Embarking on a keto diet requires plenty of preparation and often a total pantry overhaul. Stock up on these essential pantry items so that you can enjoy the keto diet to the fullest.
I’ve been the keto diet for a long time now and it’s a lifelong commitment for me. For over 10 years now, I’ve been eating low carb and gluten-free. And for about 5 of those years, I’ve been fully keto.
In the past decade, I’ve learned a thing or two about a successful keto lifestyle, and I want to pass these tips on to you.
This list of keto pantry staples is quite comprehensive. It includes all the basics, plus an advanced supply list for those of you who love to bake. And you can tailor it to suit your tastes, needs, and additional dietary restrictions.
Ready to conquer the keto lifestyle?
Table of Contents
Preparation is the key to keto diet success
I simply cannot stress this point enough: be prepared.
We live in a gluten and sugar-filled world, and it’s hard to resist temptation when it’s in your face all the time. You are far more likely to slip and get off track if you don’t have a good array of tasty low carb foods around to keep you satisfied.
So making sure to have your pantry well-stocked with keto-friendly snacks is absolutely crucial. And having the ingredients on hand for easy keto dinners and keto breakfasts makes it easier to stay on track.
If you love baking, as I do, it’s important stock up on baking ingredients too. But how do you know what ingredients will work best? What are the basics you should spend your money on?
I’ve done enough experimenting with a huge array of low carb and gluten-free ingredients and I want you to benefit from my experience. My keto baking pantry list has everything you need.
Keep it simple
As with any big lifestyle change, it’s best to start with the basics.
There are so many “keto” products and pre-packaged foods on the market nowadays. It’s a hot keyword and every brand and company is trying to capitalize on the trend. But many of them really aren’t that keto friendly at all.
While it may be tempting to load up on these items, I don’t recommend it. You are much better off sticking with real, whole foods as the building blocks of your healthy diet.
Healthy Fats and Oils
You certainly don’t need all of these in your pantry at once, but having a few options on hand goes a long way for keto cooking and baking.
- Butter: I always have at least two pounds of butter in my fridge. I love it for savory recipes like my keto mushroom soup, and for baking treats like keto sugar cookies.
- Coconut Oil
- Ghee is also good option for dairy-free keto recipes. I adore the brown butter ghee from Tin Star Foods.
- Avocado Oil
- Olive Oil
- Mayonnaise (preferably made with avocado oil, not canola oil or soybean oil)
Protein helps fill us up and keep us satisfied. I stock up on ground beef or chicken thighs whenever I see a sale. If you purchase pre-made burgers or sausage, remember to check the label for hidden sources of carbs.
- Eggs: Good for easy meals and for baking! Try my Sheet Pan Frittata for an easy breakfast or dinner.
- Beef: Steak is great, but ground beef is much less expensive. See my favorite keto ground beef recipes.
- Poultry: Easy Chicken Broccoli Casserole is a fan favorite!
- Bone broth: Sip it plain or make some warm and comforting keto soup.
Fruits and Veggies
Not all fruits and veggies are keto-friendly, so make sure you have a good array of the lower carb options to choose from. These are the ones I keep in my fridge most often:
- Fresh berries
- Lemon and lime
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Leafy greens
Nuts & Seeds
Most nuts and seeds have a high fat content and plenty of fiber, making them a great keto snack. And nut and seed butters are useful for cooking and baking.
- Macadamia Nuts
- Nut and seed butters
- Peanuts (not a true nut)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Dairy (and dairy-free alternatives)
- Heavy cream
- Cream cheese
- Hard and soft cheeses
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt (full fat)
- Coconut milk/cream
- Dairy-free cream cheese
- Unsweetened nut and seed milks
Keto baking essentials
In case you didn’t already know, baking is my happy place. I keep my pantry stocked at all times with keto-friendly flours and sweeteners so that I can whip up keto cookies or keto chocolate chip muffins any old time.
But while I have a huge array of flours, sweeteners, chocolate, nuts, and other baking ingredients at my disposal, the truth is you don’t need all of that to be a successful keto baker.
This list includes the absolute essentials to get you started. Even if you never buy anything more than what’s listed here, you will find yourself able to create wonderful keto desserts and baked goods. You can also see this list on my Amazon storefront!
Any good baking cupboard should always have baking powder, vanilla and other extracts, and salt. Plus plenty of butter, eggs, and cream (or dairy free alternatives) in the fridge!
Keto flours take some getting used to, as they don’t behave even remotely like wheat flour.
- Almond flour – by far the most common keto flour and incredibly useful and delicious. Please read my tutorial on Baking with Almond Flour for detailed information.
- Coconut flour – also a very common keto flour but you really need to know what you’re getting into. Once you get used to it, it makes some of the best keto cupcakes! Please read Baking with Coconut Flour for more information.
- Sunflower seed flour is a great nut-free alternative to almond flour. And it’s easy to make your own. How to make sunflower seed flour.
The number of low carb sweeteners and sweetener blends has exploded in recent years. It’s wonderful because we have so many choices now. But all those choices can also be very confusing and overwhelming.
And they don’t all behave the same way! They all have their pros and cons.
Please read The Ultimate Guide to Keto Sweeteners for an in-depth look at how these sweeteners work and how they affect your results.
In my cupboard, I always keep:
Once upon a time, there was no good sugar-free chocolate and I had to use chopped up 90% Lindt bars. Now there is a vast array of keto chocolate to choose from. I recommend you keep on hand:
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: Dutch process cocoa gives a better chocolate flavor for most recipes.
- Unsweetened chocolate – this is 100% cacao chocolate, with no sweetener whatsoever. It’s important to choose quality chocolate like Ghirardelli or Guittard. The cheaper Baker’s chocolate tends to seize more easily and will ruin some of your recipes.
- Sugar-free chocolate chips – ChocZero or Lily’s Sweets are the two best brands.
You will notice that many of my keto cakes and muffins call for protein powder. There is a method to my madness, I promise.
I am not trying to add more protein to my diet, I get plenty of that as it is. But gluten is actually protein that helps conventional baked goods rise properly and hold their shape. In the absence of gluten, another dry protein can make your keto baked goods lighter, fluffier, and more like the ones you used to love.
Plant-based protein powders may work as well. But don’t try to replace with collagen protein as it bakes very differently and may make the recipe gummy and hard to cook through.