Having a good assortment of healthy pantry staples helps make cooking so much easier. Here are 16 pantry staples that I always buy!
I organized our pantry recently since it was quite the mess after we moved in back in June! I basically just threw things in there while unpacking. It feels good to have a little more order in place and to give each item a proper spot for easy access.
While going through my pantry, I thought I’d share what some of my staples are — the items that I always like to have stocked up so I can whip up healthy meals quickly and easily.
And while I do have more items in my pantry than just what’s on this list, these are what I grab more regularly.
Curious to know what my healthy essentials are? Keep reading or watch my video below (and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for new videos each week)!
16 Pantry Staples I Always Buy
- Olive Oil
I’m definitely always reaching for my olive oil — whether it’s for sautéing up some veggies, cooking eggs, or whipping together a salad dressing. I like the extra virgin olive oil by Terra Delyssa.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Homemade salad dressing is definitely what I use my apple cider vinegar for most. I mean, vinegar has quite a few uses around the home too, but mixed with olive oil, some grainy mustard, herbs, and a touch of maple syrup and you’ve got yourself an easy-peasy vinaigrette. I especially love ACV in my Easy Thyme Vinaigrette!
3. Chia Seeds
Don’t get me wrong, I have quite the collection of nuts and seeds in my kitchen (some of which I keep in my refrigerator, like flax and hemp seeds) but chia seeds deserve their own mention! I find that I’m often reaching for my chia seeds for chia pudding, Chia Jam, or to toss into my morning smoothies. They add a great punch of fibre and some healthy fats.
4. Mixed Nuts
As mentioned above, chia seeds certainly aren’t the only noteworthy nut/seed in our house. We also love to have a big container of plain, unsalted mixed nuts. Specifically, my husband loves the mixed nuts by Kirkland. It’s a pretty big container that you can get from Costco. Great for snacking, adding to oatmeal, or pairing with a medjool date!
5. Canned Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is so versatile. From curries to chia puddings to a rich, satiating smoothie “milk” of choice. It’s just an all-around useful canned good to have stocked up, supplying plenty of satisfying fats.
6. Canned Beans
I do have dried beans on hand, too, but convenience is a thing, you guys. Sometimes it’s the difference between not eating certain healthy foods because of too much prep involved vs. being able to super easily toss them onto a salad or into a pot of soup. I love having chickpeas, black beans, green lentils, and navy beans on hand for all kinds of uses, like my beloved weekly batch of Chickpea Salad.
Beans are a great source of gut-friendly prebiotic fibres and some plant-based protein, too.
7. Rolled Oats
Ah yes, a classic for so many folks! Rolled oats are obviously for a good ol’ hearty bowl of porridge, but I find that I use them for making yummy fruit crumbles for dessert or even blitzing into a flour for use in other baked goods. Versatile indeed and full of heart-healthy fibre!
8. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is my most favourite sweetener of choice. So much so that my in-laws have gotten me a gigantic glass bottle of it for the past couple years as a Christmas gift! I use it to sweeten most anything — from my desserts to hot chocolate and even to balance out the flavours in my homemade salad dressings.
9. Cacao Powder
You might think that cacao powder wouldn’t get used all that often, unless you’re baking a chocolatey dessert, but I really do use this delightful mineral-rich powder fairly regularly! Chocolate banana smoothies are a favourite, as are my Date Balls, Flourless Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and hot chocolate! It’s just so good.
Note that I opt for cacao vc. cocoa powder, a less processed version that contains a good dose of magnesium! But either will be totally fine for baking purposes.
Rice makes suuuuch a good side dish or addition to a soup or stew to thicken it and add some bulk. I also love cooking some up for nights when we have tacos or burrito bowls. Whole grain brown rice is your best bet for fibre and minerals.
We love to have a box of crackers on hand for really easy snacks. They pair great with hummus, charcuterie boards, peanut butter, or cheese. We’re fans of rice thins, although we will sometimes switch things up.
12. Canned Tuna
While I don’t eat canned tuna all that time, it’s another great staple especially for sandwiches or adding a good boost of protein to salads at lunch. I like to opt for chunk light tuna which is usually Skipjack, a species of tuna that doesn’t tend to contain as much mercury as Albacore.
13. Bouillon Cubes
I love bouillon cubes! They offer a quick way to add flavour to soups, stews, or even this delicious herb-gravy I like to make with chicken breast some nights. I basically crumble up a couple bouillon cubes on top of chicken breast in the oven and the addition of water + juices create a very tasty gravy).
14. Tomato Sauce + Paste
We always always always have a couple jars of tomato sauce (and tomato paste) in the pantry. We tend to make at least some kind of pasta dish once a week, and having some jars of sauce on hand make spaghetti night very no-fuss! I like marinara personally, but there are lots of blends to choose from. I also love using marinara to make homemade turkey meatballs. So good!
15. Pasta Noodles
Of course, to go along with a good sauce are pasta noodles. I’m personally the world’s biggest fan of brown rice fusilli, but we also enjoy regular ol’ spaghetti noodles. I often will buy them in whole grain kamut, a relative of wheat, for some extra fibre.
16. Carton of Nut Milk
Finally, a carton of extra nut milk is something I like to have hanging around in our pantry. I don’t buy cow’s milk, but I do buy almond or oat milk and having extras that you can pull out of the pantry and pop into the fridge as needed is really handy.
I’d love to hear from you! Do you use any of these staples? Share in the comments below.