Today I am sharing some Basic Pantry Staples you will want to keep on hand to make several recipes, even when it is tough to get to the market. See our list of must-have items to be able to create multiple, meals for your family while staying within your budget.
These are strange times we’re living in right now, but those of us who like to plan and be organized know that you don’t have to hoard to make it a week or two without hitting the grocery store.
The secret behind being able to put dinner on the table, quickly each night, is to have a well-stocked pantry. Let’s face it, sometimes we just want to not have to make a trip to the store and we just want to make something with what we already have.
While that is great on its own, this concept works best if you have a pantry (and a refrigerator) that is stocked with the right items. Ten cans of beans are great, but you really want to have a variety of things on hand so that you can give your self several options for meal preparation.
Today I wanted to share some of my favorite items to keep on hand and honestly, I do this all the time, not just right now.
Basic Pantry Staples You Always Want To Keep In Stock
When it comes to cooking quickly, stocking up your pantry with the right staples and equipment can go a long way towards helping you feed your family without having to slave over a hot stove for hours or spend a fortune. Here are some of the items you should always have on hand for quick, easy, and cheap meals. Now is a great time to organize and stock your pantry.
Pasta & Noodles
This is a versatile food that can be used on its own or in other recipes. You can change up the sauces to add flavor to all the various pasta types available. Use in soups, stews, salads, and on its own. Use spaghetti or one of the wonderful shapes the kids will love, like butterflies or twists. And of course, elbow macaroni is perfect for homemade mac and cheese, or macaroni salad.
Closely related to pasta are egg noodles, which are great with dishes like stroganoff and chili if you don’t want to serve it with rice. There are all kinds of Asian-style noodles as well, such as soba, udon, and ramen.
Eggs are extremely versatile and relatively inexpensive You can whip up dozens of meals in a matter of minutes. Try scrambled, poached, fried, over easy, and soft or hard-boiled. Omelets, frittatas, quiches, French toast, pancakes, and crepes are just a few items that can be made with an egg or two.
Rice offers an amazing array of tastes. White and brown rice are musts for the house. Parboiled is perfect for Mexican food. Jasmine rice is great with Asian food. Arborio and short-grain rice are perfect for risottos.
Canned Tuna Beef & Chicken
Tuna packed in water can be eaten hot or cold. Go for the solid white albacore versus the chunk light, which can be very watery. Canned chicken can be used in lots of casseroles and the same goes for canned beef. We have used canned beef to make tacos and taquitos with great success.
Canned beans and legumes that have already been cooked are ideal for quick and easy recipes. I.always have a supply of an assortment of bean types Kidney beans, black beans, northern and pinto beans are always good to stock up on. Also chickpeas, chili beans, and refried beans are great for meals and you can make spicy red chili or white chicken chili in no time.
Not all canned veggies hold up well in salted water, but two that you should always have on hand for salad are beets and corn. Rinse well before serving and toss in your salad. Or, pickle the beets slightly with some white vinegar before serving as a side dish.
These are frozen at the peak of freshness on the farms and can be added to stretch any meal. Some frozen vegetables, such as cauliflower and broccoli, can be a real-time and energy saver with a minimum amount of waste. We added a bag to some ground beef to make this slow hamburger slow cooker soup.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Buy from your local farmers market in small amounts you know you are going to use. They will have fewer pesticides on them and be riper and tastier than what you find in the supermarket.
White and sweet potatoes make an excellent accompaniment to a range of meals. You can keep it simple and bake them whole in the oven, or peel and cook them on the stove for mashed potatoes.
With these staples in your pantry, there will always be something quick and easy to cook for dinner. You can find a free printable pantry list here to help you stay organized.
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Want to streamline your weekly meal planning and be more strategic in how you use ingredients? Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning book on Amazon.