40 pantry staples

01/04/2014 Healthy Eating, Help for Parents pantry staples

Looking after a family is a full time job and lets not forget about all those other responsibilities. So we understand that sometimes it can be near impossible to fit in a trip to the supermarket.

A cleverly stocked pantry allows you to whip-up quick, nutritious and delicious meals that don’t call for specialty ingredients and a last-minute dash to the supermarket. We’ve scrutinised our cupboards and whittled down a list to 40 pantry staples.

Having these basics on hand provides the foundations for a variety of meals that can be adapted and played with using whatever fresh produce you have available.

Note: most of these foods have a long shelf life when stored correctly. Some will need to be refrigerated after they are opened.
Canned foods

1. Tomatoes

2. Corn kernels (salt reduced)

3. Mixed vegetables

4. Chickpeas

5. Mixed beans

6. Tuna (in spring water)

7. Fruit salad (in natural juice)

8. Apple (in natural juice)

9. Coconut milk (reduced fat)

Sauces, flavourings and spreads

10. Tomato paste (salt reduced)

11. Tomato sauce (salt reduced)

12. Curry paste

13. Soy sauce

14. Sweet chilli sauce

15. Fish sauce

16. Stock powder

17. Mustard

18. Mixed herbs

19. Honey

Oils and Dressings

20. Olive oil

21. Canola oil

22. Spray oil

23. Balsamic vinegar

24. Reduced fat mayonnaise


25. Plain flour

26. Self-raising flour

27. Rolled oats

28. Cous cous

29. Rice – white, brown, Arborio

30. Pasta – spaghetti, lasagne, penne or spirals

31. Breadcrumbs

Snack foods

32. Sultanas

33. Dried apricots

34. Nuts (unsalted) –almonds, walnuts or pine nuts

35. Savoury crackers

Fresh foods

36. Potatoes

37. Onion

38. Garlic


39. White sugar

40. Brown sugar


The following food items must be refrigerated at ALL times due their short shelf-life and are therefore not included in the 40 pantry staples.

Fridge staples

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Margarine (poly- or mono- unsaturated)
  • Cheese (Parmesan or reduced fat Cheddar)
  • Chicken
  • Lean Beef mince

Now that you have this list of ingredients, why not try some recipes that use these 40 staple foods.