Making Basic Pantry Staples At Home {Recipes Included}

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Moms go through a lot of food in the pantry when they have growing littles ones. A LOT. Maybe you run out of something last minute, or it’s late and no stores are open. Perhaps you have fresh ingredients about to go bad, or your local store had a really good sale.

Whatever the reason, you’re in a situation where your pantry is missing some important staples.

pantry

Well, good news! Most of those pantry staples are super easy to make! And not only that, you can 100% control what goes into them. Don’t want a lot of sugar? Cut it in half or omit completely. Prefer cinnamon bread instead of regular? Add cinnamon! The choices are endless.

Below you will find some of my basic go-to recipes for pantry staples that can be customized to the needs of your family!

Basic Bread 

Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of warm water (hot tap water works fine)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 packet of yeast
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Directions

    1. Mix together hot tap water, sugar, and yeast, then stir. This can be done in a medium-sized bowl or a stand mixer. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom.
    2. Mix in vegetable oil, salt, and flour to yeast mixture.
    3. If using a stand mixer, attach a dough hook. Slowly add one cup of flour at a time until fully incorporated. If using a hand mixer, combine these ingredients and then knead by hand.
    4. Mix or knead for a few minutes until dough clings to the bread hook and doesn’t stick to the bowl. After that, mix for another 3-4 minutes until no longer sticky.
    5. Remove the dough from the hook, put in a lightly greased bowl, and cover with a kitchen towel.
    6. Turn on the light in your oven, and place the bowl with the dough and towel in the oven for about 1.5 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
    7. Once risen, punch (yes, punch) the dough down. Shape into a long oval shape while tucking the seams underneath.
    8. Lightly grease a loaf pan and place the dough seam side down in the pan.
    9. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise a second time in the pan for about 1 hour or until doubled.
    10. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

You can add mix-ins to make it flavored, but cannot substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose. That’s a whole different recipe! Below is a risen, unbaked loaf of cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread so you can have a visual of how high it needs to rise.

An unbaked loaf of pull apart cinnamon bread in a pan.

Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

    • 3-4 pounds of Roma tomatoes
    • 5 cloves of garlic
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon dried basil
    • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

    1. Wash tomatoes and cut each one into four pieces. Place in a large bowl.
    2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and place mixture in a 9×13 baking dish.
    3. Roast at 375 degrees for an hour, stirring mixture halfway through. Keep an eye on it for the last half hour to make sure the tomatoes and garlic don’t burn. If they start to, stir again.
    4. Once finished mash together with a potato masher for a chunky sauce, or blend in batches for a smoother sauce. *If it’s too thick, thin out a little bit with pasta water.

This can be refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen for 1 month.

A sheet pan of freshly roasted tomatoes and garlic ready to be made into pasta sauce.

Applesauce

Ingredients:

    • 3-4 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and diced into about 1-inch x 1-inch pieces
    • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (more or less to taste)
    • 1/3 cup of brown sugar (adjustable and optional, omit if using sweet apples)
    • Water

Directions:

    1. Place cut apples in a large, heavy-bottom pot or Instant Pot.
    2. Add in the cinnamon and sugar, then stir.
    3. Add enough water to almost cover apples. It should be enough to have the water peek through, but not to be fully submerged.
    4. Boil apples until soft, or close Instant Pot lid, turn the knob to sealing, and press manual button and set to 5 minutes.
    5. If using Instant Pot naturally release pressure.
    6. Once apples are soft mash with a potato masher to the desired consistency. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tart apples like Granny Smith aren’t the best for applesauce. Try to use Fuji, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, or any similar sweet apple.

Fresh peeled Pink Lady apples ready to be cut and made into homemade applesauce.

Pie Crust (Makes 2)

Ingredients:

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter cut into small squares
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon vinegar (trust me, it makes the dough flaky, and you won’t taste it)

Directions:

    1. Add flour, salt, and sugar to a medium-sized bowl and whisked together.
    2. Use a pastry cutter or fork to mix in the cold butter. You want it to resemble pea-sized pieces. (Tip: cut butter into chunks and place in the fridge until ready to keep it cold)
    3. Beat the egg lightly, then add it to the flour mixture along with the water and vinegar. Mix just until the dough comes together without over-mixing. *You might need a bit more water to make everything come together, but add it 1 teaspoon at a time.
    4. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape into a disk, then wrap with plastic wrap. Put the dough in the fridge until chilled completely, about 30 minutes.

At this point, it is ready to be used for your recipes such as pie or quiche. You can refrigerate these for up to 5 days, or freeze in a freezer-safe bag for 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator and keep cold before rolling out.

A fresh quiche made with homemade pie crust, potatoes, bacon, cheese, and green onions.

Toilet Paper

Ingredients:

    • Ok, just kidding. I’ve got nothing for this one, but if someone could figure it out, they would be a billionaire.

Whatever your reason is, these simple pantry recipes are great to keep in your back pocket for those times when you need them.

Looking for more pantry recipes to try at home? Check these out!

4 Things to Make in the Instant Pot 
Instant Pot Yogurt 
Meal Planning Ideas and Recipes
5 Simple Crock Pot Recipes
10 Easy Leftover Ham Recipes

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