The Contents of a Well-Stocked Pantry


We moved a couple of years ago and are now a bit of a drive from a major supermarket. There is a small store fairly close by, which is great for emergencies, but it’s not well stocked. To save on time, gas and inconvenience, now more than ever, we find it important to have a well-stocked pantry (and fridge).


 Banana Oatmeal Muffins made with pantry staples.

With some basic pantry supplies on hand, you’ll easily be able to prepare a family meal or a last-minute dinner for friends.


Chicken Parmesan made entirely from pantry staples

The list below is what I try to always keep on hand. Your list may vary a bit based on your family’s likes and dislikes. The idea is to make sure you have enough proteins, vegetables and occasionally a starch to pull together several satisfying meals and a simple dessert or two, made entirely from pantry staples.


Apple Crisp with Ice-Cream made with pantry staples.




  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar


  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Cream of tartar
  • Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • Chocolate and white chocolate chips
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Shredded coconut
  • Vanilla and chocolate pudding mixes


  • Granulated sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Honey


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Juices

Rice and Grains

  • Long-grain rice
  • Grains: bulgur, quinoa, or couscous
  • Pasta: spaghetti, macaroni, rigatoni, penne, egg noodles, lasagna
  • Polenta
  • Breadcrumbs: plain, Italian or panko

Snacks and Cereals

  • Crackers
  • Tortillas
  • Cookies or biscuits
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Dried fruit: raisins, apricots or cherries
  • Seeds: sunflower, flax, chia or hemp
  • Peanut butter
  • Applesauce
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats

Canned Goods

  • Chicken broth
  • Beef broth
  • Cream soup
  • Beans: cannellini, navy, kidney, chickpeas or black
  • Vegetables: corn niblets, creamed corn
  • Salsa
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Tuna
  • Salmon

Dried Herbs and Spices

  • Bay leaves
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Curry powder
  • Fennel or dill seed
  • Granulated garlic
  • Granulated onion
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground ginger
  • Oregano
  • Paprika: sweet and smoked
  • Rosemary
  • Sesame seeds
  • Thyme
  • Whole nutmeg

Fresh Non-Refrigerated Produce

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes: regular and grape
  • Potatoes: Yukon Gold, new, sweet
  • Bananas


Dairy and Eggs

  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Plain yogurt: regular or Greek
  • Butter
  • Cheddar and mozzarella cheeses
  • Cottage cheese
  • Parmesan (wedge)
  • Eggs

Fresh Produce

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli or cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • English cucumber
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale or chard
  • Lettuce: romaine, Boston or mixed greens
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Apples
  • When possible, flat-leaf parsley, basil, and rosemary grown in pots.


  • Jelly, jam or preserves
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard: Dijon or whole grain
  • Relishes
  • Pickles, Olives
  • Hot sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce


  • Ground beef
  • Italian sausage
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Bacon
  • Beef roast or Whole chicken
  • Bread: Italian loaf and 12-grain sandwich bread
  • Vegetables: peas, broccoli, corn
  • Fruit: berries, peaches, mangos
  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans
  • Dough: pizza, pie, puff pastry
  • Vanilla ice cream

I also keep a few herbs growing in pots. The herbs I try to always have fresh are flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, basil, and rosemary. I put them in pots on the deck when the weather is warm and keep them on a deep windowsill during the colder months.

Do you keep a well-stocked pantry or do you tend to visit the stores on more of a daily basis?

What are some of your favourite “pantry” staples and what items do you ALWAYS have on hand?


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