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How To Create a Healthy Capsule Pantry

by Heather

What is a capsule pantry?  It’s not having tons of random food items stored, but focusing on the items you use over and over again to create healthy meals. Today I’m sharing how to create a healthy capsule pantry with steps, my capsule pantry must haves + I created a free capsule pantry list PDF for you to snag up and use in your own pantry!

how to create a healthy capsule pantry

What is a capsule pantry?

Similar to a capsule wardrobe (which you can learn all about in episode #109 of the podcast), a capsule pantry is a pantry filled with items you love to use over and over again, that you can mix and match to create simple, healthy meals with.

Why is this helpful? Creating a pantry filled with food items you use over and over again will allow you to build healthy meals more easily. Say you can’t make it to the grocery store when you had planned to, but you know you have the pantry + freezer items on hand for a pasta dish (like my adobo turkey and roasted broccoli pasta dish!)- well then you’re set and good to go!

how to create a healthy capsule pantry | pasta pantry staple

My full healthy pantry list

Right now my pantry is stocked with tons of food (thank you quarantine). When I did a little more stocking up than usual a few weeks ago I made sure to only purchase pantry staples that we would actually use. There’s no point in buying food you aren’t excited about. No one wants wasted food!

Here is my list I work with. Customize it for your kitchen! Add what you want, take off what you don’t need. You can grab a PDF download of this here!

Whole Grains/Legumes

  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Einkorn/farro berries
  • Quinoa
  • Dry beans
  • Lentils


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red/rice wine vinegar


  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • coconut aminos
  • Salad dressings
  • Hot sauce

Canned/Jarred/Boxed Foods

  • Tomatoes (crushed, diced, paste, sauce)
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Canned vegetables (corn, beets)
  • Canned meats (sardines tuna/salmon/chicken/anchovies/oysters/clams)
  • Vegetable and chicken broth
  • Shelf-stable non-dairy milk
  • Jarred curry
  • Pasta

Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit

  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios)
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Sunflower/pumpkin/sesame seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Dried fruit (dates, raisins, cranberries, figs) 
  • Nut/seed Butter (peanut, almond, coconut, sunflower, tahini)

Baking Items

  • Flours (einkorn, almond, coconut, oat, whole wheat pastry flour)
  • Baking soda / baking powder
  • Coconut sugar/ sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate chips
  • Vanilla extract


  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic granules
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Dill
  • Dried parsley
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Paprika
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried chives
  • Onion powder

Veggies that last

  • Potatoes (sweet potatoes and white/red/yellow potatoes)
  • Winter squash (spaghetti squash, butternut, acorn)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger


  • Crackers
  • Mac n cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • Popcorn kernels

Here is a printable 2 page PDF you can grab!

Because this topic is so helpful, I started a series on the blog deep diving into my real food pantry favorite. My 5 favorite cracker brands are up, flours are next and then oils. This PDF download gives you a big picture view of the items to think about when you’re building a healthy capsule pantry.

Grab the free download here!

A stocked pantry makes healthy eating easier

I absolutely adore this topic because it truly simplifies healthy eating. When we have healthy foods on hand, it makes cooking easier. I recorded an entire podcast episode on this topic. Feel free to listen below!

Building a healthy capsule pantry

Step by step pantry refresh

Step 1: Clean out

Clean out and declutter your pantry!  See what you actually have on hand. While you’re there, wipe down the shelves. Why not?

Step 2: Consider items you don’t really use

Consider items you purchased because you thought you would use them, but really haven’t. Be careful about what out bring in and focus on stocking up on those items you use all the time.

Step 3: Create a pantry list (or use mine!)

Create your own list of items you use over and over again and keep the most used items on hand.

Step 4: Organize

Organize and keep most used items on hand.  When you meal plan, add them to your list. This will help you so much when you are whipping something up without a plan, knowing that you have items on hand to create basic meals.

how to create a healthy capsule pantry

Do you keep a written list of must have pantry items? When was the last time you looked through your pantry items?



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