10 Essential Pantry Items

10 Essential Pantry Items
10 Essential Pantry Items

Stocking your pantry with quality ingredients is the first step in becoming more organized at mealtimes, saving you time and energy in the kitchen. Having a variety of ready-to-use ingredients in your pantry will help inspire you to try new recipes and be more adventurous in the kitchen as well as reduce the inclination to serve processed and prepackaged foods to the family. Here are some tips to help you to maintain an organized, well-stocked pantry:

  • Be mindful of foods that your family eats on a regular basis and stock up on those particular items so you always have them on-hand.
  • Review your grocery list. If it’s a regular item on your grocery list and it can be stored for an extended period of time, it’s an ideal candidate for your pantry.
  • Buy twice as many of a pantry item that you purchase on a regular basis then store the extras.

These 10 essential pantry items are all you need to be prepared and organized in the kitchen, and of course, they’re baby-friendly too. Every family’s pantry essentials may vary according to their personal preferences and dietary needs so remember to add your favourite items to the list.

  1. Canned legumes and beans
    They are an easy way to incorporate fiber and protein into the family’s diet. Although dried legumes are more ideal when it comes to nutritional value and texture, canned legumes and beans are a quicker option.
  2. Extra virgin olive oil
    A good quality olive oil adds flavour to meals, aids in digestion, and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Extra virgin coconut oil
    This sweet, buttery and flavourful oil is rich in omega-3’s and is a great alternative to butter in baked goods.
  4. Quick-cooking grains (quinoa, couscous, millet)
    They are quick and easy to prepare, lend well to a variety of condiments and some (i.e., quinoa) are ideal for people with gluten intolerances.
  5. Whole grain pastas and rice
    Contrary to refined white pastas and rice, whole grains are loaded with protein and are more flavourful than refined options.
  6. Dried herbs and spices
    They add depth and flavour and reduce the need for additional salt in recipes. Many spices, such as cinnamon and turmeric are loaded with health-boosting properties.
  7. Organic low-sodium broth
    It can be used to make a simple soup or to add to defrosted foods for baby to rehydrate them and add flavour.
  8. Dried fruitsnuts and nut butters
    They add texture to yogurt parfaits and granola, or can be served as a chewy, healthy finger food for kids. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are healthy add-ins to baked goods, salads, and more.
  9. Canned tomatoes
    These are a must to make a healthy, quick and simple pasta sauce or bolognese sauce and can be added to a variety of recipes, such as chili, soups, and stews.
  10. Canned tuna
    Canned tuna is an inexpensive alternative to fresh tuna. It is packed with protein and lends well to a variety of quick and easy recipes. To ensure you provide a balanced diet for your family, pair these staple pantry items with fresh ingredients such as fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens, lean meats and fish.

Make these recipes with ingredients stocked in your pantry:

Coconut Curried Lentils and Rice


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Quinoa Sweet Potato Hash


Smoky Bean Soup


Dried Fruit and Nut Larabars


Polpette with Marinara Sauce


Tuna Olive Tapenade Pasta


43 thoughts on “10 Essential Pantry Items”

  • CourtneyLynne Storms 6 years ago

    Yes all of these items are must haves!!! I cook all the time so I would be lost if I didn’t have these things stocked at all times

  • Kelli @ 3 Boys & a Dog 6 years ago

    Its great to have these items on hand! Especially in the event you are home bound due to weather or unable to get out! So many dishes can be created with these in a pinch!

  • blm03 6 years ago

    I love these tips. I always try to keep extra canned veggies and tomatoes because I am always using them.

  • Ann Bacciaglia 6 years ago

    I try to keep a good stock of canned goods in the pantry. This Tuna Olive Tapenade Pasta looks so delicious.

  • Christie @ RaisingWhasians.com 6 years ago

    I definitely have canned tomatoes stocked up! So useful for recipes. No tuna here though 🙂

  • chubskulit 6 years ago

    I’d love to try the quinoa sweet potato hash, looks delicious. All of these actually sounds tasty.

  • victoria 6 years ago

    What a healthy recipe. I would love to try all of these and such a great list

  • This is a excellent list. I need to pick up some more coconut oil. I am running low. I always keep extra in my pantry. It has come in handy when I can’t get to the store right away.

  • Miles Basilio 6 years ago

    I would love to have all these 10 essential pantry items. They would really be helpful to have them.

  • Paige 6 years ago

    I agree with this so much! It makes such a difference when you have stuff on hand that you can use to throw a quick dinner together, and as someone who works a demanding job it’s absolutely essential!

  • Ashley 6 years ago

    Thank you for having a HEALTHY pantry list! I didn’t think to store quinoa or anything other than cookies, chips, etc. in the pantry!

  • I have just about all of those staples in my pantry right now!! I love to be able to make a meal with what I have on hand.

  • Ogiro1 6 years ago

    great tips! I think we have the same staple list for our pantries! haha 🙂 As long as I have dry pasta and rice I’m good!

  • I think we have everything on that list except the whole grain pasta and rice. Will have to pick some up!

  • WEMAKE7 6 years ago

    This is a really great list. Sometimes I go to make something and can’t find what I need in the house. This is perfect.

  • April Mims 6 years ago

    We always try to have a few staples on hand all the time for those last minute meals that can be thrown together. Sometimes we end up with too much of something but it’s always nice to have.

  • Maggie Branch 6 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this list. It’s awesome! Most of those we ALWAYS have on hand but I never thought to stock up on evoo!

  • Good ideas, all. I have used some albacore tuna I had sitting around to make some tuna cakes. A great meal for the whole family. I try to keep stocked, but it’s hard to keep up sometimes!

  • Wonderful list! I always try to make sure that I have extra virgin olive oil, Dried herbs and spices, and coconut oil in my pantry. – HilLesha

  • These are all great must haves for a pantry. I need to write down the list and pin it to my cupboard.

  • Kathy 6 years ago

    This is a great list! I have most of these in my pantry too. You certainly can come up with lots of great recipes for them all. I love the ones you have listed!

  • I keep a lot of these in my pantry already! Some of my must-haves are brown rice, rotel, and peanut butter!!

  • Tracy Iglesias 6 years ago

    Great list of pantry items I could go for one of those chocolate peanut butter cups right about now! 🙂

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  • Travel Blogger 6 years ago

    Perfect list! I am always looking for at least one of these items every time I cook dinner. It is good to just have these things on hand at all times.

  • Megan Elford 6 years ago

    My pantry list is quite different because of my family’s tastes, but I do what you recommend — stocking up and buying twice as much (especially when there are sales) is a great way to make sure you’ve always got what you need on hand. I’ve been saved many times by my pantry supply when unexpected guests have showed up right at dinner time!

  • What great tips and information. I need to print out your list for future reference.

  • Miles Basilio 6 years ago

    Hi, Lisa! Thanks for this list. I also fall short in stocking up essential items. I’d try to change that.

  • mary 6 years ago

    Most of your list matches mine. No quinoa or couscous in our pantry though. Now I want to make those chocolate pb cups. They look great

  • Half of the items on your pantry list are in ours. We hoard on canned tuna because my brother and I work out and are always watching what we eat. My Mom tends to have Spam as well because we always have children ( my cousins ) visiting us. I’m excited to try the recipes you shared.

  • chubskulit 6 years ago

    All of these looks so good. I would love to try the curried lentils and rice.

  • Cori Ramos 6 years ago

    Love the pantry list. I try to keep things on hand as well so that I can whip up dinner quicker, esp if the kids are home and hungry. Love the recipes you shared too.

  • Jeanette 6 years ago

    I am always trying to keep the pantry stocked up! My hubby always wonders why I buy so much of one item and I have to explain to him why. LOL

  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle 6 years ago

    Great post! I keep these items in my pantry at all times. You can make so many dishes with these as a base.

  • Ourfamilyworld 6 years ago

    I have all these in my pantry except for number 4. I also stock up on canned coconut milk.

  • Robin Rue 6 years ago

    I don’t have most of those thing on hand. I suppose it’s what you like, though. We stock up on pasta in our house 🙂

  • rika agustini 6 years ago

    We always stock up on pasta, dried herbs and beans 🙂 I have a bad habit, go to grocery stores everyday

    • So do I…even if my pantry is well-stocked! I usually have to go every few days for fresh fruits and veggies…but then end up buying everything else!

  • What I’ve been doing too lately is getting my pantry staples at the dollar store! I save a few bucks that way since pasta is pasta and tuna is tuna! The brands are usually name brand too, and I make sure to check the expiration dates. This is a great list to get started!

  • Rochkirstin Santos 6 years ago

    Reading food labels on groceries helps a lot when it comes to choosing which food to buy. Knowing the amount of calories and sugars that go into your system is better. Extra virgin olive oil has many uses. It’s one of my essential items in the kitchen also.

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer 6 years ago

    These are great things to remember to have on hand. I am terrible at buying things when I am the store that we already have. I really need to focus on the items we already have in the house so I dont buy duplicates. I have tried using a tracking sheet before and that was helpful.

  • Nicole 6 years ago

    I learned the top three tips the hard way! In an effort to only grocery shop every other week I started purchasing double of our ‘go-to’s’ and then prepping it all so it didn’t go to waste (another issue we had)

  • Darn it I keep forgetting to buy broth. That is definitely and important one. I also try to keep canned tomatoes stocked. My 1 year and I are the only ones that like tuna in our family of four so I usually just buy canned. Great list!

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