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7 Must-haves for a Well-stocked Pantry

Thanks to Cans Get You Cooking for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Having a well-stocked pantry is essential to keeping food costs reeled-in. One of my favorite secrets to saving money on the grocery bill is to keep a very well-stocked pantry and to have a well-stocked pantry it means keeping certain items on hand that keep well (this is where canned foods come in!) and are extremely versatile.

Here are my top must-have canned foods for a well-stocked pantry … “cantry” staples we should all have on hand!

  • Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples 1 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    Click through for my Top 7 Must-Have Canned Foods for a Well-Stocked Pantry... Cantry Staples We All Should Have on Hand!

    Image source: And Then We Saved

  • Canned Pumpkin 2 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    Pumpkin is surprisingly versatile and pumpkin is a favorite of mine with the weather getting a little chillier. You can use canned pumpkin to make sweet to savory items depending on what you're in the mood for. Some of the options are: pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin cinnamon rolls or pumpkin cheesecake. If you're feeling fancy you can even make pumpkin ravioli, risotto, or pumpkin pancakes. My all-time favorite pumpkin recipe for the fall is Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream (from my site)!

     

    Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Browned Butter Buttercream Cupcakes

    Cupcake Ingredients (makes 32 cupcakes):

    • 1 box of yellow cake mix
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

    Directions:

    • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

    • In a large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, and pumpkin spice with an electric mixer on low-speed for 30 seconds

    • Then, switch to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes while scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally

    • Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups so they are about 2/3 full

    • Bake 19 to 24 minutes (it only took mine 16 minutes but that could be a high-altitude thing?) or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

    • Cool in pans 10 minutes

    • Move cupcakes from the pans to a cooling rack

    • Cool completely (about 30 mins), then frost!

    Browned Butter Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting Recipe

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in half

    • 4 cups powdered sugar

    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    • 3-6 tablespoons milk

    • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon (more or less to taste preference)

    Directions:

    • Heat 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until lightly browned (around 8-10 minutes), stirring occasionally

    • Let cool

    • Add the remaining 1/2 cup of butter to the bowl

    • Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes

    • Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla beating with electric mixer until well combined

    • Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency

    • Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

    Image source: And Then We Saved 

  • Canned Black Beans 3 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    Black beans are considered by some to be one of the healthiest foods well, ever. I always do what I can to incorporate these magical morsels into my diet, and by having canned black beans at the ready I make it easy on myself to always be able to add this miracle food to my meals; that's something I feel good about.

     

    Recipe for Cilantro Lime Black Bean Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cans of black beans
    • 1 lime
    • 1/4 cup of cilantro
    • 1 teaspoon of garlic
    • Optional toppings: sour cream and diced tomatos

    Directions:

    • Add the black beans, diced cilantro, garlic, and squeeze in the lime juice to a medium-sized pot until hot
    • Stir continuously
    • Add toppings to taste

    Image source: 8mm & Other Stuff 

  • Canned Tomatoes 4 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    There are so many great recipes that utilize tomatoes. So by keeping a variety of canned tomatoes on hand (crushed, diced, and whole) you'll be able to whip up a variety of dishes in no time.  Additionally, canned tomatoes are picked and canned at the peak of ripeness so freshness and flavor are sealed in unlike fresh tomatoes out of season. Canned tomatoes are the perfect pantry staple.

    Image source: Boston Public Library

  • Your Favorite Canned Soups 5 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    There's not much worse then being hungry, looking around in your cupboards and getting that feeling of, "There's nothing to eat!" Save yourself the hassle and keep your favorite soups on hand. Tonight at the grocery store, I picked up my favorite hearty canned vegetable stew that I plan on eating when I'm not quite in the mood to cook. I also love keeping these soups on hand because they're classic favorites that my husband or guests will love: Chicken Noodle soup, Tomato soup (perfect with a Grilled Cheese on a cold day), and Split Pea soup. Basically, you can't go wrong with keeping canned soups on hand. They'll always get eaten.

    Image source: jeffreyw

     
  • Canned Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans 6 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    I love chickpeas, they're high in protein and are very easy to use. Use chickpeas to make veggie burgers, hummus, or use them to add some bite and protein to a salad. My favorite chickpea recipe has to be the Beet Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Goat Cheese. Something about that combo is just amazing.

    Image source: moria

  • Canned Chiles 7 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    Now, this one might seem like a surprising canned food pantry staple but it's pretty cool how a little can of chilies can completely spruce up an otherwise bland meal. Take for example: breakfast burritos. Breakfast burritos consist of: a tortilla, eggs, cheese, and potatoes which together are just fine and dandy but toss in some chiles and then you have a really good breakfast burrito. Canned chiles just take recipes to the next level.

    Image source: Tavallai

  • Canned Tuna 8 of 8
    Top Must-Have Cantry (Pantry) Staples

    Canned albacore tuna packed in water is one of the best canned foods to keep in your pantry. You can make a classic tuna fish sandwich, do a tuna fish pita sandwich, tuna melt, whip up a tuna casserole or you can even use it cold on top a salad. See, so many options! 

     

    Recipe for Tuna Salad Pita Sandwich

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cans chunk light tuna in water
    • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 stalks of celery
    • Pita pocket bread 

    Directions: 

    • Drain the tuna
    • Put the tuna to a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, garlic, and diced celery
    • Stuff the pita pockets with the tuna salad mixture

    Image source: Laurel Fan

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