Simple Chicken Pasta Bake is a quick easy meal option. Picture: Supplied
Simple Chicken Pasta Bake is a quick easy meal option. Picture: Supplied

The emergency food items you need right now

When there's an emergency, you don't need to go crazy buying groceries.

But there are a few items you should have on hand to help make any possible quarantine period easier on you and your family.

Check your pantry to see if you already have these items before going out to buy more so that you avoid waste and excess buying.

It's better to have the basics so you can make many dishes from scratch, rather than buy things in a panic and leave others without.

Here's a list of staples and recipes you can use them in, thanks to our Pantry Hero pals at Australia's Best Recipes.

Beef macaroni is always a quick, comforting winter winner. Picture: Supplied
Beef macaroni is always a quick, comforting winter winner. Picture: Supplied



Trays of mince are your friend when it comes to stocking the fridge. Mince dishes are easy on your budget and can be stretched into lasagnes, pies and bolognese. Our macaroni mince recipe is quick to make and great for nights on the run.


A few bottles of pasta sauce won't go astray in an emergency. Keep bottles of simple tomato sauce in your pantry so you can whip up hearty dishes like our herb and cheese pasta bake which will be a hit with everyone at the dinner table!


Chicken is the heart of many recipes, and this chicken in a pot recipe is no exception. It uses juicy chicken thighs and makes enough to feed four even with leftovers. Stretch it further by serving it with rice, mash potato or pasta and you'll have full bellies who won't want for anything more.


Chicken in a Pot. You know you want to make it. Picture: Supplied
Chicken in a Pot. You know you want to make it. Picture: Supplied



It makes most things better, we reckon. Our easy cheese balls use just 4 ingredients but make enough to keep hungry tummies full at snack time. Whip up a double batch and store them in a sealed container so you will always have something to curb cravings.


Nutella is a good spread to have in the pantry because you can use it in so many different ways! From Nutella brownies and Nutella muffins to spreading it on toast or making a Nutella slice, there is always a delectable to use this spread. It stores well too!


Delicious and simple Chicken Pasta Bake. Picture: Supplied
Delicious and simple Chicken Pasta Bake. Picture: Supplied



A hearty bowl of noodles always hits the spot. They are easy to store and easy to use. You can make dinner in a flash with just a few packets of noodles, some frozen veggies and your favourite noodle sauce. Try our Singapore noodles recipe for a noodle night in!


A big dish of fried rice puts a smile on everyone's dial. Packets of rice can be stored easily in your pantry allowing you endless dinner options that can be served as a main or a side. From this fried rice recipe to creamy rice porridge, rice really is a staple everyone needs.


Yummy Singapore noodles. Picture: Supplied
Yummy Singapore noodles. Picture: Supplied



When you have pasta on hand you can make (almost) anything! And if you've got chicken, as recommended above, you could try our simple chicken pasta bake which uses store-bought pasta and packet sauce. It's a delicious dinner option for the cooler months when you have hungry mouths to feed.


It's always good to have a tray or two of beef in the freezer so that you can whip up delicious, hearty dinners like our beef macaroni recipe. It's a good hearty comfort meal that will two small baking dishes or one large dish.





* Easy

* 0:10 Prep

* 0:45 Cook

* 4 Servings


500 g beef mince

500 g macaroni

2 onion diced

850 g can condensed tomato soup

250 g smoked bacon diced

400 g canned diced tomato

600 g tasty cheese grated

1 capsicum diced


1. Cook macaroni and drain.

2. Fry bacon and onion. Drain well. Brown mince and drain well.

3. In a large pot or bowl mix together the macaroni, beef, bacon, onion, capsicum

and diced tomatoes.

4. Mix through tomato soup and three quarters of the cheese.

5. Place into a baking dish and sprinkle with the last of the cheese.

6. Bake at 180C on the middle shelf for about 30 minutes. Turn half way through




Herb and Cheese Pasta Bake. Picture: Supplied
Herb and Cheese Pasta Bake. Picture: Supplied



* Easy

* 0:15 Prep

* 0:55 Cook

* 4 Servings


375g dried penne pasta

100g semi-dried tomatoes, chopped

690g jar tomato pasta sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

1/2 cup grated mozzarella

180g tub bocconcini, torn

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

80g mixed salad leaves, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan- forced. Lightly grease a 6cm-deep, 8-cup-

capacity ovenproof dish.

2. Place pasta, tomato, pasta sauce, 1 cup cold water, basil, parsley and half the

oregano in prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Sprinkle

with mozzarella. Cover dish with greased foil.

3. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Top with bocconcini. Bake,

uncovered, for 15 minutes or until cheese is golden and pasta is

tender. Stand for 10 minutes.

4. Top pasta bake with remaining oregano and extra basil leaves.

Serve with salad.



* Easy

* 0:20 Prep

* 0:37 Cook

* 4 Servings


1 1/2kg chicken thighs

1/4 cup plain flour

2 bacon rashers finely chopped

1 green capsicum diced

1 onion finely chopped

425g canned whole tomatoes peeled

2 tbs. tomato paste

2 chicken stock cubes

1 tbs. soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt and pepper

200g mushrooms


1. Coat chicken thighs in flour.

2. Combine all ingredients, except for mushrooms, in a 3 Litre

casserole dish.

3. Cover and cook for 27-30 minutes on medium-high. Stir 2-3 times

during cooking.

4. Add mushrooms, then cook uncovered, for a further 5-7 minutes.


Um, that’s a big yes to Nutella Slice. Picture: Supplied
Um, that’s a big yes to Nutella Slice. Picture: Supplied




* Easy

* 0:15 Prep

* 0:25 Cook

* 10 Servings


1 cup self-raising flour

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup hazelnuts ground

1 cup brown sugar firmly packed

2/3 cup Ferrero Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread

125g butter melted


1. Combine all ingredients, except Nutella.

2. Press into a slice tin.

3. Bake at 180C for 15 minutes.

4. Cool for 5 minutes.

5. Spread with Nutella.

6. Bake for a further 10 minutes.



Everyone loves a Honey Joy. Picture: Supplied
Everyone loves a Honey Joy. Picture: Supplied



* Easy

* 0:30 Prep

* 0:25 Cook

* Makes 24


90g butter

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbs. honey

4 cups Kellogg's Cornflakes


1. Preheat oven to 150C.

2. Line 24-hole patty pan with paper cases.

3. Melt butter, sugar and honey together in a saucepan until frothy.

4. Add cornflakes and mix well.

5. Working quickly, spoon mixture into patty cases.

6. Bake for 10 minutes.

7. Cool.



* Super easy

* 0:10 Prep

* 0:30 Cook 

* 4 Servings


200 g bacon rashers sliced

400 g pumpkin cut into 2cm cubes

500 g chicken thigh fillet skinless sliced

125 ml thickened cream

100 g baby spinach

200 g penne pasta cooked

40 g KEEN'S Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe Base sachet


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Heat oil in a large frying pan, cook

bacon and pumpkin for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and cook for

a further 5 minutes.

2. Mix KEEN'S Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe Base with 1 cup (250ml) of water until

well combined. Pour over chicken mixture, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir through

cream and spinach.

3. Toss cooked pasta through sauce, spoon into a lightly greased 2.5 litre ovenproof

dish and bake for 15 minutes or until golden, and serve.



* Easy

* 0:30 Cook

* 4 Servings


450 g noodles thin

2 eggs lightly beaten

2 (fillets) chicken thighs chopped

1 onion chopped

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 carrot grated

3/4 cup frozen peas

2 beef stock cubes

3/4 cup water

200 g bean sprouts optional

1 tbs. soy sauce to taste

1 tbs. curry powder to taste

1 cooking oil spray


1. Bring pan of water to the boil. Add the noodles, return to boil and drain immediately.

2. Season beaten egg with salt and pepper. Heat wok, spray with oil, add egg and cook until

set. Remove egg, chop and set aside.

3. Heat oil in wok, add chicken, cook and set aside.

4. Add onion and garlic to wok, cook until soft

5. Add vegetables, curry powder and stock. Stir well.

6. Add bean sprouts and cook until softened.

7. Rinse noodles, add to vegetables with cooked egg, chicken and soy sauce.

8. Toss and warm through.


Everyone loves minestrone. Picture: Supplied
Everyone loves minestrone. Picture: Supplied



* Easy

* 0:15 Prep

* 0:20 Cook

* 4 Servings


1 tbs. oil

2 carrots diced

2 zucchinis diced

1 onion diced

3 tsp garlic crushed

1L Beef Style Liquid Stock

2 x 400 g canned diced tomatoes

400 g canned butter beans

220 g Hokkien noodles chopped

1/4 cup oregano chopped fresh


1. Saute carrots, zucchini, onion and garlic in oil, on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until


2. How to prep onions.

3. Stir in consomme and tomatoes. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Mix in beans and noodles. Return to simmer and cook 1 minute until noodles are


5. Stir through oregano and season to taste.



Originally published as The emergency food items you need right now