15 Essential Pantry Staples for Quick and Easy Meals in Minutes

Have you ever been stuck in a situation when you want to eat your favorite food but are out of the key ingredients? Probably, we all have gone through this unforeseeable situation. At that time, we often get irritated.

That’s why how important it is to have some essential pantry staples by your side. But what does pantry staples mean? For those new to cooking, let us tell you that pantry staples are basic but key ingredients you can use in various recipes and they can also be stored for a long time.

Stocking the essential pantry staples can save your time, money and effort in the kitchen and also helps reduce food wastage.

But what items should be on your list of pantry staples? Confused? Let us help you out. Below, we have listed down 15 must-have pantry staples that you can use to make quick and easy meals in minutes.

Pantry Staples List You Must Have in Your Kitchen

#1 Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice is one of the most versatile and affordable grains that you can have in your pantry. It can be cooked in different ways, such as boiling, steaming, or frying, and paired with various sauces, meats, vegetables, and spices. You can also use rice to make dishes like fried rice, rice pudding, risotto, or pilaf.

#2 Pasta

Pasta is another staple that can be cooked in a matter of minutes and combined with endless ingredients. You can choose from different shapes and sizes of pasta, such as spaghetti, penne, macaroni, or lasagna, and toss them with your favorite sauce, cheese, meat, or veggies. You can also use pasta to make casseroles, salads, or soups.

#3 Beans

Beans are a great source of protein, fiber, and minerals that can fill you up and keep you healthy. You can buy canned beans or dried beans that you can soak and cook yourself.

Beans can be used to make dishes like bean burgers, hummus, or bean salads. You can also add beans to soups, stews, or curries for extra texture and flavor.

#4 Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a staple that can add color, freshness, and acidity to your meals. You can buy fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes that are already peeled and diced.

Tomatoes can be used to make sauces, salsas, or soups, or simply added to salads, sandwiches, or pizzas. You can also roast tomatoes in the oven for a deeper and sweeter taste.

#5 Oats

Oats are a nutritious and filling grain that is a healthy breakfast option. You can buy rolled oats or instant oats that are ready to eat in minutes.

It can be cooked with milk or water and topped with fruits, nuts, or honey. You can also use oats to make granola, oatmeal cookies, or oat bars.

#6 Flour

Flour is an essential ingredient to make your bread, cakes, pancakes, or biscuits. You can buy all-purpose flour or different types of flour, such as whole wheat, almond, or coconut. Flour can also be used to thicken sauces, soups, or gravies, or to coat meats or vegetables before frying or baking.

#7 Cooking Oil

Oil can help you cook, bake, or dress your food. You can buy different kinds of oil, such as olive, canola, or coconut, depending on your taste and cooking method. Oil can be used to sauté, fry, or roast your food, or to make dressings, marinades, or dips. You can also use oil to grease your pans or baking sheets to prevent sticking.

#8 Spices

Spices are an essential part of your kitchen. They add flavor, aroma, and heat to your food. You can buy individual spices or spice blends that suit your palate and cuisine. Some of the common spices that you should have in your pantry are salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, oregano, basil, and cinnamon.

#9 Vinegar

Vinegar can add tanginess, brightness, and acidity to your food. You can buy different kinds of vinegar, such as white, apple cider, balsamic, or rice.

It can be used to make dressings, pickles, or sauces, or to enhance the flavor of soups, salads, or meats. You can also use vinegar to clean your kitchen or remove stains.

#10 Honey

Honey is the best replacement for your regular sugar, with health benefits. You can buy raw or processed honey, or different flavors of honey, such as clover, orange blossom, or manuka.

It can be used to sweeten your drinks, cereals, or yogurt, or to make desserts, glazes, or syrups. You can also use honey to soothe a sore throat, heal a wound, or boost your immunity.

#11 Nuts

Nuts can be stored for a long time due to their long shelf life. You can buy different kinds of nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or cashews.

Nuts can be eaten as a snack, or added to salads, cereals, or baked goods. You can also use nuts to make nut butter, nut milk, or nut flour.

#12 Dried Fruits

Dried fruits add a pinch of sweetness, fiber, and antioxidants to your food. You can buy different kinds of dried fruits, such as raisins, apricots, dates, or cranberries, depending on your taste and budget.

They can be eaten as a snack, or added to oatmeal, granola, or trail mix. You can also use dried fruits to make jams, compotes, or energy bars.

#13 Broth

You can buy ready-made broth or stock cubes, or make your own broth from bones, vegetables, or herbs. Broth can be used to make soups, stews, or gravies, or to cook rice, pasta, or quinoa. You can also use broth to rehydrate dried foods, such as mushrooms, beans, or lentils.

#14 Canned Fish

Canned fish is a staple that can add protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium to your food. You can buy different kinds of canned fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines, or mackerel.

It can be eaten as a sandwich filling, or added to salads, pasta, or casseroles. You can also use canned fish to make fish cakes, fish pies, or fish tacos.

#15 Chocolate

Chocolate is something that definitely finds a place in your refrigerator. You can buy different kinds of chocolate, such as dark, milk, or white, depending on your preference and recipe. E

It can be eaten as a treat, or added to cakes, cookies, or brownies. You can also use chocolate to make some simple pantry staples recipes like hot chocolate, chocolate sauce, or chocolate fondue.


So, those were some of the essential pantry staples you should have in your kitchen. Having these ingredients by your side, you can prepare a quick and easy meal in minutes. So, what are you waiting for? Stock up your pantry with these must-have staples and enjoy the convenience.

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