Earlier this week, I shared 50 pantry-friendly savory recipes and a printable pantry ingredient checklist. I hope you’re finding them helpful.
Today, I thought I’d share recipes that are simple DIY versions of building blocks we often grab at the store. You’ll find salsa, salad dressing, pancake mix and more—even homemade cold brew coffee.
You may be accustomed to making these recipes already, but if not, I think you’ll become a convert. Since these homemade options are freshly made from scratch, they taste much better than store-bought options! You’ll be surprised by how easy they are to make.
I hope this post saves you a trip to the store. Let me know what’s missing in the comments, and I’ll get to work on a recipe solution.
- Savory Essentials
- Breakfasts & Sweet Treats
- A Couple of Snacks to Get You Through
- How to Stretch Your Pantry (Easy Baking Substitutions)
Creamy Homemade Hummus
If you haven’t made this hummus recipe yet, you have really been missing out. It’s creamy, dreamy, and as good as your very favorite Mediterranean restaurant’s.
This enchilada sauce is easy to make with basic spices, tomato paste and vegetable broth. Most store-bought sauces contain suspect preservatives and additives—you won’t find any funny business here.
Uses for enchilada sauce: Make my veggie black bean enchiladas, spinach artichoke enchiladas, or red chilaquiles.
I bet you have what you’ll need to make this restaurant-style salsa already. It’s made with canned tomatoes, yet tastes wonderfully fresh.
Easy Refried Beans
Got canned pinto beans (or black beans)? You can turn them into fantastic refried beans. Serve them with (or on) quesadillas, nachos and so much more.
This marinara sauce is beyond easy to make. You’ll need canned tomatoes, an onion, garlic, and about 45 minutes’ worth of patience (it makes your house smell amazing in the meantime). You can use it as pizza sauce, too.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
You can throw together this pizza dough in your food processor in no time. The best part? You don’t have to wait for the dough to rise. It’s ready to go, right away.
How to Make Vinaigrette (Plus 3 Essential Variations)
Homemade vinaigrette tastes so much better than store-bought, you’ll never go back. Plus, you can make it with real olive oil (no processed ingredients here). It will keep in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
More easy salad dressings: Try creamy tahini dressing, green goddess dressing (the perfect use for any leftover leafy herbs), and honey-mustard dressing.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
This peanut sauce makes a stellar dip for spring rolls or plain veggies. If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, you’ll find an option for powdered ginger within the recipe.
Easy Romesco Sauce
This simplified romesco sauce is made with roasted red peppers, almonds, and a few more basic ingredients. It’s bold and tangy, and would make a great sandwich spread.
Spicy Black Bean Soup
This black bean soup recipe is designed for canned beans, so it’s ready in under an hour. You’ll also need carrot, celery and garlic.
Creamy Tomato Soup (Lightened Up)
This ultra creamy tomato soup recipe is made with the simplest of pantry ingredients. You won’t believe how creamy it gets (no cream required).
Breakfasts & Sweet Treats
Cold Brew Coffee
Missing your favorite coffee shop’s cold brew in the morning? Make your own! You’ll only need coffee, water, and some basic equipment.
The Very Best Granola
Homemade granola tastes so much better. Make your own with oats, coconut oil or olive oil, maple syrup or honey, and any mix-ins you have on hand.
Healthy Blueberry Muffins
Do you have frozen blueberries? Make these fluffy, naturally sweetened muffins. Warm, homemade blueberry muffins are so comforting and delicious.
View more easy muffin recipes here.
Whole Wheat Pancake Mix
Out of pancake mix? Make your own! Or make a single batch of whole wheat pancakes (here’s a vegan/dairy-free/egg-free alternative).
View more pancakes and waffles (several are gluten free).
Cherry Pecan Muesli
Muesli is an oat-based alternative to processed cereals, and a low-sugar alternative to granola. I toast my muesli in the oven with the tiniest touch of maple syrup. It’s worth the effort.
Muesli variations: Toasted Muesli with Almonds, Coconut and Dark Chocolate and Bircher Muesli.
Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Quinoa
If you have extra quinoa, make this fun breakfast option. It tastes like cinnamon toast!
How to Make Almond Butter
Have a surplus of almonds or other nuts? Make nut butter. You can use my almond butter recipe as guidance. Feel free to add pecans, walnuts, cashews or pepitas. I also have a recipe for pecan butter, which might be my favorite of all nut butters.
A Couple of Snacks to Get You Through
Perfect Stovetop Popcorn
Popcorn is the original pantry snack! All you need is popcorn kernels and oil (I like to use coconut oil or even extra-virgin olive oil). Stovetop popcorn is 1,000 times tastier than microwaved bags.
Almond Coconut Granola Bars
If you have oats, nut butter and honey or maple syrup, you can easily make your own granola bars at home. I’ve played around with several flavor combinations, and couldn’t possibly pick a favorite.
More granola bar recipes: Almond Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Pecan Granola Bars and Cranberry Orange Granola Bars.
How to Stretch Your Pantry
How to make buttermilk
1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 scant cup milk of choice = 1 cup buttermilk (let rest for 5 minutes before using)
How to make light coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk + 2 cups water = about 4 cups light coconut milk (extra milk can be frozen and thawed later)
How to make flax or chia “eggs”
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or freshly ground flaxseeds/chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water = 1 “egg” (let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before using). See a tutorial here.
How to make brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon molasses = 1 cup brown sugar (whisk together in a bowl, then use your fingers to squish out any lumps)
How to make powdered sugar
Blend granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until it’s fine and fluffy. Best used promptly, as it hardens over time. See a tutorial here.
How to make oat flour
Blend old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats (certified gluten-free if necessary) in your blender or food processor until they turn into a fine, even flour. Leftover flour stores well for later. See a tutorial here.
How to turn old fashioned oats into quick-cooking oats
Throw some old-fashioned oats into a food processor or blender and blitz them a few times, until they’ve broken into thirds or quarters.
How to make almond meal
(Warning, this is loud.) Blend whole almonds in your food processor or blender until they are broken into a very fine flour, but stop before they turn into almond butter. 1 cup whole almonds = 1 cup packed almond meal.
More resources you might appreciate: 23 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes, 29 healthy comfort food recipes and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You might also like my monthly seasonal produce guides and essential kitchen tools. View all roundups and resource posts here.
This is awesome – thank you! You and several other food bloggers I follow have done such an amazing job posting things like this. I know you all usually plan your posts out ahead of time, so I’m sure the interruption to your schedules isn’t easy. But getting emails of your new posts have been bright spots on these dreary days. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Rebecca! I’m happy to do what I can to help at a time like this.
You’re at it again, Kate! These easy ways to make something usually store-bought are going to be fun to try while we all stay home. Better than watching tv all day, even with cable/netflix/hulu/you name it!
With your usual attention to detail and drive for perfection, you’ve given us some great recipes to work with and lots of inspiration to cook. Thanks!
Thank you! I want to be able to provide something light during a time like this. I appreciate your support.
Wow this is so practical and useful!! thank you for sharing these tips. I have bookmarked this page and will try one of these for sure . My family is already a fan of your Shakshuka reciepe :)
You’re welcome! Great to hear shakshuka is a family favorite.
Thank you so much for posting these delicious homemade pantry staples! I so look forward to your emails. They really do brighten my day and encourage me to go get busy in the kitchen. Every recipe I have tried on your site has always been well balanced and delicious and I thank you so much for that. I was wondering if you have any experience with TVP? I stocked up on this product prior to the warning to stay home and I’m looking for tasty ways to use it.
Thanks so much!
Hi Tisa, I don’t have much experience- sorry! I’m happy you are loving the blog and it’s providing you with such joy.
I’ve used it in chili in place of ground beef.
TVP is very easy to work with. I start by making a veggie broth (I prefer McCormicks beef flavoured vegetarian bullion cubes) and let the TVP soak in it for a while till it becomes soft. I then drain the broth (save it for another use) and let the TVP dry a bit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Then I just fry it or use it in sauces, etc. The key is to flavour it with a good broth.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much! Can’t wait to give it a try!
Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your posts. Stay safe and have a Blessed weekend.
You’re welcome, Gina! To you as well.
We can’t get eggs right now. Is the flax “egg” actually a substitute for eggs in baked goods, waffles, meatloaf, etc?
Hi Suzy! Yes, flax egg is typically a good substitute in baked goods.
Many thanks for this, Kate. Invaluable over the coming weeks, or months.
My best wishes to you and your loved ones.
To you as well, Greg!
I love this. Such a useful post and welcome change from the news!
Just wanted to point out a typo in your post.
“I hope this post *shares* you a trip to the store. ”
Other than that, thanks for all your awesome work!!
Ah, thank you! I fixed it :)
How wonderful to see These posts! I was actually trying to figure out what to do with a lot of pepitas I have, that I put in your kale salad recipes. I don’t have any kale in the house and I am wary about going to the store. Anyway I have enough food in the pantry and freezer to last a long time. But what to do with the pepitas? You can only nibble on so many of them as snacks, whatever spices you put on them. Thanks and looking forward to your or anyone’s ideas.
Hi! You could use them in granola :)
I’ve already made your hummus! Trying to keep healthy WFH snacks around for my fiancé. Appreciate all you do – thanks for all of your hard work, nourishing our bellies & souls through all of this!
You’re welcome! Thanks for letting me know what you are loving. I still can’t get enough hummus. It’s so good!
My sister is a novice cook and she made your tomato soup last night. She loved it. I made it as well, and we facetimed on our laptops over dinner while we ate. It was great to do to keep in touch since it’s hard to get together with everything going on… your recipes and tips are a great help and comfort at this time. Thanks, Kate!
What a fun idea! I’m glad you both loved it. Thank you for sharing, Hayley.
Thank you for your empathy and for doing what you can to help others right now. I know that roasting garlic reduces its antimicrobial properties, but we’ve been eating your garlic bread every night, anyway. :-) Please take care.
Thank you, Curt! I’m happy to do what I can during a time like this.
Thanks for putting together this great resource. Several of these are already favourites in our house but I see a few more to try. Much appreciated!
You’re welcome, Jennifer!
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