Pantry Essentials for a Well Stocked Kitchen

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Maintaining a well-stocked kitchen full of pantry essentials is key to running an efficient household. Let me show you how keeping pantry essentials on hand saves both money and time. 

Pantry Essentials List

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Why You Need a Well-Stocked Pantry

  • There will always be something at home you can cook!
  • You’ll save money by eating out less often.
  • You can avoid last-minute stops for fast food and eat healthier meals. 
  • With a stocked and organized pantry, you’ll make fewer trips to the grocery store. 

How To Use the Pantry Essentials List

When you make a grocery list for regular shopping, consult this Pantry Essentials List for things you need to replenish. You’ll be surprised at all the meals you can make from your well-stocked pantry!

Place your Pantry Essentials List in a sheet protector,  laminate it, or place it in a frame with a glass front. Keep it with your Weekly Meal Planning sheets (laminated or in a sheet protector) or hang it inside your pantry on a clipboard. Check off items as you run out of them with a grease pencil or dry-erase marker. Then after shopping, you can wipe off your list and start anew. Convenient and easy! 

This is a great list of essential pantry items to stock in your kitchen. I love that it's a free printable. Just print, place it in a sheet protector and reuse it. My kitchen is about to become organized!

This is also a great starter list for someone moving into a new home or apartment. 

The first time you go grocery shopping after a move can be expensive. You don’t have to fully stock your pantry all at once. Add a few items to your weekly shopping list. Purchase small amounts of the items you use most, then gradually add ingredients to your pantry. Check the ingredient list of your favorite recipes and be sure to stock up on those essential items first. 

Pantry Essentials

Listed below are items you should keep stocked in your kitchen. You can create numerous meals, snacks, and even desserts with these basic ingredients.

Shelf-stable items, or items with a long shelf life, are at the top of this list of pantry staples. I have also included some fresh produce and fresh fruit items in the Produce and Refrigerator sections below. 

Baking Supplies

  • Active dry yeast
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Almond extract
  • Almond flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Biscuit mix
  • Brown sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Chocolate chips
  • Evaporated milk
  • Food coloring
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Sugar, granulated
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegetable shortening


  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Wine (red and white)

Canned, Jarred, or Bottled Goods

  • Beef broth
  • Black beans
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned meats (tuna, salmon, chicken, etc.)
  • Canned tomatoes (diced, stewed, roasted)
  • Canned vegetables (green beans, corn)
  • Chicken Broth
  • Coconut milk
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Cream of mushroom soup
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Marinara sauce
  • Salsa
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomato sauce
  • Vegetable stock
  • White beans (navy, Great Northern, cannellini, etc.)
Salt, pepper, oil, vinegar

Cooking and Marinating Liquids

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • White vinegar

Dry Goods

  • Beans (lentils, kidney, black, etc.)
  • Bouillon (cubes or powder, chicken and beef)
  • Bread crumbs or Panko
  • Brown rice
  • Cereal
  • Dried onion soup mix
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Pasta (spaghetti, lasagna, egg noodles, penne, etc)
  • Taco seasoning packets
  • White rice


  • Applesauce
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Tortillas

Herbs and Spices

Dried Herbs

  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fennel or dill seed
  • Italian seasoning
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sea salt
  • Sesame seeds
  • Thyme


  • Adobo
  • Allspice
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon (ground and sticks)
  • Cloves (ground and whole)
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground ginger
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Peppercorns
  • Turmeric


Not refrigerated

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potatoes


  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Parsley



  • Butter
  • Cheese (sliced, shredded, block, cheddar, mozzarella)
  • Cream cheese
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Plain yogurt
  • Sour cream


  • Barbecue sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Jelly or jam
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard (Dijon, brown, yellow)
  • Pickles
  • Salad dressings (Italian, ranch, etc.)
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce


  • Bacon
  • Bread
  • Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts, wings, legs, thighs, whole)
  • Fruit (mango, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • Ground beef
  • Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
  • Sausage
  • Shrimp
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Vegetables (peas, corn, broccoli, mixed, etc.)

Storage Tips for Pantry Items

To optimize storage, you’ll need shelving and different varieties of containers to keep your pantry organized. There is no point in having a well stocked pantry if you can’t find the ingredients you need when you need them. Here are some suggestions for organizing your pantry. 

  • Airtight containers – Dry goods such as flour and sugar should be stored in an airtight container. Here are a couple of brands I recommend. 
  • Glass containers – Mason jars are an inexpensive storage option for dry goods such as beans, whole grains, and rice. Using clear containers makes it easy to find what I’m looking for. It also helps me to see when an ingredient is getting low and will soon need to be replenished.
  • Lazy Susans – A Lazy Susan is the best way to store tall bottles of oils and vinegars. With a simple spin, you can easily access each bottle. 

With these items on hand, you can create last-minute meals even when you can’t get to the grocery store every week. A well-stocked kitchen of pantry essentials can make mealtime easier when life gets hectic.

The Pantry Essentials Checklist is available in 3 versions.

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Pantry Essentials List

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