The Culinary Corner: Items Every Pantry, Fridge, and Spice Rack Should Have

The Culinary Corner: Items Every Pantry, Fridge, and Spice Rack Should Have | Positively Smitten

When first starting out (or re-starting if the case may be), beginning a pantry is an essential some overlook. Having a decently stocked pantry will make it easier to cope with and ensure your weekly grocery trips are relatively painless. Here is a compiled list of things one should stock in their kitchen.

The Pantry Items

Fats, Vinegars, Others

  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Oil, Flavorful (like toasted sesame, walnut, truffle)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • White Vinegar (good for cleaning as well)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce (include other Asian sauce bases if you tend to like Asian based dishes)
  • Capers
  • Mustards
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • A-1/Barbeque/Other sauces you use regularly
  • Salsa
  • Tabasco/Buffalo Wing Sauce

Grains and Baking Products

  • AP Flour
  • Cake Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • White Sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Other Sweeteners you use regularly
  • Cornstarch
  • Yeast
  • Rolled Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Brown Rice
  • White Rice
  • 2-4 types of Pasta
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Sprinkles
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Yellow Corn Meal
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk

Proteins, Vegetables, Fruits

  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • White Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Dried Lentils
  • Tuna
  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
  • Other canned meats you prefer and may need in an emergency
  • Chicken/Beef/Vegetable Broth (2, each)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pecans/Walnuts/Peanuts
  • Tahini
  • Dried Fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • (Basically 2-4 cans of any vegetable or fruit you eat regularly)


  • Water, gallons
  • Water, bottles
  • Any juice or drink mixes you use regularly
  • Onions
  • Potatoes (keep potatoes and onions separate and both require dry places out of direct sunlight)

Chilled Basics


  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Orange Juice
  • Eggs
  • Wine, white
  • Wine, red
  • Sharp Cheddar


  • Meat/Poultry, purchase on sale and break down into 1-2 serving packages
  • Bacon
  • Frozen fruit
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Pepper and Onion Mix
  • Frozen juices
  • Frozen waffles
  • Frozen Quick Meals for tired evenings



(All dried spices should be replaced every 3-6 months.)

  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger, crystallized and/or ground
  • Cumin
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Chili Powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Mustard, dried
  • Sage
  • Cayenne
  • Spice mixes you use regularly (including taco mix or any steak seasoning)
  • Lemon and Lime Zests
  • Curry Powders

Hopefully this helps! When you first do this, begin a list to help you stock it up easier, and keep an inventory. Having a fully stocked pantry will definitely give you peace of mind in case of emergencies and ease in making your weekly menu and grocery list!

Photo credit NKZS.


One response to “The Culinary Corner: Items Every Pantry, Fridge, and Spice Rack Should Have

  1. This article is SUPER helpful for me! So often I have something I’d like to make for dinner or a recipe in one of my cookbooks I’d like to try, only to discover that I’m missing a certain critical spice or something else — so that idea goes out the window. When I can’t cook a nice meal on a whim like that, I feel less creative and more like I stick to my same, basic meals. Referencing this list next time I go shopping will make my kitchen experiences much more exciting!


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