15 Pantry Staples to Always Keep Stocked

Never get stuck in a recipe without an ingredient again.

15 Pantry Staples to Always Keep Stocked

We've all been there — preparing our favorite dinner or trying a new recipe and we get stuck half way through because we didn't realize we were completely out of a staple ingredient! Never let that happen again. Stay prepared by having these 15 essential pantry items always stocked so you're ready for any meal, recipe or craving when it's time. Plus keeping this must-have pantry items in your kitchen means you have plenty of ingredients already at home, so that you don't have to buy so much when you go to the grocery store. These are the staple pantry items you should always have on hand.

15 Essential Pantry Items to Keep Stocked

FLOUR

Besides for the obvious cupcakes and breads we all love to make, flour is a great ingredient to have on hand when you need to thicken a soup or stew you've already got started. And when you get the craving for some fried chicken, you can use your stocked flour to easily set up a dredging station on the whim.

SUGAR

Having plenty of sugar in your pantry means you can sweeten a savory dish that's gotten a little too acidic or sour, like tomato sauce or soup. And of course, it's another ingredient you need to whip up a baked good.

RICE

Rice is a classic side to any main dish, so it's a good staple to have stocked for when you're making dinner. It's an essential part of East Asian and Indian recipes, and is a good additive to soups, stews and casseroles.

PASTA

It's the backbone of some of our favorite weeknight meals to whip up. Plus, it goes great with both a decadent sauce or just some good ol' butter and cheese.

LENTILS & DRIED BEANS

Lentils and beans are versatile ingredients that make both good side dishes to a meat recipe and vegetarian or vegan main courses. And you can't go wrong using them to bulk up a chili, stew, soup, or spiced curry.

OLIVE OIL

This is a must in any kitchen or pantry. Olive oil is essential for cooking on the stovetop, roasting in the oven and making a salad dressing. Always have it stocked so you can whip up breakfast, lunch and dinner whenever you need it.

BROTH

Broth is a great ingredient to boost a lot of different recipes. Whether you like veggie, beef or chicken broth, use it to braise meat and veggies, start a soup or stew to use up leftovers in your fridge, and deglaze a pan after searing meat.

VINEGAR

Vinegar is essential if you like making your own salad dressings. It can add a punch of acidity to anything that's gotten too sweet or fatty, like sauces.

CANNED BEANS

Yes, you want to keep both dried beans and canned beans in your pantry. Dried beans pack more nutrition and flavor, and you get more for your money at the store, but canned beans are a close second with both. Go for the canned beans when you don't have time to rinse and boil dried beans.

CANNED TOMATOES

A good can of tomatoes can turn any recipe from drab to fab. You can add them to braised meat or veggie stew, or use them as the base of a quick stovetop tomato sauce. Trust us, it will taste like it's been simmering all day.

MAYO

With it's simple but full flavor, this versatile fat can go with basically any dish. Use it to whip up a quick aioli dipping sauce or as a coating for dredged chicken. You can even spread it on bread to make the most golden-browned garlic bread of your dreams. Or try it in this Mexican street corn slaw.

PEANUT BUTTER

We all love adding peanut butter to toast or a chocolate baked good, but peanut butter can also be exactly what you need for a savory dish too — like a stir fry sauce or peanut salad dressing.

CONDIMENTS

We're talking Sriracha, mustard, hot sauce and ketchup. Obviously they're great on their own, so you never want to reach for the bottle and realize there's barely a squeeze left for your plate of fries. But they can easily be incorporated too into sauces, dressings and drips for a kick of flavor.

DRIED SPICES

Think oregano, thyme, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon. They add special, full flavor to almost every savory recipe. And you can add a pinch yourself to boost what you're making in the moment.

WHOLE GRAINS

Whole grains go beyond rice and pasta. You should also keep a stock of barley, oats, popcorn and crackers. Barley goes great with veggies and in salads or bowls. And make an alternative and crunchy chicken coating with oats, popcorn and crackers. They are also great to have on hand to mix together a quick granola.

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