) can tuna, drained
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Shredded carrots
  • Sliced avocado

(If you’re out of fresh veggies, use canned or frozen)

Other optional toppings, all from your pantry

  • Sesame seeds
  • Pickled ginger
  • Jalapeños
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Drizzle of sesame oil

Instructions:

Sriracha Mayo Dressing

  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.

Tuna Bowl

  1. Place all ingredients (including optional toppings, if desired) into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Pour on the dressing, to taste.
  3. Toss to combine.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Easy Chickpea Curry

This Indian-inspired chickpea curry recipe uses a few shortcuts so you can have maximum flavor in minimal amounts of time.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound potatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large onion, diced (substitute onion powder)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (substitute crushed garlic from a jar, or garlic powder)
  • 1 melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • Basmati rice, to serve

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot, cover potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook potatoes until they are tender.
  2. Drain potatoes and set aside.
  3. If you want to serve your curry over rice, begin cooking rice while you prepare the curry.
  4. In a large pot add coconut oil, garlic, and onions. Cook onions until translucent.
  5. Add curry powder, garam masala, ground ginger, cumin, and salt to onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes until onions are covered in spices.
  6. Add condensed tomato soup. Fill the empty tomato soup can with milk and add milk to the pot. Cook briefly, allowing flavors to combine while stirring.
  7. Add chickpeas and potatoes to the sauce. Increase heat to high, and stir to combine until the curry starts to simmer.
  8. Reduce heat to low and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Serve over basmati rice.

Creamy Italian White Bean Soup

This hearty and healthy soup is a favorite with friends and family and comes together with just a few ingredients. Try it! We’re positive you’ll be pleased. 

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 (16 oz) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

(Substitute frozen vegetables if you don’t have fresh ones on hand)

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Cook onion and celery in oil for 5 minutes, until tender. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, continually stirring. Stir in beans, chicken broth, pepper, thyme, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. With a slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of the bean and vegetable mixture from the soup and set aside.
  3. In a heat-proof blender or using a stick blender, blend the remaining soup until smooth. Once blended, pour the soup back into the stockpot and stir in the reserved beans.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped spinach and cook for 1 minute or until spinach is wilted. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. 
  5. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Ham Protein Salad

Satisfyingly creamy and crunchy, this savory protein-rich salad stands on its own or makes a delicious side dish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pink beans
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 can ham
  • Italian dressing, to drizzle 

Instructions:

  1. Chop the ham, lettuce, and celery into bite-size chunks.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the beans, romaine lettuce, celery, ham, and Italian dressing until well-combined.
  4. Add salt to taste, and enjoy.

Quinoa Salad with Salmon

This nutrient-dense quinoa salad is an ideal side dish for the spring and summer months. It is best served chilled, and you can top it off with some pink salmon to make a meal of it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Canned vegetable stock (optional)
  • 1 can pink salmon
  • 4 cups kale (substitute frozen spinach or green beans if needed)
  • 3/4 can black beans
  • 3/4 can corn
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (or use canned tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • Grated cheddar cheese, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the quinoa for about 20 minutes. If you like a bit more flavor, cook it in vegetable stock instead of water.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, drain, rinse, and mix together the black beans, corn, and tomatoes. Chop the red onion and green pepper and add to the bowl.
  3. When the quinoa is nearly done cooking, wilt the kale (about 2 minutes) in a saute pan. Drizzle some lemon on it for flavoring.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa and kale to the bowl. Top with salmon, avocado slices and cheese.

Pantry Puttanesca

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca is an Italian pasta dish invented in Naples in the mid-20th century. Cook up this classic sauce in one pan, then toss with spaghetti for a simple midweek meal. It’s budget-friendly too, making it a great meal for the family.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 box chickpea pasta
  • 2 cans tuna
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, optional

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling. Cook penne pasta as directed on the label.
  2. Heat tuna and crushed red pepper in a medium-size pot on medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the marinara sauce, chopped Kalamata olives, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the cooked pasta to the pot of sauce along with torn fresh basil leaves.
  5. Toss until pasta is well coated. Serve hot and enjoy.

Cherry Clafoutis

Clafoutis is a traditional dessert from the Limousin region of France during the peak cherry season and is often served as a breakfast dish. Although it sounds fancy, it is an easy dessert using fruit suspended in a batter similar to that used for crepes.  Substitute a pound of pitted plums, peaches, berries, sliced apples, or any other fresh or frozen fruit if you wish. Just be sure to thaw and drain fruit before using.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6-8 slices 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 eggs (substitute with chia egg if needed)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 Tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 pound sweet cherries, stoned or pitted (or other fruit of choice)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter an ovenproof dish, deep-dish pie plate, or cast-iron skillet (at least 1 1/2- inches deep).
  2. Place eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, brandy, flour, and almond milk in a blender: puree until smooth.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the cherries with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and place three-quarters of the cherries in the bottom of the baking dish.  Pour the batter over the fruit; arrange the remaining cherries on top.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is brown and a knife inserted into the middle of the dish comes out clean. You can be sure the cake is done when the internal temperature registers approximately 160 degrees F on your cooking thermometer.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving (don’t be worried if you see the cake sink slightly). 

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies

Who knew you could enjoy a healthy vegetable-infused dessert that tastes this good, and comes from your pantry? Everyone will enjoy this crowd-pleasing chocolatey treat.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 12 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • 6 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder 
  • Dark chocolate chips, optional
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine the sugar, butter, pumpkin, and water in a large bowl. 
  3. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract. 
  4. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, then stir this into the sugar mixture. 
  5. Spread the batter into your prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. 
  7. Cut into bars, and store in an airtight container.

There you have it, several tasty recipes you can keep on hand, all using easy and affordable dried and canned food items. What will you have for dinner tonight?

-The Well Daily Team