Are you wondering how to stock a pantry for a year? Here are my favorite pantry items to stock up on in the beginning of the new year to have plenty of options on hand for healthy meals and snacks!
We are already nearly two weeks into the New Year. Have you restocked your pantry yet?
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I get most of my pantry staples from Thrive Market because having a usable pantry is like a blank canvas for 15 minute recipes.
Pantry staples are essential for quick dinners, making something out of nothing when you’re in a pinch, or just to have for random recipes and baking creations.
These tips are quite similar to tips for how to stock a pantry for the first time, and making sure we’ve checked our boxes on different food groups.
Make a List
What I usually do is start by making a master list.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What foods do you like?
- What foods do you want to eat more of?
- Are you looking to make more plant based recipes?
- How often do you plan on going grocery shopping?
Then, I’ll take note of what I do have on hand in the pantry.
Lastly, I’ll go to the store and get what I need and want, based on how I answered the questions above.
How to Stock a Pantry for the First Time
I like to use the new year as a way to reorganize and restock my pantry. This will be a similar process to you structuring your pantry for the first time.
Pantry staples are important for SEVERAL reasons. Not only are they a basis for so many recipes, but they are great to always keep for those nights where you need something quick, but nutrient-dense.
They have a longer shelf life and are made to make your life easier.
Pantry staples are also very budget friendly!
The best way to stock up is to use a service like Thrive Market and have them sent monthly. Then you never have to use the grocery store for these staples and they’ll always be stocked.
The objection I hear the most from clients is that they don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. We all have the same amount of time in the day.
I truly feel that if you set yourself up for success (stock your pantry with quality, nutritious staples), you can make time to put together healthy meals.
I detail this process more and share how to simplify meal prep.
What To Fill Your Pantry With
- Dried Fruit
- Oils (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil)
- Baking Essentials
- Canned Fish/Dressings
- Pastas – Don’t sleep on tortellini – it’s a staple for weeknight meals, like this summer tortellini salad
- Sweetpotatoes – Endless possibilities for one of my favorite foods
If you have a smaller pantry, or live in a college dorm and need tips for meal prep for college students, you may modify this slightly.
Let’s review each one and see how creative we can get.
I love having a variety of whole grains on hand, depending on how I’m feeling. Obviously, oats are a staple for oatmeal or banana baked oatmeal (great for portable breakfasts – you can use any fruits)!
Some of my favorite whole grains to buy include:
- pasta (for this gluten free pasta salad)
- whole wheat tortillas
- quinoa (for quinoa pizza bites and turkey taco quinoa skillet)
- cous cous
- whole wheat pasta and/or gluten free pasta
- rice cakes
I love the Whole Foods 365 brand because it is both high quality and budget friendly. I also love to order from Thrive Market to keep the pantry stocked.
On another note, I also love using the bulk bins for grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc. if I need a small or large quantity.
It’s a great way to save even more money and just buy what you need or use.
Oats are also great to keep on hand for making granola and muffins.
Pulses & Legumes
Pulses are FULL of protein and in my opinion, necessities to always keep stocked.
I actually prefer canned beans because I’m usually pretty spontaneous when I decide I want to use them.
If I’m looking for a quick, protein and fiber-packed dinner, I’ll always add canned beans. Just remember to wash them; you can save up to 30% of the sodium that way!
- Canned or dried black beans
- Peas (a cup of peas gives you 8 grams of protein, that’s pretty good!)
Nuts and Seeds
My nut preference is very limited since I’m allergic to tree nuts, but I can have peanuts and almonds. So, I always keep those on hand.
We bake with peanut butter often and pretty much use it to top all of our muffins and breads.
I also love:
- Almond Butter
- Sunflower Butter
- Peanut Butter Flour (I use this all the time – baking, adding to yogurt, oatmeal and even in my peanut butter coffee smoothie)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Hemp Seeds (Vegan hemp bars are a great plant-protein snack!)
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
Some favorites include:
- Dried mango, cherries, apples (depends on what’s on sale and the season!)
We make chocolate cherry oatmeal cups with dried cherries.
And honestly, I use dried fruit for my marathon training fuel all the time. It’s a great way to maintain blood sugar and get quick energy!
I also usually mix dried fruit and nuts/seeds in this easy homemade trail mix.
I’ve been on an avocado oil kick lately. It’s a neutral taste, but allows for high heat cooking, unlike olive oil.
Coconut oil is also a good alternative for that. I love olive oil in my homemade dressings.
My top choices:
I also like to use butter (prefer Kerigold grass fed) when sauteeing sometimes, too!
Coconut flour comes in handy for me often when I want cookies and I’m out of other flour.
That’s how these coconut flour oatmeal cookies were born.
Baking essentials are important to keep on hand. We make muffins and healthy quickbreads often and rely on these regularly.
- White Whole Wheat Flour
- Coconut Flour
- Almond Flour
- Cocoa Powder
- Coconut Sugar (Note: This is still sugar!! I just like the taste, it’s a little more caramel/brown sugar-esque)
- Canned Tuna and Salmon
- Canned Tomatoes
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Fair Trade Coffee Beans
- Canned Full Fat Coconut Milk (love using it to make whipped cream pudding!)
- Chicken Broth
- Dark Chocolate
- Spices (my essentials are cinnamon, garlic, basil, turmeric and italian seasoning!)
We love to make fish patties with canned tuna and salmon (turmeric salmon cakes), and buying them is much more budget-friendly than actual filets. Plus, they help meet the twice/week recommendation for seafood!
As you can see, there is so much you can do if you have a solid foundation of pantry staples!
What are your top 5 pantry staple items and what do you make with them?