31 Long Shelf Life Foods to Keep In Your Pantry

It would be difficult to keep up with the fluctuating food market and have a stockpile of all the season’s crops in your pantry. Buying long shelf-life foods keeps you from having to worry about buying fresh produce every day or having to eat only what’s in season. It also ensures that you’re getting a good value for your grocery bill because these items are cheaper than their fresh counterparts.

31 Long Shelf Life Foods to Keep In Your Pantry

Long shelf-life foods are not just good for your pantry. They are good for the environment as well. These food items have a long shelf life because they don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen.

Below is a list of common long shelf life food:

1. Bouillon Cubes

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store bouillon cubes: Keep them in a dark pantry.

Bouillon is a type of broth made from beef, poultry, and/or game stock. A rich and hearty soup with a flavorful broth that is traditionally served with noodles or rice.

A bouillon typically contains water, onion, carrot, celery root, parsley root, peppercorns, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and salt. It is also sometimes flavored with tomato paste or ketchup in an effort to appeal to the American palate.

Bouillon can be served hot or cold and is often used for making various soups.

2. Corn Starch

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store corn starch: Always make sure to keep it dry and free from moisture as this will cause mold to grow on it. If the cornstarch has been left out for too long, you might want to throw in some baking soda or baking powder – this will act as a natural preservative. Keep it can be kept in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place.

Corn starch is a white powder made of corn, water, and sodium bicarbonate. It can be used as a thickener or the primary ingredient in cornstarch pudding.

Corn starch comes in many forms such as granular, pearl, rice flour, extruded, and ground. The color of the granular and extruded varieties is either yellow or white. Corn starch can also be mixed with other powders to create a variety of textures.

3. Canned Fruits

How long it lasts: Six years
How to store canned fruits: Canned fruits are useful to store in the pantry. Storing canned fruits can help you save time when you need to make a quick and easy snack. Keep dry goods out of direct sunlight and heat sources.

Canned fruits are a cheap and convenient way to provide a healthy snack or meal option. Canned fruits are typically made out of fresh fruit that has been processed into a liquid, solid, or paste.

4. Canned Vegetables

How long it lasts: Six years
How to store canned vegetables: Store canned vegetables in a cool, dark place away from sunlight and humidity. The best place would be a cabinet with the back open, as it will help prevent moisture build-up on the cans.

Canned vegetables are an ideal choice for busy individuals and families. They come in handy when you’re short on time, and they’re easy to store in your food pantry. For example, if you don’t know what to cook for dinner, but you want something healthy, canned vegetables are a good option because they can be quickly heated up and eaten with minimal prep time or effort.

5. Canned Tuna

How long it lasts: Five years
How to store canned tuna: The best way to store canned tuna is in a cool, dark pantry. The temperature should not be too warm or too cold as this could cause the cans to rust and it could also lead to bacteria growth.

Canned tuna can be cooked with a variety of ingredients such as herbs, spices, vegetables, and sauces. The taste of canned tuna varies depending on the type that you choose and how you cook it.

6. Dark Chocolate

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store dark chocolate: Keep dark chocolates in a cool, dry place away from sunlight or heat. Pack dark chocolates into an airtight container to prevent them from absorbing moisture.

Dark Chocolate is a chocolate candy with high cocoa content, usually containing at least 60% cocoa butter and it often contains other ingredients such as sugar, milk powder, and vanilla extract.

This type of chocolate is usually called “dark” because of its deep brown color. Dark Chocolate has been popularized in the past few years due to its popularity in the United States.

Dark Chocolate is found in some desserts but it can also be eaten on its own or used for baking.

7. Dried Beans, Lentils, and Legumes

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store legumes: Legumes are usually stored in a dry, dark, and cool area. They should be kept in an airtight container with the lid covered with a layer of plastic wrap to keep out insects and dust.

Dried beans are a common staple in the kitchens of many households and as such, they are constantly in demand.

Dried beans are produced by removing the seed coat, hull, or skin from any species of large legume. These methods of drying vary to suit the crop and climate.

The most common types of dried beans are black, white, and red kidney beans.

Beans can also be ground into flour which is used to make tortillas in Mexico, cornbreads, and biscuits in the United States, or made into porridge or muesli in Europe. In Asia, they are used mostly for soups and curries.

8. Dried Fruits

How long it lasts: One year
How to store dried fruits: Dried fruits are great to store in the pantry. It’s important that dried fruit is stored in an airtight container where it can remain fresh and tasty for long periods of time. In addition, to preserve the nutritional value of dried fruits is to soak them in a solution of lemon juice and water before storing them. This process will remove the natural sugars from the fruit, which gives it longer shelf life.

Dried fruit is simply a fruit that has been dried out, usually by the sun, so it will not rot or decompose. Dried fruit can be eaten as is or reconstituted by soaking it in water for several hours before eating. These fruits can be preserved for longer periods of time if they are kept in an airtight container and away from moisture and heat.

9. Dried Pasta

How long it lasts: Three years
How to store dried pasta: Dry pasta should be stored in airtight containers when not being used immediately so that they don’t lose their flavor or quality. It should also be kept away from direct sunlight to preserve its nutrients.

Dried pasta is an excellent alternative to fresh pasta and it has many benefits. The cost of drying pasta is less and it can be stored for a long time.

Dried pasta does not require much labor as the process is mostly automated. The drying process takes just about 12 hours for most types of dried pasta and in some cases, only 30 minutes are needed.

10. Grains

How long it lasts: Eight years
How to store grains: Store them in an airtight container with a desiccant pack like silica gel, dried milk, or dried eggshells. This will prevent the grain’s moisture from escaping and make it last longer than if it was stored in an open container.

Grains are a type of plant that is used as food. They are also found in various forms of food like bread, cereal, pasta, and crackers. Grains can be made from many different sources like wheat or corn. Rice is another type of grain that is a staple for most cuisines around the world.

11. Instant Coffee

How long it lasts: 25 years
How to store instant coffee: It’s best to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. Additionally, this type of storage will prevent its flavor from being altered over time.

Instant coffee is produced by blending roasted, ground beans, water, and flavorings. The ingredients are then heated in a sealed container at high pressure until they quickly turn into a liquid extract that is then poured over ground coffee. It can also be made by adding espresso powder to brewed coffee and steaming it.

12. Jams and Jellies

How long it lasts: Two years if unopened. 6 months if opened.
How to store jams and jellies: When storing jam in a jar, make sure it’s tightly sealed. Use the canning jar ring to tighten the lid. Cover jam with an airtight layer of sugar or honey when it’s not going to be eaten within a few weeks so that it doesn’t go bad.

perfect for busy people who want to enjoy a homemade breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Jams can be found in almost any store. However, making your own jam has never been easier thanks to food technology.

There are many different types of fruit jams from fruit spreads, flavored jellies, and even glazes that you can make at home!

13. Jerky

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store jerky: Jerky can be stored in an airtight container or bag. Keep them away from direct sunlight and heat.

Jerky is a common term for dried, unprocessed meat. Jerky has been around for centuries and is the favorite food of many people from all over the world.

Jerky is usually made from beef, pork, or poultry. Some types of jerky are also made from turkey or duck meat. Sometimes, additives like honey and maple syrup are added to the meat to add flavor or sweetness. In other cases, preservatives are used to extend shelf life at restaurants and grocery stores.

Jerky can be served in various ways such as in a sandwich with cheese and vegetables or in a salad with vegetables and dressing on top of it.

14. Maple Syrup

How long it lasts: Forever if unopened. Once open, it will last up to 1 year
How to store maple syrup: Avoid storing maple syrup in plastic bottles and containers as they can retain heat. Instead, opt for glass jars as this will help control the temperature as well as protect from light. If you do not have jars at home, you can also use Mason jars or plastic Tupperware to store your syrup.

Maple syrups are made from the sap of maple, birch, and other trees that have been tapped for their liquid sugars. Syrups are boiled down to concentrate their flavor – typically by a cooking process called “fractional crystallization.”

Maple syrup has a bitter taste because the syrups generally have high concentrations of calcium compounds (calcium oxalate)

15. Molasses

How long it lasts: Ten years if unopened. Once open, it will last up to 5 years
How to store molasses: It is important to store molasses in a cool, dry place because it can start to pick up moisture if exposed to humidity.

Molasses is a viscous syrup that is produced by extracting sugar from sugarcane or sugar beet. The process of extracting the juice is called refining.

Molasses is made by boiling down the mixture of boiled sucrose and water, which produces a dark brown syrup with a viscosity between that of honey and liquid treacle. Molasses has been used in making bread, gingerbread, and other baked goods.

16. Oats

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store oats: Oats can be stored in an air-tight container in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.

Oats are a cereal made from a type of grass that grows in cool, moist areas.

Oats were originally ground into flour and used to make yeast bread and porridge.

It is now mostly eaten like oatmeal, which is cooked with water or milk and rolled oats, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

17. Oils

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store oils: Unopened oil can be stored in their original bottle. If it has been opened, pour it into a sealable jar or bottle. Keep the oil in a cool and dry place.

Cooking oils are used in many different ways across various types of cooking. The oils are used for many purposes like sautéing, deep-frying, salad dressings, and other purposes.

The most popular cooking oils include canola, corn, safflower, soybean, and olive oil.

18. Pickled Vegetables

How long it lasts: Four years if unopened. One year if opened.
How to store pickled vegetables: It is best practice to store pickled vegetables in an airtight container with a lid that has an airtight sealing mechanism so they stay fresh for long.

Pickled vegetables are a great way to preserve the harvest in your garden for the winter. They can be stored in jars or in a container, and they taste delicious!

Pickling vegetables is a process that involves submerging them into brine (saltwater, vinegar, sugar) while they are still fresh. It usually takes two weeks to get the desired taste. Some people like it hot, so they use spices such as bay leaves and peppercorns before submerging them into the brine.

19. Popcorn

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store: It’s important to store your bag in a cool dry place like an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. If you’re storing popcorn in the pantry, then you’ll probably want to keep it away from other food items as the oil from the popcorn can contaminate other products.

Popcorn is a popular snack that is eaten anywhere and anytime. It is also a type of food that can be eaten hot or cold.

Popcorn could be found in almost every store, whether it is in the form of packaged, pre-made popcorn, or pop in the microwave at home. This snack typically has oil and salt mixed into its kernels before being cooked.

20. Powdered Milk

How long it lasts: Twenty years
How to store: Store powdered milk in its original container in an airtight bag or a sealed jar. Then store powdered milk in a dry place, such as a cupboard; away from heat, moisture, and light.

Powdered milk is a kind of milk that has been prepared by grinding milk, adding water, and then drying it very finely in a process called spray-drying.

With the rise of milk alternatives like soy and almond milk, powdered milk is getting relatively less popular in the US. However, this product is still widely used around the world due to its versatility – it can be eaten as a beverage or incorporated into recipes.

21. Ramen Noodles

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store: Ramen noodles should be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag if it’s been opened. Unopened ramen noodles can be stored in their original package. Keep them stored in a cool and dry place.

Ramen noodles are considered to be the most popular type of soup and a staple of Japanese cuisine. They are generally sold in packages of eight individual servings.

Ramen noodles are sometimes referred to as “thick, chewy, and salty”. They typically have a slightly thicker consistency than other types of noodles like spaghetti or udon that have more surface area to soak up the liquid. These noodles are also low in calories and high in sodium content which makes them an excellent choice for those watching their diet.

In recent years, ramen noodles have become increasingly popular outside the country where they originated.

22. Raw Honey

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store : Raw honey can be stored in cool, dark place. Also, the honey should be stored in an airtight container to prevent contamination.

Raw honey comes from the nectar of plants that is collected by honeybees. It is a natural, healthy energy booster and has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Raw Honey is a great way to use it for a variety of purposes. They are great for cooking, as well as for health benefits and skincare treatments.

23. Rice

How long it lasts: Thirty years
How to store: It is always best to use a cool, dry place for storing rice. It can also be stored in a container with a lid for better air circulation.

Rice is a staple food in many countries, but it is not always a healthy option to consume. Rice can easily be stored for long periods of time, which makes them great for storing in the pantry.

24. Salt

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store: Salt should be stored in a cool and dry place. It is recommended to store salt in an airtight container so that it does not get exposed to moisture.

Salt is one of the basic ingredients found in most foods. It is one of the key components of flavor, which is why it’s an essential ingredient in chefs’ kitchens. Salt not only helps to add flavor to food, but also contributes to a variety of health benefits.

Salt can also be used to retain moisture and prevent the spoilage of foods. It’s often added to cooking at low levels, but there are also high-salt recipes that need to be cooked for a long time.

25. Soy Sauce

How long it lasts: Forever if unopened. Up to one year if opened
How to store soy sauce: Light soy sauces should be kept at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and dark soy sauces should be stored between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. They should be kept away from sunlight and heat sources to prevent the aging process.

Soy sauce, which is a traditional ingredient in Chinese cuisine, has been used for thousands of years. It is made from soybeans and wheat that have been fermented together with salt.

The process of making soy sauce involves the fermentation of soybeans and wheat in water at room temperature over time. The mixture is then cooked and distilled. Fermentation produces lactic acid, acetic acid, alcohols, and various other chemicals that give Soy Sauce its unique flavor.

Soy Sauce is a complex mixture with an astonishing number of chemicals that give it its rich taste. This makes it difficult for machines to create the same amount of flavors through artificial flavors or enzymes

26. Whole Spices and Herbs

How long it lasts: Four years
How to store spices: Keep your spices in closed containers with airtight lids in a cool and dark place.

Herbs are one of the most common ingredients in Asian cuisine. They have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and many people still use them today to cure their ailments.

Herbs can be used as garnishes, sauces, soups, and main dishes. A lot of herbs are also used as a seasoning and in salads. Some types of herbs are more popular than others with some herbs even being considered a symbol of good luck.

Some common types of herbs include basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, thyme, and mint among others.

27. Sugar

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store sugar: One of the easiest ways to store sugar is by putting it into an airtight container. Then place the sugar in a cool and dry place like the pantry or cupboard.

Sugar is used for both granulated and powdered forms of this sweetener. Different from most other carbohydrates like starch and cellulose, sugar has a higher energy density than other food sources. Sugar can be found naturally in many foods but is also made industrially by extracting it from such sources as beets and sugarcane.

28. Tea

How long it lasts: Two years
How to store tea: Store tea in airtight containers so that it can be kept from oxidizing. Then keep your tea at room temperature in a cool dry place away from sunlight or heat sources.

Tea is a beverage that has been around for more than 5,000 years. The word comes from the Chinese word cha. It is made from the leaves of two plants, Camellia sinensis and Thea sinensis, which are both members of the Theaceae family.

There are many types of teas available today like black, green, white, oolong, and herbal teas. There are also non-caffeinated drinks like chamomile tea and rooibos tea.

29. Tomato Sauce

How long it lasts: Two years if unopened. Last up to 6 months once opened.
How to store tomato sauce: The best way to store tomato sauce is to use a canning jar or container with an airtight lid. Then place them in a cool and dry place.

Tomato sauce, also known as ketchup, is a common condiment for many dishes. It can be used to enhance the flavor of nearly any hot or cold food.

30. Vanilla Extract

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store vanilla extract: The key to storing vanilla is to seal the bottle or container airtight and store it in a cool, dark place.

Vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol. The concentration of alcohol doesn’t have to be very high, just about 10%. The reason for using alcohol in place of water is because the ethanol dissolves the flavorful compounds from the vanilla bean without extracting any of its fat or color.

The best-quality vanilla extract comes from Tahiti, Madagascar, Indonesia, Mexico, and India.

31. Vinegar

How long it lasts: Forever
How to store vinegar: Vinegar can be kept in the pantry for a long time if it is sealed tightly and stored in a dark place like a cupboard or drawer.

Vinegar is a sour-tasting liquid that is made by fermenting the juice of unripe grapes or fruit. Vinegar has many uses in cooking, cleaning, and treating illnesses.