Food supply 101: What to cook when SHTF
08/17/2021 // Zoey Sky // Views

With a well-stocked food pantry, you can feed your family when disaster strikes and bug in without worries. But what if you're facing a long-term power outage?

While prepping your food stockpile, make sure that your supplies include items that you can prepare even during a blackout, like canned meats, canned soup and frozen vegetables. (h/t to

Make a list of tasty, nutritious and filling meals you can prepare for the family even if you don't have power at home. Once your list of recipes is done, stock up on the necessary ingredients like the ones discussed below.

You don't need to buy all the ingredients at once if you start stocking your pantry today. Build your survival stockpile by waiting for discounts and promos and using coupons to get items at a discounted price. This ensures that you stay within your budget while also stocking up for emergencies.

Canned fish

Canned fish like salmon, sardines and tuna are a good addition to your stockpile.

Canned fish can be eaten directly from the can for a quick and hassle-free meal. You can also mix canned fish with mustard or mayo and serve it on bread to make a tasty sandwich.

Another dish you can serve even without electricity is tuna salad with beans. Use ingredients like canned cannellini beans, garbanzo bean, or white kidney beans. Combine the beans with a can of drained tuna then add a bit of chopped onion, lemon juice, olive oil, spices and salt and pepper to taste.

Canned meats, fruits and vegetables

Canned meats and vegetables are a must-have in a prepper's pantry since these items have a long shelf life. (Related: 10 Tips that will ensure you have enough food after disaster strikes.)


Here's an assortment of canned food to stock up on:

  • Canned chicken
  • Canned corned beef
  • Canned ham
  • Canned mini sausages
  • Canned mixed vegetables
  • Canned string beans
  • Canned taco meat

Use canned fruit to make a granola bowl for breakfast. Top yogurt off with granola or muesli and fresh or canned fruit. Eat these ingredients first if the power goes out since yogurt can go bad after four hours inside the fridge without power.

Prep an easy vegetable salad using canned food from your stockpile. Chop up the ingredients you have like onions, kale, spinach and tomatoes and toss them together with a simple dressing.

Make a simple dressing with the oil and vinegar of your choice, salt and pepper. If you don't have vinegar, use lime or lemon juice.

Pair the salad with bread, cooked grains like rice or quinoa, or some canned corn or rinsed canned beans.

To make taco with canned ingredients, you'll need an avocado (optional), canned beans, canned corn, chopped tomatoes and fresh cilantro (optional). Toss all the ingredients with a zesty lime dressing.

To make the taco dressing, whisk 1/4 cup of lime juice with three tablespoons of honey, two tablespoons of mild vinegar, two tablespoons of Dijon mustard, and garlic with salt and pepper to taste. If you don’t have taco shells, eat the taco mix like a salad or with pita bread.

Some canned foods can be eaten without cooking, but these items can be prepared over a grill or open fire if you prefer a hot meal.

Canned or homemade soup

A warm bowl of soup is a must-have when SHTF. Reheat canned or homemade soup over an outdoor fire if the power is out and you can’t use your stove.

Pour the soup into a pot, then hold it over the open flame for several minutes until it boils. Serve the soup with crackers.

Foil packet meals

Foil packet meals are a great meal prep hack if you're camping or bugging in with no electricity. To make a foil packet meal, get a large sheet of aluminum foil and add different ingredients like raw ground beef, corn, diced potatoes and peas.

Once the ingredients are placed in the foil, fold it closed and cook it over a campfire or grill until the meat is no longer raw. Try this method if you need a quick and easy way to cook your meals in an emergency.

Below is a recipe for eggs baked in a foil packet.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 28-oz package shredded hash browns, thawed
  • 1 1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • 6 eggs


  1. Prepare a campfire or grill for medium-high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Stir in the hash browns, diced ham and 3/4 cup of cheese.
  3. Divide the egg mixture into four 18x12 inch pieces of heavy-duty nonstick foil. Fold the foil tightly around the mixture and seal tightly.
  4. Place the foil packets over a campfire or grill and cook for nine to 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the eggs are cooked through.
  5. Once done, open the packets carefully and sprinkle with the remaining cheese before serving.

Grilled meats and fresh or frozen vegetables

Cook on an outdoor grill during a power outage if you prefer meat served with vegetables.

With a grill, you can prep grilled burgers, chicken, hot dogs and other meats along with different vegetables like sliced carrots, chopped zucchini and potatoes.

Pasta with sauce

Boxed pasta is easy to cook, and you can serve it with canned or jarred sauces.

Cook the pasta by boiling water on a grill or over an open fire. After you’ve boiled the water, add pasta to it and let it cook before draining it and adding the sauce.

Serve the cooked pasta with sauce, chopped pieces of canned meat and some cheese.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is a tasty snack, and it's also an essential stockpile ingredient because it's full of protein.

Peanut butter tastes good and can be used to make different snacks. You can also eat it as is with a spoon, or serve it on bread with jam or jelly as a sandwich. Alternatively, you can spread peanut butter on crackers for a quick snack when SHTF.

Finally, you can serve peanut butter with sliced bananas and apples if your kids want a snack.

Before SHTF, prep a list of meals that you can prepare without cooking or on an outdoor grill if you don't have any electricity. Don't forget to stock up on supplies for your stockpile so you have enough food during an emergency.

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