Your Complete Kitchen Pantry Essentials List

When I first started out cooking on my own, in my tiny little first apartment, I had no idea about how to stock my pantry or fridge. I was constantly running out to the grocery store to pick up this or that for a recipe. Often times I would get frustrated with myself, and my constantly inadequately stocked kitchen, and resort to those cheap ramen noodles. It has literally taken me years to figure out what should be a staple in my pantry and fridge, so that cooking is an easier task.

So to day I wanted to share with everyone something I really wish I had been given years ago, a complete list of pantry essentials. This list was made by Kelsey Nixon, host of the Cooking Channel’s Kelsey’s Essentials. Kelsey’s strives to teach us the essential items, tools and techniques needed in the kitchen so we can all be fabulous home cooks.

Here’s Kelsey’s list of essentials for the pantry and fridge.

For the Cupboard
• Baking powder and soda
• Beans: black, chickpeas, kidney, navy, lentils
• Bread crumbs or panko (Japanese-style)
• Broth/stock: beef, vegetable, chicken
• Cake & quick bread mixes, frostings
• Cooking spray: butter, olive oil, w/flour
• Cornmeal: white, yellow
• Cornstarch
• Extracts: vanilla, almond, lemon
• Flour: all-purpose, whole-wheat, cake
• Fruit spreads: jams, jellies, preserves
• Garlic: fresh, roasted, chopped, minced
• Grains: barley, couscous, quinoa, polenta
• Mushrooms: dried or jarred
• Noodles: egg, Japanese, wheat, rice, ramen
• Nuts: almonds, pecans, pine, walnuts
• Onions: red, sweet, yellow, shallots
• Pastas: long or short-cut, specialty shapes
• Peanut butter: creamy, crunchy
• Potatoes: fresh, instant, specialty
• Rice: Arborio, basmati, brown, wild
• Shortening: canned, sticks
• Sugar: granulated, powdered, light/dark brown
• Tea: black, green, herbal
• Tomatoes: crushed, fire-roasted, paste
• Pancake mix
• Muffin mix
• Cooking oils: olive, vegetable, corn, canola
• Coffee: regular, decaf, instant, flavor

For the Fridge
• Bacon: pancetta, peppered, thick-cut
• Butter or margarine
• Carrots
• Celery
• Cheese: Cheddar, Parmesan, Romano, Asiago
• Eggs
• Seasonal fruit and vegetables
• Meat
• Poultry
• Seafood
• Milk: evap., sweetened condensed, half & half
• Whipping cream
• Salad greens: spinach, leaf, romaine, spring

Herbs and Spices
• Basil
• Bay leaves
• Chile powder: ancho or chipotle
• Cinnamon
• Cumin
• Curry: powder, Thai red or green paste
• Garlic: powder or salt
• Grill rubs and seasonings
• Nutmeg
• Seafood seasoning
• Oregano
• Paprika: Hungarian, sweet, smoked
• Pepper: black, whole peppercorns, cayenne, flakes
• Rosemary, crushed
• Salt: table, kosher, sea
• Thyme: leaves or ground
• Spice blends: Greek, Italian, Herbs de Provence
• Fresh herbs: flat-leaf parsley, cilantro

• Barbeque sauce: hickory, honey
• Chili paste, sweet chili sauce, green chiles
• Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
• Hoisin sauce
• Honey
• Hot pepper sauce, wing sauce
• Ketchup
• Syrup: maple, flavored
• Mayonnaise or salad dressing
• Mustards: yellow, Dijon, spicy brown, whole grain
• Oils: olive, canola, sesame, peanut
• Olives: black, green
• Pickles: sweet, dill
• Salsa
• Soy sauce: regular, reduced sodium
• Teriyaki sauce
• Vinegar: balsamic, rice, cider, white
• Worcestershire sauce

This list accompanied with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables will cover a wide variety of recipes.

Photo Credit: iStockphoto

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