Mason Jar Meals: “Fast Food” for Preppers

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating – canning is the perfect way to provide “fast food” for preppers.

Last night we got home from 2 days of traveling.  We were tired and hungry.  It was so nice to pop a lid off a jar and heat up a tasty, nutritious and filling meal in less than five minutes, without worrying about all of those nasty additives that a store-bought can of soup would contain.  The instant gratification from a home-canned meal is wonderful on a day that you just don’t feel like cooking, and invaluable when disaster strikes and you are unable to use your usual methods of preparing a meal.

You can preserve your own recipes easily – find the guidelines HERE.

Canning meat – HERE.

Canning beans – HERE

Soups, stews and chili can help you quickly produced a well-balanced meal.  Click the preserving tab at the top of the page for more recipes.

Some meals need only a quickly boiled carbohydrate like rice or pasta to make a satisfying meal at the drop of a hat – here are 3  tried-and-true canning recipes to enjoy…

Hungarian Goulash


  • 4 pounds of stewing meat (beef, pork, etc.)
  • 4 tbsp of REAL Hungarian paprika (must be the real stuff for an authentic flavor)
  • 2 tsp of dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 onions, quartered
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 6 potatoes, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of red wine vinegar
  • Water as needed


  1. In a bowl, mix Hungarian paprika, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and begin to sauté your onions and garlic.
  3. Dip your stewing meat in the spice mixture, then place the meat in the stockpot to brown with the garlic and onions.  Brown lightly – the meat does not have to be thoroughly cooked.
  4. In quart jars, layer your meat and vegetable mixture, carrots, peppers and potatoes.
  5. Add 6 cups of water, vinegar and the jar of tomato paste to the stock pot and mix with any drippings or spices that remain after browning the meat.  Bring this mixture to a boil.
  6. Ladle hot liquid into sanitized jars over the layered contents.  Use a table knife to remove any air pockets in the jars. If necessary, top up with water, allowing 1 inch of headspace.
  7. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:  When heating your goulash, whisk in 1 tbsp of flour in order to thicken the sauce.  Once it is hot, stir in a half cup of sour cream or yogurt and heat only until the sour cream is warmed through.

Serve your goulash over egg noodles, potatoes, spaetzle or dumplings and don’t forget a side of fresh sour dough bread!

Beef Stroganoff


  • 3-4 pounds of stewing beef or sliced sirloin
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water to deglaze pan


  1. In a large stockpot, sauté beef, onions, garlic and mushrooms in butter until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and enough water to deglaze the stockpot.  Use a metal utensil to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the flavorful pieces there.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and stir well, bringing to a boil.
  4. Ladle the stroganoff into sanitized jars, distributing the sauce evenly across the jars.
  5. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:  When you are ready to serve the beef stroganoff, stir 1 cup of sour cream or plain yogurt into the heated sauce.  Serve this over rice or noodles.

Chicken Cacciatore

The rich herbed tomato sauce and the tender chicken will not last long on the pantry shelves – as soon as you serve one jar of it, your family will beg you to make it again!

To make life even simpler, this is a raw-pack recipe!


  • 3 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (a mix of breasts and thighs is nice)
  • 2 cups of red and green peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups of onion, cut into 8ths
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cups of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 tbsp of oregano
  • 2 tbsp of basil
  • 2 tbsp of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Layer chicken, peppers, onions, mushroom and garlic in quart jars.
  2. In a large stockpot bring wine, tomatoes, and herbs to a boil.  Ladle hot liquid over the layered ingredients in your sanitized jars.
  3. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:  When preparing the cacciatore, stir in a small can of tomato paste when heating to thicken the sauce.  Serve over pasta, with a side of garlic bread.

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper's Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy's articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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