Essential Ingredients for a Well-Stocked Pantry


A pantry stocked with basic ingredients is one of the secrets to making cooking easier, convenient and enjoyable for anyone, especially those on the bariatric surgery eating plan.

“A well-stocked pantry keeps you in control of your meal choices and makes meal prep/planning a breeze,” says Courtney, bariatric dietician at The Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital.

To help you start your journey to the perfect pantry, Courtney has assembled a list of pantry basics you can pick up today.

Spices and seasoning blends:

Spices and seasonings are the backbone of flavor in cooking. With little effort, they transform a simple dish into something delicious for the whole family.

  • Aromatics
  • Basic seasoning blend-garlic powder/pepper/kosher salt
  • Bay leaves
  • Black peppercorns
  • Chili powder
  • Chipotle chili pepper
  • Chinese five-spice powder
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Dill Weed
  • Everything but the Bagel
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cayenne red pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon pepper
  • McCormick Mediterranean
  • Mexican Seasoning Blend
  • Onion powder
  • Onions
  • Paprika (regular & smoked)
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • Shallots
  • Slap Ya Mama
  • Spiced Sea Salt
  • Thyme
  • Tony Chachere’s
  • Whole garlic cloves

If you like garlic with a little kick, try this grilled pork tenderloin and firecracker slaw.

A selection of high-quality oils and vinegars is essential for enhancing flavors and creating dressings and marinades.


  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Canola oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil*
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice bran oil
  • Rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
  • Rice wine vinegar*
  • Sea salt
  • Sesame oil*
  • White vinegar
  • White wine vinegar

Don’t forget the stocks. Better than Bouillon is one of our dieticians’ favorites!


  • Better than Bouillon*
  • Bone broth

Condiments and sauces can elevate the taste of any dish and add complexity to your meals. We highly recommend these essentials.


  • Almond flour
  • Canned chicken
  • Salmon packets*
  • Soy sauce
  • Splenda or other calorie free sweeteners
  • Sugar free ketchup
  • Tuna packets*
  • Worcestershire sauce

You’ll find at least one of these basic ingredients in all our bariatric-approved recipes. Having them on hand makes meal planning and preparation so much easier.

*Refrigerate after opening.


The Bariatric & Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital offers physical and mental support for life. When you need healthy recipes, our team is there with guidance and resources to help through clinic appointments, a private support group and weekly live discussions on a variety of topics.

Find a bariatric surgeon at BMI, learn if you qualify for bariatric surgery and see our weight loss surgery financing options.