Basic Ingredients You Should Have in Your Kitchen

Stock your kitchen with these basic ingredients so that you always have a dinner backup plan.

We’ll try and cover everything here, starting with the essentials, bare-minimum pantry ingredients you’ll need to condiments, spices, freezer foods, and the little extras that are nice to have on hand. Let’s take a sneak peek!

The Bare Minimum

These 6 essential staples should always be there at your disposal.

  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Dry Goods and Starches

Do you love pasta? Do you prepare Asian dishes? If yes, you need to stock up on these items:

  • Dried bread crumbs
  • Split peas
  • Lentils
  • Rice (brown, white in long-grain or short-grain variety)
  • Pasta (in all shapes, tubes, and strands of your choice)
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Barley
  • Wheatberries
  • Couscous

Canned Goods

Broths such as beef and chicken are excellent to have if you make sauces or gravies where the liquid is “reduced”. The salty flavor of the broth gives these items the extra punch.

  • Tuna
  • Canned beans: kidney, black, white
  • Jar/can of marinara sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Beef broth or stock
  • Chicken stock or broth
  • Canned olives

The Root Cellar

Cooking Ingredients

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Storing them in a well-ventilated, cool, dark area will help them stay fresh for longer periods of time.

  • Garlic
  • Online
  • Potatoes
  • Seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds)
  • Dried fruit (apricots, apples, raisins)

The Spice Box

These spices will help make the dishes flavourful and healthy.

  • Dried parsley
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Chilli powder
  • Seasoned salt
  • Curry powder
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cayenne
  • Bay leaves
  • Dried basil
  • Natural spice


They will enhance the flavor of everything right from classic noodles to hearty soups.

  • Hot sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar (wine, sherry, white, cider, and balsamic vinegar)

The Freezer

Keeping these items handy in your refrigerator will help you create your favorite meals even during the off-season!

  • Chicken breasts
  • Frozen fruits (strawberries, peaches, blackberries)
  • Ground beef
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen spinach (or other frozen vegetables such as edamame, onion and bell pepper mix, broccoli)
  • Frozen corn
  • Pumpkin

The Fridge

Stock your fridge with these to whip a plethora of options from tasty omelets to delicious salad dressings.

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard (whole grain, Dijon, and yellow)
  • Ketchup
  • Other cheese (mozzarella, feta, cheddar)
  • Margarine or butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Coconut milk


Ingredients and flavors that not only keep well but are also nice to have on hand.

  • Brown sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Cooking spray
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Anchovy paste
  • Prepared horseradish
  • Canned chilies
  • Capers
  • Shallots
  • Fresh ginger
  • Lemonds
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Wine
  • Herbs and species: thyme, tarragon, rosemary, Italian seasoning, dry mustard, marjoram, dill, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice.

Baker’s Essentials

Cooking Ingredients

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Build your baking pantry with these 10 essentials.

  • Flour (all-purpose, whole wheat, whole grain, bread, cake, pastry, and self-rising flours)
  • Leaveners (baking soda, baking powder, yeast)
  • Sugar (granulated, brown, and confectioner’s sugar)
  • Sea salt
  • Buttermilk
  • Cream cheese
  • Food coloring
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles


To sweeten up the good ol’ pancakes!

  • Maple syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey


Storage Jars and Containers

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Now that you have all the basic ingredients, you have to organize them so they all fit in your kitchen and are easily accessible.

  • Organizers: A multi-level organizer is attractive and practical.
  • Glass jars: They make all the open storage spaces appealing. Feel free to use assorted glass jars to have your own unique collection. You can also use a chalk marker to label the jars.
  • Pop containers: For items that require airtight storage such as brown sugar, They come in all shapes and sizes and can hold everything from flour to spices.
  • Bins and baskets: Uniform bins and baskets help your kitchen look orderly and nice.

In Conclusion

With a well-organized and well-stocked pantry, you’re armed and ready to start cooking. Bake a cake from scratch or prepare your favorite pasta without having to run to the grocery store to pick up missing ingredients.

Having a well-stocked kitchen is the first step towards being a better cook!



Featured Image Credits: Unsplash

Shristi Patni

Shristi Patni

Content Writer

Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes and Snazzy Women. When not writing, she can be found reading or trying new recipes.


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Written by Shristi Patni

Shristi is a content writer and owner of F and B Recipes and Snazzy Women. When not writing, she can be found reading or trying new recipes.

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