The Ultimate Checklist of Pantry Essentials for an organized and efficient kitchen! You’ll have everything you need for healthy, home-cooked meals!
You’ll also want to know How to Organize Your Pantry for less food waste and ease of use!
Ultimate Checklist of Pantry Essentials
It’s always nice to be able to make a home-cooked meal instead of plain old noodles or take out….well unless you want noodles, of course 🙂 Here’s a checklist of the staples to have on hand in your pantry so when you do want to cook, you have the essentials.
You may need to add a special ingredient or some chicken, fish, or beef, but this list will certainly make it much quicker and easier to get in and out of the grocery store because you have what you need in your well-stocked pantry!
We’ve also got a guide on How to Stock Your Pantry for Back to School as well!
And if eating healthy is on your list this year, then definitely Stock your Pantry for Healthy Meals.
How to Stock Your Pantry with Essentials
You definitely want to print out the list to check these items off when you do an inventory or head to the store. Better yet, print it and tape it to your cupboard or pantry door to reference whenever you’re heading to the store.
Basics – Oils, Bottles of Vinegar, and Condiments
These are the backbone of many recipes and can make anything from salad dressings and marinades to roasted vegetables.
- Kosher salt and fine salt
- Extra virgin olive oil or Avocado Oil
- Black peppercorns
- Vegetable oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Red wine vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Rice vinegar
- Mustard (or Dijon Mustard)
Featured Recipe: Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread
- Flour: all-purpose and/or whole wheat
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate: chips or bar
- Evaporated milk
Featured Recipe: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Sweet Stuff
Having these sweeteners on hand makes it easy to bake any creation.
- Granulated sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Brown sugar
- Maple syrup
- Agave syrup
Featured Recipe: Saltine Toffee
- Hot cocoa
Rice and Grains
These pantry staples’ long shelf life makes them perfect to buy in bulk at stores like Costco and Sam’s Club.
- Long-grain white rice
- Brown rice
- Grains, quinoa, couscous, or farro
- Pasta: standard, whole grain, rice noodles or egg noodles
- Breadcrumbs: plain or panko
Featured Recipe: Crock Pot Vegetable Lasagna
Snacks and Cereals
With these basics on hand, you’ll always have a snack for yourself or the kids.
- Cookies or biscuits
- Popcorn kernels
- Dried fruit
- Peanut butter or almond butter
- Breakfast cereal
- Old-fashioned rolled oats
Featured Recipe: Easy Oatmeal Bars
Canned goods are also great to buy in bulk and are perfect when making healthy meals for your family.
- Chicken and beef stock
- Beans: cannellini, chickpeas, or black
- Vegetables: corn or green beans
- Olives or capers
- Chiles: chipotles in adobo or mild green chiles
- Tomato paste
- Roasted red peppers
- Tuna fish
- Jar of marinara sauce
Featured Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip
Herbs and Spices
These are the basic spices you’ll use over and over again–both in your savory and sweet recipes.
- Bay leaves
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Chili powder
- Crushed red pepper
- Curry powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Fennel or dill seed
- Ground cloves
- Ground cumin
- Ground ginger
- Sesame seeds
- Ground nutmeg
Featured Recipe: Healthy Crock Pot Turkey Chili
These staples will have to be purchased more often but can make so many flavorful and delicious recipes.
- Fresh garlic
- Salted and unsalted butter
- Milk (or milk alternative)
Featured Recipe: Instant Pot Lemon Chicken
Updated with enhanced information and recipes on 12/31/19.