Bec’s Pantry Staples

An image of a pantry with the doors open showing what's inside

Here’s an example of the pantry staples or foods I try to keep on hand. The photo is of my cooking school pantry, and there are more things here than I’d keep in my home.   You may notice there are rows of flour, sugar and the like.  That’s so no one has to wait in line when they’re making their recipes.

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Here’s a list of what I keep on hand so I can be creative and whip up meals fast. It’s a hefty list, but someone’s got to do it.  I don’t like to shop every day.  I know some of you do, but it’s not the part I like about feeding people. To prevent me from having to pop down the shops every day or so I keep a good variety of items on hand.  Items that don’t go off quickly of course.

If I didn’t have a cooking school, I could get away with a week to 10 days between shopping visits.  As it is, I’m at the shops at least once a week and usually twice because of purchasing fresh food for classes.

jars and kitchen equipment kept in a pantry
A very simple pantry – not like mine at all 🙂

Green grocery staples

  • Onions (Pantry)
  • Carrots (Fridge)
  • Celery (Fridge)
  • Potatoes (Pantry away from the onions)
  • Lemons (Pantry)
  • And of course, anything that’s in season that looks great when you go shopping.
  • The above list I make sure I have on hand, but I get quite a wide variety of fruit and veg.
    1. Salad type veg, mushrooms  (Fridge)
    2. Brassicas and the like  (Fridge)
    3. Root veg carrots, beets, etc (Pantry)
    4. Ginger, garlic, shallots, etc.  (Pantry same shelf as the onions)

Dairy Cabinet staples

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Philly
  • Cream
  • Sour cream
  • Yoghurt (I make my own but any plain with no added sugar will do, you can always add sweetness if needed.)
  • Cheese a tasty, mozzarella and parmesan are handy to have on hand. I also rotate with feta, the ones that come in small packs that have a great use-by date. People that know me know I have a cheese draw in my fridge. It’s where others might keep meat, but mine has cheese, very handy when people drop in unexpected.  Hubby and I eat a lot less meat these days anyway.
  • Preserved meats include Salami, Chorizo, Bacon (These can be frozen if it helps.)

Pantry staples

  • Salt (I use Pink Murray) and a Kosher salt for recipes that need it
  • Flour: Plain and Bakers mainly but self-raising, wholemeal and others at will.
  • Pasta: Spaghetti, fettuccine and rigatoni and dried lasagne or cannelloni tubes
  • Rice: Basmati, Thai, jasmine or glutinous, Arborio
  • Grains: Quinoa, couscous and oats
  • Pulses: Puy lentils, red lentils
  • Stock: chicken, vegetable and beef, Asian, Italian for this I make something like the standard Thermomix vegi stock but I add things like my herb blend sundried tomato, olives etc, or Umami powdered. Note – Homemade stock needs to be kept in the fridge or freezer. I love continental stock pots. Check them out next time you’re at the supermarket.
  • Milk powder, coconut powder
  • Tortillas, pita bread or mountain bread (I often make my own flatbread, they’re pretty easy)
  • Oils: Olive, sunflower, sesame, and coconut
  • Vinegar: Red wine, white wine, and Apple Cider.  Plain old white for cleaning etc
  • Mustards: Hot English and Dijon, seeded as well if you like
  • Tinned Beans: Kidney, Cannellini, chickpeas
  • Tinned: Tomatoes, tuna, and anchovies.
  • Sauces: Mine if you make it or any good quality tomato, Passata (Good Quality), light soy, Worcestershire, oyster sauce, ketchup Manis, fish sauce, Plum or hoisin sauce, Chilli sauce and or harissa. I use tomato paste sachets because I don’t tend to use these too much and I was always throwing out 1/2 used containers.
  • Olives
  • Pastes: I love Maesri Asian Pastes. Red, Green, Masaman are what you can find at the supermarkets near me. But check out your local Asian supermarket, there are more.
  • Spices: I have a large variety, but if I were told I had to cut down, these would be my staples. Coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne for heat.  Most of the spices I have in my home pantry are pre-blends I make myself, they make the job of quick evening meals so much faster and take all the guesswork out of balancing flavours when you’re in a hurry. Here’s a handy herb blend and of course if you think it’s something you’d like to do I’ve got a range of spice blends you can check out here.
  • Honey, marmalade, jam (raspberry comes in handy for baking)
  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, raw cashews
  • Seeds: Pepita, sunflower, sesame, poppy
  • Dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, sultanas, currants, dates etc
  • Coconut cream

I think I’ve got everything!

Want to know more?

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  1. How do you store your root vege in the pantry Bec. I was told to keep them in the fridge? Or do just buy a small amount at a time? Only two of us to cook for these days.. plus tomatoes are tasteless and seem under ripe any hints other than home grown. O

    1. Hi Lyn, I shop once a week. I keep my potatoes and onions in the pantry but in two separate cupboards. I’ve got a post on onions here. https://becs-table.com.au/onion/ That will explain why. I agree tomatoes are a bit tastless when they’re not kissed by the sun. I don’t keep tomatoes in the fridge, I only buy what I will use over a week and keep them in a bowl. Putting tomatoes in the fridge will reduce their flavour and make the texture a bit floury. During winter I buy Solanato Tomatoes from Woolworths and leave them on the bench. I think they have a bit more flavour. Other than that, when I need tomatoes in cooked dishes, I use tinned. I like Annalisa whole tomatoes. Not watery and loads of flavour.

  2. Fantastic list. Thanks for sharing that great information on staples. I try and squeeze most of those staples in my pantry and fridge lol. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  3. Fantastic listing Bec, you may want to add currants and sultanas to your dried fruit? Cheers Jude

  4. Awesomely comprehensive list here Bec! Thanks for taking time to make the post and enrich my pantry/fridge with helpful cooking essentials!

    1. My pleasure Jane. It’s hard to be creative if you’ve got no ingredients in the pantry. heheheeee 😉

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