8 Pantry Must-Haves from an RD

April 08, 2021

As we are welcoming spring, it is the perfect time of year to revisit the pantry for a little tune up. Having a well-stocked pantry with items that are nourishing and practical is a surefire way to encourage consistency of nutrient-dense snacking and dining on a daily basis.

A well-stocked pantry is a secret to meal planning success, helping you extend grocery trips or whip up a meal when the prep didn’t go as planned, and keep things tasty and satisfying alway. Use the pantry as a way to stock up on non-perishable basics, flavor boosts, and cooking mediums so that you can be prepared to make flavorful meals no matter what the week throws at you.

We got together with Registered Dietician, Olivia Wagner (MS, RDN, LDN) to learn about her top 8 pantry essentials.



  • Vegetables, like sweet potatoes and winter squashes, typically hold for up to two weeks in the pantry, which are perfect to make any meal a little more sustainable. 

  • Add grains like quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat to your pantry. Whenever possible, look for sprouted and soaked grains for maximum health-benefits. 


  • Canned fish, such as wild-caught sardines, anchovies or tuna are a great, easy protein source. 

  • Sprouted and soaked or pressure-cooked beans are an easy staple that’s packed with protein. Try dried red and brown lentils, BPA-free canned chickpeas or dried and boxed black beans. 

  • Boost your protein-supply with high-quality collagen or bone broth based protein powders. 


  • Nut and seed butters are an easy-to-eat healthy fat with fruits or Almond Flour Crackers. Watch out for hidden oils and stabilizers! Look for a nut and seed butter with “nut/seed + sea salt (optional)” as the main ingredients.  

  • Stock up on oils like coconut, avocado, ghee and cold-pressed California olive for all your cooking and baking needs. 

  • Nuts and seeds are easy, mess-free snacks. Try storing in an airtight container to maintain freshness!


  • Artichoke hearts

  • Hearts of palm

  • Boxed diced tomatoes 

  • Black olives

  • No-sugar added tomato sauce 


  • Dried fruits like goji berries, dates, mulberries and prunes are great for energy balls or adding a little sweetness to a salad or toast. Look for no sugar added varieties!

  • Pomegranate or tart cherry juice with no sugar added is great to have on hand. 

Liquids (Keep in the pantry before opening)

  • Full-fat coconut milk is a fabulous substitute for heavy cream in many recipes.

  • Shelf-stable boxed non-dairy milks are fantastic to have on hand when your fridge supply runs low. 

  • Shelf-stable bone broth is a solid source of protein and great base for soups. 

Ready-to-go products

  • Simple Mills Baking Mixes require minimal additional ingredients and allow you to quickly make pizza crusts, pancakes, cakes, muffins and more. 

  • Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers and Crunchy Cookies are perfect for quick and satisfying snack plates with fruit or veggies.  

  • >70% dark chocolate for when you’re craving something sweet.

  • Dried seaweed snacks to satisfy salty cravings.

Condiments + Spices (Keep in the pantry before opening)

  • Coconut aminos 

  • Avocado oil-based dressings

  • Organic jarred salsa and hot sauce 

  • Ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks 

  • Ground cayenne pepper 


Basic Stocked Pantry Meals

Here are four easy meals you can throw together with mostly pantry staples! Work these into the back end of your week when the grocery haul is getting light, or plan for them up front for easy prep days. 

1. Omega Veggie Pizza: Simple Mills Pizza Crust  + no-sugar added tomato sauce (like Rao’s)  +  black olives + artichokes + anchovies (great for those omega-3’s! and can also be swapped with hemp seeds) – Top with your favorite veggies on hand and grass-fed full-fat cheese or cheese alternative!

2. Mediterranean Tuna Salad: Low mercury tuna + red wine vinegar + olive oil + chickpeas + red onion + dried oregano or basil + hearts of palm - Toss together with your favorite chopped vegetables for an easy lunch or dinner bowl.

3. Cultured Salmon Salad with Crackers: Wild caught canned salmon + dried dill + white onion + sauerkraut + apple + mustard + apple cider vinegar – Mix together and top over arugula, lemon and olive oil. Serve with Simple Mills Organic Seed Crackers

4. Sweet Potato + Black Bean Taco Salad Bowl: Black beans + no-sugar added organic jarred salsa + roasted sweet potato - Serve over romaine lettuce with avocado, fresh lime and cilantro.  Top with plantain chips for crunch! 
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