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The Ultimate Stock-Up Grocery List & Meal Plan

pasta added to easy homemade vodka sauce recipe in a soup pot

We’re sharing a well-planned grocery list and meal plan to last at least a few weeks. Wishing you all comfort and nourishment in the kitchen and at the table.

These are wild times, and we want to help as much as we can—today we’re sharing a well-planned grocery list and meal plan to last at least a few weeks. In challenging times, we’ve always found comfort and nourishment in the kitchen and at the table. We hope you will, too.

Here’s What We’re Stocking Up On Right Now

A lot of people are rushing to the grocery store right now with the idea of stocking up on pantry items, dry goods, and other long-lasting ingredients—us included! But, before you head to the store, it’s a good idea to make a plan! Not only will some advance planning save you money (take it from us, panic-purchasing all the fancy cheese and the entire olive bar is not recommended), it’ll ensure that you’ve got many, many days worth of meals that you’ll actually enjoy cooking and eating. No one wants to eat PB&J for two weeks straight, right? Right. But when we say “you should make a grocery list and meal plan, in case of self-quarantine or whatever” what we mean is we’ve already made one for you! Because we know you’ve got better things to do right now. You could call this our ‘coronavirus is a thing and I guess we’re just staying home for a really long time’ grocery list. Or, if you have a really big family, you might just call it a shopping list for creating a well-stocked pantry. This list looks long, but we’ve broken it down into categories, so hopefully you can just hit the store and tackle this list, aisle by aisle.

dried pasta in a bag on light pink surface

Here’s what we’re stocking up on right now:

  • Pasta! All shapes—linguine, fettuccine, spaghetti, penne, and rigatoni are our faves. Buy tons, it lasts forever. We will also be grabbing some frozen and refrigerated tortellini and gnocchi. Grab some jarred sauce, too.
  • Other grains. Quinoa and brown rice are at the top of our list.
  • Canned goods. You know this one already, right? You’ll want canned tomatoes, canned coconut milk, canned beans (black, pinto, refried, garbanzo). Read more about the canned goods we always have in the pantry here..
  • Dry goods! So many lentils and so many split peas.
  • Eggs. They also last a surprisingly long time, and they’re really versatile. A six-minute egg turns the simplest things (like a piece of toast) into a meal.
  • Dairy! Cheese, butter, yogurt.
  • Fresh vegetables that last: cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes and sweet potatoes last and last, so we’re loading up. We’re grabbing bell peppers and mushrooms—they don’t last ages, but they’ll last a bit and we’ll just plan to use them up first. Carrots can last a really long time, too, if you peel them and pop them in water in the fridge.
  • Frozen veggies. We actually have a whole post about this, but for the purposes of this grocery list, we’ll reiterate our faves! We’ll be stocking up on frozen broccoli, frozen kale, frozen spinach.
  • Alliums! Garlic and onions—and lots of them! Also shallots, scallions, ginger. All of these things will last and last. Pro-tip: don’t store them in the fridge. Store them in a bowl on your counter.
  • Seasonings and spices. A MUST. These are the magical things that are going to bring lift and sunshine and brightness to your pantry meals over these next few weeks. Load up on Italian seasoning, curry powder, chili powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes, Better than Bouillon (one tiny jar takes up so much less space than cartons of stock), cumin, smoked paprika, red curry paste, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh herbs (keep parsley and cilantro in a bit of water on the counter to make it last). You can read more about our five favorite, must-have spices here..
  • Condiments. Make sure you’ve got all the usual suspects—soy sauce, vinegars, mayonnaise, ketchup, Dijon mustard. Sambal oelek chili paste is a must in our homes, too.
  • Nut butters. Peanut butter clearly deserves its own category, but we’re also stocking up on tahini.
  • Fresh and frozen meat: steak, frozen chicken breasts and thighs, frozen sausages, frozen bacon, frozen ground beef and frozen ground chicken are at the top of our list. All of our favorite frozen foods are rounded up HERE, if you want a more comprehensive list.
  • Fats. There’s just no better way to say that! Olive oil and butter.
  • Fruit. Things that last—oranges, bananas, apples, lemons, avocado and limes—and some frozen fruit, too! Frozen blueberries top our list.
  • Treats! Almost as important as everything else. We’re loading up on chocolate chips, flour, sugar, butter, cocoa powder, oats, raisins—all of our favorite baking supplies—because if there was ever a time that required frequent cookie-baking and random just-because cake-making, it’s now!

Now you’ve got a prepped-and-ready, stock-up grocery list—here’s what you can make with all of those hard-earned groceries:

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup With Sausage And Kale in a pot with a ladle.

Soup—The OG Fridge-Clean-Out / Pantry Meal

These four soup recipes rely mostly on canned goods, some spices and simple broth, and are flavorful, healthy and (bonus) all freeze quite well.

one pot braised chicken and kale with white beans in a cast iron skillet

One-Pan Wonders

These simple, one-pan or sheet-pan dinners are as easy as they come. Grab some chicken from the freezer, and pair it with a veggie and some seasonings and you’ve got yourself a delicious dinner!

Steak Bites and Sweet potatoes with curry aioli in a pan

Easy Dinner Recipes With Four Ingredients or Less

It doesn’t get much simpler than these 3-and-4 ingredient recipes. They’re fast, easy and so, so good:

black bowl filled with award winning chili and topped with grated cheese, cilantro and diced avocados

Low and Slow Dinner Recipes for a House That Smells Divine All Day Long

The upside of being at home—what better time to tackle those recipes you’ve always wanted to try that take all day to cook!? That Sunday gravy you’ve always wanted to try, or baking a loaf of bread from scratch. Or any of these TMP simmer-all-day favorites. And, of course, these recipes rely mostly on freezer and pantry ingredients:

close up of coconut curry lentil soup with toasted bread

Easy Vegetarian Dinners, Straight From The Pantry

A well-stocked kitchen and a little elbow grease are all you need to make healthy, delicious vegetarian dinner recipes. Here are some of our very favorites:

chicken fajitas dinner in a ziplock bag getting ready to be put in the freezer

If There Was Ever A Time for Freezer Meals, It’s Now!

Luckily, we’ve got a bunch of ‘em.

large bowl of homemade bolognese with pasta and fresh parmesan

Pasta, Pasta and More Pasta

Is pasta the ultimate dry good? Quite possibly. It’s filling, delicious, kids love it and it lasts forever. Plus, you don’t have to dress it with much to make a lovely meal. Here are the recipes that are at the top of our we-kind-of-can’t-believe-this-is-a-phrase-we’re-using quarantine cooking list:

chocolate chip cookie brittle cut into triangles

Treat Yourself!

We read somewhere that one of the most important things to stock up on (in addition to the essentials, of course) are treats! Things you like to eat, that you’ll look forward to—little indulgences. We’re all for that. In this strange time, we’re seeking to comfort ourselves, our families and friends, in whatever small ways we can. And baking for loved ones is one of our favorite ways to do it! We’ll be making:

Let’s Cook Together!

What are you stocking up on? What are you cooking to sooth, nourish and comfort yourself and your loved ones? We want to know! Let’s come together and cook “together”—snap a photo of your kitchen antics and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see and share!