9 Survival Recipes That Are Easy To Make (2024)

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So you’ve beefed up your home security, you’ve gathered plenty of emergency supplies, and you’ve stocked your pantry with lots of survival food. Now you’re ready to ride out the next disaster… Or are you?

Just because you have months or years worth of emergency food doesn’t mean you’re ready to live on it. Cooking without power is easier said than done, and it takes practice. So instead of cooking the fancy meals you love so much, you should focus on recipes that are simple and easy to make.

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And since you probably won’t have a working fridge or freezer, they should be recipes that either don’t make a lot (so your family can eat it all in one sitting) or store well at room temperature. Here are nine popular survival recipes that fit the bill.

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1. Hardtack

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Also called hard bread, ship’s biscuit and even tooth dullers, hardtack has been a survival food for many centuries. The Ancient Roman army had a version of the hard biscuit, and Admiral Nelson’s men had barrels of them on their ships. Here in America, we recognize hardtack from the many mentions of it Civil War letters, poems, and songs.

The basic recipe for hardtack always includes flour, water and perhaps a bit of salt or sugar. The resulting baked wafers have an incredibly long shelf life. Hardtack is, well, hard–and quite bland. That’s why soldiers and sailors would soak them in coffee, soup, or grease to soften them up and make them more palatable.


  • 5 to 6 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of water

For more info, here is the full recipe for hardtack.

2. Pemmican

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Created by Native Americans, pemmican is often called the ultimate survival food.

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Its name comes from “pimi,” the Cree word for “grease” or “fat,” and traditional pemmican is made from deer, elk, bison or moose meat. Lean beef can work well too. A concentrated blend of fat and protein from lean, dried meat, pemmican has been known to keep for decades.


  • Lean meat
  • Lard (or tallow)
  • Optional extras (nuts, berries, dried fruit, etc.)

If you’d like to try it, here’s how to make pemmican.

3. Jerky

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Forget about those thin packaged versions you can buy at the supermarket or convenience store. They are filled with all kinds of unnatural preservatives. Homemade jerky is a high-protein, easy to make, and portable survival food.

You begin with strips of lean meat of your choosing – from beef to venison to other wild game – and then follow a simple process of marinating and then dehydrating. If you do not have a dehydrator, you may use an oven for drying. In fact, many people think oven-dried jerky has the best flavor.


  • 2 pounds of meat
  • 1/2 cup soy of sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worchester sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. of Morton Tender Quick Cure
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tbs. of garlic powder
  • 1 tbs. of onion powder
  • 2 tbs. of cracked pepper

Here is the full beef jerky recipe.

4. Biltong

Biltong is a traditional South African food that consists of dried and marinated meat. Whereas jerky is often smoked, biltong is cured with vinegar, salt, and spices, and then it’s air-dried. Also, you can make biltong from a large variety of cuts of meat.


  • 2 kg of lean meat
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3 cups of plump sea salt
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 2 tbs. of ground black peppercorns
  • 100 ml. of Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 cups of vinegar
  • 4 tbs of ground coriander seeds

Here is the complete recipe for bitlong.

5. Bannock

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Bannock, sometimes called skillet bread, is a round, flat unleavened bread that is associated with Scotland and northern England. Although you can adapt a bannock recipe for the oven, it is meant to be cooked in a skillet over a campfire or in a fireplace.


  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tbs. of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of dried fruit
  • 1 tsp. of chopped rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk

Here is how to make bannock.

6. Peasant Bread

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Homemade bread is great, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to make. Peasant bread, on the other hand, is easy to make and doesn’t require any kneading at all. In fact, the whole preparation process takes less than an hour. That’s why it became so popular, especially during the Great Depression.


  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 2 tbs. of sugar
  • 1 tbs. of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 3 cups of wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Here is our complete peasant bread recipe.

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7. Dried Fruit

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You can get many of the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy in a survival situation by eating dried fruit. In addition to canning your summer and fall bounty, why not consider frying some of it? It is a great everyday snack and it stores well for an emergency. You can use a dehydrator if you have one or you can use your oven. You also can dry fruits in the sun during an emergency situation.


  • Fruit of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of lemon
  • 1/2 cup of water

It’s fairly easy to make. Here is some DIY dried fruit.

8. Beans and Rice

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Beans and rice is easy to make and it offers your family a complete meal in a survival situation. If you have bacon, you can add it for flavor and more protein.


  • Equal parts dry beans (such as Pintos, Great Northern or black beans) and rice (not quick-cook or instant varieties). pintos, great northern, or black beans)
  • Salt and pepper (about a teaspoon per cup or to taste)
  • Water (three times as much as you have of beans and rice)


  1. Rinse the beans and let them sit overnight.
  2. The next day, bring beans to a simmer and let them cook for about two hours until they are starting to get tender.
  3. Add rice and cook for about another 30 minutes.
  4. If available, add spices or garlic to taste.

9. Ration Bars

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You also can make your own homemade protein ration bars to have on hand in an emergency. They’re not the tastiest food, but they are calorically dense with lots of fat and protein. The energy they provide will keep you going all day.


  • 6 cups of oats
  • 2 Tbs of chia seeds
  • 3 Tbs of hemp flour or almond flour
  • 2 Tbs of fruit powder (optional)
  • 6 scoops of protein powder
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 10-12 heaping Tbs of peanut butter

I made a post with detailed instructions on how to make these. You can read it here. Or you can watch the instructional video below.


As you consider survival food preparations, here are some important factors to keep in mind:

  • Price
  • Nutritional content
  • Caloric content
  • Minimum one-year shelf life
  • No refrigeration required after opening or single-serving sizes to reduce spoilage
  • Minimal cooking requirements – Heat and eat or just open and eat
  • Ingredients and flavors your family already likes (an emergency is not the time to experiment with new things if you don’t have to)

Rather than waiting for a disaster before making these survival foods, why not go ahead and make them now? Most of them will last months, if not years, and will be ready to eat when you need them.

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You May Also Like:

  • 5 Amish Recipes Every Homesteader Should Learn
  • How to Make Hardtack: A Cracker That Will Last A Century
  • How To Make Pemmican: The World’s First Survival Food
  • How to Make Bannock, A Healthy and Delicious Survival Food
  • 18 Survival Breads to Make in an Emergency

9 Survival Recipes That Are Easy To Make (11)

9 Survival Recipes That Are Easy To Make (2024)


What are the easiest survival foods? ›

What Emergency Foods to Keep in Your Pantry
  • Peanut Butter. ...
  • Whole-Wheat Crackers. ...
  • Nuts and Trail Mixes. ...
  • Cereal. ...
  • Granola Bars and Power Bars. ...
  • Dried Fruits, Such as Apricots and Raisins. ...
  • Canned Tuna, Salmon, Chicken, or Turkey. ...
  • Canned Vegetables, Such as Green Beans, Carrots, and Peas.
Mar 27, 2023

What are the top 10 survival foods? ›

  • Meats & Beans. Canned meat, chicken, turkey, seafood. and other protein-rich foods, such as. ...
  • Vegetables. Canned vegetables and vegetable juices. ...
  • Fruits. Canned fruits and fruit juices. ...
  • Milk. Canned, boxed or dried milk and shelf- ...
  • Grains. Ready-to-eat cereal, crackers, pretzels, ...
  • Water. Enough for 1 gallon per day.

What is the best homemade survival food? ›

Hardtack, Pemmican, Parched Corn, and Trench Cake Are Some of the Original Foods for the Long Haul. MREs and emergency ration bars are fine examples of modern survival foods. These bug-out-friendly items can be stored for long periods and provide sustaining nutrition, two key requirements for survival food.

What are the simple foods to survive on? ›

What survival foods should I stockpile for survival? Stock up on non-perishable items like canned goods, nuts and seeds, dried fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources like peanut butter, beans, and jerky. Prepare for any eventuality with a stockpile of water and non-alcoholic drinks.

What 3 foods could you survive on? ›

A balanced diet of survival food will ensure that your body is getting all the protein, carbs, minerals, and vitamins it requires to remain healthy. If you could only select five foods to survive on, potatoes, kale, trail mix, grains, and beans would get you pretty far.

What's the cheapest food you can live on? ›

Cheapest Foods to Live On:
  • Oatmeal.
  • Eggs.
  • Bread.
  • Rice.
  • Bananas.
  • Beans.
  • Apples.
  • Pasta.

What is the oldest survival food? ›

In this article, we break down the origins story of the original North American survival food: Pemmican. The Carnivore Bar has a rich history rising from the evolution of a traditional food source called pemmican.

What food can you survive on only? ›

In short, it's biologically impossible to survive on one food. Regardless of whether you opted for a protein-heavy diet and choose steak as your food of choice, or aim to maximize your green veggie intake by consuming spinach for the rest of days, your body would eventually fail you.

What is the best food to stockpile long term? ›

Rice and varieties of beans are nutritious and long-lasting. Ready-to-eat cereals, pasta mixes, rice mixes, dried fruits, etc. can also be included to add variety to your menus. Packaged convenience mixes that only need water and require short cooking times are good options because they are easy to prepare.

What food is good for emergency kits? ›

Build up your emergency pantry over time when grocery shopping to make the task easier. Some examples of foods to include are:
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
  • Protein or fruit bars.
  • Dry cereal or granola and dried fruit.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Canned juices and non-perishable pasteurized milk.

What single food can sustain life? ›

"The only food that provides all the nutrients that humans need is human milk," Hattner said. "Mother's milk is a complete food. We may add some solid foods to an infant's diet in the first year of life to provide more iron and other nutrients, but there is a little bit of everything in human milk."

What is the simplest food? ›

Glucose is the simplest form of food. All carbohydrates are digested into monosacchrides such as glucose.

What is one food you couldn't live without? ›

Here are the top foods that when asked, American said that simply can't live without.
  • Mac and Cheese.
  • butter.
  • pizza.
  • milk.
  • bread.
  • bacon.
  • pasta.
  • cheese.
Mar 10, 2021

What foods last a long time without refrigeration? ›

  • Dried and canned beans. With a long shelf life and high nutrient content, dried and canned beans are smart non-perishable food choices. ...
  • Nut butters. Nut butters are creamy, nutrient-dense, and delicious. ...
  • Dried fruits and vegetables. ...
  • Canned fish and poultry. ...
  • Nuts and seeds. ...
  • Grains. ...
  • Canned vegetables and fruits. ...
  • Jerky.
Jan 16, 2020

What food is shelf stable for power outage? ›

FEMA recommends stocking up on the following items in case of an emergency: Ready-to-eat canned fruits, vegetables and meats, along with a can opener. Protein or fruit bars. Dry cereal or granola.


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