Do you ever open your refrigerator and just stare for minutes on end wondering what to make for dinner? I feel like I do these more times than not, especially when I haven’t gone grocery shopping. I do try to meal plan every week but sometimes I fail. This is why there are always a few pantry staples I keep on hand. Having these items on hand ensures I can whip up a quick meal, even when the fridge is looking a little bare.
20 Pantry Staples to Keep on Hand
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Most of the time I do have meat in the freezer, so I use these items in combination with meat. However, there have been plenty of times when I didn’t have meat on hand and was able to make a simple meal using pantry items.
1. Dried Lentils. You can really stretch a meal with dried lentils and they are so easy to make!
2. Pasta. I always keep several boxes of pasta on hand. Every time I go grocery shopping I pick up pasta.
3. Canned Foods. I’m a huge fan of canned vegetables, so I always have several cans on hand. It’s a quick and easy way to add to any meal.
4. Soup Broths. Having a variety of broths on hand are nice to have when making a quick soup or pan sauce.
5. Canned Tomatoes. I love having canned tomatoes on hand, you can do so much with them. Make spaghetti sauce, add it to ground beef and much more.
6. Rice. Having rice on hand is a great way to stretch any meal you make. You can add veggies to rice, meat or anything else that you’d like.
7. Bread Crumbs. These always come in handy when I’m breading meat.
8. Yeast. I have been known to make dinner rolls, sandwich bread and several other baked items. Lesson learned, keep yeast on hand!
9. Flour. If you do any cooking at all then you know how useful flour is. I use flour a lot when cooking. Umm, I love making a good pan sauce.
10. Jarred Sauces. While these aren’t my favorite, I do like to keep a few on hand for those super quick dinners.
11. Powdered Milk. Typically, we always have milk in the house but I have found that having powdered milk on hand comes in handing when baking.
12. Extra-virgin Olive Oil. You can make a great sauce with herb, seasoning and extra-virgin olive oil.
13. Dried Herbs. Herbs can take a boring meal up a notch. I always have dried herbs on hand!
14. A Variety of Seasonings. You can not have enough seasonings in my opinion. I like my food packed with flavor.
15. Canned Tuna. I usually have tuna for lunch but you can definitely make a dinner with a can of tuna.
16. Gravy Mixes. I prefer to make my own gravy and pan sauces but it doesn’t hurt to have a few packs of gravy mixes on hand.
17. Baking Soda. Again, baking soda comes in handy for baking.
18. Coffee. If you know me at all then you know that I LOVE my coffee! However, you can also use coffee for making a quick rub on a steak.
19. Applesauce. I like to keep applesauce on hand for the kids when they want a snack or I just want to add a little something extra to their dinner plate.
20. Tomato Paste. Just like canned tomatoes, tomato paste comes in handy more than you think!
If you enjoyed this post on pantry staples, make sure to check out some of my other posts.