Having a well-stocked kitchen makes preparing meals easier and more enjoyable. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner, keeping a few key ingredients on hand helps you whip up culinary creations that are both healthy and delicious at a moment’s notice.
So what foods should you always have in your kitchen? These 15 foods are good ones to keep at arm’s length if you want to be able to eat healthy without having to run to the store. Along with each good-to-have food, we’ve included some mouth-watering recipes to help you get a meal on the table fast.
Eggs are a versatile ingredient and can be used in countless ways. They’re a great source of protein and can be eaten on their own or as part of many dishes. For a quick protein-rich meal, they can be scrambled, fried, or boiled.
This recipe brings together gently cooked eggs, diced tomatoes, and chopped zucchini.
A hearty, high-protein sandwich favorite with a prep time of under 10 minutes.
Brown rice is a healthy whole grain that is high in fiber. It can be used as a base for many dishes and takes on the flavors of the herbs and spices it is combined with.
This Asian-inspired recipe combines fluffy brown rice that’s boosted with zesty ginger and paired with brightly colored peas and carrots.
The lively flavors of fresh ginger and lime zest take this fiber-rich rice to the next level.
Canned beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber. They can easily be added to salads, soups, and stews for a budget-friendly meal. You may be surprised by how good they even taste in baked goods!
This scrumptious and nutritious salad is bursting with garden-fresh flavor and loaded with black beans , quinoa and corn for a hefty dose of protein and fiber.
These gluten-free brownies aren’t just delicious and fudgy, but they have a secret ingredient that makes them as healthy as they are yummy – black beans!
High in protein and calcium, Greek yogurt is a great option for a healthy meal or snack. It is also a great alternative to sour cream or mayonnaise when you want to up the nutritional value of a recipe.
Greek yogurt gives this heart-healthy breakfast dish a light, tangy flavor that always satisfies.
A yogurt dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment to chicken and vegetables that are grilled to perfection with the impactful flavor of an orange chili marinade.
Leafy greens, including spinach, kale, and escarole, are packed with valuable antioxidants. They can be eaten raw, such as in salads or smoothies, and are also a flavorful and healthy addition to cooked dishes.
Escarole Salad with Apples Recipe
Nutrient-rich escarole and fresh sliced Granny Smith apples create a flavorful base for this heart-healthy salad.
Start your day with loads of antioxidants in this tasty juice made with spinach. Carrots, apples and lemon add a touch of sweetness.
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and versatile root vegetable that can be baked, roasted, or mashed. They’re a great source of fiber and vitamins.
This sweet spin on traditional shepherd's pie showcases ground turkey, chopped carrots and cubed sweet potatoes.
Whether you’re looking for a tasty holiday side dish or a bit of heart healthy sweetness any night of the week, these potatoes are sure to please.
Oatmeal is a filling and nutritious breakfast option that also holds its own in baked recipes. It's high in fiber and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
In addition to oatmeal, this breakfast bowl features sliced avocado and eggs, offering a protein boost while adding wholesome, filling flavor.
Try this heart healthy, on-the-go baked oatmeal recipe that’s brimming with fresh fruit and fragrant cinnamon.
Whole Grain Pasta
Whole-grain pasta is higher in fiber and nutrients than pasta made with white flour. Customize this whole grain with different sauces for varied taste sensations.
Enjoy this quick, healthy pasta carbonara made with turkey bacon and whole grain fettuccine.
Make a quick, heart-healthy whole grain pasta dinner with a no-cook tomato sauce.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber. They can be eaten as a snack or used as toppings for salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or desserts.
Perfectly toasted ramen, almonds and sunflower seeds add layers of texture and nutrients for a flavorful and full-bodied salad.
Try this diabetic-friendly plum crisp recipe for a delightfully gooey treat with ground ginger, nutmeg and chopped walnuts.
Canned tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta sauce to soups and stews. They’re a good source of vitamin C and lycopene.
The rich, fragrant flavors of tomato barley risotto are guaranteed to make your next meal memorable.
Classic Italian flavors take center stage in this healthy chicken cacciatore recipe.
Garlic is a flavorful ingredient that can add depth to almost any dish. It's high in antioxidants and has antibacterial properties.
Toss roasted spaghetti squash with cherry tomatoes, chopped zucchini and capers for a uniquely delicious vegetarian main dish.
Sour cream, garlic, and melted butter add velvety goodness to this classic mashed potato side dish.
Olive oil is a heart healthy oil that can be used for cooking or as a dressing for salads. It's high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which may help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL).
Vegetable Baked Ziti brings homestyle Italian and heart-healthy ingredients together in one luscious casserole dish.
Seared Salmon over Spinach and Olive Relish
The olive oil in this dish pairs with the omega-3 fatty acids of the salmon for a heart healthy dish that is filling and satisfying.
Frozen vegetables are a convenient and nutritious option when fresh produce is not available or when you need to add more variety to your meals. They’re a good source of vitamins and minerals, but choose varieties without added sauces or sodium
Bursting with garden-fresh flavors, this healthy risotto recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Fluffy brown rice boosted with zesty ginger is paired with brightly colored peas and carrots for a nutritious Asian-inspired recipe.
Chicken breasts are a lean protein source that can be cooked in many different ways. Keep some stocked in your fridge or freezer for an easy-to-make meal anytime.
This heart-healthy chicken is loaded with nutritious fats and deep, succulent flavor.
Get great flavor with just a few ingredients in this easy boneless chicken breast recipe.
Lemons are a versatile fruit that can be used for flavoring dishes or adding acidity to sauces and dressings. They’re also a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Whole-wheat flour, egg whites and perfectly tart fruit combines for an irresistibly tender treat.
Our easy lemon garlic shrimp recipe comes together in no time and is bursting with flavor, thanks to a tasty and tangy marinade.
If you’re looking to set yourself up for healthy eating success, having these 15 foods in your kitchen can make meal planning and preparation a breeze. Even when you’re short on time or don’t know what to make, these ingredients provide countless opportunities to create delicious and healthy meals, from breakfast to dinner. Not only will stocking your kitchen with these foods help you eat healthier, but it will also save you money, since you won’t have to rely on takeout every time someone asks “what’s for dinner?”