Kitchen Staples: What to Keep on Hand

Having a well-stocked pantry with staple ingredients can ensure that you always have meal options in a pinch. These items are shelf-stable and can make many different meals, making them great choices to keep on hand. Keeping healthy and long-life options available in the house can decrease the length of your shopping list and make planning meals much easier. Here is a recommended list of items to keep stocked in your house!

Pasta and Rice

These options both last a long time in the pantry and are easy options to keep on hand. These can serve as an excellent base for a well-rounded meal and can be prepared in many ways. Adding different sauces, spices, herbs, proteins, and vegetables to pasta or rice will help give variety to your meals while keeping the cooking simple.

Canned Beans and Vegetables

Options such as chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein. These can be added to many different recipes to make the meal more filling and nutritious. Canned vegetables such as corn, green beans, peas, and carrots are great options to ensure you are getting enough vegetables in your diet and are easy to prepare quickly. Aim to pick the low sodium or no salt added options and season yourself for a delicious and nutritious meal.


Canned soup is a great and quick option to keep on hand for when you don’t feel like cooking. You can always add in extra ingredients such as fresh veggies or protein to level up the pre-packaged soup as well. Aim for low sodium options to monitor your salt intake when possible. Chicken broth is a great pantry staple to have available, it can be added into many recipes for extra flavor or can be a great soup base if you want to make your own.

Spices, Condiments, and Sauces:

It is important to keep your favorite sauces, spices, and condiments on hand to help make your meals taste great and provide variety. Options such as tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, and hot sauce are great for adding flavor to meals.

Nut Butter:

Peanut butter, almond butter, and many other variations are great options for a quick and easy source of protein. They can make a great sandwich or can be added to many recipes or sauces for extra flavor.

Baking Items:

Baking soda, baking powder, corn starch, flour, brown sugar, and white sugar are key staples to have in the kitchen at all times. These are the basics that are needed for many recipes so it’s important to have these ingredients available at all times.

Bottled Goods:

Items such as olive oil and canola oil are basics you should keep in the pantry at all times. These basic cooking oils are essential for many recipes.

Freezer Staples:

It is a great idea to have your freezer stocked with meals and ingredients for easy meal planning. Frozen vegetables and fruits are picked when they are ripe and flash frozen, locking in all the essential nutrients. Options like frozen broccoli, green beans, mixed vegetable packs, spinach, and frozen fruit are great choices to keep in the house. These can be steamed as a side dish, added to any meal, or made into a smoothie. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the fruits and vegetables going bad as you do with fresh options.

Keeping these essentials on hand in your home will ensure you have plenty of great ingredients for meal planning. These options will help you create flavorful meals easily and ensure you have everything you need to be successful in the kitchen. For ideas for easy pantry meals and additional recipes browse through these websites for healthy meal options.

100 Easy Ways to Turn Pantry Staples Into Complete Meals

20 Easy Recipes for Senior Nutrition

18 quick, easy and healthy meals for seniors

For more information regarding kitchen staples check out these resources:

What’s in your pantry?

Healthy Kitchen Pantry Shopping List

Healthy Hive

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