A Well-Stocked Pantry Equals a Quick Meal on the Table

Don’t forget to practice the nutrition challenge of “Putting your best fork forward.” Cooking at home with a well-stocked pantry will achieve this goal.
A Well-Stocked Pantry Equals a Quick Meal on the Table - News


photo submitted by: Lenelle Roberts

Having the ingredients on hand can make whipping up a delicious meal as easy as one-two-three. Keep ingredients from the following categories readily available for your nightly success: protein sources, flavor components including spices and condiments, vegetables, and grain products. Consider the following list as your guide to stocking your pantry with the necessary products you will need. Something on the list you don't like? Eliminate it and replace it with something your family prefers.

Protein Sources:

  • canned tuna
  • legumes
  • seeds and nuts

Canned Goods:

  • tomatoes
  • fruit
  • evaporated milk
  • legumes-black beans, kidney beans, etc.

Flavorings-Spices & Condiments:

  • salt and pepper
  • The Italian trio-parsley oregano, and basil
  • Mexican favorites-chili powder, cumin
  • condiments-ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise
  • extracts-vanilla, lemon etc.
  • ginger


  • Frozen - green beans, corn, and peas
  • Canned - tomatoes

Grain Products:

  • pasta of all shapes and sizes
  • rice-brown, black or white
  • oatmeal
  • quinoa
  • flour
  • bread crumbs

Refrigerator Basics:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • butter
  • yogurt-plain

Still struggling to come up with something to eat? Check out this useful tool developed by Mealtime. This handy chart will help you pull it all together by mixing and matching ingredients you have in your pantry. From main dishes to dessert this easy to use chart will help you mix and match your way to a delicious, quick and easy to assemble meal that you entire family will enjoy.

If you are looking for additional help with nutrition and meal planning check out the Penn State Extension Food and Nutrition Programs available in your community.