Important question: What do you keep stocked in your pantry?

I didn’t have much experience cooking when I got married. We were straight out of college, so I can’t blame myself too much. Actually, the plan was for Jonathan to be the main one who cooked for us. You can probably guess what came of that–lots of fast food and me gaining 10 pounds our first year of marriage.

I’ve done better since then, and a large part of that has to do with keeping a stocked pantry. One thing that I eventually learned was that it was easier to keep certain things always on hand than to have to run to the store every single time I needed flour, chicken broth, oregano or onions. This is now one of the biggest pieces of advice that I give to newlyweds/recent graduates/those just starting to cook: If you always keep the basics on hand, it’s not that hard to throw something together when you have limited time/energy to prepare dinner.

Pantry envy right here…

So what do you keep on hand in your pantry? For me, it’s generally the following:

  • Baking supplies (flour, sugar, baking soda/powder, cornmeal, brown sugar, etc.)
  • A variety of spices
  • Vinegar
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned beans (black, kidney, and Great Northern)
  • Green chilies
  • Diced tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste
  • Cream of chicken/mushroom/celery soup
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Chicken and beef broth/bouillon cubes
  • Onions
  • Potatoes

You can tell what kind of a cook someone is by what they keep in their pantry. I like to make lots of different kinds of chili/tortilla soup/taco soup, thus the diced tomatoes. I typically cook in the crockpot about once a week, which tends to use creamed soups. You can tell that I’m not totally hung up on using fresh ingredients–though I do try to–because sometimes you just have to do what is easiest.

I’m interested to hear: What do you keep stocked in your pantry?

One thought on “Important question: What do you keep stocked in your pantry?

  1. You know I live for these types of questions! We stock up at Costco on staples that will last a long time.

    Fresh, we buy bananas (freeze for smoothies), potatoes, onions, garlic (keep in the fridge before it sprouts) and oranges/apples.

    Pantry-wise I have coconut milk, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste (I don’t buy pasta sauce or pizza sauce, just add a few ingredients to the canned stuff to make either one), canned beans (same varieties as you- but I will make my own pintos from dried and freeze batches), tuna, rice (white & wild), quinoa, Chia seeds.

    Baking: nuts (Costco), Old Fashioned Oats (Costco), flour (25lbs at a time), honey, molasses, sugar (brown & white), almond milk, coconut water, coconut oil, olive oil, canola oil, ground flax, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, malted milk powder (for milkshakes!), semisweet chocolate chips, Crisco (don’t use often-good for biscuits and dumplings), and cornmeal.


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