Basic Pantry 101

While a good shopping list is the key to a quick and painless trip to the supermarket, a well-stocked pantry is the best way to ensure that you'll have most of what you'll need to cook once you get home.

Oils, Vinegars and Condiments

  • Oils: canola oil, extra-virgin olive oil, toasted sesame
  • Vinegars: balsamic, distilled white, red wine, rice
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Soy sauce
  • Chili paste
  • Hot sauce
  • Worcestershire


  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • Dried herbs and spices: bay leaves, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, ground coriander, oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme leaves, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg
  • Spice blends: chili powder, curry powder, Italian seasoning
  • Vanilla extract

Canned Goods and Bottled Items

  • Canned beans: black, cannellini, chickpeas, kidney
  • Capers
  • Olives
  • Peanut butter
  • Preserves or jelly
  • Low-sodium stock or broth
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomatoes, canned and paste
  • Salsa
  • Tuna fish

Grains and Legumes

  • Breadcrumbs: regular, panko
  • Couscous
  • Dried lentils
  • Pasta: regular, whole wheat
  • Rice
  • Rolled oats
  • One other dried grain: try barley, millet, quinoa or wheatberries

Baking Products

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Brown sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Honey

Refrigerator Basics

  • Butter
  • Cheese: sharp cheddar, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella
  • Large eggs
  • Milk
  • Plain yogurt
  • Corn tortillas

Freezer Basics

  • Frozen fruit: blackberries, blueberries, peaches, strawberries
  • Frozen vegetables: broccoli, bell pepper and onion mix, corn, edamame, peas, spinach

Storage Produce

  • Garlic
  • Onions (red, yellow)
  • Potatoes
  • Dried fruit: raisins, apples, apricots
  • Nuts or seeds: almonds, peanuts, sunflower
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