A well stocked pantry is the crucial ingredient to keeping your kitchen and meal prepping efforts running like a well-oiled machine. Even if you’re stressing out at 5 P.M. and have no idea what you’re going to make, knowing you have everything you need—and where you’ve put it—will have you getting dinner together in a flash. This handy list has everything covered from the pantry to the fridge and freezer. (You’ll also find some bonus recipe suggestions!)

The Master List of Essential Pantry Staples


From The Pantry 

  • Oil: vegetable, olive (pure for frying, extra-virgin for eating)
  • Vinegar: balsamic, red wine, apple cider, rice
  • Little Potatoes, (bags, kits, or both!)
  • Salt and pepper, plus kosher salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Pickles
  • Spices and herbs
  • Canned beans (black, kidney, garbanzo)
  • Chicken broth
  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Red wine, white wine (some for you, some for the recipe…)
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Flour
  • Sugar: white and brown
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Nuts
  • Bread

From The Fridge/Freezer

  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese: cheddar, mozzarella (or your favorite dairy-free versions)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olives
  • Carrots
  • Lemons
  • Veggies—your favorite (bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans)
  • Bacon
  • Frozen veggies (corn, peas, spinach)
  • Frozen protein (ground beef, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts, prawns, fish fillets)

And that covers it! You’ll be ready for just about any eating occasion with these pantry essentials.