Keeping your pantry organized will save you precious time when prepping your weekly meal plan.
Living an organized life style doesn’t happen by mere chance. The manner in which you live is a choice you have to make.@CynthiaBrandel
My two tweens are continually combing through the kitchen cabinets looking for something to eat. Without a stocked pantry, I wouldn’t be able to meet their growing needs.
Whether you are setting up your first pantry or stocking up the pantry you’ve used for the last ten or so years, a pantry checklist is an excellent place to start!
No two pantries are the same, so please read the list below and modify to meet your needs.
Dried Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices can be used in just about every dish. They are a great way to add flavor while cutting down on your sodium intake.
Many of the herbs I use, I grow in the garden. During harvest, I hang them to dry so that I will have them for use throughout the year.
Below are the herbs and spices I keep on hand.
Allspice – Used for pickling and spice mixes.
Basil *-Added to soups and sauces
Bay Leaf – Used frequently in soups and sauces.
Caraway Seed – Used in sauerkraut, potato salad, and loaves of bread.
Cayenne Pepper* – Used to heat up a dish. Add to chili, soups, and eggs.
Chili Power-Added to beans, sauces & marinades
Chinese Five-Spice Powder – a mixture of spices used for marinades
Cinnamon – Used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Cloves – Used in spice mixes and marinades.
Coriander Seed – Used frequently with chicken and fish.
Cumin – Add to rice or potatoes.
Curry Powder– Added to tonics, sauces, chicken & rice
Garlic Powder – Used in a variety of dishes, soups & sauces.
Ginger* – Added to chicken noodle soup as well as sauces and chicken
Nutmeg – Used in baked goods as well as with spice mixes
Old Bay – a mixture of spices, used with seafood
Oregano* – Add to chicken, pork & fish.
Paprika – Used in stews and spice mixes as well as a garnish.
Pumpkin Pie Spice– Used in baking as well as on sweet potatoes
Rosemary* – Added to marinades or baked with chicken or pork.
Saffron – Used with rice dishes as well as sauces
Sage* – Used with chicken, dressing, and Italian style dishes
Turmeric – Added to tonics as well as rice and beans.
Thyme* – Used in a variety of dishes.
*Can be grown in your garden and stored for later use
Salt & Pepper
Salt and pepper are the two main staples of any kitchen. However, when you go to the grocery store, you are presented with a wide variety.
Different salts and peppers are used for different things. The ones you keep on hand will depend on your food preferences.
Table salt, iodized -fine ground, used in a variety of dishes
Kosher salt-flake/coarse ground, used for marinating meats
Sea salt grinder– used in place of table salt in a variety of dishes
Himalayan pink salt-used during the cooking process & mixed drinks
Pickling salt-used in brines and spice mixes
Black peppercorn grinder-used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes
Green peppercorn grinder-used in brines and spice mixes
White peppercorn grinder-used in white sauces & white dishes
Oils & Vinegar
Oils and vinegar have been around since before biblical times.
They not only add flavor to your food, but they also add different nutrients that your body needs to remain healthy.
Olive oil (cold compressed)– low acidity, used in a variety of dishes
Extra virgin olive oil– 1% acidity, fruity undertones
Virgin olive oil-1% to 3% acidity, earthy undertones
Pure olive oil– flavorless
Light olive oil-little flavor, used in mayonnaise and high-heat cooking
Canola oil– used for sauces, baked goods and mayonnaise
Sunflower oil– used in salad dressings & as a substitute for Canola oil
Vegetable oil– used for deep-frying & a variety of dishes
Nut oils-used as a finisher as well as in dressings & marinades
Peanut oil– used for deep-frying, stir-frying and roasting
Coconut oil– used in a variety of dishes
Grapeseed oil– used in dressings, dips, sauces & mayonnaise
Sesame oil– used in soups, dressings, and stir-frying
White Vinegar– used in pickling and cleaning
Apple Cider Vinegar– used in salads, dressings & marinades
Wine Vinegar– used in sauces, marinades, & dressings
Balsamic Vinegar– used in sauces, marinades & dressings
Rice Vinegar-used in sauces, dressings, rice & noodle dishes
Malt Vinegar-used in pickling and as a finisher
Flour & Sweeteners
Used for baking & gravy making, flour is an essential must-have for any well-stocked pantry.
Unless specifically labeled “whole-wheat”, all four is considered white flour.
And what proper kitchen doesn’t have a cup of sugar? Sugars are used in a variety of recipes and add a little sweetness to your life.
All-purpose four-used in a variety of recipes
Bread flour-used for bread making
Self-rising flour-used with baking
Granulated sugar– used in a variety of recipes
Powdered sugar– used in baking
Light brown sugar– a topping for sweet potatoes as well as other recipes
Dark brown sugar– used in syrups, cookies, and pies
Sugar substitute– used in a variety of recipes
Honey – a healthier alternative to sugar
Pancake syrup – used as a topper
Molasses – used in a variety of recipes
Cookies and sweets are a must in my house!
We have a cookie jar that lives permanently on the kitchen counter.
Other than cookies, I love to make homemade bread. There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread first thing in the morning.
Cream of tartar– used as a stiffener for egg whites
Cocoa powder – used in a variety of recipes
Baking soda – used for baking bread and cookies
Baking powder – used in a variety of recipes
Vanilla extract – used in a variety of recipes
Powdered milk – used for bread making
Evaporated milk – used for pies
Sweetened condensed milk – used for pies and icing
Yeast packets – used in recipes requiring yeast
Rice & Pasta
An easy to store item, rice and noodles are a staple in any well-stocked kitchen.
Served on the side, or as part of the main course, they are a quick and easy addition to any meal.
All pasta and noodles can be used in a variety of recipes.
Long grain white rice
Wild rice blends
A variety of beverages are important in adding diversity to your diet.
Keeping a variety of beverages on hand will help to encourage healthy drinking habits.
Coffee granulated or bean
Tea for large brew
Tea for single cup
There are many more items you could add to this list, but these are the items I keep on hand at all times.
Staying organized and running a household is not easy—especially if you have kids (or tweens!).
Keeping a stocked pantry ensures you have all the items you need when you sit down and prepare your weekly meal plan.