25 Easy Pantry Recipes to Make During the Quarantine
This is a collection of easy Mexican recipes you can cook using many of the items you have on hand in your pantry.
Around the world, people are receiving orders to shelter in place for a couple of weeks or more, leaving most families with no food other than what’s in their pantry. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of easy Mexican recipes you can make to feed your family during the quarantine, using ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboards.
In Mexico, there are a couple of essential items that people often have in their pantries, including rice, dried pasta (often “fideos”), flour, masa harina, dried beans, sugar, and oil. Canned items include canned tuna, pickled jalapeños, a can of chipotles in adobo, and perhaps some canned black beans. These are all items that are cheap, versatile, and mostly non-perishable. I recommend you keep some of them at home.
Below is a list of recipes you can make with these and other ingredients.
Mexican Breakfast Recipes:
Several quick meals you can make using masa harina include Tlacoyos (oval-shaped patties stuffed with beans), Bocoles (corn masa cakes), and Picaditas (similar to “sopes”). You can top all of these with crumbled cheese and the salsa of your choice. To wash everything down, there’s nothing like a hot glass of Café Lechero, a popular coffee drink from Veracruz.
If you’re looking for a breakfast full of fiber, then look no further than a bowl of Mexican Oatmeal. It’s a creamy texture and cinnamon aroma make this oatmeal a delicious start to your day. I recommend you enjoy it with a slice of toast with a little butter spread on it, this is how we serve it at home (we can’t have it any other way!).
For those running short on time, a hot cup of White Atole (or any atole, for that matter) will keep you full of energy through the morning and beyond.
Mexican Lunch Pantry Recipes:
One of the easiest and most fool-proof recipes I make in my kitchen is Chipotle Tuna Sandwich. I usually make this sandwich when we’re in a hurry, but I still know that everyone will be delighted with it. It’s perfect for those days when you don’t feel like spending too much time cooking, and a bonus is that you don’t get that many dishes dirty.
When it comes to soups, there are many recipes you can make using dry ingredients in your pantry, like Lentil Soup, Fideo Soup, and Wheel Pasta Soup. You can make Vegetable Soup using canned or frozen vegetables, but if you have fresh veggies available, by all means, use them (it will taste much better!).
If you’re looking for a quick vegetarian lunch idea, I highly recommend you check out my recipe for Black Bean Tostadas. You can top them with cheese, vegetables, salsa, or whatever your heart desires!
Mexican Dinner Pantry Recipes:
Enchiladas are an iconic Mexican dinner, and they are flexible in that they can be stuffed with shredded chicken or simply crumbled cheese. Recipes on the blog include Red Enchiladas, Green Enchiladas (Swiss Enchiladas), Cream Enchiladas, Enfrijoladas (Black Bean Enchiladas), and Pinto Bean Enchiladas. If you have some leftover mole (or a jar of mole sauce), you can use it to make Enmoladas (Mole Enchiladas) or Mole Casserole.
For all you pasta lovers, you can check out my recipes for Chipotle Ground Beef Pasta, Pasta with Chorizo, and Spaghetti con Crema. And, of course, you can never go wrong with Mac and Cheese, especially with the kids at home!
Any good Mexican dish often includes a side of rice, so make sure to take a look at my recipe for Mexican Red Rice (use this recipe if you don’t have tomato). You can also combine rice and beans in a dish called Moros y Cristianos (Black Beans and Rice).
In case you have assorted leftover meat products, you might want to take a look at Charro Beans Soup (Frijoles Charros). A hearty soup popular in northern Mexico, it can include bacon, sausage, chorizo, and even steak and chicharrones (pork cracklings).
Finally, your family will be having a lot more movie nights and game nights at home, and what better way to enjoy them than with a plate full of Mexican Nachos!
If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth without going out, here are a couple of sweet recipes you can make with what you have in your pantry.
Sweet Griddle Cookies (also called Gorditas de Harina or Gorditas de Azucar) are a perfect sweet treat that requires no baking. My mother used to make these cookies for breakfast or as a late afternoon snack, served with a glass of milk (they also go well with coffee). I used to make these for my son when he was little, and he still loves them today!
If you have a lot of rice in stock at the moment, then making Mexican Rice Pudding is a no brainer. Another cold dessert I recommend is Carlota de Limon, which is a great recipe to make with the kids using cereal instead of cookies.
For a lighter sweet treat, I like to make Baked Sweet Potatoes with Honey, and if you’re looking for a dessert that takes the least amount of time to make, and if you have those ingredients in your fridge, nothing beats the classic Fresas con Crema (Mexican Strawberries and Cream).
I hope that this list of Pantry recipes can help you stay happy and well-fed during these trying times. Keep on cooking, and remember to stay safe!