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Survival Food 101: 43 Survival Food That Taste Good

One of the most critical aspects of your survival plan is how you’re going to feed yourself and your loved ones during a crisis.  It’s quite easy if you’re only staying at home because you can stockpile a bunch of food. But if you’re forced to evacuate to another location for whatever reason, things can get difficult. In this type of scenario, what would be your best choices for survival food?

Survival Food That Tastes Good? You Bet!

When the day that we’ve always been afraid of comes, those who have prepared will have a greater chance of surviving. Food becomes a luxury, a rarity even if available at all. The prepper, however, can count on his stored food. There are lots of companies that sell survival food kits but just looking at the packaging already makes you lose your appetite. For sure these meals provide nourishment, but after SHTF, food has to provide some comfort. We have put together a list of delicious survival foods that provide the body’s required nutrients and make life just a bit more bearable at the same time. Before you continue to the list, check out my favorite survival food that isn’t only tasty, it has NO EXPIRATION DATE. Certain Foods Canned Meat is perfect for any survivalist.

1. Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Ask The Meatman’s Own Hot Teriyaki Deer/Beef Jerky Seasoning by Ask The Meatman

Easy to eat, easy to bring along, and lasts very long… there’s no mistake in stocking up on beef jerky. You can even make some by yourself if you know how to hunt. Beef jerky is one of the most versatile meats available for any prepper. Aside from being convenient enough to eat on its own, it can also stand in as a protein for your carb-loaded meals. Frying it gives it a softer texture that goes well with soft carbs, like potatoes or rice. It’s a great way to liven up a meal during an SHTF situation.

2. Breakfast Cereals

Breakfast Cereals | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Breakfast Cereal by Free Foto

After a disaster, having a proper breakfast can give you a positive outlook and start your day off right. Cereals are packed with nutrients and necessary calories that you’ll need during a hard day when SHTF. To keep enjoying this treat, make sure you stock up on enough powdered milk.

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3. Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Canned Fruits and Vegetables | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Canned Fruits & Other Products Agrofoods

Fruits and vegetables give you essential vitamins to keep you healthy, aside from tasting great. Fruits and vegetables are important for a balanced diet during trying times. Unless you have a subterranean greenhouse, you’d do well to keep canned fruits and vegetables in your survival pantry. Our friends at Valley Food Storage have short and long-term supplies of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables–stock up!

4. Canned Meat

Canned Meat | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
How Long Does Canned Food Last Photo by Survival Mastery

This should be on the list because, in addition to being delicious, meat provides the protein to keep you strong. Short of animal husbandry in your bunker (which is, by the way, unsustainable) canned meat will be your only source of animal protein. Make sure to stock up on these a LOT.

5. Canned Salmon

Canned Salmon | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Canned Salmon by Meals4One

One of the best tasting fish out there, you can never go wrong with salmon. Diversifying your diet during a survival situation is essential. If you can’t source fresh fish yourself, this is a very good substitute. It’s plentiful, nutritious, lean, and healthy. Related post: Fish Like a Redneck: 26 Wacky Fishing Tips

6. Cheese

Cheese | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Bega Canned Cheese by ArmyAirborne (AR15)

Most cheeses can spoil in a short period but you can go for cheese spread, canned cheddar, or dehydrated cheese to enjoy your favorite food — even in a crisis situation. Cheese is a survival food that, while perishable, should hold for a pretty long time. It also adds a welcome flavor enhancement to otherwise bland meals.

7. Chocolate Bars

Chocolate Bars | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Mars (chocolate bar) Wikipedia

Who says you can’t have chocolate when things go south? Chocolates are one of the best survival foods available to you. If you need to unwind, comfort food like chocolate is a great way to help find your peace of mind. Plus, the endorphins you get through this survival food will greatly increase your happiness in a bleaker world.

8. Chocolate Chia Survival Bars

Chocolate Chia Survival Bars | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Chocolate Chia Chai Energy Bar by Epicure

The fact that it’s a superfood should be enough to convince you to try these chia bars. Chia seeds are a great source of essential nutrients. These include omega-3 acids, fiber, antioxidants, iron, and calcium. The chocolate flavor is a just bonus!

9. Coffee and Tea

Coffee and Tea | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Coffee and Tea Picgifs

There’s nothing like the aroma and taste of coffee to perk you up in the morning, even in rough times. Tea, on the other hand, relaxes you, apart from its known health benefits. Both of these drinks are great during a survival situation, as the caffeine will certainly help out when it comes to standing and keeping watch. Also, they work great as barter items – everyone needs their caffeine fix, after all.

10. Cookies

Cookies | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Italian Spumoni Cookies (“Spumookies”) by Food Network

There is no doubt about it: everyone loves cookies! Bonus: they’re great survival foods because of their long shelf life… if you can leave them alone. If you can, stock up on chocolate chips, butter, flour and milk – you’ll need ’em if you need to bake during the apocalypse.

11. Crackers

Crackers | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Saltine Crackers Healthy Snack Photo by Syri Catalogue

Crackers may not be your favorite food, but when they’re all that’s left in the aftermath, they definitely get the job done. They are a quick way to get some carbs into you, with the added bonus of their shelf life. Of course, man cannot live on crackers alone. Make sure you have plenty of water nearby to avoid dehydration.

Related:  Preparedness Notes for Sunday - November 25, 2018

12. Dried Fruits

Dried Fruits | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Is dried fruit healthier Photo by The Hearty Soul

Fresh fruit could be hard to find after a disaster, so it’s best to stock up on the dried variety. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your diet diversified during a survival situation. Dried fruits add a much-needed flavor boost to your diet. They are also nutritious and delicious! Learn how to make your own dried fruit here. 

13. Energy Bars

Energy Bars | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
5 Maca Energy Bar Recipes Photo by Mommypotamus

Considering the physical exertion needed in survival situations, energy bars should be in your food storage list. True to their name, these give a natural boost of energy to you, thanks to their high calorific content. They’re a great food to have with you when you’re out there in the wild. This survival food is a necessity.

14. Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Herbs, Spices and Flavoring

Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Herbs, Spices and Flavoring | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
How to Dry Celery and Homemade Celery Salt Recipe Photo by Health Starts in the Kitchen

Even if they cannot be enjoyed by themselves, these ingredients help you cook up delicious meals. As we’ve stated before, enhancing the taste of your food can keep you happy during an SHTF situation. There’s a reason why spices were so valued back in the day. Therefore, keeping a huge stock of spices ensures good food, as well as possible barter items.

15. Grill Bread

Grill Bread | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Fresh-Baked Bread Straight From the BBQ Photo by Popsugar

Don’t worry, you can make your own bread when the bakeries have shut down. Grilled bread is also a tasty carb that can help the beef jerky go down nicely. Making these shouldn’t be hard, as long as you have enough flour and eggs to make it happen.

16. Hard Candy

Hard Candy | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Hard (to understand) Candy Photo by Dubbatrubba

Hard candies may not be the top of mind when you think about survival food, but it’s got its purposes. For one, it keeps your sugar levels stable when you are out for a long time. It’s also a great dessert to have after a full meal of canned stuff. This is a great supplement to your meal, and they can last a long time.

17. Hardtack

Hardtack | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Hardtack Photo by 3rdusreenactors

Despite having the same culinary appeal as crackers, hardtack can last a lot longer. Sailors during the Age of Discovery frequently stocked hardtack in their ships due to its longevity and calorific content. While not exactly the tastiest carbs, this survival food will keep you alive in an SHTF situation.

18. Honey

Honey | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
What you should know about honey before you buy it Photo by Treehugger

In addition to honey’s great taste and the many health benefits it offers, it lasts a lifetime, too. No joke–honey does not expire. It’s a great addition to your coffee, tea, or cooking. The sugar content of honey is essential to keeping your sugar levels stable in a world where a trip to the supermarket isn’t exactly possible. If all else fails, use these for barter.

19. Homemade Survival Bars

Homemade Survival Bars | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Survival Bar Recipe & Instructions: Chocolate Chia Photo by DIY Projects

These DIY survival bars are not only nutritious, they are also a cinch to make. You can start making them right now and stock them in your pantry so you’ll be prepared for any situation. They are also healthier than, say, store-bought energy bars. You may also personalize the recipes to your own taste. Learn how to make your own here!

20. Instant Mashed Potatoes

Instant Mashed Potatoes | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Instant Mashed Potatoes: Awesome Survival Food Photo by Survival Life

No more boiling and mashing. Just add water and enjoy the dish. These are a great addition to your meals. They go great with the protein you hunt, and its neutral taste is sure to supplement the savory sensations of your meats. Click to learn more about why these are a fantastic survival food option. 

21. Jams and Jellies

Jams and Jellies | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Jams and Jellies Photo by Gourmet Food Clubs

Spread it on toast, fruit, cake, even ribs, and the food simply comes to life. Preserves such as jams are a great way to keep yourself stocked with fruit food products during a survival situation. You could slather this on some hardtack to make it a lot more bearable, for example.

22. Jell-O

Jell-O | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
The New Jell-O Mold: Jiggle-Chic for the Holidays Photo by Organic Authority

Food so simple and easy to prepare, yet so delicious. Little treats such as Jell-O may not seem much, but in a dire situation, any comfort is excellent comfort. Who knew Jell-O could stave off depression?

23. Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Maple Syrup Photo by Thistledog

Maple syrup can do more than make pancakes tastier. It can also be used for a variety of delectable recipes. Just like honey, pure maple syrup lasts for a long, long time. Having some on hand can not only make your meals better, it also doubles as a good survival food.

24. Molasses

Molasses | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Benefits of Molasses for your Flock Photo by Fresh Eggs Daily

Many nutritional benefits can be taken from molasses, and they can also be used as sugar substitute. And of course, they last a long time. Molasses, water, and Jell-O for example, make a tasty drink that you can put in your canteen to take during extended hunting trips.

25. Nuts

Nuts | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Nuts And Hazelnuts Enlarge Your Life Photo by Gazeta Shekulli

Lightweight and packed with vitamins and minerals, nuts like almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are excellent survival items. The protein content of nuts makes them a great meat substitute. When game becomes hard to find, you’ll be glad to have these in your pantry.

26. Oatmeal

Oatmeal | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Oatmeal Photo by Harrys Fresh

It’s not only delicious, it’s one of the healthiest foods in the world. Long shelf life makes it an excellent survival food. Adding your dried or canned fruits to the recipe enhances the otherwise plain flavor of oatmeal.

27. Ovaltine

Ovaltine | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Healthy Hot Ovaltine The Super Drink Photo by Love From Cara

Don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine! It’s non-fat, great for your bones and blood, and it tastes great. Like we said before, having chocolatey treats on hand during an apocalyptic situation is a comfort. A steaming hot mug of Ovaltine at night is a comforting thought for the weary survivalist. The long shelf life is a great bonus.

Related:  18 Amazing Pieces Of Dollar Store Survival Gear

28. Pasta

Pasta | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
What Kind Of Pasta Are You Photo by Playbuzz

Pasta has a long shelf life. It’s not the most nutritious food on this list, but the carbs will fill you up and give you energy. With enough creativity, you can combine tomato sauce and your canned meats to make a tasty pasta dish any time of the year.

29. Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
The Scoop on Peanut Butter Photo by Parade

Peanut butter is known for lasting years and it would not have become such a popular snack if it weren’t delicious. In fact, I’m a little obsessed. You can also make your own peanut butter with your nut stash, and that’s a lot more natural and nutritious than store-bought Jif.

30. Pemmican

Pemmican | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
How To Make Pemmican: A Survival Superfood That Can Last 50 Years Photo by Off The Grid News

The fact that pemmican helped Native Americans survive for long periods without eating anything else should be enough to convince you that this is a solid survival food. Pemmican is super easy to make. You can make it with pretty much any type of meat, such as bison, elk, deer, beef, or pork. Click to learn more about how this is the ultimate survival food. 

31. Pickled Eggs

Pickled Eggs | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Pickled Eggs Photo by Our Small Valley Farm

DIY pickled eggs, when done right, are nutritious and can last for several months. They’re a good side dish and snack to have on hand.

32. Popcorn

Popcorn | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Popcorn Photo by International Business Times

Popcorn is an ideal survival food because it’s nutritious, easy to prepare, has long shelf life, and it’s tasty. It’s a very healthy survival food, as long as you don’t pour margarine all over it.

33. Polenta

Polenta | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Baked Parmesan Polenta Photo by Taste

Since it’s made from corn, you can be sure polenta will sustain you for a long time. Polenta is also wickedly easy to make. So, if you have a stock of corn, might as well turn them into these bad boys.

34. Quinoa

Quinoa | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Basic Quinoa Photo by Food

It’s high in nutrients and easy to prepare. Mix quinoa with rice, chia, and chicken stock and you’ve got yourself a really good risotto. Who knew high-end cuisine could be possible in the apocalypse?

35. Rice

Rice | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Rice Photo by Mehfil Best Cuisine

The nutritional benefits of rice are too long to list. Its grains can last for months, and it’s easy to cook. Rice is a staple in many countries around the world, mostly because of its versatility and high calorific content. As long as you have rice, you’ll never grow hungry.

36. Rice and Bean-based Noodles

Rice and Bean-based Noodles | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Recipe For Quick And Easy Miso Soup With Soba Noodles {OR Mung Bean Noodles} Photo by Jeanettes Healthy Living

If you are gluten-intolerant or -sensitive, then you need to store some of these noodles. They make tasty substitutes for the wheat-based variety. Also, they’re really easy to make into stir-fry. Just add vegetables, some oyster sauce, and perhaps some canned meat, and you’ve got yourself a filling meal.

37. Spirits

Spirits | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation Photo by Audience Outreach

When taken in moderation, spirits actually offer health benefits. In a survival situation, having alcohol can keep depression at bay, as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation. Obviously, they are enjoyable but they can also be used for trade in the aftermath.

38. Summer Sausage

Summer Sausage | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
2-12oz Fathers Beef Summer Sausage Photo by All Biz

Sausages that need no refrigeration are definitely great survival food items! Sausages are a great way to enjoy meat that’s not in salt pork or beef jerky form. They also enhance any humdrum bread meal, and can be used as a substitute for meat in any meat recipe.

39. Tang

Tang | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Tang Photo by Monchi Time

This powdered juice mix helps with your Vitamin C needs. It’s high in calories and tastes good, so it’s a comfort food that you definitely should always have in your survival pantry.

40. Trail Mix

Trail Mix | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Healthy Trail Mix Photo by Advanced Wellness Centre

Lots of pre-made trail mixes are available, but you can also create your own mix of ingredients to fulfill your nutritional requirements. Trail mix is the go-to trail food for hikers, because of the nutrients and calories present in the mix. They’re a great way to stave off hunger during long hunting trips.

41. Turkey Jerky

Turkey Jerky | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Turkey Jerky Photo by Calgary Meats

Using turkey is a great alternative when beef is not available, or you simply want some variety. Keep it handy as it can be good to mix them into a few recipes.

42. Venison Jerky

Venison Jerky | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good
Peppered Venison Jerky Photo by Climax Jerky

This is delicious survival food! It’s long-lasting and easy to carry around. Just like with any jerky, with a little creativity, you can turn this dried meat into a feast fit for kings. Learn how to make your own venison jerky right here!

43. Wine

Wine | Survival Food Items That Actually Taste Good

These drinks get better with age, and surely make you feel a little better despite the circumstances. Wine keeps cholesterol under control and of course, they make great trade items as well.


Watch this video of Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Food by Townsends.

What do you think of this list?  Maybe you’re surprised that survival food isn’t really that bad after all. When you’re bugging out and getting from point A to point B, you’re packing food that’s convenient for you to prepare or something that you can eat on the run.  Some of the food in this list may not be too easy to prepare, but there’s a lot of options for emergency situations.

What is your go-to survival food? Tell us in the comments section.

Up Next: How To Defend Your Home And Your Family From Drone Attacks

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb 23, 2016. It has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.

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