The Well-Stocked Pantry

There is a secret to eating healthy, and not calling for that emergency greasy pizza box– it’s in your pantry. More precisely, what you put in your pantry. You can be sure of one thing: meal time will be crazy every night. Here’s the only chance you’ve got to put yourself a bit ahead of the game, and give yourself a shot at cooking a healthy meal.

Stocking your pantry (to see how to stock your refrigerator click here, and to see how to stock your freeze click here.) with the right ingredients, can make all the difference between desperation about what to fix, and the accompanying guilt for ordering too much fast-food. Once you’ve got your list, don’t forget to make yourself a handy little re-usable grocery list so that you can keep a running tab on what you’re running low on.

13 Must-Haves to Stock in your Pantry

  1. Red or white wine
  2. Pasta and couscous
  3. Onions (I prefer red) and garlic
  4. Canned Beans: Garbanzo, Black Cannellini (looks like Northern, but they’re not. These taste like butter better.) You can do anything with these three beans.
  5. Marinara Sauce
  6. Canned tomatoes and tomato paste. (Be sure to get the ones with the extra veggies and spices.)
  7. Canned tuna. Albacore is the BEST.
  8. Vinegars: Balsamic, Red Wine and Apple Cider.
  9. Oils: Extra Virgin (for salads and bread). Extra Light Olive Oil for baking and sauteing.
  10. Salts: Sea, and table salt.
  11. Herbs: Black Pepper, Rosemary, Oregano, Whole Nutmeg, Red Pepper, Paprika and Cinnamon.
  12. Jars of Greek Olives and a jar of capers.
  13. Dried mushrooms.

Here’s a delicious fast and easy, no-cook 100% healthy pantry meal:

White Bean, Tuna and Red Onion Salad


  • 1 can of tuna, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Black Pepper and a dash of Salt

Place beans in a large serving bowl, and add tuna. Break up tuna with a fork. Scatter red onion and capers over tuna; then drizzle with oil, and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.


Black Beans, Couscous and tomatoes

Cook one cup of couscous, per package directions

Drain and rinse one can of black beans

Once couscous is done, fluff with fork, add beans and tomatoes and heat through.

You could even open the fridge and add some cheddar.

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39 comments to “The Well-Stocked Pantry”
  1. Sounds yummy. My husband does all the cooking around here and I know full well that everything on your list is already here. I’ll just slip him this recipe. Have a great TT. 🙂

  2. Great list. I can’t abide wine, olives and capers myself, but the rest are definitely the kids of staples we keep around. Now, if only we had an actual pantry in this microscopic house…

  3. You always have such fun lists. You know we stopped buying beans – instead I crock pot them. Canned beans have so much salt in them. (I’m salt sensitive, not potassium holding) We also have Kosher salt – I like the texture of it.

    We buy most of that stuff at Costco – not the wine because (rolling eyes) it’s Colorado!

    Great list! Happy TT!

  4. It looks like we’re coming to your house for dinner…heck, you dont even need to go to the store:) Happy TT and thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hey, I’ve got all of those! Well nearly – my beans are dried, not canned, and my olives are black and in a plastic container from the greengrocer’s, but close enough.

    We love tuna and white bean salad. I add fresh sage to mine when I’ve got it. Never thought to try red onions instead of white though, do they turn it purple?

  6. Claudia, you are absolutely right about the beans… I used to cook them in batches, and freeze them.. but couldn’t find them in the freezer, and then, they were frozen solid. I’m still working on perfecting my “fresh bean method.”

    But when I am making batches of black bean dip or garbanzo beans for hummus — I do them in the slow cooker, and freeze the dips and pull out what I need.

    Still you can’t beat canned beans when the power is out!

    Robin, the red onions do not make everything turn purple — they just have a sharp texture and the have a sweeter flavor.

    You’re all welcome to come to dinner — as long as you clean up!

  7. Excellent list! I agree completely that having food stocked and even just a bit of a plan (or being anal like me and creating a calendar menu) keeps more junk and fast food away because it can be almost as easy to make something better. My 13 was about food this week, too. I love food 😉

  8. What a great list! I’ve been doing Weight Watchers since last May, and I agree with & appreciate your post. Thanks! 🙂
    Have a great day!

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  10. The black bean and couscous recipe looks great, and I think I have everything needed to make it already in my pantry! I’ve been big on keeping the pantry stocked ever since I joined our public health volunteer group; we know that if a pandemic hits, groceries will be hard to come by.

  11. grrrrrr8 list! i have all that stuff in my cupboard, except for whole nutmeg…unusual. i don’t use that one. happy TT – mine’s up! (f/k/a Rhonda)

  12. I wasn’t hungry til I got here… now I am!!

    Thanks for helping to keep me on the resolution track, even if I’m not so good at it.

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