|April 1, 2020

How to Stock a Healthy Pantry with Long-Lasting Staples, Plus Recipes

By Rebecca Paredes
Reviewed by Emily Gonzalez, ND for Scientific Accuracy

How to Stock a Healthy Pantry with Long-Lasting Staples, Plus Recipes

Your pantry is a wonderland. It’s the key to nutritious meals that you can rely on, whether you’re strapped for time or trying to limit your trips to the grocery store. The thing is, common lists of pantry staples aren’t always ideal, especially if you follow a keto, paleo, gluten-free or Bulletproof diet.

We believe you can stay in and feel great while sticking to your health goals. Below, you’ll find our healthy pantry staples list, plus easy and delicious recipes that make the most of these foods. Stay in and stay healthy. For a full list, check out the Bulletproof Diet Roadmap and shopping list.

Healthy pantry staples list

Oils and fatsPouring oil into bowl

Use oils and fats to cook your foods, but also to add flavor and satisfying fats to your meals. Combine oils and fats with other pantry staples to make dressings, sauces and marinades.

  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee
  • MCT oil
  • Cacao butter
  • Nut butter, such as almond or cashew
  • Nuts, such as almonds, cashews and macadamias

Spices and flavor

Row of spices in bowls

Dried herbs and spices transform plain ingredients into delicious, flavorful dishes. Other flavorings, like apple cider vinegar or mustard, add brightness to rich dishes and dressings. We’ve listed some go-to Bulletproof spices below, but stock up on whatever you use most frequently.

  • Ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Cinnamon
  • Mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Coconut aminos
  • Salt (we like Himalayan pink salt)

Canned and shelf-stable goods

Woman scooping Bulletproof Collagen Protein from tub

Use these foods to round out your meals, as easy sources of protein and carbohydrates or to add more flavor to your favorite dishes. For any canned or shelf-stable goods, look for BPA-free products made with minimal ingredients. When appropriate, choose products made with organic, grass-fed and pasture-raised ingredients. And check the ingredients list: canned and shelf-stable foods tend to contain higher levels of sugar and sodium.

Basics

  • Coconut milk
  • Shelf-stable, non-dairy milk, such as almond
  • Vegetable, chicken or beef broth
  • Prepared soups
  • Whole tomatoes*
  • Tomato paste*
  • Pasta sauce*
  • Salsa*
  • Coffee beans
  • Tea
  • Dark chocolate (78% and above)
  • Xylitol, monk fruit or other alternative sweeteners
  • Raw honey
  • Frequently used alternative flours, such as tapioca, almond or coconut flour

Carbohydrates

  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Gluten-free tortillas
  • White rice
  • Canned pumpkin

Proteins

  • Sustainably caught canned fish, such as tuna or anchovies
  • Smoked salmon
  • Collagen protein
  • Cold-processed, undenatured whey protein**

Produce

Sweet potatoes, squash and carrots

These vegetables have a longer shelf life, so they’ll last a few weeks in your pantry or fridge. Store pantry vegetables in a cool, dry spot with good ventilation.

Keep these in the pantry

  • Sweet potato
  • Winter squash, such as butternut or acorn
  • Onions and garlic*

Keep these in the fridge

  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Lemons
  • Limes

Freezer

Open freezer doorAlright, this isn’t technically a pantry staple, but your freezer is a fantastic way to store long-lasting essentials. Think of it as … a cold pantry? Frozen vegetables are often picked at peak ripeness, so they’re just as flavorful and nutritionally sound as their fresh counterparts. And, of course, your freezer is the perfect place to stash bulk proteins. Whenever possible, opt for organic vegetables and grass-fed, pasture-raised or wild-caught meats.

  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower
  • Cooking greens, such as spinach, kale and collards
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers*
  • Berries, such as blueberries or strawberries
  • Avocado cubes
  • Meats, such as ground beef, lamb or pork
  • Fish, such as salmon, tuna or trout
  • Butter (tightly wrap it in foil, then freeze it)
*if you tolerate nightshades
**if you tolerate dairy

One final callout that didn’t fit anywhere else on this list: eggs. Not only are they a complete protein, but eggs also last up to five weeks in your fridge. They pair well with a variety of healthy pantry staples, as you’ll see below.

Related: 18 Healthy Freezer Meals to Prep Now and Eat Later

5 pantry recipes for nourishing meals

1. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted butternut squash soup

  • Pantry staples: Butternut squash, ghee, chicken stock, coconut milk, salt

This soup makes four generous servings and reheats well. Let it cool completely, then store half in the freezer for an easy freezer meal.

2. Sweet Potato Skins with Rosemary Ground Beef

Sweet potato skins with rosemary ground beef and avocado

  • Pantry staples: Sweet potatoes, rosemary, ghee, salt

Use whatever you have on hand with this versatile recipe. No ground beef? Try ground pork, turkey or chicken instead. Use riced cauliflower instead of broccoli. If you don’t have avocado, drizzle your sweet potatoes with MCT oil instead. MCT oil brings out the fat-soluble flavors in food, and it’ll add more quality fats to your meal.

3. Paleo Sweet Potato and Salmon Patties

Sweet potato salmon patties on white plate

  • Pantry staples: Canned fish, sweet potato, spices, coconut flour, ghee, salt
  • Make sure you have: Eggs

This recipe calls for ginger, turmeric and coriander, but feel free to tweak the spices based on what you have on hand. If you don’t have coconut flour, it’s okay to use another flour like almond or cassava. Be mindful that you may need to add more flour until your patties hold their shape.

4. Basic Paleo Bowl

Sliced steak with asparagus and egg

  • Pantry staples: Ghee, optional rice
  • Make sure you have: Vegetables and an egg

Think of this recipe as a template.

  1. Steam whatever vegetables you have on hand, such as frozen broccoli, asparagus or green beans. Season them with salt. For extra flavor, toss them with ghee or drizzle with a squeeze of lime or lemon.
  2. Instead of steak, use whatever meat you have in your freezer. Ground beef or chicken breast are tried-and-true staples. Cook your protein in the pan first, then remove and fry your egg.
  3. Want to round out your bowl with rice? Go off-recipe and make a batch of rice or cauliflower rice.
  4. Build your bowl: Layer the greens (and optional rice). Add your protein. Top it with an egg. Devour.

5. Low-Carb Stir Fry

Low-carb beef stir fry with noodles and broccoli

  • Pantry staples: Ginger, avocado oil or ghee and coconut aminos
  • Make sure you have: Vegetables and a protein

This is another basic recipe with infinite possibilities.

  1. Use whatever protein you have. No beef? Try chicken, shrimp or even scrambled eggs. If you’re using a quick-cooking protein, like shrimp or eggs, remove them from the pan before you cook the vegetables.
  2. Use your favorite vegetables. Instead of using both broccoli florets and bok choy, stick to broccoli. If it’s frozen, cook it in the pan first to thaw, then add your seasonings.
  3. Dried ginger is fine. You can also freeze whole knobs of ginger (make sure they’re tightly wrapped) and grate them from frozen. Check out the second tip in this article from Budget Bytes.
  4. Zoodles optional. Prepare your favorite noodles separately, or serve your stir fry over rice instead. Options!

Other pantry-friendly recipes to save

  • Keto Coconut Flour Pancakes: Use eggs, coconut cream, coconut and almond flour to make fluffy, brunch-worthy stacks.
  • 3-Ingredient Cashew Butter Fat Bombs (The Big Man’s World): Nosh on these as a snack or dessert when you’re craving a satisfying treat.
  • Low-Carb Rice with Honey: This delicious dessert recipe features gut-friendly resistant starch thanks to cooked and cooled white rice.
  • Vegetarian Paleo Chili (Perry’s Plate): No meat or beans? We got you. This recipe features pantry staples like onion, sweet potato and spices. If you have bell peppers in the freezer, this is the recipe for you.
  • Paleo Meat Sauce: If you don’t have leeks, use onion instead. Pair this meat sauce with spaghetti squash, zoodles or gluten-free pasta. It’s also delicious over rice.
  • Paleo Cauliflower Fried Rice (The Endless Meal): Use what you have on hand to make this fried rice recipe: onions instead of green onions, green beans instead of peas or almonds instead of cashews.
  • Fluffy Keto Almond Flour Biscuits: Made with almond flour and other pantry basics, these keto-friendly biscuits help round out your meals and pair well with soups, stews or even jams.
  • Bulletproof Salad Dressings: Use these recipes to make delicious dressings and sauces using pantry staples like apple cider vinegar and MCT oil.
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