Dried foods in glass jars on a pantry shelf (with logo overlay)

Pantry Staples for Every Kitchen + FREE Checklist

There’s nothing worse than starting a recipe and not having basic ingredients. Print this checklist to make sure you have all of the pantry staples!

We’ve spent the last few weeks going over some of the basics when it comes to cooking and the supplies you use. Now let’s make sure you have all of the pantry staples before you start cooking and realize you are out of essential foods.

This is an extensive list, but it’s assuming you are working with an empty pantry. It can also be used as a checklist to make sure you have the basics. These are the foods that I make sure to never run out of. As soon as they start to get low, they immediately go on the shopping list.

Since this list is all pantry items, they are mostly foods that have a pretty long shelf-life. Trust me, one container of baking soda will last a long time. I’ve only bought it a few times in the last few years.

This list of pantry staples is also great for when you move. A lot of times you will use up a lot of the food or not want to pack it up. It’s a great list to start with when you go grocery shopping for the first time in your new home.

Originally Published On: April 24, 2018

Last Updated On: March 13, 2020

List of Pantry Staples

  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Bread
  • Brown sugar
  • Canned beans (pinto, black, refried)
  • Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
  • Cider or white vinegar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Dry milk
  • Flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Oats
  • Olive oil
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Rice
  • Salt
  • Tomato sauce, paste, and canned tomatoes
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil

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When working in the kitchen, it helps to make sure you have the correct equipment. The following items are hand-selected for this post and are all items I have personally used and/or recommend.

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To help keep all of your staples lasting longer, it helps to make sure they are in airtight containers. Obviously, anything that’s canned is already airtight as long as it isn’t opened yet. But once you open something, you want to make sure it’s sealed well so it doesn’t go bad before you can use it.

I prefer to transfer everything to containers as soon as I get it home. I’ve even started putting the flour and sugar into them right away. A few years ago we ended up getting bugs in the pantry. They got into everything that wasn’t airtight including the bags that the flour and sugar are packaged in.

I also use a lot of mason jars and leftover glass jars. Anytime we use up something in glass, I clean the jar and save it for later.

The airtight containers can get expensive if you try to purchase all at once. So I got one new set every time I went to the store until I had what I wanted. I am still short a few pieces. But I am working on transitioning away from plastic.

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46 thoughts on “Pantry Staples for Every Kitchen + FREE Checklist”

  1. I have a lot less pantry staples than you, but some how WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF IN OUR PANTRIES! LOL!!! I don’t know how that happened – ha! My staples: canned fish, olive oil, erythritol, herbs and spices… And um, for me that’s like IT – but my husband has some stuff in there I don’t even look at!

  2. This is a great list! We just moved to a new state and our kitchen is being remodeled, so I have very few of these things but once it’s done, I’ll be checking this list.

  3. I have been working on reorganizing my pantry — it’s been a slow process. The upside is I know what i have and what I need to purchase.

  4. My pantry is shamefully bare. I rarely cook at home so my cupboards are filled with ketchup and soy sauce packets. I have to do better. I like the idea of transferring dry goods into air-tight containers. I do that with my sugar, which I keep on my counter for easy coffee service access. Pancake mix too, now that I think about it. I love pancakes.

  5. Before we were told to stay home, we didn’t even think twice about what was in our pantry. Now we’re all about keeping it stocked with essentials! Plus a whole lot of baking stuff for me 🙂

    1. I’ve always thought a bit about what was in there, since we cook from home so much. But this has really brought the idea to light recently. Especially when I can’t get some of my staples.

    1. Definitely! We’ve had a harder time finding bread right now, so when I do I buy 2 loaves and freeze one. I don’t like freezing bread most of the time, but it’s better than not having any!

  6. Yep all things we try to always have on hand. When my husband says “we have nothing to eat” Im like nope we have tons 🙂

  7. It is so important to keep pantry staples available at all times. There is nothing worse than missing a key ingredient at the last minute!

    1. I use this list any time I feel like we are starting to really run low on things in the pantry to make sure I don’t miss something on the grocery list.

  8. Stephanie Cruz

    This reminded me to raid our pantry and see if we’re missing something. haha thanks for the checklist!

  9. These are all must haves for the pantry! I love the checklist. I am doing some organizing this weekend so I will put it to use!!!

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