9 Healthy Pantry Essentials Every Kitchen Needs

9 Healthy Pantry Essentials Every Kitchen Needs

Making nutrient-rich meals takes time, effort, and proper planning. It’s also much simpler and faster to do with a well-stocked pantry. But before you get to that point, it’s important to know what to fill your pantry with and how to organize it.

This article lists the essential healthy foods and cooking supplies every pantry needs to make meal prep and cooking quick and easy. We’ll also show you how to use GOLO’s CLEAN method to create a well-stocked and well-organized pantry.

Stock Your Pantry with these 9 Healthy Essentials

First, make sure your pantry is filled with the right foods and supplies to create healthy meals.

Photo of containers with whole grains.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are essential for eating balanced meals and are associated with health benefits such as a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Whole grains are also high in fiber and micronutrients.

  • Oats
  • Whole wheat bread (link to bread article)
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa

Quick Tip:

Whole grains are not to be confused with refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain, which is made up of bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains have the bran and germ removed, stripping the grain of important nutrients.

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Top-view of potatoes.

Select vegetables

Vegetables are an absolute must for any kitchen. They’re an excellent source of fiber, can lower blood pressure, prevent certain types of cancer, and much more. But not all veggies need to take up space in your fridge and keep fine when stored in your pantry.

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Squash (spaghetti squash, butternut, etc.)
Variety of beans on a table top presentation

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are high in fiber and iron. They have a long shelf life, which means you can stock up without feeling like they’ll go to waste.

  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils

Canned Foods

Canned meats and vegetables have a long shelf life and are easy to store, making them a must for any pantry. For the healthiest option, make sure canned meats don’t contain soy, sugar, or other unhealthy ingredients. The only ingredient in canned vegetables should be water.

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Diced tomatoes / Tomato paste
  • Olives
Various nuts and seeds scattered on a table

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds have plenty of health benefits. They’re full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.  Nuts and seeds support heart health and are rich in antioxidants.

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
miscellaneous dried fruits on a table.

Dried fruit

Fruits typically spoil quickly, so it’s best to keep them in the fridge. But dried fruits are a longer-lasting alternative with similar health benefits. Dried fruits contain more fiber and phenol antioxidants per ounce than fresh fruit. Note, avoid dried fruits with added sugars.

  • Peaches
  • Mangos
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Figs
  • Cranberries
  • Raisins
Photo of olive oil in a bowl on a table

Oil and vinegar

Healthy oils are essential for cooking. They’re high in healthy fats and vitamins and help add flavor and absorb fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from food.

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar

Quick Tip:

To get the full health benefits of olive oil, always look for “extra virgin” on the label. This means the oil is unrefined and has more nutrients, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats.

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Sweet treats

Cocoa is rich in flavanols, and dark chocolate's antioxidative and anti-inflammatory abilities make this sweet treat a heart-healthy one you can enjoy in moderation.

  • Dark chocolate

Cooking and Baking supplies

With the right ingredients, you can make delicious meals without even turning on your stove. But if you’re a seasoned chef who’s comfortable in their kitchen, here are a few healthy cooking and baking supplies you can use in your meals.

  • Ghee butter
  • Coconut milk
  • 100% puree pumpkin
  • Chicken Broth
  • Almond flour / whole wheat flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Honey

Use GOLO’s CLEAN Method to Help You Stock and Organize a Healthy Pantry

Two people in the supermarket shopping for healthy food

Now that you know which foods are best for a healthy pantry, you can use GOLO’s CLEAN method as a simple and memorable way to keep your pantry well-stocked and organized.

Create a List: Use our list as a shopping guideline to fill your pantry.

Load Up on Essentials: Buy the foods you are comfortable cooking with and know you enjoy.

Eliminate Unhealthy Foods: Get rid of processed and unhealthy foods or keep them out of sight.

Arrange and Organize: Group similar foods together. Store dry foods in clear containers.

Nourish Your Body: Stock your pantry with items you love and can cook with confidence.

Our list of essential pantry items is just a suggestion. It’s helpful to keep your pantry stocked with foods you know you’ll enjoy and can cook with confidence. With all your healthy pantry items in an easily accessible place, meal prep and cooking can be done with ease.


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