The Homemade Pantry

"Don't Buy That, Make This."

A brand-new recipe collection, the latest addition to my How to Save Money on Groceries series, here featuring recipes for food we could buy in stores or restaurants but instead choose to make from scratch at home.

Made to Taste from Whole-Food Ingredients. Budget Friendly. Meal Prep Friendly. Many Weeknight Easy Recipes. Often Great for Gifts. Many Easy DIY.

Why DIY? Why Make Basic Foods from Scratch?

  • Some times taste.
  • Some times cost.
  • Some times better or whole-food ingredients.
  • Some times fewer ingredients and especially less sodium.
  • Some times to avoid a special grocery run just for one ingredient.
  • Some times for a small batch to avoid food waste.
  • Some times for sheer convenience.
  • Some times to learn traditional cooking techniques.
  • Some times to express culinary creativity.
  • Some times because some foods aren't available where you live or maybe anywhere.
  • Some times just for the fun of it, just because we can.
  • All of the above ...

Make This Instead: DIY Substitutes for Foods We Can Buy

It's kind of stunning, all the foods we might make at home ... but just don't.

  • Instead of buying a can of peaches, make Simple Sliced Peaches, just four ingredients, turns tables to silent.

  • Instead of buying big-box cooked ribs, make Baked Baby Back Ribs with Spicy Berry Sauce, good and tender, done in an hour.

  • Instead of buying cooked bacon or bacon bits, make Baked Bacon, perfectly crisp bacon baked the oven.

  • Instead of buying tubs of pricey too-much-mayo macaroni salad at the deli, check your pantry for pasta and mayo to make Best-Ever Macaroni Salad, the summer classic, just better.

  • Instead of losing your mind to pick one jar from dozens of choices, stock up on cans of fire-roasted tomatoes to make Best Quick Tomato Salsa (Red Salsa) for chips, tacos, burritos, eggs & more.

  • Instead of canned baked beans, make Calico Beans aka "Alanna's Famous Cowboy Beans" A hearty bean dish, meaty enough for supper, but more often served as a side at potlucks.

  • Instead of buying chicken salad, make Chicken Salad for Sandwiches, make it in minutes with rotisserie chicken and pantry ingredients.

  • Instead of pricey, coffee-shop and bottled cold-brewed coffee, make Cold-Brewed Coffee for low-acid coffee that makes perfect iced coffee for hot summers.

  • Instead of heading out for holiday cocktails, mix a batch of Cranberry Champagne Cocktails, festive and flexible, just three ingredients.

  • Instead of buying packets of oatmeal, meal prep Creamy Oatmeal using three tricks for the very best oatmeal, all easy!

  • Instead of lugging in canned beans, learn How to Cook Dried Beans from Scratch, either in a slow cooker or in the oven.

  • Instead of paying for a pricey salad made from cheap ingredients, buy a big jar of artichokes for Easy-Easy Artichoke & Tomato Salad, ake it quick, make it your own.

  • Instead of hitting the bakery for a simple tart, make Easy-Easy Jam Tart, a beautiful amazing tart in just 15 minutes!

  • Instead of buying pricey jello cups, make Easy Easy Magical Jello Bites, guaranteed to make kids' eyes light up!

  • Instead of picking up a rotisserie chicken, make a Fast Roast Chicken, it's my signature recipe, just three ingredients and one hour in the oven.

  • Instead of buying some gawd-awful blueberry muffins, bake some Fresh Blueberry Cookies

  • Instead of getting last-minute reservations at a steakhouse, cook Frozen Steaks on a whim, perfectly cooked steaks that start with frozen meat, no need to thaw!

  • Instead of paying megabucks for sugar-packed drinks at the smoothie store, pull out the blender for Healthy Smoothies using all my best tips and recipes.

  • Instead of cartons of gloppy store-bought eggnog, make Homemade Eggnog that's lighter and less sweet.

  • Instead of high-cal store-bought granola, make Homemade Granola with Almonds & Apricots with just a little sweetness, just a little oil.

  • Instead of hot chocolate packets with rock-hard marshmallows, make Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix from scratch for a crowd, for gifts, for home.

  • Instead of pricey coffeehouse drinks and canned waters, learn How to Sweeten Lemonade with Fruit Not Sugar, experiment with pineapple, watermelon and more.

  • Instead of canned mushroom soup, make Homemade Mushroom Soup, not just homemade, home delicious.

  • Instead of jars of spaghetti sauce, make Homemade Spaghetti Meat Sauce with all the flavor, a fraction of the calories.

  • Instead of grocery-store bakery hot cross buns, make Hot Cross Buns, the sweet buns traditional for Easter.

  • Instead of microwave popcorn, buy a bag of inexpensive kernels and here's How to Cook Popcorn in a Microwave in a Paper Bag, just popcorn kernels, a paper sack and NO oil.

  • Instead of buying pouches of cooked rice for reheating, learn How to Cook White Rice, fresh for supper plus extra for the freezer.

  • Instead of frozen pancakes or boxes of pancake mix, make Lifetime Pancakes's tiny, small, medium and large batches, whatever fits your table.

  • Instead of buying pudding cups or pudding mix, make Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding, sweet and satisfying but won't ruin your diet.

  • Instead of buying pricey, sugary nuts for salad and dessert toppings, make Maple-Glazed Pecans, crisp and barely sweet, it's Pecan Pizzazz!

  • Instead of stopping by your favorite Mexican joint for a tub of guacamole, buy a couple of avocados and tomatoes and make My Guacamole, restaurant-style and our house recipe.

  • Instead of buying what's essentially water and salt, make No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker Just 4 common vegetables, just 3 hours.

  • Instead of jugs of sugary lemonade or powdered lemonade, make real Old-Fashioned Homemade Lemonade with a simple technique that extracts extra flavor from the lemon peels.

  • Instead of raiding the olive bar, make Olivada & Olivada Appetizers on a whim, just olives and pantry ingredients.

  • Instead of buying cans of salty mixed nuts, make your kitchen smell fabulous with Party Nuts with Fresh Rosemary, so good people just ask for "those good nuts".

  • Instead of buying deli meat, cook a Perfectly Cooked Roast Beef using an easy-to-remember formula.

  • Instead of "picking up a salad" or paying a fortune for salad by the ounce, make a Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad, my own "healthy habit" that I hope will inspire yours, too.

  • Instead of buying giant jars of jalapeño pickles, make a small batch of Quick Jalapeño Pickles, no canning required.

  • Instead of picking up grocery-store muffins (too big, too sweet, too soft) or making a special run for bakery muffins (too big, too sweet, wayyyy too pricey), make Raspberry Muffins, a small batch, extra-pretty for spring.

  • Instead of hitting the deli for mayo-heavy coleslaw, throw together a Simple Dill Pickle Slaw, traditional, everyday coleslaw turned all pickly with pickles and pickle juice.

  • Instead of buying deli turkey, cook a turkey breast the easy way, Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast, easy enough for every day, special enough for occasions.

  • Instead of finding a bakery for good buns, make Soft Rolls for Sandwiches (NOLA-Style French Rolls) for extra-good sandwiches, crispy crusts, soft interiors.

  • Instead of picking up Chinese, make Stir-Fried Shrimp with Asparagus or Other Summer Vegetables, just shrimp and vegetables tossed in an addictive sweet 'n' sour hot sauce.

  • Instead of opening one more bottle of ranch, make Strawberry Vinaigrette with Chipotle

  • Instead of sugary chai tea mixes, make Sugar-Free Chai Tea, just good ginger, good spices, good tea and good milk.

  • Instead driving through a Taco Bell, set up a Twenty-Minute Taco Bar in, well, 20 minutes.

  • Instead of a sugary spiral ham, make Twice-Smoked Ham, how & why to smoke a smoked ham a second time.

  • Instead of gloppy, salty canned tomato soup, make Winter Tomato Soup where slow-cooking draws out summer flavor.

Make Just One Thing. JUST ONE.

Overwhelmed by that long list? I hear you. But please don't let that stop you.

This is doable! You can definitely do this!

In Alanna's Kitchen Wisdom (hmmm .... my initials!), make just one thing from scratch. Just one. No more.

If you like it, make it again. If you like it again, record it somehow, somewhere, however you can get back to it quickly and easily, where you can record your own notes and adaptations.

Then pick another thing to try. Just one.

I've been building my personal list of go-to staple recipes since, well, I was about 10, but got serious about it only in 2016.

START WITH A FOOD YOU LOVE One way to start is to target a type of food you buy out a lot but can be easily made at home, maybe ...

OR START WITH A MEAL-TIME STAPLE That's something you can make often, every week, say, and get good at it, make it your own. So let me suggest starting with one of three staple recipes.

  • My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing This is our house salad dressing, one that's super variable and relies on pantry ingredients. It takes five minutes to make and keeps for a week or more. A good salad? Just cut up some greens and vegetables, toss with a little of this dressing. Gorgeous!
  • Fast Roast Chicken This is a signature recipe, just three ingredients and one hour in the oven. It won't replace the convenience of a rotisserie chicken but oh, it's the start of a feast.
  • How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup This is another master recipe, that means it's more about technique (here, special techniques to extract flavor) so you can use the vegetables you like most or have on hand.

But again, the idea is to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Pick just one thing. Make just one thing. That's it! And if it feels good, then build from there ...

Pretty soon, you'll be thinking, "Wow! I made this myself!"

My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, another Master Recipe ♥, quick, easy meal prep. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.
Fast Roast Chicken ♥, such a simple way to roast a chicken, fast, yielding a crispy salty skin and perfectly roasted meat.
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup, a master recipe ♥ Never the same twice! Perfect for CSA members, farmers market shoppers and all vegetable lovers!

Save the Recipes to Make Again and Again

I know the world has gone all digital, including this very site, but ...

... for recipes made over and over, I rely on old-fashioned paper 3x5 recipe cards (affiliate link) organized in a recipe box that lives in a cupboard near the stove, easy to pull out for quick reference.

Amazon reports that I've purchased the very same 3x5 cards 19 times over the years. I like their weight (not too thick, important as you collect more, but not too flimsy either) and their efficient use of space (more open space is better than less).

A set of 3x5 Preprinted Recipe Box Dividers (affiliate link) is helpful. I use some of the preprinted titles but for my own titles, just turn them over.

Watch the size, think through what works for you, especially if just starting your own collection. I like 3x5 recipe cards but 4x6 recipe cards (affiliate link) are also popular.

DIY Condiments

Chimichurri How to make chimichurri, the Argentinian parsley sauce.

Famous Mustard Sauce (Carolina BBQ Mustard Sauce) A tiny-bit spicy and a tiny-bit sweet and totally addictive.

Green Chile Sauce (Salsa Verde) New Mexico-style salsa verde.

Green Mayonnaise A whole new way to think of semi-homemade mayonnaise.

Homemade Fresh Basil Pesto Without Cheese Unleashing sweet, fresh basil flavor.

Homemade Finnish Mustard How to make mustard at home, Finnish-style.

Homemade Sazón A gorgeous Dominican sauce, so fresh, so alive.

Homemade Mayonnaise for BLTs Some times, homemade mayo is worth just a little extra effort.

Ten-Minute Foolproof Enchilada Sauce Mix the sauce, then Ten-Minute Enchiladas are just, well, ten minutes away.

Favorite Condiments from A Veggie Venture
Almonnaise (Vegan Mayonnaise Made from Almonds)

~ more Little Extras That Make All the Difference ~

Homemade Basil Pesto ♥, extra basil flavor thanks to no cheese, mixing technique.

Homemade Pickles

Carrot-Jalapeño Quick Pickle Relish

Cucumber & Pepper Refrigerator Pickles Homemade pickles without the fuss.

Quick Jalapeño Pickles No canning required.

Refrigerator Pickled Beets No canning required!

Spiced Pickled Red Onions A game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.

Spiced Preserved Lemons A cornerstone ingredient in Moroccan cuisine.

Favorite Pickle Recipes from A Veggie Venture
Carrot & Daikon Refrigerator Pickle
Cauliflower Refrigerator Pickles
Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles
Quick Pickled Asparagus

~ more Jams, Pickles & Preserves ~
Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles ♥, no canning required, great for sandwiches and charcuterie boards.

Copycat Recipes

Homemade Egg McMuffin The egg is cooked in the microwave, turns out light and fluffy.

Orange Julius Drinks With extra protein, no refined sugar.

Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins Including my makeover of Starbucks' cream cheese pumpkin muffins.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Fall's favorite coffee drink, made at home with real ingredients.

Homemade Egg McMuffin ♥, the egg is cooked in the microwave, creating a tender, tasty round just the right size to tuck into an English Muffin with cheese and Canadian bacon.

DIY Dairy

Homemade Buttermilk How to make thick & tangy, cold & creamy buttermilk.

Homemade Crème Fraîche Just two ingredients, easy and inexpensive.

Homemade Ricotta Two ways to make fresh homemade ricotta.

Lime Crema A DIY Mexican crema for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and more.

Two ways to make fresh Homemade Ricotta ♥, just milk, lemon and salt. Easy and delicious! Many tips, including skinny and creamy versions. Just Three or Four Ingredients. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free.

Main Dishes

No surprise, all of Kitchen Parade's dinner recipes start with whole-food ingredients, that's just my cooking style. So do be sure to check out my main dishes, they're super-well organized so it's easy to find what you're looking for, or to explore by primary ingredients.

So the recipes below are just for foods which it's common to buy ready-made but which may be easily made at home, too.

Fruits ...

Homemade Applesauce Just apples, so easy, so simple.

Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker Sweet aroma of cranberries, fresh ginger and orange zest!

Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter Apple Butter as it should be, naturally sweet with just a touch of butter.

Roasted Applesauce with Raspberries Glorious color and brightness!


Fresh Creamed Corn Not your grandma's canned creamed corn.

Homemade Kabocha Squash "Pumpkin" Purée How and why to make pumpkin purée from kabocha squash not pumpkin.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions Extra-special with a little brown sugar and a little sherry.

Salad Dressings Made from Scratch

MASTER RECIPE My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing Never the same twice.

Wedge Salad with Homemade Low-Cal & Low-Carb Blue Cheese Salad Dressing A summer indulgence.

Orange & Cumin Vinaigrette Bright and vibrant with earthy spice.

Favorite Salad Dressings from A Veggie Venture
A CHALLENGE Never Buy Salad Dressing Again
STEP-by-STEP How to Make Salad Dressing
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Salad Dressing
German Salad Dressing
Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing
Homemade Creamy Vinaigrette
Homemade Greek Salad Dressing
Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

~ more salad dressing ~
Buttermilk Garlic Ranch Salad Dressing, another healthy homemade dressing ♥

Homemade Soups & Chili: Whole-Food Nourishment

MASTER RECIPE How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup Never the same twice.

At Last! Black Bean Soup My signature recipe for thirty years.

Beef Barley Soup with Mushrooms Root vegetables, earthy mushrooms and nutty barley.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup The Minnesota classic, creamed with vegetables not cream.

Easy Tortilla Soup with Chicken or Turkey Quick to assemble.

Gumbo A classic Cajun gumbo, except that the roux is cooked in the oven.

My Chicken Noodle Soup The way I make it, meaty and noodle-y with just a few noodles.

Winter Tomato Soup Roasting and slow-cooking draw out summer flavor.

~ more soup recipes ~
My Chicken Noodle Soup ♥, meaty and noodle-y with a special technique to plump up just a few noodles. Low Carb. High Protein.
... & CHILI
THE COLLECTION Chillin': Favorite Chili, Chowder & Cornbread Recipes

Chocolate Chili My long-time recipe, meaty and full of spices and a touch of chocolate.

White Chicken Chili An old favorite, a little lighter.

Favorite Chili Recipes from A Veggie Venture
Fresh-Tomato Chili
Vegetable Chili with Sweet Potatoes & Chipotle

~ more chili recipes ~

Chocolate Chili ♥, my oldest (and still best!) recipe for homemade chili with lots of spices and yes, cocoa powder. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. High Protein. Gluten Free.

Homemade Stock: Not Just Easy, No-Big-Deal Easy.

No-Big-Deal Homemade Chicken Stock How to turn making chicken stock from a production into No-Big-Deal.

No-Big-Deal Vegetable Stock for the Slow Cooker Just 4 common vegetables, just 3 hours.

Turkey Stock How to make turkey stock for the best gravy ever.

Favorite Stock Recipes from A Veggie Venture
Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Concentrate

How to Freeze Stock in Canning Jars ♥

DIY Spice Blends

THE COLLECTION DIY Spice Blends & Homemade Seasonings Made to order, mixed to taste.

DIY Herb Blend for Homemade Herb Bread The twelve herbs I use for herb bread.

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Fall's favorite coffee drink, made at home with real ingredients including my very own DIY pumpkin pie spice.

DIY Herb Blend for Homemade Herb Bread ♥, twelve herbs to add to bread dough for great bread for burger buns, sandwich rolls, toast, crostini and more.

Homemade Bread: Fill the Kitchen with Memories

THE HOUSE BREAD Our Daily Bread: My Easy Everyday Bread Recipe An easy, European-style bread I make every few days.
HOMEMADE FLATBREAD How to Make Grilled Flatbread With step-by-step photos
HOMEMADE BISCUITS How to Make Perfect Biscuits With step-by-step photos + eight tips for extra-good biscuits

Grilled Flatbread Rye flour, fresh herbs. Great flavor, great texture!

Mom's Perfect Biscuits The family biscuit recipe, perfected by three generations of fine biscuit makers and one persistent food blogger.

Soft Rolls for Sandwiches (NOLA-Style French Rolls) Especially for extra-good sandwiches, crispy crusts, soft interiors.

Swedish Rye Bread Slightly sweet, densely delicious.

~ homemade bread ~

Soft Sandwich Rolls (NOLA-Style French Rolls) ♥, soft insides with crispy crust perfect for sandwiches of all shapes and sizes, even from the same batch.

Snacks, Power Bars & Portable Treats

DIY Power Balls Spiked with espresso powder for a caffeine kick.

Easy Almond Crackers Low-carb, high-protein homemade crackers for travel snacks.

Healthy Trail Mix A healthy mix of nuts and dried fruit, bulked up with low-sugar Cheerios.

Homemade Microwave Caramel Corn No mess, no fuss in a paper bag.

Homemade Caramel Corn ♥, made in the microwave in a paper bag so no mess, no fuss. Fun for kids!

Get Creative: Ice Cream & Other Frozen Treats

MASTER RECIPE Easy Fruit Sorbet aka “If You’ve Got Three Ingredients and Five Minutes, You’ve Got Sorbet”
MASTER RECIPE Rustic Fruit Ice Cream An easy, no-cook rich, creamy and fruity ice cream.

Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce Simple to make, simple to serve.

Homemade Fudgicles Delicious for kids and grown-ups alike.

Raspberry & Red Wine Granita An icy-cold raspberry slushee for grown-ups.

Homemade Blackberry Sauce Simple technique draws out natural berry flavor.

Homemade Chocolate Sauce In-a-Flash Just ten minutes and a few pantry ingredients.

Maple-Glazed Pecans Crisp and barely sweet. Pecan Pizzazz!

Raspberry-Red Wine Coulis (Reduction Sauce) Sweet-but-tart raspberry sauce, a perfect added-touch for desserts.

~ more Ice Cream ~

Master Recipe: Rustic Fruit Ice Cream ♥, a no-cook master recipe for ice cream with all different fruits, rich, creamy and totally fruity.

Pies & Tarts with Crusts Worth Eating (This is NOT France)

HOW TO How to Make Flaky Tender Pie Crust Step-by-step photos & insider tips.

Almond Press-In Crust For an impressive European tart.

Flaky Tender Pie Crust Savor every single bite.

No-Bake Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust (Homemade Chocolate Cookies) Filled with fresh glazed strawberries, a real crowd pleaser.

No-Roll Oatmeal Crust

My Favorite Graham Cracker Crust A crisp, sturdy crust, not too sweet, not too buttery.

Banana Cream Pudding For pie, parfaits, pavlova and even (yummm) plain.

American Apple Pie Savor every single tender, flaky apple bite.

Coconut Cream Pie How to move grown men to silence.

Lemon Meringue Pie Sunny slivers of the lemony classic.

Favorite Pies from A Veggie Venture
Honey Pumpkin Pie
Perfect All-Rhubarb Pie

~ join us for #PieDayFriday ~
~ more Pies & Tarts ~

First-Prize Peach Pie with Lattice Crust ♥, this recipe won first prize in my town's peach pie contest! It uses a special technique to draw out the peach flavor. No blanching! No peeling!

All Things Sweet: Jams, Syrups & More

Banana Syrup Especially for banana-oat pancakes.

Blueberry Jam with Cinnamon Sweet, spicy, summery blueberry jam in 90 minutes.

Brown Sugar Lemon Curd My Canadian family's signature recipe.

Easy Apricot Jam with Rosemary Rustic and barely sweet, just five ingredients.

Homemade Peach Syrup with Fresh Peaches Thick, caramel-y peach syrup.

How to Make Rhubarb Jam & Rhubarb Jelly Make both in an hour!

Orange-Kissed Marshmallows Homemade orange-flavored marshmallows, lots of tips for beginner and experienced marshmallow-makers.

~ more Jams, Pickles & Preserves ~

Easy Apricot Jam with Rosemary ♥, a small batch with just five ingredients, rustic and barely sweet. No canning required.

Non-Food DIY

DIY Homemade Foot Lotion Take care of your feet, three easy-to-find ingredients.

DIY Substitute for Baker's Joy Just three ingredients and works like a charm.

Hummingbird Food

~ more Little Extras That Make All the Difference ~

DIY Substitute for Baker's Joy ♥, just three ingredients and works like a charm.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite information sources? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If The Homemade Pantry hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

The Homemade Pantry ♥, a special collection of recipes for ingredients and dishes we could easily buy but choose to make from scratch at home because they taste better, cost less, have fewer or higher-quality ingredients or are simply more convenient.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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