This is a Pantry Staples Checklist or what you can find in the “The Bossy Kitchen” pantry.
A few years ago, while still in college, my daughter traveled to Spain to study for a semester at one of Andalusia universities.
One day, after she found an apartment and moved in, she called to ask me if I could make her a list of items she should have in her pantry all the time for emergencies.
She wanted to know what a pantry should look like if you come home late and need to cook something simple and fast.
I found her question to be extremely mature for a college student at that time and I was very proud of her.
She was not cooking much while at home, but as soon as she moved out and started to live independently, she proved to be an amazing cook with a huge interest in new or old recipes. I know, like her mother, right?
While the list I gave her at that time was concise, I thought it might be useful to share what you can find in my pantry on a regular basis.
I do understand that many of you might not need every item on the list. This list reflects my personal taste and needs, but it could also be a starting point for you.
The trick is to understand what kind of foods you tend to cook more often and buy the ingredients you need to cook that kind of meal.
As someone who has Eastern European roots, I always have thyme, paprika, and garlic in my pantry, but if you like Chinese food, you will need soy sauce, ginger, rice, sesame oil.
For Indian food, you will need, for example, to buy cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, mustard seeds, garlic, and ginger, among other ingredients.
The conclusion is that you can take this list and make it your own or you can adjust it according to your needs.
Having things handy, you will be able to put together a delicious meal in no time. It is cheaper to eat at home, more delicious, and also healthier. Enjoy!
Pantry Staples Checklist
This is a Pantry Staples Checklist or what you can find in the "The Bossy Kitchen" pantry.
HERBS AND SPICES
Kosher Sea Salt, Coarse
The most important item in a respectable kitchen.
Ground Black Pepper
Salt and pepper are the basics for any recipe.
Paprika is one of these spices that are basic in Western cuisine. You can get it and make this Hungarian Goulash that is so good.
Dried dill goes in so many dishes, from stews to soups and pies, like this Meat Pie made with puff pastry.
I prefer fresh parsley, but sometimes dried is convenient and easy to use. Here is a recipe that uses plenty of it.
Aromatic and delicious bay leaves are used in many cuisines around the world. Here is a bean recipe that uses them, and it is perfect for the cold season.
I like cumin in a lot of soups, stews, and even baked goods. Here is a recipe that requires cumin in baking.
Great for roasted meats, marinades, etc
Crushed Red Pepper
Great in all kinds of recipes. Try these crushed red peppers in this authentic Spanish recipe.
Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
This Mexican Chicken Fajitas recipe uses this awesome ingredient. Dare to try it?
You put cinnamon in a lot of baked goods, but have you ever tried a cinnamon tea?
From stews to desserts, cinnamon is a very loved ingredient. Here you have a chicken recipe that uses cinnamon. Yum!
I love thyme in roasted meats.
Oregano has a milder flavor than thyme. From pasta to stews and Mexican dishes, oregano leaves are used to flavor and enhance the recipes.
Here is a salad that uses basil. You might be surprised how good it is.
Roasted meats are very good friends with rosemary. It is a match made in heaven.
An awesome spice that makes this chocolate dessert amazing. You can use it in teas, baked goods, and other dishes.
Whole cloves are used together with cinnamon and nutmeg in baked goods. They can also be used to flavor meats, stews, and sauces. It is an awesome spice to have around.
This soup is a great opportunity to use a little bit of chipotle powder when chipotle chiles are not available.
Ginger is great in many recipes, from savory to sweet and from western cuisine to Asian one. Here is a recipe for meat pie that uses this awesome ingredient.
This Ham Cheese and Onion Puff Pastry Slab Pie is a great recipe to use nutmeg.
Fresh mint leaves are great in all kinds of recipes from lemonade to ice creams and teas, but what if it is winter outside and there is no fresh mint around? Dried mint could save the day. Try this recipe of peas with mint for a change.
Baking soda can be used for cleaning but could also be used in many baked goods—an essential item to have in the house.
Many recipes require baking powder, so it is an important item in the pantry if you like to bake. Here is a recipe for muffins to bake with this ingredient.
This is my favorite cocoa powder; it is dark and delicious. Would you like to make a flourless, gluten-free cake using cocoa powder? Here it is.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips
I could snack on these chocolate chips, but I better try one of these recipes. Use good quality chocolate for better results.
White Chocolate Chip
Perfect for this cake.
Trader Joe's Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars 3 Variety Pack - Total 9 Bars
I love this chocolate and bake with it quite often. You can find it in the store or buy it online. Perfect for making these decadent brownies.
Active Dry Yeast
I make bread, so I do have yeast in the house all the time.
Most recipes require vanilla flavor. If you can put your hands on vanilla beans, you are a winner.
Non-Alcoholic Vanilla Flavoring, Madagascar
I love vanilla. I even make chicken with it. Yeah, you heard that right!
Corn starch is a good item to have in the pantry.
I use it from thickening sauces to making compote jams for my cakes.
All Purpose Flour
Well, if you bake, you need one of those. I like organic, good-quality flour.
I don't like my desserts very sweet, but I like desserts, so sugar is part of most dessert recipes.
Dark Brown Sugar
Dark brown sugar gives a depth of flavor to most recipes. Carrot cake, anyone?
Multiple uses. This powder sugar goes inside some desserts or outside like in these recipes of pastries with cheese.
PerfectaGel Silver Gelatin Sheets (170 Bloom)
OILS & VINEGARS
Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic, Unrefined, Virgin Coconut Oil
Organic Grass-fed Ghee
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Bragg USDA Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Heinz Organic Ketchup
Kikkoman Soy Sauce - 10 oz
Mayonnaise, Olive Oil
GRAINS & PASTA
All Natural Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice
Minnesota produces the best wild rice in the US. Also, this is one of my favorite types of rice to cook with. Here is a vegetarian recipe you might like to make.
Long Grain Brown Rice
- Pasta- spaghetti, penne, elbow, orzo, lasagna
- white, pinto, black and red beans
- split peas
- tomato paste
- crushed tomato
- tomato sauce
- beans (black, white, chickpeas)
- roasted peppers
- tortilla chips
- graham crackers
- dried fruits (raisins, apricots, sour cherries, cranberries, prunes)
- peanut butter
What do you have in your pantry? What are the items you cannot live without?
More recipes and ideas for a healthy lifestyle:
What to keep in your pantry all the time
Easy meals to make when you are stuck at home
Authentic Traditional Mexican Beans
Traditional Easter Recipes from around the world