How to Stock Your Pantry Like a Pro



Open kitchen cupboard

Photo by: Margaret Edwards

Margaret Edwards

A well-stocked pantry is the key to kitchen happiness. Forget about hiking to and from the supermarket on a daily basis; a kitchen supplied with all the necessities means that you’re prepared for anything, like cooking your next meal on the fly.

With all the special diets out there, one type of pantry does not fit all. Here's our guide to having everything on hand. In addition to lining the shelves of your pantry with nonperishables, think about curating fresh items for your refrigerator or freezer as well that are still long-lasting, smart buys. How does your stock stack up?

The Vegetarian Pantry: Just because this pantry is stocked for the veggie lover doesn't mean that it's crammed with goods reminiscent of rabbit food. When you stock up on these substantial, nutritious ingredients, meat-free meals are easier than ever and keep you full even longer.

  • A few good oils
  • Eggs
  • Cauliflower
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (and a few other cheeses)
  • Tofu
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Quinoa, millet or bulgur
  • Canned beans and lentils
  • Mushrooms
  • Multigrain pasta
  • Pesto
  • Beets

The Vegan Pantry: Even when you're skipping meat, eggs and dairy, it's easy to keep a well-stocked pantry loaded with potential. Beyond all the fruit and veggies you could ever want, a stocked vegan pantry features ingredients that add flavor and pack on the protein.

  • Quinoa
  • Chia and flax
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Canned beans and lentils
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Miso paste
  • Avocado
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Raw cashews
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Nondairy milk
  • Dark chocolate and cacao powder
  • Dates

The Paleo Pantry: The key to a paleo-friendly pantry is attaining the trifecta: protein, plants and high-quality fats. Stash these ingredients for at-the-ready meals loaded with protein, fiber and good-for-you fats, but low in carbohydrates.

  • Ghee or duck fat
  • Grass-fed beef and organic, pasture-raised poultry
  • Liver for DIY pate
  • Salmon and sardines (and other fatty fish)
  • Organic eggs
  • Berries
  • Collard greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Macadamia butter or sunflower seed butter
  • Almond flour or coconut flour
  • Raw, local honey
  • Coconut aminos (in place of soy sauce) or fish sauce

The Budget Pantry: With a few budget-friendly essentials on hand, you can eat well without roaming the grocery aisles each night — or blowing your wallet. Zero in on ingredients, like frozen and canned veggies, that extend your meals and satisfy for cheap.

  • Brown rice (or other whole grains)
  • Canned beans
  • Dried spices
  • Potatoes, carrots, cabbage and more
  • Frozen fruits and veggies
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanut butter
  • Ground beef and chicken thighs
  • Fresh herbs
  • Fresh citrus
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned tuna
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