Just-Add-Water Recipes (2+Years Shelf-Life) – Ask a Prepper

by Tommy Grant

One of the most important aspects of getting ready for a major disaster scenario is to stock up on food and to learn methods for preparing meals that do not involve kitchen appliances.

That’s because when the grid goes down, you may not have power to run your appliances in the first place. You’ll have to turn to alternative options to make your meals, such as by cooking via makeshift ovens or wood stoves.

On certain days in a disaster your time will also be stretched thin by tending to various tasks related to your survival. On those days, you’ll need the ability to make quick and yet hearty meals that you can prepare in a matter of minutes and that can fuel you for several hours.

The best kinds of meals to make in this regard are Just-Add-Water meals, which are exactly what they sound like.

The following eighteen recipes only need water (and maybe some heat) to make, and can be made out of ingredients that have a shelf life of two years or more. Note that each of these recipes are single servings intending for one person.

For each of the following recipes, the preparation method remains consistent: simply mix all dry ingredients together in a sealed container or bag for easy storage.

When ready to enjoy, add hot water and allow the mixture to rehydrate for a few minutes until the desired consistency is achieved. This straightforward approach ensures quick and effortless meal preparation, regardless of the dish you choose to make.

Instant Oatmeal Mix

Rolled oats (½ cup)

Powdered milk (2 tablespoons)

Brown sugar (1 tablespoon)

Dried fruits such as raisins or dried cranberries (2 tablespoons)

Cinnamon (¼ teaspoon)

Instant Mashed Potatoes with Gravy:

Instant mashed potatoes (½ cup)

Gravy mix (1 tablespoon)

Dried chives (½ teaspoon)

Salt and pepper

Powdered butter (1 tablespoon)

Dehydrated Vegetable Soup Mix

Just-Add-Water Recipes (2+Years Shelf-Life)Dehydrated mixed vegetables such as carrots, peas, corn, etc. (¼ cup)

Lentils or dehydrated beans (2 tablespoon)

Bouillon cube (1)

Dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, parsley (½ teaspoon)

Salt and pepper

Instant Chicken and Rice Casserole:

Instant rice (½ cup)

Dehydrated chicken or canned chicken (¼ cup)

Dried vegetables such as peas, carrots (2 tablespoons)

Chicken bouillon cube (1)

Instant Beef and Vegetable Stir-Fry:

Instant rice or ramen noodles (½ cup)

Dehydrated beef crumbles (¼ cup)

Dried vegetables such as broccoli or bell peppers (2 tablespoons)

Soy sauce powder (1 tablespoon)

Instant Pasta Salad:

Just-Add-Water Recipes (2+Years Shelf-Life)Dehydrated pasta (½ cup)

Dehydrated vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, onions (2 tablespoons)

Dried herbs such as oregano, basil (¼ teaspoon)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil powder (¼ teaspoon)

Quinoa and Black Bean Mix:

Quinoa (¼ cup)

Dehydrated black beans (2 tablespoons)

Taco seasoning (1 teaspoon)

Dried cilantro (½ teaspoon)


Freeze-Dried Fruit Smoothie Mix:

Freeze-dried fruits of your choice  such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas, etc. (¼ cup)

Powdered milk or protein powder (2 tablespoons)

Honey powder (1 tablespoon)

Chia seeds (1 teaspoon)

Instant Rice and Lentil Pilaf:

Just-Add-Water Recipes (2+Years Shelf-Life)Instant rice (½ cup)

Dehydrated lentils (2 tablespoons)

Dried vegetables such as onions or carrots (1 tablespoon)

Curry powder (½ teaspoon)


Instant Lentil Soup:

Dehydrated lentils (¼ cup)

Instant rice (¼ cup)

Vegetable bouillon cube (1)

Dried onions and garlic (1 teaspoon)

Italian seasoning (½ teaspoon)

Instant Tuna and Couscous Salad:

Instant couscous (½ cup)

Canned tuna (in water, 1 can)

Dried vegetables such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes (2 tablespoons)

Italian dressing powder (1 tablespoon)

Instant Quinoa Breakfast Porridge:

Just-Add-Water Recipes (2+Years Shelf-Life)Quinoa flakes (¼ cup)

Powdered milk (2 tablespoons)

Dried fruits such as apricots or figs (1 tablespoon)

Cinnamon (½ teaspoon)

Instant Chocolate Chia Pudding:

Chia seeds (2 tablespoons)

Cocoa powder (1 tablespoon)

Powdered sugar or sweetener (1 tablespoon)

Powdered milk (2 tablespoons)

Instant Banana Nut Oatmeal:


Instant oats (½ cup)

Dehydrated banana slices (2 tablespoons)

Chopped nuts such as walnuts or almonds (1 tablespoon)

Powdered milk (2 tablespoons)

Brown sugar or sweetener (1 tablespoons)

Instant Chickpea Curry:

Just-Add-Water Recipes (2+Years Shelf-Life)Dehydrated chickpeas (¼ cup)

Instant rice (½ cup)

Curry powder (1 tablespoon)

Dried onions and garlic (1 tablespoon)

Coconut milk powder (2 tablespoons)

Instant Spinach and Feta Pasta:

Instant pasta (½ cup)

Dehydrated spinach (2 tablespoons)

Powdered feta cheese (1 tablespoon)

Dried tomatoes (1 tablespoon)

Italian seasoning

To extend the shelf life of your prepared mixes, store them in airtight containers in a cool, dark environment such as a pantry or food storage area.

Consider using vacuum-sealed bags or resealable containers to protect against moisture and pests.

These just-add-water recipes are convenient and simple solutions for making a quick and easy dish.

Besides keeping you fed in a disaster scenario, they will be suitable meal options for days when you’re hiking or camping out in the woods as well.

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