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A Complete Guide to Making A Pantry Essentials List.

by Karen D. Insignares

Always be ready to whip up your next meal by learning how to stock up your kitchen with this complete guide to fridge and pantry essentials.

With a well stocked fridge and pantry, you’ll always be prepared to put together a good meal. You’ll need to learn what to stock up on and what you’ll probably never use.

Below is my list of pantry essentials that I keep in my kitchen at all times. It’s been molded over time based on my personal likes and cooking style.

Essential items may be different depending on your style or preference in cooking, and that’s a list you will develop over time. I hope you can use my list as a rough guide to what you may like to keep in your kitchen.

List of 60 Fridge and Pantry Essentials


  • Kosher Salt
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Complete Seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Bay Leaves
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chicken Bouillon
  • Olive Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonaise
  • Chili Garlic Sauce

Dry Ingredients

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Beans: Black beans, Chick Peas, Lentils, Kidney Beans
  • Cornstarch
  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Oats
  • Sesame Seeds


  • Yeast
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Vegetable Oil


  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Ginger
  • Spring Mix
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Meats: Chicken, Ground Beef, Pork Chops


  • Vegetables: Broccoli florets, green beans, corn, spinach
  • Fruit: Strawberries, Mangos, mixed berries

How To Build Your Own List of Pantry Essentials

My list of pantry essentials should serve as a guide to you. Follow these steps to build a a solid foundation in your kitchen so that you will always be ready to create your next meal.

Step 1: Know What You like.

My list is based on having really basic seasoning and ingredients for salads and chicken dinners, while also having a few basics for asian inspired meals and baking bread and desserts.

Adjust the kinds of seasoning you buy depending on the types of food you like to eat/make.


  • Fresh Ingredients: Oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, parsley, hot pepper, thyme.
  • Pantry: Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, anchovies, canned tomatoes, wine, pasta, rice, and semolina flour. Dried basil, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, sea salt, whole black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.


  • Fresh Ingredients: Garlic, ginger, cilantro, limes, kimchi, green onions, lemon grass, chilies.
  • Pantry: Soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, miso, hoisin sauce, Mirin, sriracha, chili garlic sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame seeds, rice, and noodles.

Central American

  • Fresh Ingredients: Tomatoes, quest fresco, plantains, yuca, avocado, limes, cilantro, sour orange, garlic, Spanish onion
  • Pantry: Masa harina (fine corn meal), rice, black beans, red beans, dried chiles, cumin, paprika, sofrito, Goya chicken bouillon,

Step 2: Take Note of What Goes to Waste.

Pay attention to what’s going to waste in your kitchen. If you find that you’re throwing away produce, canned items, or a seasoning has gotten cake from not being used in the past year. It’s a safe bet that you probably don’t use it often enough to need it in your kitchen at all times.

Step 3: Write Your Pantry List Down.

Once you have your pantry set, all you have to do is maintain it. Remember to write down the items that are running low on your grocery list.

I like keeping my grocery list on my phone in a notes app. When I notice I’m running out of something, I jot it down right away for the next time I’m at the store.

Pin This Pantry Essentials List for Later.

Printable list of pantry essentials

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