The Pantry


A stocked pantry can make a world of difference when it comes to home cooking. When you have the staples and basic ingredients so frequently needed in most recipes, you'll save time, money and a lot of frustration. Cooking is easier and a lot more fun when you have what you need. The lists below are staples (and my favorite specialty items) that I keep on hand in my pantry, fridge and freezer. It's an exhaustive list, and by no means do I suggest anybody run out and buy everything at once. I've separated what I use frequently from the items I don't cook with as often. Consider this list a peek into what keeps my kitchen running. If you plan to cook from my blog regularly, this is a great reference guide for the types of ingredients you can expect to come across. Always prioritize shopping decisions based on what works for your kitchen space, budget, and the kind of food that you cook most!


*Indicates item is refrigerated/frozen or refrigerated once opened.


Cooking Oils & Fats

Frequently Used:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Grape seed oil, canola oil, safflower oil or equivalent high smoke point neutral cooking oils
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Peanut oil
Ghee or clarified butter
Butter, European style*
Non-stick cooking spray

Other:
Rendered bacon fat*
Rendered duck fat*
Pork leaf lard*
Beef tallow*
Red palm oil
Sesame oil
Shortening
Finishing oils, various flavors
Finishing/compound butters, various flavors*


Vinegars & Wines

Frequently Used:
Apple cider vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Sherry vinegar

Other:
Distilled white vinegar
White wine vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Rice wine vinegar
Balsamic glaze
Finishing vinegars, various flavors
Marsala wine, dry or sweet
Red wine, dry (typically Cabernet; others vary by recipe)
White wine, dry (typically Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc; others vary by recipe)


Salts

Frequently Used:
Kosher salt, coarse
Sea salt, coarse or fine

Other:
Flaked sea salt, for finishing (such as Maldon)
Smoked sea salt and other infused salts, for finishing


Sweeteners

Frequently Used:
Granulated cane sugar
Brown sugar, light & dark
Real maple syrup (dark/robust)
Honey
Molasses

Other:
Coconut palm sugar
Agave nectar
Demerara (raw) sugar, for finishing
Powdered sugar


Flours, Grains & Baking Ingredients

Frequently Used:
All-purpose flour, organic/unbleached
Cake flour
White Lily all-purpose flour, not self-rising
Aluminum-free double-acting baking powder
Baking soda
Corn starch
Minute tapioca
Cornmeal
Stone ground grits/polenta
Panko bread crumbs, seasoned
Dried pastas, various
Rice (typically Jasmine rice or parboiled long grain rice)

Other:
Almond flour
Coconut flour
Pasta flour (semolina blend)
Pasta flour ("00")
Bread flour
Couscous (typically Israeli)
Other grains (Farro, Freekah, Quinoa, Millet)
Oats
Arrowroot powder
Saltine crackers
Active dry yeast or instant yeast
Cream of tartar


Miscellaneous Baking Ingredients

Frequently Used:
Pure vanilla extract
Unflavored gelatin
Coffee

Other:
Tea
Cocoa powder
Baking chocolate squares
Almond extract
Lavender extract
Rosewater



Canned Goods & Non-Perishables

Frequently Used:
Canned tomatoes (whole, crushed, diced, puree)
Tomato paste
Prepared marinara sauce
Anchovies
Canned beans, various
Dried beans, various
Stocks, various (*frozen when homemade)
Preserved lemons 

Other:
Clam juice
Lobster juice
Canned pumpkin
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Roasted red peppers
Dried mushrooms
Pickles*
Olives, various*
Capers*

Nuts, Seeds & Dried Fruit

Various raw nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios)
Nut butters (almond, cashew or peanut)
Tahini paste
Sesame seeds
Raisins, typically golden
Currants
Sun dried tomatoes
Pitted dates
Other dried fruit (figs, apricots, cranberries)
Shredded coconut (typically unsweetened)



Sauces & Condiments

Duke’s Mayo*
Soy sauce, Tamari or liquid coconut aminos*
Mustard (Dijon, whole grain, yellow)*
Worcestershire sauce*
Hot sauces, various
Harissa*
Fruit jam or preserves*
Ketchup*
Fish sauce*
Thai red curry paste*
Liquid Smoke

Dairy & Non-Dairy Replacements

Frequently Used:
Whole milk*
Buttermilk, full fat when possible*
Heavy whipping cream*
Coconut milk (canned)
Parmigiana Reggiano cheese wedge
Soft cheeses, like cream cheese, goat cheese, mascarpone
Crumbled cheeses, like feta or queso fresco
Hard cheeses (sliced or blocks; not pre-shredded)

Other:
Almond or cashew milk, unsweetened*
Half & half*
Sour cream or crème fraîche*
Plain yogurt, full fat* (typically Greek)


Other Produce & Cooking Vegetables

Frequently Used:
Eggs*
Bacon*
Lemons (regular or Meyer)*
Limes*
Oranges*
Tomatoes, fresh (heirloom, cherry, plum/Roma)
Fresh hot peppers (jalapeno, serrano, scotch bonnet or habanero)*
Onions (yellow, white, red, sweet)
Celery*
Carrots*
Bell peppers*
Garlic, peeled cloves* or whole bulbs
Shallots
Leeks*
Scallions*
Ginger root*
Sweet potatoes
White potatoes (red skin, Yukon Gold, fingerling or Russet)

Other:
Galangal*
Lemongrass*
Turmeric root*
Frozen spinach*
Pancetta*
Tasso ham*
Smoked turkey (wings or necks)*
Smoked pork (ham hocks, neckbones)*
Beef bones, for stock*




Fresh Herbs

Frequently Used:
Flat-leaf parsley*
Cilantro*
Thyme*
Basil*
Mint*
Rosemary*
Sage*
Chives*


Other:
Bay leaves*
Tarragon*
Dill*
Oregano*
Thai basil*
Lemon thyme*


Dried Spices & Herbs

Frequently Used:
All-purpose seasoning salt
Allspice berries (whole or ground)
Apple pie spice blend
Bay leaves
Black peppercorns (ground or whole)
Cajun blend

Cardamom, black (ground or whole)
Cayenne pepper
Chile peppers, dried (ground or whole, typically Ancho, Chipotle, Guajillo, New Mexico)
Cinnamon (ground or sticks)
Cloves (ground or whole)
Coriander (ground or whole seeds)
Curry powder, Indian
Curry powder, Jamaican
Crushed red pepper
Cumin (ground or whole seeds)
Garlic (powder or granulated)
Nutmeg (whole)
Onion (powder or dehydrated flakes)
Oregano (Mexican, Mediterranean)
Paprika (regular, hot or sweet smoked)
Pumpkin spice blend
Ras el hanout (Moroccan blend)
Saffron threads
Thyme (dried or ground)
Turmeric, ground
White pepper (ground)

Other: Anise seeds 
Bell’s poultry seasoning 
Celery seed 
Chili powder Dill, dried
Fennel seeds
Fenugreek seeds
Green peppercorns
Herbes de Provence 
Italian herb blend
Lavender
Lemon pepper
Lemon zest, dried
Mustard seeds, brown or yellow
Old Bay
Orange zest, dried
Pink peppercorns
Rose petals, food grade
Suya spice (Nigerian)
Tomato powder
Various miscellaneous specialty blends