Keeping the pantry stocked with everything you might need is a daunting task. One of our favorite secrets for maintaining a well-stocked pantry is to keep it simple. Look for versatile pantry staples that can double as dinners or snacks. We’ve rounded up our favorite healthy and inexpensive foods to have on hand for easy meals.
Full of protein and healthy fats, peanut butter is a staple for simple lunches and snacks. From classic PBJ sandwiches to ants on a log, there are so many quick and easy recipes for peanut butter lovers to try.
Beans provide quick protein and fiber to fill you up without requiring a long recipe or multiple ingredients. Keep a few cans in supply for a quick cowboy caviar snack or hearty slow-cooked chili dinner.
Pasta is the ultimate pantry staple; it’s cheap, quick to prepare and makes an entire meal itself. Opt for long spaghetti noodles or short macaroni and get creative with our favorite 30-minute pasta dinners.
Having an extra loaf of bread on hand is always a good idea for morning toast, lunchtime sandwiches or a dinner side. Upgrade your usual turkey sammie for a toasty hot sandwich tonight.
Canned tomatoes are a versatile pantry staple that can go from pasta dish to homemade salsa. Stock up on different flavors like garlic and green chilies.
Did you know the right way to store potatoes is in the pantry? Keep a bag on the shelf for baked potatoes on busy weeknights or crispy baked fries at any time.
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
No salad dressing? No problem. Keeping olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the pantry means you’ll have homemade salad dressing or an easy marinade anytime you need it.
As long as you have Italian seasoning in your pantry, you can whip up a flavorful dinner in no time. Recipes using Italian seasoning like meatloaf, pasta and soup are always a hit.
When the afternoon sweet tooth strikes, resist your child’s stale Halloween candy by reaching for a crunchy handful of trail mix. It’s a satisfying snack on its own, or up the wow factor with trail mix slices.
Can’t get to the grocery store and need a fast dinner? Stocking up on low-sodium soups like tomato and chicken noodle can save even the craziest day’s dinnertime conundrum.
Flour and Sugar
There’s just something about baking from scratch that calms us down and brings us back to the present moment. Keep baking staples in your pantry for those unexpected, quiet afternoons when you need a family activity.
Canned Fish or Chicken
Keeping canned fish or chicken in the house will come in handy for making a lunch salad or adding protein to a rice or pasta dish.
If you’re stuck at home with the kids and can’t go out, you’ll be glad you kept that extra box of baking mix in the pantry. And shh—here’s the secret to making cake mix taste homemade.
Oatmeal is a filling, fiber-rich breakfast and so much more. Keep a container of quick-cooking oats in the pantry to be used for cookies, breading and protein balls.