Your pantry should be stocked with healthy non-perishables at all times, so meals can be a snap to throw together on nights when soccer practice, dance recitals or PTA meetings have you in a rush. Keeping a surplus of these 12 items always on hand will ensure that dinner can be whipped up and on the table in minutes.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is loaded with healthy fats and yummy nutty flavor, so made it your go-to choice for drizzling over that fresh salad and save that vegetable oil for the frying pan!


In addition to being an all-natural sweetener for your tea, honey has a ton of health benefits!

Tomato Sauce

You can never have too many cans of tomato paste or tomato sauce! They form the basis for many of our favorite simple-to-make dinners.

Chicken Broth

Use chicken broth as a base for soups, stews and savory sauces. If you buy it in resealable containers, you can refrigerate any you might have leftover until the expiration date on the carton.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is packed with protein and makes countless snacks and desserts so much better!

Maple Syrup

Not just delicious on pancakes, waffles and French toast, (but isn’t that enough?) maple syrup is excellent in dessert, and great for baking!


Whether brown, white or multi-colored, rice lasts forever in the pantry and may very well be the most versatile of foods.

Spaghetti or Pasta

Always keep plenty of your favorite pastas on hand for those inevitable lasagna, mac and cheese and spaghetti nights.

Herbs and Spices

It goes without saying that a spice rack should never be empty, so keep it stocked with a good variety of herbs and spices!

Onions and Garlic

Perishable as they are, onions and garlic keep much better in the pantry than the fridge – unless they’ve been cut into. Then, please do put them in something air-tight and stick them in the chilly-box!


Depending on which type you get, potatoes can be stored for up to a month. If you have a house full of potato lovers, buying a 10-pound bag might save you a few trips to the store.