Shopping List: Pantry-Friendly Coronavirus Week (with a Nod to St. Patrick’s Day)

The Family Plan #18

How’s everyone holding up? In our discussion the other day I said I was resisting going coronavirus shopping, but things seem to have reached a fever pitch here in NY. My husband’s office is making all kinds of work-from-home contingency plans, the kid’s school is talking about how they’ll be using Google Classroom for home learning if it becomes necessary, and it all feels like we’re skating on the edge of panic. So this afternoon my son and I stocked up on ramen and snacks (for him) and canned tomatoes, pasta, milk, cheese, and eggs (for us). I didn’t need much, but somehow managed to spend $123 anyway.

Meanwhile, why are people buying water? Are they expecting the municipal water supply to be contaminated? I’m very confused by this.

Anyway, I tried to make sure next week’s meal plan is largely pantry-based, just in case you’re hunkering down. There’s not a lot of intentional leftovering, but each night’s dinner comes together quickly.

Here’s the menu:

SUNDAY PREP: This is for vegetarians only—you’ll be cooking up a pound of lentils to use during the week. No biggie.

MONDAY: A Baked Potato Bar using your Instant Pot or slow cooker, with all the fixings: bacon, Greek yogurt for some extra protein, cheddar, black beans, broccoli, salsa, scallions, etc. You’ll add a few extra taters to give you a head-start on tomorrow’s dinner.

Photo courtesy SkinnyTaste

TUESDAY: It’s St Patrick’s Day, so we’re making Shepherd’s Pie, either a meat-based version from SkinnyTaste or a vegetarian one from Eating Well. Those leftover spuds save you some time preparing the mashed potato top, and vegetarian folks will be using some of their lentils.

WEDNESDAY: Mushroom and Spinach Omelets from Cooking Light (or jam omelet for the picky kids) with a baguette. Add a little bacon, if you like.

THURSDAY: Pasta and Lentil Soup from Food Network uses canned lentils if you’re a meat-eater and more of the cooked stash if you’re a vegetarian. You’ll want a baguette here, too, for dunking.

Photo courtesy TheKitchn

FRIDAY: Sheet Pan Shrimp (or Tofu) Tacos from TheKitchn use frozen shrimp and a simple yet tasty mix of spices, as well as a super-quick homemade slaw. Vegetarians, you’ll swap in tofu.

Here’s the shopping list:


  • 6*-7 (8 oz.) baking potatoes (M, T)

  • 1 medium or large* plus one small onion (T, Th)

  • 1 head garlic (T, W, Th, F)

  • 2 medium shallots (W)

  • 1 bunch scallions (M, F)

  • 1 bunch rosemary OR use dried (T)

  • 1 bunch thyme OR use dried (T, W)

  • 1 bunch parsley (Th)

  • 2 avocados (M, F)

  • 1 bunch broccoli OR buy frozen, below (M)

  • 1 bunch celery (T)

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages mushrooms (T, W)

  • 1 bunch carrots (T*, F)

  • 1 package slaw mix (F)

  • 1 small jalapeno, optional (F)

  • 3 limes (F)

  • 1 package firm tofu* (F)


  • 1 lb. dried lentils* (T, Th)

  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans (M)

  • 2 (14 oz.) cans lentils MEAT EATERS ONLY (Th)

  • 1 jar salsa, any kind (M)

  • 24 oz. chicken broth (T, Th)

  • 8 oz. beef broth (T)

  • 32 oz. vegetable broth* (T, Th)

  • Paprika (T, F)

  • Dried rosemary OR use fresh, above (T)

  • Dried thyme OR use fresh, above (T)

  • Red pepper flakes, optional (Th)

  • Ground cumin (F)

  • Chili powder (F)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil (T, W, Th)

  • Cooking spray (F)

  • Flour (T)

  • Tomato paste (T, Th)

  • Worcestershire sauce (T)

  • Buttermilk powder* (T)

  • Jam, optional (W)

  • 8 oz. orecchiette or other small pasta (Th)

Meat Counter

  • 1 package bacon (M)

  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef (T)


  • 12-16 oz. plain Greek yogurt (M, T)

  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese (M)

  • Butter (M, T*, W)

  • 8 large eggs (W)

  • 2 oz. parmesan cheese with rind (Th)


  • 2 baguettes (W, Th)

  • 8 corn tortillas (F)

Freezer Case

  • 10 oz. package broccoli florets OR buy fresh, above (M)

  • 10 oz. mixed vegetables (T)

  • Small package corn kernels* (T)

  • 1 lb. uncooked peeled and deveined medium shrimp (F)

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Watch your inbox on Saturday for details on how it all comes together.

Until then, wash your hands!