Spring Cleaning Pantry Makeover Guide

March 15, 2021

Warmer temperatures and budding blooms mean spring is just around the corner. With new flowers and more sunshine comes spring cleaning! While the weather thaws, treat your home to a DIY pantry makeover with items that match your meal plan. Plus, download and print this real-food pantry list to take on your next shopping trip.

Freshen your fridge and give your cabinets a clean-up with our kitchen pantry makeover ideas: swap in clean condiments, spruced-up sauces, and real-food favorites. Pay it forward and donate “tossed” goods to your local food bank! Find one near you here.

Pantry Makeover Essentials

Swap out staples for cleaned-up classics to get all the taste of the tried-and-true, without the artificial ingredients. Make any meal a real-food masterpiece with these simple essentials for any kitchen. These essentials are perfect if you’re just looking for a small pantry makeover.

Avocado Oil

The secret to baking, grilling, sauteéing, dressing and more? A versatile oil! Avocado Oil is a “fat we love” at Primal Kitchen and is a perfect, light-tasting oil on its own, or as a valuable addition to cooking and baking.


Don’t fear mayo! Try a mayo made with avocado oil and organic cage-free eggs for all the flavor and whipped texture of this beloved condiment without artificial ingredients or added sugars. This mayo is a creamy base for a treasure trove of recipes, and of course, as a spread or dip.

Four mayo flavors are lined up next to each other.


Even the pickiest of eaters can’t resist versatile ranch, but many dressings are made with dairy and industrial oils. Swap out this safe standby for a real-food alternative, and drizzle and dunk without dairy, canola, soybean, or sunflower oils. (Egg-free? We also make a creamy, dreamy vegan ranch!)

Balsamic Vinaigrette & Marinade

Marinades and dressings can be overloaded with sneaky sugars and unwelcome artificial ingredients. Make over your marinades with this Balsamic Vinaigrette made without added sugars or industrial oils for a tangy, sweet flavor that braises and glazes meats and adds punch to salads.

Want to stock up in one shot? Purchase the Primal Kitchen Pantry Kit to get this bundle.

A green salad in a cream colored bowl is dressed with the balsamic vinaigrette in the back.

Primal/Paleo Pantry Makeover

The first step to "primalizing" your pantry for Primal and paleo plans is to ditch processed foods and switch to nutrient-rich foods, fats we love, and satisfying snacks. Going paleo, keto, Whole30, or Primal isn’t about deprivation; it’s about fueling with supportive foods, so stock shelves at home with dressed-down, delicious staples. Check out our guide to the Primal Diet for more info about the eating plan behind our brand.

Skip: Canola Oil

Swap: Avocado Oil & Spray

This simple switcheroo skips industrial oils in favor of avocado oil. Use the spray to prep pans or add the oil for baking, grilling, sautéeing, and much, much more!

Skip: Salty Snacks

Swap: Nuts & Seeds

Stock up on seeds and nuts for snacks and crunchy salad toppings. Anything fried in oil is a no-go, so instead seek raw nuts and seeds.

Skip: Sugary Sweet Treats

Swap: Naturally Sweet Nibbles

Folks with a sweet tooth—rejoice! Swapping out added sugars doesn’t mean skipping dessert. Get your fix with products like a mostly cacao bar, or grab our Collagen Fuel in Chocolate Coconut or Vanilla Coconut and check out these recipes for decadent desserts. 

Don’t forget Whey Protein, available in Chocolate Coconut and Vanilla Coconut. Dust yogurt or add a scoop to a smoothie for a kick of flavor and 10g of protein per serving.

flour is whisked by a metal whisk in a clear bowl.

Whole30 Pantry Makeover

Hooked on Whole30 or flirting with making a move? The Whole30 plan focuses on eliminating processed foods, grains, and dairy. Give your pantry a Whole30 makeover with some simple swaps to get you started. Learn more about the Whole30 Diet here

Skip: Conventional Condiments

Swap: Cleaned Up Condiments

Savor the flavor and make your favorites with Whole30 condiments made without artificial ingredients. Unsweetened and Organic Ketchup, Spicy Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, Golden BBQ Sauce, and Organic Spicy Brown Mustard are pantry standbys that don’t need sugar to be sweet, savory, and full of flavor.

Shrimp cocktail arranged with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges on a white plate.

Skip: Dense Dressings

Swap: Real-Food, Flavorful Dressings and Marinades

Don’t spoil a salad with a dowdy dressing. Marinate, dress, dip, and dunk with dressings made with Avocado Oil. From Greek to Italian, Caesar to Green Goddess, Ranch to Sesame Ginger... adding flavor, fun, and versatility to every meal has never been easier, so stock up, and get creative.

Keto Pantry Makeover

Founder Mark Sisson outlines the keto Reset a bit differently than other keto diets. Mark advises followers to consider thoughtful nutrition over elimination. Unlike Whole30, keto dictates keeping carb counts down.

Mark recommends keeping carb intake below 50 grams a day, and, like other keto diets, focuses on fats and protein. Get the insights on keto and the Keto Reset by  Mark Sisson in our guide to keto.

Chopped bell peppers and onions are arranged on a plate.

Skip: Sugar-Loaded Lattes

Swap: Keto Lattes

Ditch your daily trip to the coffee house, and toss creamers. Save cash and keep mornings simple (and support to hair, skin, and nails) with the Keto Collagen Latte Mix, in Matcha or Chai Tea.

Skip: Carb-Packed Meal Replacement Bars

Swap: Low-Carb Protein Bars

When hanger hits, don’t get caught reaching for a carb-heavy meal replacement bar with murky ingredients. Stash Primal Kitchen Keto Certified Protein Bars: they’re made with ingredients like eggs, coconut oil, nuts, and flaxseed and available in a wide variety of delicious flavors.

Skip: Sugary Dipping and Glazing Sauces

Swap: Flavorful Sauces Made with Avocado Oil

Flavorful sauce without the added sugar? Now that’s a sweet swap. Try Primal Kitchen Cocktail, Tartar, and Buffalo sauces for updates on party platter favorites. Try Primal Kitchen’s Unsweetened & Organic BBQ Sauces, No-Soy Teriyaki, and No-Soy Island Teriyaki.

Plant-Based/Vegan Pantry Makeover

If you’re looking to make your fridge more veggie-focused, you might be doing a plant-based overhaul. A plant-based diet focuses on meals where plants take center stage. If you’re pursuing a vegan diet, you’ll want to eliminate any and all animal products.

Learn more about plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan diets here

Sage is in a stone bowl.

Skip: Condiments, Dressings, and Sauces with Eggs and Dairy

Swap: Vegan Mayo, Vegan Ranch, Vegan Sauces

If you’re experimenting with more plant-based recipes, the secret is in the sauce. A flavorful sauce or oil can transform veggies: these balsamic roasted vegetables  are full of complex taste. Stock shelves with pantry staples that swap out butter for cashew butter, like vegan Buffalo Sauce.

Carniflex Pantry Makeover

Considered by some to be the “next level” of traditional keto dieting, the carnivore diet focuses solely on animal products for every meal, eliminating vegetables, fruits, dairy, and other food groups. If that sounds too restrictive for your tastes, but you’re transitioning into a meat-centered diet, you might be “Carniflex.” With any meat diet, practitioners recommend eating “nose-to-tail.”

Get more information about the emerging carnivore and “Carniflex” diet plans here

Skip: Sauces with a High Carb Count

Swap: Keto Sauces

Eating mostly meat doesn’t have to mean forgoing flavor. Keep succulent texture and taste with sauces that are simple and Keto Certified or keto-friendly. Try our Buffalo, Classic BBQ, or Golden BBQ. Visit your local butcher for high-quality cuts of meat, and toss sugary, high-carb sauces to give your shopping list a Carniflex curve.

A cut of ham is next to two pears.

Real Food Pantry Makeover

Other than the obvious swaps, the major haul for real food eaters happens in the freezer. On nights when you’re short on time and rushing to get a meal on the table, transitioning from processed or artificially-enhanced food to real or “whole” foods can feel impossible. For real food followers, consider swapping out your go-to meal fixes with upgraded takes on readymade.

Skip: Conventional Frozen Dinners & Packaged Foods

Swap: Real Food Frozen

Real food eaters can swap traditional TV dinners for Primal Kitchen Frozen Bowls and Skillets. These dishes can be made in the microwave or warmed in a pan, and are ready to eat in less than 10 minutes.

Keep pizza night in your regular rotation, but nix takeout. Cauliflower and gluten-free crusts stay fresh in the freezer for weeks. With just a handful of whole milk cheese and Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Pizza Sauce, you can still get a classic, robust, cheesy slice (without the additives or greasy delivery box).

Flexible Diet Pantry Makeover

With so many different diets under the “ancestral eating” umbrella to choose from, you may be more inclined to sample from each, instead of committing to just one.

The easiest way to upgrade your pantry just in time for spring is to put the focus on ingredients. Remember, you don’t have to skimp on flavor when overhauling your kitchen. If any of the aforementioned diets aren’t for you, but you’re still looking for a pantry makeover with upgraded ingredients, try these convenient, easy, flavorful swaps.

Sliced bell peppers (orange, yellow and red) is on a white dish.

Skip: Canola Oil Pasta Sauces

Swap: Avocado Oil-Based Sauces

Delicious, robust pasta sauces are a versatile, crowd-pleasing must for every pantry. Primal Kitchen offers seven avocado oil-based pasta sauces in a variety of complex, flavor-forward options (including dairy-free). Real food ingredients let the authentic flavor of these Italian-inspired sauces shine through, so you can recreate the tastes from your favorite ristorante at home.

Skip: Old School Condiments & Sauces

Swap: Flavorful, Cleaned-Up Classics

We’ll say it again: real ingredients just equal better flavor. Even your go-to, number one steak sauce can’t compete with organic ingredients in our smokey, thick Steak Sauce. There’s nothing like the real thing, especially when it comes to Mayo, Ketchup, and Mustard: rediscover the real taste of cabinet classics without canola, added sugars, or soy. Comparable taste and unbeatable flavor is a winning combination!


Skip: Bulk-Buy Cooking Oils

Swap: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Balsamic Vinegar

The secret to home cooking is in the oils. Olive oil is a “fat we love,” but upgrading to Extra Virgin Olive Oil can add a rich, briny flavor that takes dishes to new heights. Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena possesses a more complex taste than other traditional cooking vinegar. Aged and a PGI-Certified product of Italy, add authenticity to balsamic glazed vegetables and salmon, or simply drizzle on salads.

Skip: Mysterious Drink Mixes

Swap: Sippable, Refreshing Collagen Supplements

Drink mixes are a common way to add flavor to water, especially when you’re trying to stay hydrated. Instead of adding dyes and artificial sweeteners to your drinks, consider mixing in 10g of type I and III collagen peptides with a scoop of Collagen Quench. Full of the same refreshing, fruity flavors as your old favorites, add hair, skin, and nail support (and a bit of fizz) to water and sip away.

Collagen quench is with a pink mocktail with fruit surrounding it.

Keep it simple and download this printable real-food shopping list to take on your next supermarket sweep!

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