Pantry Staples to Always Have on Hand

Make healthy meals by having a well-stocked pantry and fridge.


By Linzy Ziegelbaum


Don’t you hate it when you have nothing planned for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you are starving and want a nutritious meal? With these pantry staples, you will be able to put together a healthy meal in no time, even when you did not shop for food, or have anything planned!

Always keep in your fridge:

Plain 0% Greek yogurt


Nut butter

Always keep in your freezer:

Bread or english muffins

Vegetable burgers

Frozen vegetables

Frozen berries

Frozen chicken and/or fish

Frozen waffles

Always keep in your pantry:

Cooking Oils

Dried herbs and spices


Canned tuna


Grains (farro, brown rice, pasta)


Whole grain cereals

Lentils or beans

With these products on hand, you can make a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner without having to leave your house! Having cooking oils, herbs, and spices on hand makes it easy to play with flavors when cooking too.

I recommend having a balance of protein and carbohydrates at each meals. Protein is found in the greek yogurt, eggs, nuts, nut butters, seeds, vegetable burgers, tuna, chicken, fish, lentils and beans. Carbohydrates are found in the grains, oatmeal, bread, and cereals.

The carbohydrates will provide you with the energy your body needs, while the protein will help fill you up until your next meal. Having frozen fruits and vegetables available to add to meals is an easy way to get vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Try the easy combinations below!

Some breakfast ideas to try:

Greek yogurt can be topped with frozen berries and nuts, seeds or whole grain cereal 

Omelets with frozen vegetables and either toast or an english muffin

Frozen waffles topped with either nut butter and berries or Greek yogurt and berries

Oatmeal topped with nuts, seeds or nut butter and berries.

Some lunch ideas to try:

Vegetable burger on toast or an english muffin with a side of vegetables

English muffin or toast with nut butter and berries

Scrambled eggs with vegetables and an english muffin

Tuna salad on toast with a side of vegetables

Some dinner ideas to try:

Chicken or fish with vegetables and brown rice or farro

Chicken or fish with vegetables and pasta

Lentils or beans with brown rice and vegetables

Using different oils and spices makes it is easy to experiment with different flavors, and make these simple combinations delicious and fun! It is also ok to change things around and try breakfast ideas for lunch or dinner or visa versa.

Linzy Ziegelbaum, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and owner of the private practice LNZnutrition LLC. She provides nutrition counseling and education to clients of all ages with many nutrition needs. Linzy enjoys sharing her love and nutrition expertise with others through counseling, her LNZnutrition blog and social media pages, including Facebook and Instagram.

Main Photo Credit & Second Photo Credit: margouillat photo/; Third Photo Credit: al1962/