Pantry and Staples Essentials to Keep on Hand

It doesn’t matter if you are preparing for a party or a weekday meal at home, there are basics you should have in your pantry to create most meals. This isn’t the holy grail of items you desire, but some things to have on hand so you aren’t running to the grocery store for basic ingredients.

Some items are optional, so use your judgement and add and eliminate based on your taste preferences. Some things can be made at home if you are so inclined (chicken stock, Cajun seasoning, or other kinds of seasoning mixes). This is a good basis to start with and be creative. This is a modified list from the Food Network.



  • Kosher salt

  • Fine salt

  • Black peppercorns

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Vegetable oil

  • Apple cider vinegar

  • Red wine vinegar

  • Balsamic or sherry vinegar

  • Rice vinegar (unseasoned)


  • Flour: all purpose, whole wheat or pastry

  • Baking soda

  • Baking powder

  • Cream of tartar

  • Cocoa powder (unsweetened)

  • Chocolate: chips or bar

  • Evaporated milk

  • Pure vanilla extract


  • Granulated sugar

  • Confectioners' sugar

  • Brown sugar

  • Maple syrup

  • Honey

  • Agave syrup


  • Coffee

  • Tea

Rice and Grains

  • Long-grain white rice

  • Brown rice

  • Grains: bulgur, quinoa, couscous or farro

  • Pasta: standard, whole grain, rice noodles or egg noodles

  • Polenta

  • Breadcrumbs: plain or panko

Snacks and Cereals

  • Crackers

  • Tortillas

  • Cookies or biscuits

  • Popcorn kernels

  • Dried fruit: raisins, apricots or cherries

  • Seeds: sunflower, flax, chia or hemp

  • Peanut butter or almond butter

  • Applesauce

  • Breakfast cereal

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats

Canned Goods

  • Chicken broth

  • Beans: cannellini, navy, chickpeas or black

  • Vegetables: hominy, corn or green beans

  • Olives or capers

  • Chiles: chipotles in adobo or pickled jalapenos

  • Tomatoes

  • Tomato paste

  • Roasted red peppers

  • Tuna

  • Anchovy fillets or paste

Dried Herbs and Spices

  • Bay leaves

  • Cajun seasoning

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Chili powder

  • Crushed red pepper

  • Curry powder

  • Fennel or dill seed

  • Granulated garlic

  • Ground cinnamon

  • Ground cloves

  • Ground cumin

  • Ground ginger

  • Oregano

  • Paprika: sweet and smoked

  • Rosemary

  • Sesame seeds

  • Thyme

  • Whole nutmeg


Dairy and Eggs

  • Milk

  • Plain yogurt: regular or Greek

  • Unsalted butter

  • Cheddar or mozzarella

  • Brie or other soft cheeses

  • Parmesan (wedge)

  • Eggs

Fresh Produce

  • Avocados

  • Carrots

  • Celery

  • Tomatoes: grape, cherry or seasonal beefsteak

  • Broccoli or cauliflower

  • Bell peppers

  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale or chard

  • Lettuce: romaine, Boston or mixed greens

  • Flat-leaf parsley or cilantro

  • Thyme

  • Scallions

  • Gingerroot

  • Potatoes: sweet, white or new

  • Onions

  • Garlic

  • Lemons

  • Limes

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • Zucchini


  • Jelly, jam or preserves

  • Ketchup

  • Mayonnaise

  • Mustard: Dijon or whole grain(a must have for homemade dressing and vinaigrettes)

  • Pickles

  • Hot sauce: Tabasco, Sriracha or sambal

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Soy sauce or tamari

  • Asian fish sauce

  • Toasted sesame oil


  • Ground beef, ground turkey or Italian sausage

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • Bacon

  • Bread: baguette or sandwich bread

  • Vegetables: peas, chopped spinach or corn. All other veggies have odd textures when thawed.

  • Fruit: berries, peaches or mangos

  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts or pecans

  • Dough: pizza, pie or puff pastry

  • Vanilla ice cream

#simpleandsublime #kitchenessentials #pantry #staples

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