D.I.Y Family Size Meals in a Bag…

How We made Our Own Meals in Mylar


weekend project 03.08.14 034

The Purpose:
We made 39 meals all using dry ingredients this past weekend to add to our long-term food storage. The idea behind it was to make meals that already had all the necessary items and spices in the bag, and we could simply just add hot water to reconstitute when needed. In thinking about what kind of meals to make, we chose to go with a few soups, a couple varieties of seasoned beans, mac & cheese, black beans & rice, sugar & cinnamon oatmeal, and some biscuit mix. These are great items for camping and prepping!

Potential Fails:
As mentioned, these meals are were made with the idea of being ‘ready-to-go’. That mindset was kept throughout the process, and so all spices were mixed in with the items. Afterwards, the realization came that perhaps we should have put the seasoning in separate smaller bags within the main bag? But if you try this method, you can decide which would be best for you. These items are intended for use with a Cast Iron Dutch Oven.

Exact Items We Used:
1 Quart Mylar Bags: Find Them Here
Provident Pantry Butter Powder: Find it Here
Provident Pantry Shortening Powder: Find it Here
Oxygen Absorbers 2000cc 30 Pack: Find Them Here
Norpro 3245 Grip Easy Manual Pastry Blender: Find it Here

You need the various ingredients, Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, pastry cutter, and a sealer (we used a hair straightener on the highest setting, worked perfectly!). Make sure you are storing your oxygen absorbers in a sealed glass jar to keep them fresh. Leave them in the jar until you are ready to seal everything at once. You don’t want them to go bad before you get to use them!
Remember: to seal half of the bag, press out all the air you can, then add the oxygen absorber at the end and seal the bag. Getting all the air out before you add in the absorber, will ensure it’s effectiveness.


Super Easy Seasoned Split Pinto Beans:
This is one of the two simplest recipes we bagged. You can do it one of two ways, first you can either cook one pound of your beans, then dehydrate them, and bag or put them in the bag uncooked. Then add 3 tablespoons of Fiesta Brand Pinto Bean Seasoning. See, told you it was simple! The specific seasoning mentioned is amazing and can be used in a variety of bean dishes. If you have freeze dried ham or bacon, you can add it to the bags for more flavor if you’d like. Note: for our recipe, we did not cook the beans ahead of time and plan to use our Cast Iron Dutch Oven to cook them.

Just As Easy Seasoned Navy Beans:
This is the second easiest recipe's that we put together, (don’t worry they get better). We used triple cleaned navy beans that we found on clearance in one pound bags for .55 each at the dollar store! You can also pre-cook the beans, then dehydrate them, and bag or like we did; just throw them in uncooked. Once again we added 3 tablespoons of Fiesta Brand Pinto Bean Seasoning to the beans, seal half way, press out air, throw in one oxygen absorber, and seal. Bam, easy as that nine pounds ready to go!

Lentil Soup Dry Mix:
2 Cups Lentils
1/4 cup Minced Onion (dried)
1/4 cup Dehydrated Green Peppers
2 tbs. Parsley
1 1/2 tsp. Thyme (dried)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (dried)

Combine all ingredients, bag per previous instructions. To cook add 6 cups of water, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If you have diced tomatoes add in a 14 ounce can, or if you have dehydrated tomatoes you can add one cup in also. (you can also substitute some of the water, and use 2 cups of chicken broth {reduced sodium} and then only use 4 cups of water.)

Chicken & Rice Soup:
2 Cups Rice
1/2 cup Minion Onion (dried)
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4  cup Chicken Base or Bullion
1 cup Freeze Dried or Dehydrated carrots (optional)
1 cup Freeze Dried or Dehydrated Celery (optional)
2 tbs. Parsley (Dried)
1 Cup Freeze Dried Chicken (optional)

Combine and bag per previous instructions. To Cook: Put all in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, add 7 cups of water, cover, and simmer 25 minutes or until rice is done. (You can substitute 6 cups of the water for low sodium chicken broth and use one cup of water; if you have it available.)

Black Beans & Rice:
2 Cups Rice (for this we used pre-cooked, then dehydrated rice that we had stored, but it is optional)
2 Cups Pre-Cooked & Dehydrated Black Beans (can use uncooked)
1/2 cup Minced Onion (dried)
1 tsp. Oregano (dried)
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

Combine all and bag per previous instructions. (you can add in 1/2 cup tomato powder while bagging, or one can of stewed tomatoes when your cooking). To Cook: Mix with 4 cups of water, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is done.


Ready-to-Go Mac & Cheese:
One Pound (16 oz.) Macaroni Noodles
1/2 Cup Cheese Powder (Kraft Cheese Powder)
1/4 Cup Powdered Butter (Provident Pantry Butter Powder)

Combine all and bag per previous instructions. To Cook: Mix with 5 cups of water, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes or until noodles are done.

Cinnamon & Sugar Oatmeal:
3 Cups of Quick Oats
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cinnamon
2 tbs. Powdered Butter (Provident Pantry Butter Powder) (optional)

Combine all and bag per previous instructions. To Cook: Boil 5 3/4 cups water, add in mix, cook for 1 minute. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Trailer Park Biscuit & Drop Biscuit Mix:
5 cups All Purpose Flour
3 tbs. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Salt (I used sea salt)
1 cup Powdered Shortening (Provident Pantry Shortening Powder)
1/2 cup Powdered Butter (Provident Pantry Butter Powder)

Makes Approx. 6-7 Biscuits

Combine all and bag per previous instructions. To Make: Add full bag to 1/2 - 1 cup of water (add slowly, so you can judge if you need the entire amount). You may have noticed that this recipe does not include milk or sugar like some, but it is a great and versatile recipe still. If you would like to replace the water with milk it works fine as well. These work terrific in cast iron and are warm and buttery! (can be thinned to make pancakes as well)

*NOTE: if you double this recipe you will make enough for 5 quart size Mylar bags as we did. We separated it all out evenly in 5 different bags, this is why you have to slowly add water until you get the consistency that you need.

To Use For Drop Biscuits: use one entire bag of mix & decrease water to 1/4 - 3/4 cup; add to soups as you’d like.

In Total We Made:
 weekend project 03.08.14 029
39 Ready To Go Meals: 9 Seasoned Navy Beans, 5 Chicken & Rice Soup Mixes, 2 Seasoned Split Pinto Beans, 6 Lentil Soup Mixes, 6 Mac & Cheese, 5 Biscuit Mixes, 3 Black Beans & Rice, and 3 Cinnamon & Sugar Oatmeal.

           weekend project 03.08.14 018weekend project 03.08.14 016weekend project 03.08.14 028

If You Have Any Questions, Feel Free to Leave a Comment or Message Us on Facebook!

(Also Feel Free To Test & Exchange Ingredients to Your own Liking)

Author Information:

Sharon Pannell is a self proclaimed "Prepsteader", both prepper and homesteader. She authors the blog The Trailer Park Homesteader where she teaches others about the importance of disaster preparedness and self-sufficiency. Sharon believes everyday the stuff can hit the fan, it is not one big epic event necessarily and it only takes one set back to create a hardship; so big or small prepare for it all ! Along with her blog, Sharon can also be found managing her other social media sites including her Facebook Page The Trailer Park Homesteader, TTPH Pinterest Page, and TTPH Twitter Page.


  1. Great idea! I especially like the Biscuit recipe. Thanks. -Mike

  2. Thanks I found your site very informative, & I'm looking forward to making these meals.

  3. Thanks for the recipes but a bit of advice. Save yourself some money next time and buy the 300cc Oxygen Absorbers, the 2000cc are for 5 gallon bags or buckets.