Tips for stocking a healthy pantry

A well-stocked pantry is the best way to ensure you'll have everything you need to cook once you get home. Our Healthy Pantry includes all the items you need to prepare healthy recipes, plus a few other ingredients that will make unplanned meals easier.

It would cost quite a bit to purchase all of these items at one time, but if you buy them over time, as items go on sale or come into season, the job becomes manageable.

Oils, vinegars, condiments

  • Oils: extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, toasted and raw sesame oil
  • Vinegars and wines: distilled white, cider, red-wine and balsamic vinegar; rice wine, mirin
  • Dijon mustard, sweet-hot mustard
  • Ketchup, barbecue sauce, sweet chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salsa, green and red hot sauces
  • Safflower or soy mayonnaise
  • Reduced-sodium soy sauce, tamari and/or shoyu, Bragg's liquid aminos
  • Prepared pesto
  • Fish sauce, oyster sauce, light coconut milk


  • Herbs and spices: allspice, basil, bay leaves, whole and ground cinnamon, whole and ground cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, red and green curry paste, powdered curry, dill, five-spice powder, garlic powder, whole and ground ginger, crushed red pepper, rosemary, nutmeg, oregano, black pepper, white pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme, turmeric
  • Vanilla extract

Canned and bottled items

  • Canned tomatoes, sauce and paste
  • Reduced-sodium broths
  • Canned beans: black, cannellini, garbanzo, kidney, navy, red and refried
  • Chunk light tuna and salmon

Grains and legumes

  • Assorted whole-wheat, rice and spelt pastas
  • Udon noodles
  • Regular and instant brown rice, whole-wheat couscous, regular and quick-cooking barley, corn meal, corn grits, polenta, oats, quinoa
  • Aduki beans, garbanzo beans, red, yellow and green lentils, lima beans, pinto beans, red beans, split peas, white beans

Baking products

  • Whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour
  • Baking powder, baking soda
  • Unprocessed wheat bran, oat bran
  • Quick-rising yeast
  • Arrowroot, kuzu root powder, agar-agar
  • Agave syrup, brown sugar, date sugar, honey, blackstrap and sorghum molasses, real maple

Nuts, seeds and dried fruit

  • Almonds, caraway seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pecans, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
  • Dried apricots, blueberries, cherries, currents, cranberries, dates, raisins
  • Peanut butter, tahini

Refrigerator basics

  • Soymilk, fruit juice
  • Large eggs
  • Cheese: cheddar, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella, Swiss
  • Nonfat or light yogurt
  • Tofu, firm and soft
  • Miso
  • Capers, sauerkraut, olives, pickled jalapeños and peppercinis, grated fresh horseradish

Freezer basics

  • Fruit: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries
  • Vegetables: broccoli, corn, bell peppers, peas, spinach
  • Frozen yogurt and/or sorbet
  • Ravioli, pirogis, tortellini
  • Turkey bacon, ground turkey, natural sausage
  • Fish, raw and cooked shrimp, calamari, scallops

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