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Seven Basic Kitchen Pantry Necessities

Having a fully-stocked kitchen pantry is an essential element in experiencing meal preparation that runs smoothly and is hassle-free. With every basic ingredient you need at your fingertips, you'll be able to focus on enjoying the process and celebrating the end result.

Keep your pantry prepared by stocking it with the following items:

  • Multiple Types of Pasta
  • Baking Ingredients
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Canned Foods
  • Cooking Oils
  • Condiments
  • Dried Food

Keep reading to ensure that your kitchen pantry has everything it needs to make your meals a delicious success!

Various Shapes of Pasta

No well-stocked pantry should be without a small variety of different types of dried pasta. Consider all of the different meals you prepare that may incorporate pasta in some way, shape, or form. Logically, you'll want to have spaghetti and fettuccine noodles on hand, and perhaps some elbow macaroni if you enjoy making homemade mac and cheese. Homemade lasagna is another delectable selection, so if you enjoy making that, be sure to stock lasagna noodles in your pantry as well.

According to Martha Stewart.com, it is perfectly fine to keep pasta inside its "original package" until you open it for use. Then at that point, transfer the pasta into airtight containers to keep it fresh.


Baking Ingredients

Particularly if you have little ones running around your home, make sure that you always have baking staples on hand to create yummy treats with your kiddos. Children love to make cookies. It's also a good idea to make sure that you have everything you need to bake a birthday cake if the need arises. Even if your home is kid-free, you may wake up one morning and feel like whipping up a fragrant batch of banana bread, for example.

To make sure you are prepared to bake whatever your heart desires, first consider what your favorite baked goods are. If your first love is chocolate chip cookies, make sure to always have semi-sweet chocolate chips in your pantry. With that being said, here is a list of common baking staples that no pantry should be without.

  • Sugar (Both White and Brown)
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cornstarch

Herbs and Spices

Whether you are baking or cooking, you are going to need a variety of herbs and spices to add a measure of zest and flavor to your dishes. Instead of just buying a spice rack that is filled with a selection of pre-chosen spices, it may be a wiser idea to hand-select herbs and spices that you know for a fact you are going to use. Every kitchen needs salt and pepper, but perhaps not every kitchen pantry needs to be stocked with herbs such as sage and fennel, for example.

Here is a list of suggested spices to have in your kitchen pantry, provided by The Spruce Eats.com:

  • Cinnamon
  • Paprika
  • Bay Leaves
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Garlic Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, or Dried Mustard
  • Turmeric

When it comes to essential herbs, stock up on dried oregano, thyme, and parsley.


Canned Foods

Having a wide selection of canned food is a wise decision. This is because canned goods provide a way for you to make meals quickly and with ease. Enjoy a quick lunch simply by opening up a can of soup. Beans are a quick, protein-packed, and easy side dish that are easily prepared out of a can.

Canned fruits are a great choice for an easy snack. Keeping canned tuna on hand is helpful for enjoying a simple lunch. Canned tomatoes and other vegetables are helpful in preparing many different types of dinners. Another benefit is that they will stay fresh for a year or more if left unopened.  

Cooking Oils

Having several types of cooking oil on hand is important if you intend on preparing a variety of different dishes. According to Martha Stewart.com, oils should be discarded after six months.

Every kitchen pantry should contain a bottle of heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil to enjoy with pastas and salads. For frying purposes, you should also have your choice of vegetable oils such as canola, for example. Having cooking spray available is helpful for times when you are making muffins or cakes and need to grease the tins.

Olive Oil


Although you likely have condiments stored in your refrigerator, there are some that belong in your kitchen pantry. For example, make sure to have peanut butter in your pantry to make a sandwich when the need arises. Honey is another condiment that belongs there. Whether you use it to sweeten your tea, or just eat it raw to strengthen your immune system, honey is the bee’s knees.

Another condiment you shouldn’t forget is maple syrup. You wouldn’t want to be stuck eating pancakes without it. On a more bitter note, be sure to have some vinegar in your pantry as well. Balsamic vinegar is enjoyed on salads and apple cider vinegar is a great health tonic.

Dried Food

Other than the aforementioned pasta, there are other dried foods that you will want to keep handy in your pantry. Crackers are one of these. Although they are available in many different varieties, having some saltines stocked at the least is a good idea to enjoy with soups and salads.

Next, you will need to make sure that you have some coffee in your pantry, even if you aren’t a coffee drinker yourself. Being able to offer a cup of joe to your guests is always appreciated. Other essential pantry staples include rice, nuts, dried fruits, and breadcrumbs.

Final Thoughts

Take back your pantry once and for all! If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned it out, now is the time to do so. Pay attention to expiration dates and get rid of anything that has passed its due date. Proper organization is key. Get rid of old junk food to make space for your basic kitchen pantry necessities.

Whenever possible, store your staples in clearly labeled, airtight containers. Having a clean and organized kitchen pantry is sure to translate into a more enjoyable and efficient cooking experience.


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