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Eight Great Meal in a Jar Recipes

Be ready for emergencies big and small with these eight great meal in a jar recipes! All you need to do to get a great meal on the table is add water and cook! Or give them away as gifts!! Printable cut files for the label stickers and tags are available!!

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Picture of eight meals in a jar stacked on countertop, in mason jars, with labels and gift tags.

Easy Meal in a Jar Recipes

I have been working on putting together some food storage for my family for the last several years.  There are many options out there nowadays for ready-to-go meals, but they can be incredibly expensive!  So I’ve spent some time researching ways to make my own.  I came across several options for recipes for meals in a jar.

A few years ago I did a class for a local women’s group on make-ahead meals and mixes, and I put together several meals in jars as examples.  We generally tend to focus on food storage for times of emergencies, but I’ve also found these meals can be incredibly useful for small-scale “emergencies” of the dinner kind – you know, those nights when things have been crazy chaotic and it’s 6pm and everyone is starving, but you haven’t been to the grocery store, or you haven’t pulled anything out of the freezer for dinner, or you just generally don’t have any thing planned for dinner that night…

These have been great options to keep on the shelf for THOSE emergencies!  These meals in a jar can be used as part of your long-term food storage if you wish.  When properly sealed, they can last 5-1o years on the shelf.

But they can also be used as part of your dinner emergency stash – those meals you pull out when you need to get dinner on the table quick!

Freeze-dried Ingredients

Most of these meal in a jar recipes will require freeze-dried or dehydrated ingredients.  Depending on where you live, these might be available locally, or you may have to order them online.  There are several companies that specialize in producing these items:  Augason Farms, Emergency Essentials, Honeyville Grains, The Ready Store, and Thrive Life, just to name a few.  All of these companies have websites where you can order products and have them shipped to you.  You can also find many options on Amazon or on

I don’t really have a preference among the brands, as I’ve tried several of them.  I don’t generally use the Thrive products because you have to order through a consultant, and I’ve found them to generally have higher prices than the others.  Most of the items in my storage come from Augason Farms, Emergency Essentials or Honeyville Grains, because they all have stores near me or are readily available at my local Walmart.  

Not Just for Food Storage!

Now, the tags on the jars are there for gift-giving, should you choose to use these as neighbor gifts!  You absolutely do not need to put tags on yours, especially if you’re just keeping them on your pantry shelf (although you do need to label the jar somehow), but if you would like to add tags, or if you’re thinking about making some of these up to give as gifts, you can find the Cricut cut files for both the instruction labels AND the gift tags at The Happy Scraps – my awesome friend Amy (and she’s my neighbor, too – lucky me!) designed the labels and tags especially for this project, and I think they turned out AMAZING!!

Eight Great Meal in a Jar Recipes



Tuesday 16th of May 2023

Thank you. 🙏💜🙏. These look and sound delicious. I'll be making them, some as gifts.

Cathy Holloway

Sunday 2nd of April 2023

Can you do friendship soup with the meat in the jar so I can make it like the other ones you do. By the way my family loves your meals in a jar. They are hungry they can eat what they like.


Wednesday 15th of February 2023

I have tried many different recipes for meals in a jar. Yours are the best tasting and you give the best instructions. If you have any more recipes, I would like to try them.


Wednesday 15th of February 2023

Thank you! I’m glad you have liked them!!

I have more I’m working on. The big hurdle right now has been the freeze-dried meats unfortunately. They are either out of stock, or insanely expensive. I need to work on some meatless options in the interim.


Monday 9th of January 2023

What is an oxygen absorber?

Jamie Smith

Thursday 1st of December 2022

Do you have labels with the ingredients on them as well?


Thursday 1st of December 2022

No. My friend did labels with instructions and then a gift tag, but not a list of ingredients, although you could add that to the back of the gift tag if you wanted.