Easy Snacks from the Pantry
Have you run out of your favorite munchies while stuck at home? We can help, with 21 homemade snack ideas for everything from Goldfish crackers to chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls.
Before hunkering down to shelter in place, you probably laid in a supply of your go-to healthy snacks (and maybe some not-so-healthy ones, too—hey, we’re quarantining). I’ll bet you thought you’d bought more than you needed, that it would last for weeks. Maybe you were even a little embarrassed at how much munchy stuff you brought home. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve eaten almost all of it already.
Seriously, I’m snacking like it’s my job. I always start with fruit or veggies, but before I know it I’m on to cookies, then something salty and crunchy, then over to chocolate. Go figure: Being quarantined during a deadly pandemic can lead to stress-eating.
Worrying about the coronavirus is upsetting enough. If your lack of snacks is making you even more stressed out, I’d like to clue you in on a wonderful secret: Your pantry probably has the makings of a whole lot of easy snack deliciousness. With a smidgen of effort, you can get your munchies on.
If you’ve got some common staples on hand, you can make all 21 of the easy snack recipes that follow—and if you’re missing a few, no worries. Many of these healthy snack ideas also offer smart swaps and substitutions. Exactly what you need, when running to the store to pick something up may be out of the question.
Seriously, if you wanted to make all 10 savory nibbles and all 11 sweet treats, you’d only need these three dozen-ish ingredients:
Basic ingredients for easy snack recipes
Salt & pepper
Peanut butter or almond butter
Shredded or flaked coconut
Dried red lentils
Dried split peas
Oil (vegetable oil or olive oil)
Baking supplies for making easy snacks
Rolled and/or quick-cooking oats
Chocolate chips or bars
Snack-making supplies from the fridge
Sharp cheddar cheese
Extra ingredients for easy homemade snacks
Crispy rice cereal
Ground flax seed
Recipes for when savory, salty, crunchy cravings hit
The yen for salty snacks might get you dreaming about crackers, chips, spiced nuts, salty chickpeas, and of course Goldfish. Good thing it's not too difficult to make them all yourself. An easy recipe from this first group will satisfy.
Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Looking to chomp on something sweet, crunchy, and salty all at once? Give these munchies a try. Baking thinly sliced sweet potatoes on a rack, low and slow, lets the oven’s hot air surround each slice to crisp it up without any acrid burnt edges. No need to flip! And just one small sweet potato will make three cups of nibbles.
Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips
We know, salt & vinegar chips aren’t for everybody. But people who love them really love them. If that’s you, your shelter-in-place just got a whole lot easier. Who knew it was so simple to make these chips yourself? All you do is soak your spud slices in apple cider vinegar before cooking. That acidic bite will be exactly what you’re looking for.
How to Make Homemade Tortilla Chips
One of the best parts of eating at a Mexican restaurant has to be the basket of freshly made chips. Since you can’t go out for that, it’s a good thing you can fry up your own batch at home. Pull out a jar of salsa (if you’re a chips-and-salsa person, I’ll bet you made sure to stock up), put your homemade chips in a basket, and see if that helps relieve some of your urge to dine out.
Homemade Goldfish Crackers
Being cooped up with kids is stressful enough. You do not want to run out of their favorite snacks. This five-ingredient version of the childhood classic might not be a perfect replica, but it’ll give the youngsters oodles of bite-sized, cheesy crackers. The recipe even shows you how to make the perfect fish-shaped cookie cutter out of a soda can!
Homemade Saltines Crackers
Goldfish aren’t the only crackers in the sea—maybe you like to dip saltines into your tomato soup. If that’s the case, this shockingly doable recipe will keep your supply steady. If you’d known it was so easy to make saltines at home with just five basic ingredients, you might not have bought any packaged ones in the first place.
Salt and Pepper Crackers
Think of these as an elevated, elegant nibble. Using almond flour instead of wheat gives them a nice nutty flavor and a crisp texture, and it also makes the crackers keto-friendly and gluten-free. In addition to the almond flour, salt, and pepper, the only other thing you need is a single egg.
Chili Spiced Mixed Nuts
As long as your spice rack is full and you can cobble together three cups of mixed nuts, this not-too-hot, faintly sweet, addictively crunchy snack can be yours. Don’t worry if you’re out of coconut oil—you can swap in any vegetable oil for the same results. And if you’ve got six cups of nuts, go right ahead and make a double batch.
Q: What’s crunchy and salty and nutritious and works with practically any seasoning you can think of? A: Canned chickpeas, patted dry, tossed with oil and spices, and roasted. The recipe calls for two cans of beans, which is a good thing since you’ll be gobbling these down by the handful. (You knew you were ready for a change from hummus, right?)
Fried Spiced Red Lentils
Red lentils are among the most unassuming legumes, but soak them for an hour, pat them dry, and fry them, and they crisp up into tiny, seductive tidbits. A quick toss with smoked paprika makes them even more tempting. You won’t believe this sophisticated vegan snack came from such humble beginnings.
Crunchy Split Peas
If your cupboards don’t hold any red lentils but you do have a package of good ol’ split peas, we’ve got great news: You can treat them virtually the same way as the lentils, with similarly enticing results.
Recipes for when you want something sweet (and possibly healthy)
Energy bites, cookies, muffins, candied nuts, and crunchy sweet snacks—you'll definitely want to try these healthy-ish recipes.
Base Granola Bar
Perfect for times like these, since the whole point is to mix in whatever you’ve got on hand. Using just seven basic ingredients (including salt) plus your choice of extras, these will never taste the same twice.
Peanut Butter Chickpea Blondies
Everybody’s got some chickpeas in their quarantine stash, yes? One can, plus some peanut butter (or almond butter), combine with a handful of other pantry staples to make a yummy, gluten-free treat that’s chock-full of protein and not too sweet, while still being irresistibly delicious.
Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
Just five ingredients—peanut butter, graham crackers, powdered sugar, butter, and chocolate chips—become creamy-crunchy, chocolate-dipped flavor bombs. You’re going to want to keep a regular supply of these on hand for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Though similar in spirit to the previous recipe (all you need is PB, chocolate chips, rolled oats, ground flax seed, and honey), these little no-bake nuggets of energy take only 10 minutes because you there’s no dunk in melted chocolate. And they’re super-flexible: No flax? Add a little more of the oats. The recipe also includes a handful of other ingredients you can swap in if you like.
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
You’re not going to believe you can make peanut butter cookies this crumbly-scrumptious with nothing but PB (creamy or crunchy), sugar, and an egg. Bonus: Without flour, these babies are gluten-free. And if you’re running low on granulated sugar, swap in light brown.
Dark Chocolate Nutty Fruit Bites
As long as you’ve got some dark chocolate and sea salt, the sky’s the limit with these delicious discs. And they couldn’t be simpler to make. You just melt the chocolate, spoon into rounds on a piece of parchment, and place any type of dried fruits (blueberries! bananas!) and nuts on top. Follow with a sprinkle of salt, and you’re done.
Jam Crumb Bars
If you bake even occasionally, odds are good you’ll have everything you need in your pantry for these fun bars. From truly basic ingredients, though, comes something special, thanks to one flexible addition: A smear of whatever kind of fruit jam you have, sandwiched between a buttery shortbread base and a crumbly streusel topping.
Yogurt Chocolate Chip Muffins
Greek yogurt keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge, meaning you can create tender, tangy sweet muffins studded with chocolate chips, even if you’ve run out of milk. Instead of the cake flour, just go for regular all-purpose if that's what you have on hand.
Maple Cinnamon Candied Walnuts
Walnuts + maple syrup + cinnamon + vanilla. If you have those four ingredients in your cupboard, you only need five minutes to get those nuts coated in a sweet-and-spiced glaze. If you don’t have walnuts, try pecans, almonds, or cashews instead.
Cinnamon Apple Pie Energy Bites
An apple pie would be pretty comforting right now. But if you don’t have fresh apples and plenty of butter for the piecrust, it’s out of the question. These super-simple snacks manage to recreate the flavor and aroma with much less effort and just four ingredients: dried apple bits or apple slices, dates, almonds, and cinnamon. And unlike a pie, these are fairly low fat and are Paleo diet-friendly!
Crunchy Caramel Corn Snack Mix
Okay, this walks the line between snack and treat, but who doesn’t deserve a treat in the middle of a pandemic? Plain popcorn, rice cereal, pretzels, and nuts get tossed in an easy caramel made with light brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and baking soda. The biggest challenge here is to resist eating it all at once.
More great food from your pantry
Wanting something more substantial? Our 20-Minute Dinners from the Pantry include 15 easy meals you can make with what you have on hand.
More recipes for quarantine cooking
We're with you at Yummly during the coronavirus to make home cooking as easy and flexible as possible. You'll find lots more ideas in our quarantine cooking collection.