Here’s Everything You Need to Properly Stock Your Pantry 

Last Update: February 20, 2024

A pantry can exist in many forms: for some people, the pantry is an entire room filled with shelves and storage compartments, while for others, the pantry is simply a part of a cabinet designated for storing dried goods. 

No matter how large or how small, a pantry serves an essential purpose. It’s the place where you store your cooking and baking essentials, your dried goods, and the things that don’t typically go bad very quickly. It’s a place where most of your meals likely begin, and when you haven’t been to the grocery store in a while, it’s a place you can turn to to help jump start your cooking

From flour and sugar to beans and nuts, here are the pantry goods we think are essential to have in any kitchen. While these will likely differ depending on how you like to cook, this is a fairly universal list that you can use when stocking your pantry. 

Oats & Grains

Oats make a great base for filling breakfasts or for baked goods like cookies and bars. Grains, such as rice, quinoa, and farro, can be prepped in large batches and used for grain bowls, stir-fries, or as a simple side dish.

Baking Essentials

Whether you’re an avid baker or you only bake when necessity strikes, you’ll always be thankful to have the essential baking ingredients on hand. Things like flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda last quite a long time, and they come in handy when you’re craving a batch of cookies.  

Nuts, Seeds & Nut Butters

Larger nuts are great for snacking and baking, while seeds make healthy additions to your morning smoothie or can be used to make an easy, overnight chia pudding

Beans & Legumes

Dried or canned beans are smart additions to your pantry, especially if you’re a plant-based eater. Use them in soups, as salad toppers, to make homemade hummus, or for your next chili night. 

Condiments & Sauces 

Whether you’re throwing together a last-minute barbecue or making a marinade for tonight’s dinner, it’s always helpful to keep your pantry filled with the basic condiments and sauces. 

Meat, Fish & Protein

While you likely buy most of your meat and seafood fresh or frozen, there are select tinned and canned proteins that can be kept in your pantry. Stock up to add some no-cook protein to any meal.


For baking, cooking, or just sweetening a cup of tea, keep some sugar, honey, and other sweeteners on hand. 

Oils & Vinegar 

Likely the most-used items in your pantry, cooking oils run out very quickly—which is all the more reason to keep them well-stocked. Vinegars are also essential for making dressings, marinades, and tonics

Spices & Dried Herbs 

No meal goes under-seasoned when you keep your pantry filled with quality herbs and spices.

Meal Starters 

This article is related to:

Food Hacks, Grocery List

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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