A well-stocked pantry is important for everyday cooking & baking, but also in times of emergency. Here's a helpful list of pantry staples, as well as a free printable food pantry list!
Do you have a well-stocked pantry? There are so many reasons to make sure you have a pantry stocked with essential non-perishable foods.
Why you need a well-stocked pantry
- Cooking and baking is made easier when you always have the basics or essential ingredients on hand.
- In case of natural disaster, it's important to have enough food to last your family for a while. Where we live in the Pacific Northwest, there is always threat of The BIG Earthquake. So I'm pretty much always re-stocking our non-perishable foods to ensure we have enough food to last at least two weeks, just in case we end up having no power or clean water.
- In extreme cases, like the current Coronavirus pandemic, it's wise to have pantry staples on hand. Store shelves empty out quickly, and if there's a quarantine, a well-stocked pantry can help keep you and your family well-fed during this time.
The ultimate well-stocked food pantry list
At the end of this post, you can download my FREE Well-Stocked Food Pantry Checklist!
Here is a food pantry list full of essential non-perishable foods that ever well-stocked pantry should have.
Every family is different. Depending on how your family likes to cook, you may have different food staples on your list. This is a general list to help you get started on your way to a well-stocked kitchen pantry.
Dried Pasta, Grains, and Beans
- Dried Pasta - Store for up to 1-2 years beyond best buy date.
- Fresh pasta - Store for up to 4-5 days beyond best buy date.
- White Rice - Store for up to 4-5 years or longer if vacuum sealed
- Brown Rice - Store for 6-12 months on shelf
- Quinoa, Couscous, Farro - Store in the pantry for 3-4 years unopened; after opening, store it in the refrigerator for 2-3 years
- Dried Lentils (2-3 years; keep package tightly closed)
- Dried Beans - When stored properly in airtight containers in a cool, dry pantry, dried beans will last indefinitely. However, they will begin to lose moisture after 1-2 years in pantry.
- Breadcrumbs - Store for 8-10 months; after opening, keep package tightly closed.
You may wonder why brown rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice. Brown rice usually contains oils in the bran layer, which makes it go bad faster than white rice.
- Canned chicken, beef, and vegetable stock - Store unopened cans of stock in the pantry for up to 3-5 years.
- Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth in cartons - Store unopened in the pantry for 1 year beyond printed date.
- Canned coconut milk - Store unopened in the pantry for 2-5 years.
- Canned Beans - Store unopened in the pantry for 3-5 years.
- Canned tomato sauce - Store unopened in the pantry for up to 18-24 months.
- Canned tuna - Store unopened cans of tuna or salmon in the pantry for up to 3 years.
Recipes to make with canned goods
- Best Instant Pot Turkey Chili Recipe
- Mexican Lasagna
- Instant Pot Lentil Stew (Vegan)
- Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich
- Sausage Tortellini Soup Recipe
- Good Luck Lentil Dip recipe
- All-purpose flour - Store unopened in the pantry for 1 year. Once opened, transfer to airtight container.
- Granulated sugar - Store unopened in the pantry for 2 years.
- Brown sugar - Store unopened in the pantry for 2 years.
- Confectioner's Sugar (powdered sugar) - Powdered sugar keeps fresh indefinitely when stored in a cool, dry pantry and in an airtight container.
- Baking soda - Store baking soda unopened in the pantry for 2 years unopened; 6 months opened.
- Baking powder - Store unopened in the pantry for 9-12 months unopened; 6 months after opening.
- Cocoa powder - Unopened cocoa powder reportedly stays fresh indefinitely when stored in a cool, dry pantry. After opening, use within 3 years.
- Vanilla extract - Vanilla extract keeps indefinitely, unopened or opened, when stored in a cool, dry pantry.
- Chocolate chips - Store chocolate chips in the pantry for up to 2 years.
- Boxed mixes - Store boxed cake mixes, unopened or opened, in the pantry for 12-18 months
This avid home baker absolutely gives you permission to buy some boxed mixes! It's always good to have a few boxed cake mixes, boxed muffin mixes, and boxed cookie or brownie mixes on hand. Check out some of the yummy things you can make with boxed mixes below! Plus, a few other easy baking recipes.
Easy Baked Goods Recipes
- Butterscotch Cookies
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Bars
- The Best Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe
- Chewy Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Peanut Butter, Jams, and Sweeteners
- Peanut butter - Store unopened in the pantry for 6-9 months. After opening, store in the pantry for up to 3 months, and then after that, store in the refrigerator for an additional 1-3 months.
- Almond butter - Store unopened at room temperature for up to 1 year; After opening, store for 3 months in pantry & 6 months in refrigerator.
- Jams and jellies - Store unopened at room temperature for 1 year; after opened, refrigerate & store up to 3 months; jelly refrigerator for up to 1 year.
- Honey - Store unopened in the pantry almost indefinitely, although most best buy dates are 2-5 years from the time it hits store shelves.
- Maple syrup - Unopened maple syrup reportedly stays fresh indefinitely when stored in a cool pantry. After opening, use maple syrup within 1 year.
Oils & Vinegars
- Olive oil - Store unopened in the pantry for 18-24 months opened.
- Vegetable oil - Store unopened in the pantry for 1 year unopened; 6 months opened.
- Coconut oil - Store unopened in the pantry for 2 years.
- Soy sauce - Store unopened in the pantry for up to 2 years in the refrigerator; 6 months at room temperature.
- Coconut aminos - Store unopened in the pantry for up to 1 year unopened; 6 months in the refrigerator after opening.
- Rice wine vinegar - Store unopened or opened in the pantry for up to 2 years.
- Balsamic vinegar - Store unopened or opened in the pantry for up to 3 years.
Spices + Dried Herbs
Having commonly used spices and herbs on hand can help make cooking and baking a breeze. Here are a few spices and herbs I always keep stocked in our pantry.
Regarding shelf life: in general, whole spices will last up to four years in the pantry. Ground spices will stay fresh for about 3-4 years. Meanwhile, dried herbs last about 1-3 years.
All spices and dried herbs lose their aroma and flavor as time goes on, so be sure to update these every couple of years, at least.
- Kosher salt
- Black peppercorns
- All Spice
- Bay leaves
- Curry powder
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Cream of tartar
Snacks + Cereals
No well-stocked food pantry list would be complete without yummy shelf-stable snacks and cereals. Be sure to add your family's favorites to the list!
- Granola bars -
- Nuts - Store at room temperature for up to 3 months; in the refrigerator for up to 6 months; in the freezer for up to one year or more.
- Crackers - Store unopened boxes of crackers for 6-9 months; after opening, close tightly and store for 1-2 months.
- Pretzels - Store unopened for 6-9 months; after opening, close tightly and store for 1-2 weeks.
- Popcorn - Store unopened, ready-to-eat bags for 2-3 months; after opening, use within 1-2 weeks. Microwaveable packets last 2 months; dry kernels, properly stored in the pantry, have a shelf life of 1-2 years.
- Jerky - Store unopened packages for 1-2 years; after opening, use within 1-2 weeks.
- Cookies - Store unopened packages of hard cookies for 6-9 months; after opening, use within one month.
- Dried fruit - Store unopened packages or dried fruit stored in airtight containers in the pantry for up to 1 year.
- Applesauce - Store unrefrigerated, unopened applesauce in the pantry for up to 12-18 months; after opening, store in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
- Cereal - Store unopened cereal in the pantry for 6-8 months; after opening, tightly close package and use within 2-3 months.
- Rolled oats/ Oatmeal - Store uncooked (regular or instant) oats or oatmeal unopened or opened for 18-24 months
- Water - Store unopened bottled water for 1-2 years.
- Coffee - Store ground coffee in the pantry for 3-5 months.
- Tea - Store tea bags for 18-24 months.
- Milk in cartons - Store unopened, unrefrigerated cartons of milk/coconut milk/almond milk in the pantry for 6-12 months.
Free Printable: The Ultimate Well-Stocked Food Pantry List
Click here to download my FREE checklist for a Well-Stocked Pantry List.
Do you have an emergency kit?
In case of natural disasters and emergencies, an Emergency Go Bag can be essential. Check out this emergency kit article with helpful tips on the type of emergency items everyone should have prepared at all times. Plus, there's a free printable emergency kit checklist.