Pantry Essentials

A pantry full of good quality basics

Having a well-stocked pantry can make all of the difference when coming up with a fast, healthy solution for a homemade meal. It doesn’t take much to elevate a meal from just okay to delicious! It all starts with using a pantry full of good quality basics. You don’t have to have the most expensive and hard-to-source ingredients to make your meal great — just a little thought and helpful guidance can do the trick.

The best and healthiest dishes are often the simplest, so quality matters. TIP: Splurge on the olive oil you use to dress your salad or drizzle on vegetables. Cook or sauté with an olive oil or vegetable oil that is half the price. Having a cooking oil and a finishing oil is the number one advice of chefs.

Here is my list of pantry essentials and a list of additional items that are not essential but nice to have on hand. Make sure to check expiration dates on these key items and use them regularly.


  • Good quality Olive Oil
  • Olive Oil or Vegetable oil for cooking
  • Kosher Salt
  • Good quality Vinegar (Red Wine, White Wine, Balsamic, Etc.)
  • Canned Diced Tomato
  • Dried Whole Grains (Brown Rice, Quinoa, Farro, Etc.)
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Dried Spices
  • Dried Beans
  • Dried Whole Grain Pasta
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Cilantro, Thyme, Etc.)
  • Lemons

Additional Items:

  • Finishing Salt (coarse salts, gray salt, etc.)
  • Coconut Oil
  • Stone Ground Mustard
  • Capers
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Dried Lentils
  • Dried Bay Leaf
  • Chili Flakes
  • Shallots
Categories: In The Kitchen