Keeping a Stocked Pantry

Years ago, one of my biggest excuses for not cooking more at home was that there was nothing to make. I’d try to think of something to make with what I had around in the kitchen, but I couldn’t think of anything most of the time. If I did finally come up with something, it would be something that would take too long to make. (Yeah I was an impatient college student who didn’t plan out meals.)

Fill Up Your Pantry 

I had a few friends who were savvy around the kitchen – no matter whether they had 20 minutes or a couple of hours, they always had something delicious cooked. When I asked their secrets, most of them mentioned that they stocked their kitchen with some go to ingredients that allowed them to whip up something quick if need be.

I decided to follow their example and copied what they had in their pantry. For one thing, it did help with dinner as many times I could grab a meat from the freezer, some vegetable and something from the pantry.

I noticed however that some ingredients didn’t get used often enough. I discovered while there are some items that are universally necessary for a pantry, there is a bit of personalization that comes with the list based on individual taste.

What to Stock Your Pantry With

With that in mind, if you’re looking for ideas on what to pick up for your pantry here are some of my picks:

  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Goya Adobo
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Ground Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Dijon mustard
  • Canned beans (I prefer black beans and light red kidney beans)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Tomato Paste
  • Rice
  • Angel Hair Pasta
  • Egg Noodles
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
As far as herbs go, I’d also include whatever you have in your home garden. For us right now we have some rosemary and mint. Having a home garden can also spruce up your options depending on the season.

Thoughts on Pantry Essentials

What do you like to have in your pantry for preparing meals at home? What can you not live without? Where do you grab your supplies? How often do you restock them?

Photo Credit: grammardog