Pantry Essentials

A pantry full of good quality basics

Having a well-stocked pantry can make all of the difference when coming up with a fast, healthy solution for a homemade meal. It doesn’t take much to elevate a meal from just okay to delicious! It all starts with using a pantry full of good quality basics. You don’t have to have the most expensive and hard-to-source ingredients to make your meal great — just a little thought and helpful guidance can do the trick.

The best and healthiest dishes are often the simplest, so quality matters. TIP: Splurge on the olive oil you use to dress your salad or drizzle on vegetables. Cook or sauté with an olive oil or vegetable oil that is half the price. Having a cooking oil and a finishing oil is the number one advice of chefs.

Here is a list of pantry essentials and a list of additional items that are not essential but nice to have on hand. Make sure to check expiration dates on these key items and use them regularly.


Grains and Seeds

  • Oats – either rolled or steel cut
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Raw Walnuts and/or almonds
  • Whole Grain Pasta
  • Bulgar
  • Farro
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax Seed
  • Pine nuts

Legumes (dried or low sodium canned)

  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Red or Kidney beans
  • White beans


  • Olive oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado Oil 


  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Grey Poupon Mustard


  • Black Pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Chili pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Turmeric

Dried herbs

  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Oregano (Greek)
  • Thyme 
  • Dill Weed
  • Fennel Seeds or powder
  • Tarragon

Additional Items:

  • Finishing Salt (coarse salts, gray salt, etc.)
  • Stone Ground Mustard
  • Capers
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Dried Bay Leaf
  • Shallots
Categories: In The Kitchen