When TSHTF, you may not be able to use your oven, but you may be able to use a solar cooker which you can either buy or make for yourself.
You can cook just about anything in a solar cooker. One of the benefits, of course, is that you save money electricity, but let’s not kid ourselves: the main benefit is that solar cooled meals taste delicious!
Most of the recipes shown here take at most 4 hours to make, and require 10 ingredients or less. Bon appétit!
Jalapeño Poppers Wrapped in Bacon
Cook time: 2hrs 30min.
- Monterrey Jack cheese
- Shredded, Cheddar cheese
- Jalapeño peppers
- 1 pkg of bacon slices, cut these into halves
- Remove the stems of the jalapeño’s peppers and cut them in half longways.
- Remove the seeds and rinse out the inside of the peppers.
- The Monterrey Jack cheese should be cut into strips just big enough to fill the peppers.
- Spread the shredded cheddar cheese on the top of the peppers.
- Wrap one bacon slice around each of the peppers. Place the wrapped peppers in the oven.
Cook time: 2-3 hrs.
- 3 slices roast beef, sliced into strips
- 1 flour tortilla
- 1/4 c mozzarella
- 1/4 c shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp. melted butter
- Lightly grease a dark, nonstick 9in round pan with melted butter.
- Shred the mozzarella.
- Place the slices of roast beef and the slices of cheese on one side of the tortilla.
- Fold the other half of tortilla over; then press down gently
- Brush the top of the tortilla with melted butter
- Transfer the tortilla to the pan and place the pan in the solar oven
- Cook until the cheese melts. The tortilla should look lightly browned and crisp when done.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cook Time: 4 hrs.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 (10.75 oz.) cans of Cream of Chicken soup
- 1/2 pkg of dumpling noodles
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 c chicken broth
- 1 c celery, diced
- 1 c carrots, diced
- 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks
- Put the chicken breasts, soup, onion, chicken broth, celery, carrots, butter, and margarine into a stockpot and mix together.
- Put the stockpot into the solar oven.
- Cook covered for about 3hrs. Just until the chicken is tender.
- Shred the chicken
- Add the noodles and additional broth or water if necessary.
- Return the stockpot to the solar oven for about 1hr. to let the noodles cook.
Soak the beans overnight, put them in a dark pot with sufficient water, add veggies and spices, and let it boil until the beans get soft enough.
Recipe and photos here.
Lentils are one of the few plant-based foods that actually has all of the essential amino-acids our body needs.
This would be an exception to our under 4-hour promise we made in the beginning, as it will take over 6 hours to cook… so be sure to start early in the day. Check out the recipe here.
Masoor Daal Lentil Soup
Speaking of lentils, how about this Indian lentils soup variation (made in a solar oven, of course)? Check out this video:
Cook time: 30 mins
- 6 whole wheat or corn tortillas
- 1 16oz can of black beans
- 1 16oz can of sweet corn
- 16oz of enchilada sauce
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 1/2 c cheddar cheese
- 3/4 c of red onion, diced
- 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- Preheat solar oven to 350°F
- Shred the cheddar cheese
- Mix black beans, corn, salt, tomato, pepper, red onion, cilantro, and olive oil in a bowl. Place the mixture in the fridge to marinate for 1+ hours before cooking.
- Retrieve the mixture from the fridge and 8oz of enchilada sauce. Stir to combine. Scoop everything into a tortilla, about 6 tbsp. at a time, then roll each tortilla up.
- Pour the last of the enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas, then cover with cheese.
- Place the lid on the casserole dish and place in the solar oven for about 30 min.
When the tortillas are done, the outside should be soft, with the cheese fully melted, and the filling heated all the way through. Please don’t lift the lid on your casserole dish too much because the heat will escape and your baking time will increase as a result.
Cook time: 50 minutes
- 1 pizza crust
- 1 organic heirloom tomato, with seeds removed, chopped finely. (It’s important to remove the watery juice around the seeds, as extra moisture could make the crust soggy in the solar cooker. This juice prevents the seeds from sprouting inside the fruit.)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 c white mushrooms, sliced
- Fresh basil and oregano to taste
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your solar oven.
- Mix the tomatoes, basil, and oregano in a glass or wooden bowl
- Spread the mixture on the pizza crust.
- Add the sliced onion and mushrooms.
- Pop the pizza in the solar oven and cook.
English Muffin Pizza
Here’s a pizza variation you will surely love. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to make, depending on how hot the sun is.
Beets can be placed in the solar cooker inside a black pot, and left to bake for about an hour.
Cook time: 1hr 10min
- 2 10oz bags of fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 7oz pkg prepared pesto
- 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 4 c chunky tomato sauce
- 3 c ricotta cheese
- 1 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 c mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 300-350ºF
- Shred the mozzarella cheese
- Crack one egg into a large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese and grate the Parmesan cheese over everything. Then mix and add a pinch of salt and pepper. I usually use a pepper grinder.
- Add spinach and pesto into the mixture and stir.
- Spoon 3/4 c of the chunky tomato sauce and spread on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
- Put 3 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread the tomato sauce over the noodles, followed by the cheese and spinach mixture.
- Repeat the step 5 until you run out of ingredients.
- Spread the remainder of the sauce on the top layer
- Cover the baking dish and place in the solar oven to bake until noodles are soft.
- Sprinkle some mozzarella on top of the lasagna.
- Baking it for 10 minutes, then let it cool down for another 10. The cheese should be melted when it’s done.
Baked potatoes are probably one of my favorites. You can cook them in a solar oven like you would beets: simply wash them, and let them bake for at least a couple of hours.
Use a fork to poke holes in them to find out when they are done.
Solar Cooker Chicken Wings
The prep time is around 10 minutes, and the cook time is 45 minutes.
There really is nothing fancy here: you need your chicken wings, seasonings, extra sauce on the side. Here’s the full step-by-step video:
Cook time: 1h30min
- 1 pkg of hot dogs, polish sausages, or brats
- 1 pkg of hot dog buns
- 1 16oz can of chili
- 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 onion, chopped
- Ketchup, mustard, and/or relish.
- Preheat oven to 250-300ºF
- Wrap the hot dogs in aluminum foil, shiny side in, or put in a covered pot to steam and place in oven.
- Put in an open can of store bought chili or put the chili in a covered pot to heat.
- Put the hot dog buns into the oven and let them steam for about 20 minutes, so they were warm and soft.
- Add chili, cheese, and chopped onions, along with your favorite toppings.
If you’re looking for a healthy recipe to cook in your solar oven, you can try this one out. It shouldn’t take more than 2 hours, let’s say 2h 30′ prep time included.
Another healthy recipe that shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half to prep and bake. Get the ingredients list and instructions here.
Chili with Beans
This recipe makes use of pre-cooked beans, but feel free to use regular beans that you’ve pre-soaked overnight. It will take longer, though.
Craving some Mexican food for lunch?
The mixture only takes about an hour to cook in a sun oven, plus the extra time needed to preheat it.
Macaroni and Cheese
Cook Time: Approx. 2hrs.
- 2 c uncooked macaroni noodles
- 4 c of grated cheddar cheese
- 4 c of milk
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 4 tbsp. flour
- A pinch of salt
- Set out your solar cooker with a small cook pot that’s filled with 5c of water and a tsp. of salt. Wait about three hours for the water to boil. The temperature should be 300-350°F.
- Grate the cheese onto a plate.
- Stir the macaroni in when the water gets to a full boil,
- Cover the pot, adjust towards the sun, and cook for about 30 to 40mins.
- While the macaroni is cooking, begin to melt 4 tbsp. of butter in a separate pan. Stir in the flour.
- Add the milk and cook at 200-250°F until the sauce comes to a lazy boil and starts thickening. Add a pinch of salt.
- Grate in 3c of cheddar cheese. Stir and mix well.
- Place the macaroni in a casserole dish.
- Pour cheese mixture over macaroni and grate the rest of the cheese on top.
- Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and place inside the solar oven. Cook for at least an hour.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
This delicious solar recipe uses potato dices,cheese, bacon and sour cream. It shouldn’t take more than 3 hours to make. Get the recipe.
BBQ Ground Pork Sandwiches
Cook time: 2-2.5 hours.
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 1 onion, sliced
- ½ c coffee
- 1 c marinade sauce
- 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Crumble ground pork into a large black cooking pan.
- Pour in 1/2 c coffee.
- Add Worcestershire sauce and marinade
- Season with chili powder, garlic, and onions
- Stir mixture and place pan in the oven
- Cook until done
Cook time: Approx. 2 hr.
- 6 eggs
- 1 egg white.
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and grated
- 1/2 can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 of an onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. water
- 1 tbsp. butter
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 300-350ºF
- Put 1 tbsp. butter in a pot, cover, set up facing the sun, set the timer for 15min.
- Add onions and garlic, stir into butter, cover, and set the timer for 30min.
- Take veggies out of the pot and refrigerate (for food safety).
- Butter the bottom half of the pot.
- Add the grated potatoes, salt, and olive oil. Mix and into a bowl shape that will be the crust of the quiche. Cover, adjust oven to the best light possible and set the timer for 1 hr.
- After 50 mins, set out the veggies and 6 eggs to come to room temperature.
- Whip the six eggs with the veggies, ½ can of diced tomatoes, and 2 tsp. water
- Pour egg mixture over potato crust, cover, adjust again, and set the timer for 30min.
- Check to see if the eggs are done by carefully picking up the pot (with pot holders) and swirling the pot around. Keep the lid on. If the eggs are still runny, try to swirl most of the runny-ness out to the edges. Check in another 15 – 30 mins.
Cook time: Approx. 2hrs.
- 1/2 pounds of smoked Spanish sausage
- 2 c cooked chicken, shredded or sliced into thin strips
- 2 c rice
- 1/2 c roasted red bell peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. chicken broth
- 1 c baby peas
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 gram saffron
- Cut the sausages into small pieces.
- Unfreeze the baby peas if necessary
- Put everything into a metal bowl.
- Set up solar oven outside.
- Put the bowl into a second glass one, then cover both.
- Place the glass bowl on the reflector of your solar oven.
- Realign the reflector for optimal sunlight every 30 mins. until the chicken broth has been absorbed by the rice.
Chicken Pot Pie
This chicken recipe takes longer to prep (around 30 minutes), but the result is well worth it. Check out how to make it here.
Cook time: 4-5 hours
- 1 c eggplant, chopped
- 1 c zucchini or summer squash, chopped
- 1 c bell pepper, chopped (pick whatever color you want)
- 1/2 c tomato, chopped
- 1/4 c sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 8-oz can of unsalted tomato puree
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook your ratatouille between 200-250ºF. Hotter temperatures could soften the vegetables too much and brown the tomato sauce around the edges.
- Food Network star Melissa D’Arabian had a tip for layering a ratatouille: EZ-POT: eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes. Combine with the onions, garlic, cumin and tomato puree in a large metal or glass pot. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and cook for 4-5hrs, stirring occasionally. Don’t remove the lid too often. Vegetables should be tender when done
Tip: to maintain consistent internal temperature, adjust the reflectors for optimal sunlight. Removing the lid too often will increase cooking time
This may seem like a more complex recipe, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard. Check it out for yourself!
The recipe is for cooking in an oven, but you can easily adapt it to a solar cooker. if it takes 22 minutes in an oven heated at 450 F, expect it to take about an hour in your sun oven.
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Cook time: 30 mins. (Makes 2 doz. 3-inch cookies)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 1 c salted peanut butter
- 1 c dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 c tapioca flour
- 1/3 c coconut flour
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. molasses
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Let your sun oven preheat to around 300ºF
- Let all ingredients come to room temperature.
- Stir the sugar into the butter with a sturdy wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the peanut butter and mix until smooth,
- Add the molasses and the vanilla. Crack the eggs in one at a time and keep mixing to keep everything smooth.
- Combine the coconut and tapioca flours in a separate bowl. Mix the flours with the wet ingredients and combine until smooth.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and mix. Add a pinch of salt to taste if necessary. The dough will be soft and gooey. If you want firmer dough, stick it in the fridge for half an hour.
- Spoon the cookies onto a baking sheet (parchment or a sprayed-up cookie sheet) with a spoon greased with butter or baking spray and flatten each one gently. Cookies are done when the surface appears dry and is firm to the touch.
Solar ovens are a great way to make cakes, and cupcakes are no exception. Just bake them as you would in a solar oven. Check out some photos here.
These muffins are done in no more than 20 minutes! You need to pre-heat the tray for about 10 minutes, and add the topping about 10 minutes after the muffins have started cooking.
Simplest Chocolate Cake
- 1 stick of softened butter or vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 c light brown sugar
- 1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 c good quality cocoa powder
- 1/2 c milk, water, or coffee
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Start with all ingredients at room temperature. Grease an 8 x 12 baking pan with butter or baking spray, or line with baking parchment. If you’ve forgotten to leave out your butter, you can warm it gently in a bowl in the preheating solar oven, but keep an eye on it and remove if it starts to melt. In a pinch, melted butter or vegetable oil will work fine.
- Preheat solar oven to 350ºF. (Anything over 300 should work, but cooking time will vary).
- Put the butter and sugar into a bowl. Stir the sugar into the butter with a sturdy wooden spoon.
- Add in the eggs one at a time and keep stirring until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined.
- Add milk or water and mix.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Scrape batter out of the bowl with a rubber spatula and spread in baking pan evenly.
- Insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done
- Best results will occur when baked in the afternoon on a clear day for guaranteed full sun.
Solar Cooked Brownies
Do this as you would in a conventional oven. Make the batter, place it in pans that are small enough to fit the solar oven, and check on them from time to time
You can get the full recipe here.
Mango Banana Bread
This banana bread recipe is unique because it also adds delicious mango (I love mangoes, by the way).
Watch the dough closely until it comes away from the sides of the pot. Full recipe here.
This delicious desert shouldn’t take more than 30 or 40 minutes, prep time included. Bake time is 22 minutes, according to this recipe.
Solar Oven Shortcake
Of course you can bake shortcake in a solar oven! For about two hours to be exact. Follow the recipe here.
You’ll want to be careful with this one as it may attract unwanted bees! The recipe is pretty straightforward, but you will have to stir the mixture regularly. Get the recipe here.
These solar cooker recipes are sure to impress, and won’t take all day.
You do have to keep a closer eye on the dish, and you may need to adjust the position of the oven to always face the sun directly. You’ll want to readjust it every 30 minutes or so.
Please comment how these recipes worked out for you, or if you’ve tried any easy recipes of your own. And be sure to pin this for later on your favorite Pinterest board!
updated 03/04/2020 by Dan F. Sullivan