Do you ever read a recipe that sounds amazing and then see that you literally need to buy EVERYTHING on the ingredient list from the store to make it? I am often deterred from some recipes that I’m sure are amazing because I just simply don’t want to put that much effort into going to the grocery store and hunting everything down. I guess you could say I’ve gotten a bit wiser over the last few months, as I’ve established a list of “must-have” items that recipes consistently call for. I keep these items stocked in my cabinet so I don’t have to go out and buy them every time they’re needed. I only chose 5 to get us started, but hopefully in the future I’ll post an extended list. So here we go!
- Olive Oil– your launching point for recipes requiring sautéing items like onion and garlic, as well as recipes needing a flavor enhancement. Can be used in lieu of a nonstick cooking spray, and has added health benefits such as increasing satiety and decreasing your risk of heart disease.
- Onions– I typically have a handful of white or yellow in our pantry. Of course, I buy them in bulk from Sam’s Club and use them in soups, stir-frys, casseroles, and pasta dishes, and other meals. I’m pretty sure we eat a few whole onions a week in this house. They have a pretty good shelf life, so buying in bulk isn’t a bad idea if you’re able to find them.
- Garlic– Keeping in queue with the onions, I can’t tell you how many recipes I have read that start with “sauté onion and garlic.” It’s just easier to keep on hand than to run to the store when seemingly every recipe calls for it!
- Chicken Broth– We use low sodium in our household (always trying to debloat it seems!), but this item is a staple for many slow-cooker meals, soups, casseroles, etc. It’s been easier to always have it and buy when I don’t need it than to google substitutions for it because I’m determined to follow through with what I planned to make.
- Diced Tomatoes– Not only can these be a great addition to a pot of hodgepodge soup, but many recipes actually do want you to have them on hand. Chilis, Italian dishes, and some of my favorite slow-cooker meals have garnered me an army of canned diced tomatoes in my pantry.
While this is in no way a complete list, they are the top 5 items my kitchen calls for. Hopefully these will help you avoid skipping out on that next recipe you want to try because of something you don’t have on hand.