It’s important to stock up on those things that you use on a regular basis.
Here are some items that I always have on hand.
For our purposes, we’ll consider anything that you have on hand to whip up a dinner, breakfast, dessert or lunch. This includes, spices, refrigerated items, dry goods, canned goods and frozen items.
With a full compliment of spices, you can literally make thousands of dishes from any area of the world! Cumin, coriander, cilantro, chile powder, and garlic are essential in Mexican cuisines. Parsley, oregano, basil and garlic will take you on a trip to Italy.
If you are a Asian food fan, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and hot peppers are heavily used. Indian and middle Eastern foods often use garlic, cumin, cinnamon, clove, saffron, turmeric, garam masala, and others.
- Basil- Italian, some Asian cuisines
- Bay Leaf- soups, stews, pickling
- Cayenne Pepper- Mexican, Spanish cuisines, spreads, dips
- Celery Seed- salads, sandwich spreads, pickling
- Chili Powder- Mexican, Spanish, South American
- Chives, Dried- soups, stews, sauces, savory cakes
- Cilantro- Mexican and Asian
- Cinnamon- baking, stews
- Clove- baking
- Coriander- Mexican, Indian
- Cumin- Mexican, Indian
- Dill, weed and seed- pickling, salads, spreads
- Curry, yellow or red- soups, stews
- Fennel- sausages, stews
- Ginger, dried- baking, stews, stir fry
- Marjoram- soups, stews, sauces
- Mustard, yellow, dried- salads, beans
- Nutmeg- baking, sauces
- Oregano- Italian, Indian, Asian
- Paprika- soups, stews, spice for proteins
- Parsley- general purpose
- Pepper- general purpose
- Rosemary- poultry, fish, seafood
- Saffron- Spanish, Indian dishes
- Sage-poultry, sauces, gravy
- Salt, Kosher or Sea- general purpose
- Sesame Seed- baking, Asian dishes
- Tarragon- soups, stews, savory cakes
- Thyme- poultry, sauces
- Turmeric – relishes, stews, beverages
If you keep your refrigerator stocked with useful items and condiments, you will have a wider choice of dishes to make for your family, when you are in a hurry, or items are scarce.
- Barbeque Sauce; use to flavor meats and sauces
- Butter / Margarine; multiple uses in sweet and savory
- Cheese; great for sandwiches, pizzas, savory dishes
- Chives, Fresh; perfect for salads, savory dishes and breads
- Mustard; flavoring for savory dishes or condiment
- Eggs; used in both sweet and savory
- Hoisin Sauce; perfect for Asian dishes
- Lemon / Lime Juice, bottled; essential for added acidic component in savory dishes, canning, preserving, baking
- Orange Juice; baked goods, sauces, savory dishes, beverage
- Ketchup; addition to meatloaf, condiment, sauces
- Milk; used for baked goods and sweet and savory dishes
- Mayonnaise; use for sauces, salads, sandwiches
- Parmesan; add to sauces, meatballs, pasta dishes
- Soy Sauce; essential for Asian dishes
- Teriyaki Sauce; use for meats and flavoring vegetables
- Worcestershire Sauce; use for stews, sauces
You never know when the weather will be bad and you are just trying to entertain the kids, try a baking project with them. Even younger ones love to help in the kitchen!
Maybe you are having a hard time finding staples, like breads, crackers or cookies. Whip some up in the kitchen.
- Baking Powder; leavening for baking, breading
- Baking Soda; leavening for baking, breading, batters
- Canola Oil; use in baked goods for fat portion of recipe, frying
- Chocolate, Bittersweet, Semisweet; use in sweet in savory dishes
- Cocoa Powder; use in beverages, baked goods
- Coconut Milk (I use LITE); vegan alternative to milk products in baking and savory
- Coconut, Sweetened, Flaked and unsweetened; use for baking
- Corn meal; use for breads, tortillas, and as breading for fried foods
- Eggs; multiple uses
- Flour; for baking, breading and thickening agent
- Milk, nonfat dry milk can be used to make milk, when it is scarce, and can be used in baking, instead of fresh milk
- Nuts; add fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to diet. Great in sweet in savory dishes
- Pectin; use for canning, jellies, jam, syrups
- Raisins; use for baking and savory dishes
- Sugar, Brown, Raw, White; for baking, sweetening savory dishes, canning
- Vanilla; mostly used in baking
- Yeast; use to leaven baked goods
The STAPLES for your dry pantry
With a fully stocked pantry, you can make easy recipes, like soups, stews, chilis, baked goods, sides and mains.
- Barley; use for soups, stews
- Beans, canned ie; Chick peas, Kidney beans, Black beans; use for soups, stews, main proteins, salads
- Beans, dried ie; pinto beans, peas, white beans, chick peas; use for stews, soups, sides, main proteins
- Bread; use for sandwiches, sides
- Bread Crumbs; use for meatloaf, meatballs, breading
- Broths; Chicken, Beef, Vegetable (Bouillon Cubes last a long time) for soups, main dishes and sauces
- Dried fruits; add to savory dishes, baked goods, or snacking
- Flour, Unbleached, Wheat, rye, coconut, rice, etc. use for baking, thickener, batters
- Garlic; used in most cuisines
- Honey; natural sweetener for baking and savory
- Hot Sauce; easy added flavor to spicy dishes
- Jams / Jellies; use in sweet and savory dishes
- Olive Oil; baking, sauteing, frying
- Onion; use in many savory dishes for flavor
- Maple Syrup; natural, vegan sweetener for baking and savory
- Molasses; alternative sweetener, adds lots of depth to dishes
- Pasta; Couscous, different shapes semolini; use for soups, stews, sides
- Seafood, canned; Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp; use for sandwiches, casseroles, main proteins
- Rice; use for soups, stews, sides
- Sweet potatoes / yams
- Tomatoes, canned; multiple uses in savory dishes
- Vinegars, Cider, White, Balsamic, etc.; adds important acid content in your savory dishes
- Water, bottled
- Berries; use in smoothies, baked goods
- Fresh Bread Crumbs; use in meatball, meatloaf, etc. dry in oven, if desired
- Butter; store an additional in the freezer, many uses
- Fresh Ginger; grate from frozen into any dish
- Potatoes; Hash Browns, etc. Use for sides, frittata, etc.
- Meats; main proteins
- Poultry; main proteins
- Orange juice; for drinking, baking or savory recipes
- Seafood / fish
- Vegetables; peas, corn, carrots, beans, broccoli; use for soups, stew, sides
These are some of the most important items that I keep on hand, in case of emergency, or just to help me make a meal with less stress!
I can guarantee that if you have everything you need on hand to make that delicious sounding dish that you found online or in your favorite cookbook, it will make the entire cooking process more fun and effortless!
Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter, so that you don’t miss any new recipes! Only 1 email per week, on Fridays. Sign up form is below!
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
For all of my favorite tools for cooking and gift ideas, see my New Amazon Store
I hope you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for stopping by today!
Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click the link and purchase something. This helps us to bring you more great free recipes! Thank you! See FTC Disclosure, here.