Keep these essentials on hand to help ensure cooking at home's a breeze!
Food - How To - Life

Stock Your Kitchen With These Essentials

Last updated on November 21, 2023 by Liza Hawkins

Stock your kitchen with these essentials to help ensure cooking at home’s a breeze!

Keep these essentials on hand to help ensure cooking at home's a breeze!

Most of the meals I cook are made from staple ingredients that I keep in the pantry, fridge or freezer all the time.

Without them, preparing homemade meals wouldn’t be … well … simple. And, as any busy family knows, if the meal isn’t simple, then it’s a meal that isn’t made.

While you can certainly stock your kitchen by finding everything at the grocery store or online, some of these items you might find just as easy to make yourself.

Take chicken stock, for example. I’ve made overnight chicken stock in the slow cooker, and I’ve also made it in less than an hour with my Instant Pot.

It’s literally tossing leftover chicken bones and scraps (or buying really inexpensive drumsticks on sale) into your vessel of choice, adding water, salt, pepper and a few herbs and veggies, and then forgetting about it for a while.

You end up with rich homemade stock — loads of it — for a fraction of what you’d spend at the store (and far better flavor), and the process can be easily replicated to make beef or vegetable stock. I store mine in 2-cup bagfuls, frozen flat in the deep freezer.

If you’re a gardener, then you can probably grow a lot of the vegetables I’ve listed yourself.

I’ve done alright with tomatoes and herbs, but struggle with keeping things alive throughout the season, mostly because I’m lazy about watering.

So, I supplement what I haven’t grown in my containers with produce my parents grow, or during my twice a month hauls from ALDI, including frozen veggies (though try freezing your own corn — it’s really easy).

Keep these essentials on hand to help ensure cooking at home's a breeze!

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Stock Your Kitchen With These Essentials

Here are the essentials I keep in my pantry, fridge and kitchen that help ensure cooking at home’s a breeze.

Some of the items are affiliate links to, where it’s simple to pick up my favorites to stock your kitchen, too!


  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Canola Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Petite Diced Tomatoes
  • Canned Tomato Paste
  • Canned Tomato Sauce
  • Canned Crushed Tomatoes
  • Jarred Marinara
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • White Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Old Fashioned Oats
  • Saltines
  • Spaghetti
  • Linguine
  • Penne
  • Basmati Rice
  • Brown Rice

Herbs and Spices

  • Sea Salt
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fine Black Pepper
  • Pepper Grinder
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Basil
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Dried Parsley
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Garlic Bulbs
  • Green Onions
  • Limes or Lemons
  • Yellow Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Berries


  • Chicken Broth
  • Beef Broth
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Cheddar
  • American Cheese
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Mozzarella
  • Salted Butter
  • Whole Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Corn
  • Frozen Green Beans


Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

5 Comments on “Stock Your Kitchen With These Essentials

  1. Seriously. This one really caught my eye, but the pantry I’m most in love with is Ina Garten’s from “Barefoot Contessa.” One day…. 🙂

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