How stocked is your kitchen? If you were unable to make it to the grocery store for a while, could you still prepare meals with the food you currently have on hand? It’s always a great idea to keep a well-stocked kitchen, but we are finding ourselves thinking about basic household shortages as things change rapidly. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of basic—yet essential—ingredients to keep in your pantry and fridge that can get you through the next couple of months.
Having the peace of mind that you and your family will be well-nourished (no matter what’s going on in the world) can remove an enormous amount of stress from your life. There’s no reason to panic, especially when you are well prepared!
The Best Way to Stock Your Freezer, Pantry, and Refrigerator
Ingredients for Baking – This includes flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, dried yeast, cornstarch, extracts, and more. Being able to bake bread when you can’t get to the store can be incredibly handy!
Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a great pantry staple, not only because it’s nutritious. It also has a shelf life of around two years! Throw in some frozen berries and a little bit of honey, and you’ve got yourself a solid breakfast. You can also use oats to make your own oat milk, too!
Pasta – There are dozens of simple meals that you can make with pasta. From macaroni to penne and spaghetti, it’s a good idea to have a few boxes of each on hand! Try this 5-Ingredient Chicken Parmesan with or without the chicken!
Rice – Aside from being a filling side dish on its own, rice is fantastic for creating easy recipes like our Restaurant Style Chicken Fried Rice.
Broths – This ingredient is a must-have. It’s a base ingredient for pretty much every slow cooker and Instant Rot recipe. Our 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Verde is a wonderful example.
Beans & Lentils – Much like broths, beans are another soup and chili staple. Make sure you have a variety of black beans, white beans, kidney beans, and lentils on hand. Try this Instant Pot Mexican Black Bean Soup. Note: Dry beans are a great option, too!
Canned Fish & Meats – This includes tuna, chicken, salmon, sardines, and more! We don’t normally recommend canned meats but, in a pinch, they can be a total lifesaver. Mix some tuna with a little bit of clean mayo, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, high-protein lunch! Note: Be sure to look for BPA free cans.
Canned Fruits and Vegetables – Like canned meats, we generally recommend fresh fruits and vegetables. But canned produce is shelf-stable and great for sides, snacks, or even one-pot recipes and casseroles. Stock up on everything from pineapple to mandarin oranges, and tomatoes to yams.
Olive Oil – This one is another absolute essential. There aren’t many recipes that don’t require at least a little bit of olive oil. Make sure you’ve got plenty of it!
Vinegar – White vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and more are all good options to have on hand. These are all crucial for cooking!
Lite Soy Sauce – Soy sauce has a long shelf life (two years in the refrigerator) and is an extremely easy way to add flavor to a dish.
Dressings and Marinades – Gather up your favorite dressings and marinade for when you need to add some flavor to meat or even a sandwich!
Honey and Maple Syrup – These are both great options for adding sweetness to a recipe. Not to mention they’ll last for months in the pantry or fridge.
Fruit Juices – We’re talking lemon and lime juice as a way to add flavor to an abundance of recipes.
Nut Butters – Nut butters like almond and peanut butter offer essential healthy fats. If you’re running short on food, adding extra fat to your diet can be incredibly valuable. Santa Cruz is one of our favorites and only has two ingredients.
Sauces – Pasta sauce, Alfredo sauce, and any other sauces that you can think to make a super easy dinner by tossing it with pasta.
Salsa – This is a great, long-lasting ingredient that can be used in a number or Crock-Pot recipes like our Easy 3-Ingredient Chicken Tacos.
Protein Powder – I cannot emphasize this one enough! Buy yourself a big container of protein powder. When food is tight, a protein supplement can keep you full, nourished, and focused. KOS is a yummy Plant-Based Protein Powder for anyone avoiding dairy.
Vitamin Supplements – If you’re concerned about getting enough nutrients, make sure you get yourself a multivitamin and some omega-3 fatty acid tablets!
Super C Immune Support – High Potency Vitamin C Immune Support Supplement, Antioxidant – Gluten-Free.
Grass-fed Beef Sticks – In a pinch, beef sticks are a great source of protein and will last quite a while.
Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds are great to have on hand because they’re calorie-dense and make an excellent snack.
Dried Fruits – Having dried fruit in the pantry will satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with quick energy!
Garlic, Onions, Shallots – All of these ingredients have a substantial shelf life and will add a tremendous amount of flavor to a wide range of recipes. Keep them in the pantry for up to six months!
Potatoes – Did you know potatoes will last three to five weeks in the pantry? This veggie will make a substantial base for any lunch or dinner recipe. Try this Slow Cooker Garlic Roasted Potatoes recipe.
Spices – Keeping a wide selection of spices in your pantry can prove invaluable in a pinch. Make sure you have plenty of salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, basil, cayenne pepper, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes, dill, mustard seed, cilantro, curry powder, Cajun spices, and any others that you might need! They’ll last for years.
Soups – Amy’s has many healthy options to choose from. We love Amy’s Golden Lentil for its nutritional benefits and homemade taste. And, it’s in stock. 🙂
Taco Seasoning – You can flavor chicken, turkey, and beef with taco seasoning and enjoy it in dozens of simple and tasty ways.
Eggs – You have about five weeks to use the eggs in your refrigerator, so feel free to stock up!
Butter – Butter will last up to nine months when stored in the refrigerator. It has many different uses, so make sure you have some on hand.
Shredded Cheese – Cheese can add flavor and texture to any dish. An unopened bag of shredded cheese (like cheddar and mozzarella) will last up to six weeks in the fridge. Once opened, you have two weeks to use it.
Hard Cheese – Hard cheese (like Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano) last quite a bit longer than shredded cheeses. Unopened, you can store them for up to four months in the fridge. Once opened, they will last for up to six weeks.
Apples – This easy fruit can be kept in the pantry, but it will stay a lot fresher in the refrigerator. Apples will stay good for about eight weeks when kept nice and cold!
Citrus Fruit – Lemons, limes, and oranges will last a surprising amount of time in the refrigerator — three to four weeks, to be exact.
Carrots – Carrots (both baby and large) can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for up to a month. Carrots make great snacks and ingredients in a number of different recipes. Consider our Instant Pot Chunky Beef Stew.
Salad Dressing – Salads require a yummy dressing. Be sure to choose a healthier option, or make your own. If nothing else is available, combine extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar 2:1 ratio is delish!
Meat – If you’re a meat-eater, I highly recommend using a large portion of your freezer space for items like chicken breast, ground turkey, and ground beef. Obviously, these ingredients are the base of many recipes and offer essential nutrients, too. Ground turkey, chicken, and beef will last up to four months in the freezer. Chicken breasts will last up to nine months, especially when vacuum sealed! Try this versatile and easy Slow Cooker Everything Chicken.
Fish – Salmon and tuna will last up to three months in the freezer, while leaner fish like cod and grouper will stay fresh for up to six months. Keep this super simple 3-Ingredient Tender Broiled Salmon in mind!
Frozen Fruit and Veggies – Frozen produce will be essential to stretching out your meals for a few weeks. Virtually all of your meals can use them, so be sure to stock up on a variety. Frozen berries are perfect for protein smoothies and adding to oatmeal. Frozen veggies are perfect for soups, stews, and sides!
Wraps and Tortillas – While wraps and tortillas will only last for a couple weeks in the pantry, they will keep for six to eight months in the freezer. They’re perfect for breakfast burritos, quesadillas, sandwich wraps, and more!
Bread – If you don’t plan on making your own, you can always buy an extra loaf or two to keep in the freezer. Frozen bread will stay good for approximately six months.
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Keeping some of these essential items on hand all year round can bring you peace of mind. It’s always good to be prepared! Remember to follow us on Pinterest for all of the best healthy living tips and more!
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