By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Need some ideas for easy freezer meals and pantry meals to cook up while you stay at home for a coronavirus quarantine? You can do some delicious freezer pantry cooking while you stay home!
I have to say that I've never put so much time and energy into getting groceries until recently, while I've been staying home to help save lives while under shelter in place orders due to the coronavirus.
While stay at home orders have been in place from to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, I've scheduled FreshDirect deliveries weeks in advance, placed Whole Foods orders only to receive less than half my order, and scoured the web for hours looking for hard-to-find ingredients like yeast. Find out how to easily get groceries delivered during the pandemic.
And I know that in the New York City area, I have many more delivery options than many other people in the United States!
One thing I'm sure we all have in common: Our fridges, pantries, and freezers may be looking pretty slim right now. Easy freezer meals and pantry meals to cook up while you stay at home for coronavirus isolation, anyone?
Because it can be a challenge to put together nutritious, tasty, and balanced meals in times like this coronavirus quarantine period, I asked my registered dietitian and healthy recipe blogger friends for their best recipes that you can easily put together with the pantry and frozen ingredients that you have on hand.
Want 60-plus recipes to keep your belly fully and your spirits lifted while staying at home for a shelter-in-place order? Here are the best freezer meals and pantry dinners to whip up for your quarantine cooking.
You can even make cooking an outdoor activity by using the grill. When you're in coronavirus isolation to help prevent coronavirus in America, try these recipes.
Ready, set...I want to see all the delicious freezer and pantry meals that you cook up during your coronavirus quarantine!
And of course, if you've been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting tested. If you are diagnosed with quarantine, the CDC recommends considering quarantine to slow the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus Quarantine Breakfast Ideas
1. Gluten-Free Instant Pot Oatmeal
Have steel-cut oats, canned coconut milk, and pumpkin puree on hand? Then you'll love this recipe from Sarah Jane Parker, blogger at The Fit Cookie.
Make it: Gluten-Free Instant Pot Oatmeal
2. Applesauce Blender Bread
When it comes to easy pantry meals, here's one for you. Whip up a loaf with almond flour, applesauce, coconut oil, and spices with this recipe from Allison Walker, RD and Allyson Boan.
Make it: Applesauce Blender Bread
3. Blueberry Peanut Butter Smoothie
This recipe is a staple in my kitchen and perfect to whip up while in quarantine. It takes just minutes to make!
Make it: Blueberry Peanut Butter Smoothie
Freezer staples: frozen wild blueberries
4. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes
What's better than blender pancakes during coronavirus isolation? You'll need oats and peanut butter to make this recipe from Natalie Knezic, blogger at Natalie's Health.
Make it: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes
5. Protein French Toast
You don't need maple syrup to enjoy French toast! This recipe from my kitchen has a special ingredient that comes from your freezer.
Make it: Protein French Toast
Freezer staples: unsweetened frozen cherries
6. Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
The beauty of baked oatmeal is that it lasts for days! Give this recipe from Katie Scott, blogger at Chasing Vibrance, a try.
Make it: Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Freezer staples: frozen blueberries
7. Healthy Honey Banana Muffins
Wondering what to make with almond meal and oats? Try this recipe from Lauren Seserko, blogger at Breathe Deeply and Smile.
Make it: Healthy Honey Banana Muffins
8. High-Protein Overnight Oats
Utilize frozen berries in this easy overnight recipe from my kitchen.
Make it: High-Protein Overnight Oats
Freezer staples: frozen strawberries
9. Coconut Almond Granola
When it comes to easy quarantine meals, here's one for you! Make your own granola with this recipe from Lorie Yarro, blogger at Lemons and Zest.
Make it: Coconut Almond Granola
10. Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
This breakfast from Seserko is peanut-buttery delicious. It's one of tastiest easy freezer meals!
Make it: Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
11. Easy Coffee Cake Muffins
The best part about these muffins from my kitchen is that they give you a little jolt of energy. Plus, they freeze well!
Make it: Easy Coffee Cake Muffins
Coronavirus Quarantine Lunch & Dinner Main Ideas
12. Pantry Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup
This recipe from Liz Weiss, co-author of The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers, features pantry staples such as peanut butter, brown rice, and canned chickpeas.
Make it: Pantry Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup
Pantry staples: extra-virgin olive oil, vegetable broth, canned tomato sauce, boil-in-a-bag brown rice, canned chickpeas, peanut butter, peanuts, turmeric, ground cumin, chili powder, curry powder, cinnamon, celery seed, ground black pepper
13. Quick and Easy Salmon Fritters
Cook up a quick meal with canned salmon, bread crumbs, mayo, and olive oil with this recipe from Alyssa Lavy, RD, co-author of Yoga, Food, and Mood.
Make it: Quick and Easy Salmon Fritters
14. Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
This recipe from Lavy features buffalo sauce, tortillas, and spices. You can sub in frozen chicken breast for fresh. It's one of the tastiest quarantine meals out there!
Make it: Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
15. Mexican Macaroni and Cheese
Have a box of mac and cheese on hand? Then you can cook up this easy recipe from Joan Salge Blake, RD, author of Nutrition & You. It's one of the easiest pantry meals to make while you stay at home.
Make it: Mexican Macaroni and Cheese
16. Taco Chili
Have a few cans of beans, plus canned tomatoes? Then you can whip up this recipe from Allison Knott, RD.
Make it: Taco Chili
17. Yellow Tadka Dal with Quinoa & Chickpeas
Make this meal from Hayden James, MA, RDN, CDE, with quinoa, canned garbanzo beans, and a yellow tadka dal pouch.
18. Vegetarian Rice Bowl
This recipe from my kitchen is ready in just minutes! It's one of my go-to easy freezer meals.
Make it: Vegetarian Rice Bowl
Freezer staples: frozen cut okra
19. 4-Ingredient Italian Wedding Soup
All you need to make this soup recipe from Holley Grainger, RD, is broth, frozen spinach, past, and frozen meatballs.
Make it: 4-Ingredient Italian Wedding Soup
20. Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
If you can get your hands on a spaghetti squash, you'll just need canned black beans, canned corn, salsa, and a few other ingredients to whip up this recipe from Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN.
Make it: Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
22. Spicy Harissa Bean Soup
If you have dried beans, olive oil, canned tomatoes, and a few other ingredients you can make this recipe from Rachael Hartley, RD.
Make it: Spicy Harissa Bean Soup
23. White Bean Pizza
If take-out isn't an option, make your own pizza! This recipe from my kitchen boasts protein from the white beans.
Make it: White Bean Pizza
24. Spicy Quinoa and Black Beans with Pineapple
You'll need staples like quinoa, canned coconut milk, low-sodium vegetable broth, and black beans to cook up this meal from Hartley.
Freezer staples: frozen pineapple
25. Canned Tuna Pasta Recipe
Here's something to do with those cans of tuna. You'll also need pasta, jarred roasted red peppers, and minced garlic to create this recipe from Jodi Danen, RD.
Make it: Canned Tuna Pasta Recipe
26. Kitchen Clean-Out Stir-Fry
You'll need brown rice, frozen veggies, and frozen edamame to whip up this dish from Jamie Lee McIntyre, MS, RDN.
Make it: Kitchen Clean-Out Stir-Fry
27. Pasta Cici
Have macaroni noodles, cici beans, and canned tomato puree? Then you can eat up this recipe from Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, co-author of Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies.
Make it: Pasta Cici
28. Pizza Soup
If you can't get your hands on pizza dough, this soup from Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, owner of Sound Bites Nutrition, is the next best thing.
Make it: Pizza Soup
Freezer staples: frozen chopped spinach
29. Italian Lentil & Rice Casserole
Have lentils, bread crumbs, and canned tomatoes? You can make this recipe from Laura Yautz, RDN, owner of Being Nutritious in Pittsburgh.
Make it: Italian Lentil & Rice Casserole
30. Teriyaki Soba Noodles
Craving Asian noodles? This recpe from Yautz hits the spot with soba noodles, frozen veggies, and frozen edamame.
Make it: Teriyaki Soba Noodles
31. Quinoa and Bean Chili
You'll need staples like canned beans, sundried tomatoes, and quinoa to make this dish from Kitty Broihier, RD, co-author of The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook.
Make it: Quinoa and Bean Chili
32. Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
You can use frozen mixed veggies in this recipe from Colleen Christensen, RD, nutrition blogger at No Food Rules.
Make it: Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
Freezer staples: frozen mixed vegetables
33. Bean and Barley Veggie Chili
Ingredients like canned tomatoes and vegetable stock make this dish from Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RDN, owner of Halsa Nutrition, easy to whip up.
Make it: Bean and Barley Veggie Chili
34. Chicken Broccoli Devan
This recipe from Rebecca Clyde, RD, features cream-of-chicken soup.
Make it: Chicken Broccoli Devan
35. Chickpea Meatballs
You'll need canned chickpeas, breadcrumbs, and Italian seasoning to make this recipe from Vespa.
Make it: Chickpea Meatballs
36. Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili
Utilize out-of-the-box pantry staples such as cocoa powder and coffee in this recipe from Melissa Altman-Traub, MS, RDN.
Make it: Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili
37. Creamy Vegetable Soup
If you have cashews, canned chickpeas, frozen veggies, and a few other ingredients you can make this soup from Jamie Vespa, RD.
Make it: Creamy Vegetable Soup
Freezer staples: mixed frozen vegetables
38. Healthy Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
This satisfying recipe from Maggie Farley, RD utilizes chicken broth and frozen veggies.
Freezer staples: frozen vegetable medley
39. West African Peanut Stew with Chicken
Have chicken broth, peanut butter, canned tomatoes, and canned tomato past? Then you can whip up this recipe from Kara Lydon, RD.
Coronavirus Quarantine Lunch & Dinner Side Ideas
40. Roasted Frozen Broccoli
You don't need much more than frozen broccoli to roast up this side from Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN.
Make it: Roasted Frozen Broccoli
Freezer staples: frozen broccoli florets
41. Spicy Okra Recipe
This recipe from Shahzadi Devje, RD, utilizes frozen okra, as well as pantry staples such as olive oil and spices.
Make it: Spicy Okra Recipe
Freezer staples: frozen cut okra
42. Citrus Salad Recipe
If you have quinoa on hand, this salad from my kitchen is super easy to make.
Make it: Citrus Salad Recipe
43. No-Yeast Homemade Wheat Bread
If all your local stores are out of yeast, it's no problem thanks to this recipe from Angela Cardamome Campos, blogger at Marathons and Motivation.
Make it: No-Yeast Homemade Wheat Bread
44. Brussels Sprouts with Grape Honey Glaze
This recipe from my kitchen is so easy to make with frozen veggies. It's one of the best recipes to cook in quarantine.
Freezer staples: frozen Brussels sprouts
45. Green Pea and Almond Pesto
This recipe from Rinku Bhattacharya, author of Instant Indian, features frozen peas, almonds, and olives.
Make it: Green Pea and Almond Pesto
Freezer staples: frozen peas
46. Sriracha Sweet Potato Fries
Consider using frozen sweet potato fries when whipping up this recipe from Sara Haas, RD, co-author of Fertility Foods.
Make it: Sriracha Sweet Potato Fries
Coronavirus Quarantine Snack & Dessert Ideas
47. Chocolate Crunch Bar Cups
Homemade candy? Yes, please, thanks to this recipe from Yarro.
Make it: Chocolate Crunch Bar Cups
48. 2-Ingredient Applesauce Cupcakes
Whip up this recipe from Grainger with just applesauce and vanilla cake mix.
Make it: 2-Ingredient Applesauce Cupcakes
49. Vegan Chocolate Pudding
You only need a few ingredients to make this recipe from my kitchen.
Make it: Vegan Chocolate Pudding
50. Superfood Greek Yogurt Bark
If you have space in your freezer, you can put together this recipe from Kaila Proulx, blogger at Healthy Helper Blog.
Make it: Superfood Greek Yogurt Bark
51. Sweet Potato Vegan Cookie Dough
This dessert from Sarah Schlichter, RD, hits the spot!
Make it: Sweet Potato Vegan Cookie Dough
52. Speedy Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
These cookies are "flourless and eggless because our local stores are out of these ingredients," says Emma Robinson, RD, dietitian at Abundant Nutrition Co. Also try these no-egg cookies from my own kitchen!
Make it: Speedy Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
53. Chocolate Coconut Cream Pudding
You only need a few pantry staples, including coconut milk, to whip up this recipe from Schlichter.
Make it: Chocolate Coconut Cream Pudding
54. Crustless Pumpkin Pie
You'll want to dig into this pie recipe from Scott more than just once a year.
Make it: Crustless Pumpkin Pie
55. Avocado Chocolate Brownies
This recipe from my kitchen whips up in no time!
Make it: Avocado Chocolate Brownies
56. Easy Chickpea Cookie Dough
Craving cookie dough? With this recipe from Kyla Kurczewski, RDN, NASM-CPT, author of Mastering the Art of Grocery Shopping, you can whip your own that's safe to eat, with canned chickpeas, coconut flour, and a few other ingredients.
Make it: Easy Chickpea Cookie Dough
57. Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
The beauty of these cookies from Knezic is that you only need whole-grain flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and a few other ingredients.
Make it: Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies
58. Dark Chocolate Almond Bark Thins
You only need a few pantry staples to create this recipe from Lorie Yarro, blogger at Lemons and Zest.
Make it: Dark Chocolate Almond Bark Thins
59. No-Bake Mocha Brownies
Brownies with espresso powder? Yes, please! You'll love this dessert from Yarro.
Make it: No-Bake Mocha Brownies
60. Gluten-Free Granola Bars
You'll need quick-cooking oats, sorghum flour, chocolate chips, and a few other ingredients to whip up these bars from Parker.
Make it: Gluten-Free Granola Bars
61. Nut-and-Seed Butter
Can't find your favorite jarred nut butter? Make your own! Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest, gives instructions on how to make your own in this recipe.
Make it: Nut-and-Seed Butter
62. Healthy Energy Bars
Make a big batch and freeze the extras of this recipe from my kitchen!
Make it: Healthy Energy Bars
- Sarah Jane Parker, blogger at The Fit Cookie
- Allison Walker, RD
- Allyson Boan
- Natalie Knezic, blogger at Natalie's Health
- Katie Scott, blogger at Chasing Vibrance
- Lauren Seserko, blogger at Breathe Deeply and Smile
- Lorie Yarro, blogger at Lemons and Zest
- Liz Weiss, RD, co-author of The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers
- Alyssa Lavy, RD, co-author of Yoga, Food, and Mood
- Joan Salge Blake, RD, author of Nutrition & You
- Allison Knott, RD
- Hayden James, MA, RDN, CDE
- Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
- Rachael Hartley, RD
- Jodi Danen, RD
- Jamie Lee McIntyre, MS, RDN
- Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, co-author of Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummie
- Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, owner of Sound Bites Nutrition
- Laura Yautz, RDN, owner of Being Nutritious in Pittsburgh
- Kitty Broihier, RD, co-author of The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook
- Colleen Christensen, RD, nutrition blogger at No Food Rules
- Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RDN, owner of Halsa Nutrition
- Rebecca Clyde, RD
- Melissa Altman-Traub, MS, RDN
- Jamie Vespa, RD
- Maggie Farley, RD
- Kara Lydon, RD
- Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
- Shahzadi Devje, RD
- Angela Cardamome Campos, blogger at Marathons and Motivation
- Rinku Bhattacharya, author of Instant Indian
- Sara Haas, RD, co-author of Fertility Foods
- Kaila Proulx, blogger at Healthy Helper Blog
- Sarah Schlichter, RD
- Emma Robinson, RD, dietitian at Abundant Nutrition Co
- Kyla Kurczewski, RDN, NASM-CPT, author of Mastering the Art of Grocery Shopping
- Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest
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I'd love to hear from you! What easy freezer meals and pantry meals are you cooking up while you stay at home for the coronavirus quarantine? I'd love to hear about your easy healthy pantry meals and your stay at home meal ideas.