What’s Inside: In this article, I share a recipe for Chicken Basil, using nothing but shelf-stable ingredients, such as pasta, canned chicken broth, canned chicken, canned and dehydrated vegetables, and more. It’s a super easy recipe, and my family enjoyed it.
Chicken Basil Recipe Using Shelf-Stable Ingredients
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First, I want to give credit where credit is due. I got this recipe from the book, 100 Day Pantry (Amazon) by Jan Jackson. The basic premise of this book is that you can cook all of the recipes from items in your pantry. You don’t even need water to cook them! It’s a great book, and I highly recommend it if you are building a prepper pantry, but aren’t quite sure what to cook from the food in your pantry.
100 Day Pantry
This is one of the best books out there when it comes to easy meals that you can make from items stored in your pantry. The recipes use a combination of pantry staples such as canned food, dry goods such as pasta and rice, and dehydrated food. If you’re building a prepper pantry, you likely have the foods you’ll need to make most of the recipes in your food storage.
Chicken Basil Recipe
First, let’s take a look at the ingredients:
- 6 oz pasta (I used egg noodles)
- 1 14-oz can of chicken broth
- 1 12.5-oz can of chicken
- 1 15-oz can carrots, drained (I used a pint of my home-canned carrots that I did NOT drain.)
- 1 6-oz can mushrooms, undrained, optional
- 1 16-oz jar Alfredo sauce
- 1/2 cup dried broccoli (Amazon | Augason Farms | Mother Earth Products)
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Almost all of the ingredients in this recipe are items you can buy at your local grocery store. The only exception to that is the “dry broccoli.” Here’s the product I recommend.
Instructions (as they are given in the book)
First, I want to give you the instructions as they were written in the book, 100 Day Pantry (Amazon). As you’ll see below, I altered the instructions, for reasons I’ll share below. Now, here’s what you’re “supposed” to do:
- Pour the can of chicken broth into a medium sized saucepan.
- Cook the noodles in the chicken broth, until the noodles are done. Add the other ingredients and simmer until heated through.
Directions – What I Actually Did
My original intention was to follow the recipe exactly as written. However, as I looked at the instructions, I noticed that there weren’t any instructions for rehydrating the broccoli. This would work okay, if you used crumbled up broccoli that was very fine, almost powdered. But I wanted some big chunks of broccoli, and I was concerned they wouldn’t rehydrate properly if I only heated them through.
Rehydrating the Broccoli while Cooking the Noodles
I ended up deciding to rehydrate the broccoli while I was cooking the noodles.
My only concern with that was that the can of broth may not be enough to cook the noodles AND rehydrate the broccoli. So I decided to drain the liquid from my home-canned carrots into the pot with the broth, so I’d be sure to have enough liquid to both cook the noodles and rehydrate the broccoli
Note: The original recipe called for the carrots to be drained, so with me choosing not to drain the carrots, I used quite a bit more liquid than the recipe called for.
Add Remaining Ingredients and Heat Through
Once the noodles were cooked and the broccoli was rehydrated, I added the remaining ingredients and heated through. It turned out more soupy than I anticipated.
This could be because I used the liquid from the carrots, but it’s also possible that it was supposed to be soupy. Regardless of whether or not it had more liquid than intended, it was delicious, and I plan to make it again.
Trusting the Recipes in the Book, 100 Day Pantry
The genius of the recipes in the book, 100 Day Pantry (Amazon) is that you don’t need to add additional liquid. All of the liquid you need for a recipe is included in the canned ingredients you use. Not only that, sometimes the recipes call for draining some of the ingredients. For instance, in the case of this particular recipe, I was supposed to drain the carrots, and I didn’t.
I believe that had I trusted the recipe, and followed the instructions exactly as written, the end result would have been more like a casserole, or “skillet dinner.”
Of course, what turned out to be chicken basil soup was still delicious, and if a soup is what you want, by all means, add all the liquid.
One thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to food storage recipes, you may have to adapt your thinking and do things differently from how you normally cook.
Here are the resources I recommend for making pantry meals.
- Augason Farms
- Mother Earth Products
- Nutristore Freeze Dried Food (Amazon)
- 100 Day Pantry book (Amazon)
- Quick and Easy Dehydrated Meals in Bags book (Amazon)
- Pantry Stuffers Rehydration Calculations Made Easy book (Amazon)
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