Get Off The Couch and Cook

Get Off The Couch and Cook -

My Pantry

Ask 100 cooks what they consider to be kitchen basics and you will get 100 different answers but with a considerable bit of overlap.  Consider me Cook #101. 🙂

Here is my list of what I do make sure stays stocked in my kitchen.  This is just MY list with my opinions and thoughts.  I am by no means an expert on this and depending on the tastes or needs of your household, I’m sure there will be a some differences for YOUR pantry basics.

I have highlighted the few items where I think it pays to get the higher end products.  For most, though, I don’t see a reason to pay more when the cheaper or store brands are just as good.  If I use a specific brand of something, I have noted that as well.  For the most part, I use the store brand (I shop at Kroger) for a lot of things.  Not only does it usually taste as good as the name brands, but it is cheaper and the ingredient lists are a lot more pronounceable.  They even tend to have a lot less sodium.  These last 2 things surprised me… in a good way.

Pizza sauce ingredients

Dried Herbs and Spices

I have heard that dried herbs should be replaced anywhere from 3 months to 1 year because they lose their flavor over time.  While that may true, I have never kept track of how old my herbs and spices are.  As long as they don’t look or smelled spoiled, I see no reason to throw them away.  Use your taste buds and nose as a guide.

  • Basil leaves
  • Black pepper, ground
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon, ground
  • Cumin, ground
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger, ground
  • Marjoram leaves
  • Mustard powder
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano leaves
  • Paprika
  • Peppercorns
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Salt
    • Kosher salt – for cooking
    • Sea salt – for finishing just-cooked foods
    • Table salt – for baking
  • Tarragon leaves
  • Thyme leaves
  • Vanilla extract

Dried goods

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn meal – for dusting pizza and bread pans
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated white sugar – for baking
  • Flour – If you don’t use flour that often, keep it in an airtight container in the freezer
    • All-purpose (King Arthur)
    • Bread flour (King Arthur)
    • White Whole Wheat Flour  (King Arthur)
  • Panko bread crumbs (Kikkoman)
  • Pasta – whole wheat
    • Egg noodles
    • Elbow
    • Penne
    • Thin spaghetti
  • Rice

Canned goods

  • Broth – low-sodium beef and chicken (Swanson)
  • Tomatoes
    • Crushed
    • Diced
    • Paste
    • Sauce (plain, not jarred spaghetti sauce)

Other pantry items

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Canola oil
  • Ketchup (Heinz)
  • Yellow mustard (Plochman’s)
  • Potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Onions (well, I would if I didn’t have an onion-hater in the house)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Soy Sauce – low sodium


  • Butter, unsalted
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cheese
    • Mozzarella
    • Cheddar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Eggs
  • Garlic, jarred minced
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk
  • Yeast


  • Chicken – boneless, skinless and whole
  • Ground beef
  • Vegetables – broccoli, corn, mixed, peas

What are some other things you keep in your pantry that you use on a regular basis?



  • Tracey says:

    Just as an FYI – I get the garlic in the jar at Costco. It’s a huge jar for just about the same money as the bigger jar at kroger. I use it in so many things it’s worth it.

    January 6, 2014 at 10:03 am
    • Sashi says:

      I can see how that’d be worth it! I just get the big one from Kroger because I also use a lot of fresh garlic as well. It all depends on how lazy I’m feeling at the time I’m cooking. LOL

      January 8, 2014 at 9:52 pm
  • Suzanne says:

    Canned beans! Dry beans! Beans beans beans beans beans!

    –Black beans
    –Kidney beans
    –Pinto (dried and canned)
    –Garbanzo/chickpeas ( canned AND dried)
    –Refried beans

    And then chilis for the spicier palate:
    –Mild green chilis
    –chipotle chilis
    –sliced jalapenos

    March 10, 2014 at 12:16 pm
    • Sashi says:

      Beans… sounds magical. 😉 Sorry, I couldn’t resist and that was the least inappropriate. Hehe…

      I do actually keep a jar of jalapenos on-hand now, especially since we make salsa on a regular basis.

      March 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm

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