The Complete Pantry Staples List that will have you ready in any emergency with a fully stocked pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. From frozen fruits and veggies to dry goods and canned goods that have a long shelf-life, you can easily stock-up to make your favorite meals with this list of shelf stable ingredients.
Whether you’re hunkering down for a hurricane, or quarantining as COVID-19 strikes, making sure your kitchen and pantry are fully stocked with staples is essential.
There are so many other shelf-stable ingredients you can stock up on beyond your typical rice, dried beans, canned goods, and potatoes.
Below you will find dry goods and other items that store well in the pantry, fresh produce with a long shelf-life, and ingredients that last a long time in the refrigerator and freezer.
You will also find a plethora of recipes you can make with these shelf-stable ingredients!
Canned goods can last for up to 1 to 4 years if stored in a cool dry place.
A few canned goods you can stock up on:
- Tomatoes – For your favorite Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya or Shrimp Creole.
- Whole Beans – Canned black beans taste great in this Gallo Pinto recipe.
- Refried Beans – Rich in fiber for some Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos.
- Corn – Make a big batch of Mexican Street Corn or mix it into a Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup.
- Coconut Milk – Great for making Instant Pot Chicken Curry or a Slow Cooker Curry.
- Pumpkin – For a delicious breakfast of Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats.
- Pineapple – A wonderful addition to this sweet and savory Easy Pineapple Chicken.
- Salsa – Enjoy as a snack or use in a Chicken Enchiladas Verdes or Southwest Pasta Salad recipe.
- Spaghetti Sauce – To add to a Lasagna Spaghetti Squash or make a big Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake.
- Green Beans
Beans and Grains
Dried beans can last almost indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place.
However, it’s best to cook and eat them within 2-3 years for the best taste and nutritional value.
- Black Beans – Cook them up for a delicious snack of this Black Bean and Salsa Corn Dip.
- Kidney Beans – Add these to a comforting bowl of Instant Pot Turkey Chili.
- Garbanzo Beans – Learn how to cook chickpeas that are perfect for a vegetarian Chickpea Curry or Homemade Hummus.
- Lentils – Make a quick snack like this Lentil Hummus.
If stored in a cool pantry, dried grains (such as rice, quinoa, grits) will last for up to 1 year in the pantry.
Grains will last for much longer if stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
- White or Brown Rice – Make a big batch to be used in this Chicken Fried Rice or whip up some Instant Pot Mexican Rice.
- Quinoa – A source of high nutritional value, this complex protein can be enjoyed as a Sausage & Quinoa Skillet or in this Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad.
Processed Flours and Sugars
White flour will last for up to a year in the pantry. More sensitive whole wheat flour only last for 3 to 6 months unless stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Granulated white, brown, or coconut sugar will last up to 2 years after opening when stored in the pantry.
Whole, rolled, and quick cooking oats have a long shelf-life extending up to 2 years.
- Flour – Make your favorite muffins or quick breads for breakfast.
- Sugar – Treat yourself to a little something sweet such as a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies or Lemon Blueberry Cookies.
- Oats – Enjoy a variety of overnight oats options (Blueberry, Maple Cinnamon, Chocolate Peanut Butter.)
Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit
Whole nuts last at room temperature for up to 3 to 6 months, and in the freezer for up to 1 year.
Unopened commercial brand nut butters will last for up to 2 years at room temperature. Once opened, peanut and almond butters should be consumed within 2 to 3 months.
Dried fruits will last for about 1 year if stored properly and they have no moisture contamination.
- Pecans – Toast pecans for a snack or make a batch of these Cinnamon Spiced Candied Pecans.
- Almonds – A delicious snack option when toasted or can add a crunch to some Almond Butter Cookies.
- Cashews – Use them to make this Cashew Chicken or in this Chicken Korma Curry.
- Nut Butters – Peanut, almond, and cashew butter can all be used interchangeably in recipes such as this Peanut Butter Smoothie or these Almond Butter Overnight Oats.
- Dried Fruit – Dried cranberries or cherries made a great addition to a batch of Homemade Granola while dried banana chips taste incredible eaten on their own!
- Seeds – Enjoy dried pumpkin and sunflower seeds as a snack or add them as a crunch to a Kale Salad. Chia seeds taste delicious when served with frozen blueberries in this Lemon Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding.
Oils and Vinegars
Oils last for up to 2 years when stored in a cool, dry place.
Vinegar will last indefinitely but may begin to lose its flavor if not stored properly.
Butter will keep in the refrigerator for 6-9 months and in the freezer for over a year in the freezer.
- Olive, Avocado, Grapeseed, Coconut oil
- Butter or Vegan butter alternative
- Salad Dressings – Serve up Ranch dressing with these Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs or Italian Dressing in a Pasta Salad.
- Balsamic vinegar – Add a tang to some Honey Balsamic Chicken or Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Rice vinegar – Use in your favorite Asian recipes like these Sesame Noodles.
- White wine vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar – Make your own homemade salad dressing recipes.
- Soy Sauce – A salty addition to an Egg Roll in a Bowl.
Other Pantry Items
In addition to your typical pantry staples, here are a few others to keep on hand:
- Corn Tortillas – For homemade Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas or Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce.
- Pasta – Along with veggies for a Penne Pasta Primavera
- Rice Noodles – In an Easy Pad Thai
- Liquid Sweeteners (Honey, Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar)
- Broth – Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth for all of your favorite soup recipes.
- Seasoning Ingredients (Or make your own Taco Seasoning, Chili Seasoning, Italian Seasoning)
- Coffee and Tea
Eggs, Milk and Cheese
Eggs typically have a sell-by date at least 1 month out from purchase and will be safe to eat for another 1-2 weeks after.
Regular milk lasts for a few months if unopened in the refrigerator and 5-7 days once opened.
Nut-based milks that are properly sealed can be stored in the pantry for up to 3-4 weeks.
Parmesan cheese will last up to 9 months while softer, shredded cheeses have a shelf life of 5-7 days once opened.
- Eggs – Enjoy a Sweet Potato Hash or make a batch of this Easy Migas for breakfast.
- Milk – Use it in your favorite Strawberry Smoothie or to thicken up a Potato Leek Soup.
- Cheese – Eat it by the slice, on a sandwich, or toss it on a Mexican Lasagna.
- Condiments – Make sure to keep some ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard stocked for some Deviled Eggs or a Honey Mustard Chicken.
- Hummus – A great snack option with some crackers or carrots.
- White Potatoes – An extremely hearty vegetable that makes a wonderful side dish as some Baked Potato Wedges or for breakfast in this Sheet Pan Breakfast Hash.
- Sweet Potatoes – Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for a Mexican Stuffed Potatoes recipe or toss them in some oil and serve as a side with this Roasted Sweet Potatoes recipe.
- Onions – The base of a ton of recipes (Instant Pot Chicken Vegetable Soup, Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas) or you can make it the star of the show with these Caramelized Onions.
- Kale – The hardiest of the greens and the best way to get your nutrition with a Chopped Kale Salad or in this Zuppa Toscana Soup.
- Carrots – More nutritious than potatoes, but just as hardy and taste great when cooked as Slow Cooker Glazed Carrots or in an Instant Pot Beef Stew.
- Beets – Another long-lasting vegetable that can be served as Oven-Roasted Beets or added to a frozen pizza for this Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Pizza.
- Squash – Winter squash last for 1-3 months at room temperature and can be enjoyed as a Butternut Squash Soup or a Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash. Yellow squash and zucchini squash have a shorter life-span but taste great when served as a Summer Squash Casserole or Zucchini Fritters.
- Bell Peppers – Will last for up to 2 weeks when stored properly in the refrigerator. Enjoy them with some Skillet Steak Fajitas or in a Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry.
- Herbs – Mix fresh herbs together with some butter to make Homemade Garlic Butter. Freeze and enjoy for up to 6 months!
- Citrus – Lemons, limes, and oranges last for a few weeks in the refrigerator and are great to add to Lemon Parmesan Roasted Potatoes or to make Instant Pot Orange Chicken.
Frozen Meats will last in the freezer for up to a year. Ground meat will last for 4 months when frozen. Chicken breasts, bacon, beef, steak, fish, shrimp, and pork will last up to 1 year if stored properly.
- Chicken – Can be used to make a ton of chicken recipes from Garlic Parmesan Baked Chicken Wings to Instant Pot Shredded Chicken.
- Ground Meat – Make a Paleo Meatloaf or get a little fancy with a Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie.
- Bacon – A great salty addition to add to Crispy Brussels Sprouts or enjoy on its own by cooking bacon in the oven.
- Steak – Sear a Filet Mignon for a fancy dinner or make a Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
- Fish – Salmon freezes wonderfully and can be served as Lemon Basil Salmon, Blackened Salmon, or Honey Sriracha Salmon. Blackened Fish Tacos are another great option.
- Shrimp – Easily whip up some Shrimp Scampi Foil packets or Shrimp Creole.
- Pork – Toss it in a slow cooker for some Pineapple Pulled Pork Tacos, in the pressure cooker for some Instant Pot Tacos al Pastor, or serve it as a Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Mustard.
Frozen veggies are a great staple to have on hand when stocking your pantry and will last for up to a year. Add mixed veggies to your favorite Chicken Pot Pie recipe or snap peas to a Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry.
And of course – a few ready-made meals and treats are essential to keep in the freezer:
- Frozen pizzas and crust.
- Bread and baguettes.
- Taquitos, bagel bites, burritos.
- Ice cream.
Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer Staples List
- Whole Beans
- Refried Beans
- Coconut Milk
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Green Beans
BEANS AND GRAINS
- Black Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- White or Brown Rice
PROCESSED FLOURS AND SUGARS
- Sugar White, brown, coconut
- Oats Quick, rolled, instant
NUTS, SEEDS AND DRIED FRUIT
- Nut Butters Peanut, almond, and cashew butter
- Dried Fruit Cranberries, cherries, blueberries, banana chips
- Seeds Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds
OILS AND VINEGARS
- Olive Avocado, Grapeseed, Coconut oil
- Butter or Vegan butter alternative
- Salad Dressings
- Vinegars Balsamic, rice, apple cider, white wine
- Soy Sauce
OTHER PANTRY ITEMS
- Corn Tortillas
- Rice Noodles
- Liquid Sweeteners
- Broth Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth
- Seasonings and Spices
- Coffee and Tea
EGGS, MILK AND CHEESE
- Cheese Shredded, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Cheddar
- Condiments Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard
- White Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Winter Squash Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash
- Summer squash Zucchini and yellow squash
- Bell Peppers
- Citrus Lemons, limes, oranges
- Ground Meat Beef, turkey, pork, chicken
- Steak or Beef
- Fish Salmon, tilapia, cod
- Frozen veggies
- Frozen fruits
- Frozen pizzas and crust
- Bread and baguettes
- Taquitos bagel bites, burritos
- Ice cream