A well-stocked pantry is a cook’s best friend. Not only does it provide a ready supply of common ingredients, but it also allows for more spontaneity in the kitchen. With a few staples on hand, it’s easy to whip up a quick meal without running to the store.

Protein provides the body with the building blocks it needs to create muscle and helps keep the body feeling full after a meal. There are a lot of different high-protein foods out there, but not all of them are created equal. When looking for the best high-protein foods to keep in your pantry, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking.

Here are some of the most affordable protein pantry staples:


Lentils are high in protein, and they’re also packed with other nutrients like fiber and iron. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes. So if you’re looking for a high-protein food to help you meet your nutritional needs, lentils should definitely be at the top of your list.


Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, making them a nutritious snack. In addition, they contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can offer health benefits. Incorporating nuts into your diet can be a delicious and nutritious way to improve your health. Eat a handful as a snack, create your own trail mix, or top your salads with your favorite nut options.

nut butters

Peanut Butter or Alternatives

Peanut butter is a popular food high in protein and a great pantry staple. In addition to being high in protein, peanut butter is a good source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Although peanut butter is generally healthy, it is essential to choose a brand that is low in sugar and salt. Peanut butter can also be part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. For example, peanut butter can be a nutritious snack when paired with apple slices or celery sticks. Any nut butter works well, so if you prefer cashew or almond butter — those are great, too.

Canned Seafood

Canned seafood is a nutritious and convenient option for those looking for a high-protein, healthy meal. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and crab are all excellent sources of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients. When choosing canned seafood, look for products packed in water or olive oil rather than soybean or other vegetable oils. These products are lower in unhealthy fats and higher in healthy omega-3s. Canned seafood can be a great way to get more protein and essential nutrients into your diet and keep well in your pantry.

Ancient Grains

Ancient grains are whole grains that have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. These grains include quinoa, millet, amaranth, and sorghum. Ancient grains are a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and selenium. Additionally, ancient grains have a lower glycemic index than refined grains, which means they are less likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. As a result, ancient grains can be a healthy addition to any diet and a great pantry staple.

A well-stocked protein pantry is key to quick, healthy meals all week long. Be sure to stock up on these staples so you can always have ingredients for nutritious meals ready to go.

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