Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |

I don’t know if the new year is inspiring people to cook at home more often, but I’ve gotten more emails in the past month about the foods I keep my kitchen stocked with than ever before.

Well, you asked, and I answered! I thought a post highlighting the freezer, fridge and pantry staples you’ll always find in my kitchen, which I use to create easy, everyday meals with, would be the perfect topic to kick off my new “Back to Basics” blogging series. Every so often I’ll answer your basic cooking questions like how to perfectly cook rice, and how to saute chicken so it doesn’t turn into shoe leather.

Friends, it is possible!

If you have a Back to Basics post request, please leave it in the comments section below! 

As I mentioned, today’s Back to Basics post covers the freezer, fridge, and pantry staples I always have on hand to make everything from soups, to casseroles, stir frys and more. Stock up on these essentials and you’ll be shocked at how easily you’re able to build a meal, and how little you’re able to buy at the grocery store each week. I swear my list is normally fewer than 15 items long, and most of them are fresh produce.

Remember, this isn’t a full inventory of what I have in my kitchen (you won’t find regular weekly purchases like milk and eggs, or snacks in this list,) rather it’s the staples you can easily add fresh ingredients to, to build healthy, wholesome meals.

(Also remember that a “well-stocked” kitchen doesn’t mean a “well-organized” kitchen. Full disclosure – I definitely cleaned up for you guys!)


Freezer Staples

Stock up on fruits and veggies to make smoothies and stir frys on the fly. Buy meat and fish on sale then thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before you want to use. Reheat bagels and breads for 20 seconds in the microwave, wrapped in a paper towel, then toast like normal.

  • Vegetables: corn, edamame, peas
  • Fruit/berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon/fish
  • English muffins/bagels
  • Hash browns
  • Baguettes/bread

Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |


Fridge Staples

These long-lasting items are staples in my fridge. (I know some people don’t store potatoes in the fridge, but I do!)

  • Butter
  • Jam
  • Potatoes
  • Tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Bacon
  • Dijon mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Buffalo sauce

Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |


Canned Goods / Shelf-Stable Items

These items are great for making soups, stews, pastas, crock pot meals, and casseroles.

  • Chicken broth
  • Marinara sauce
  • Tomato sauce
  • Petite diced tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Baked beans
  • Canned artichoke hearts
  • Chipotles in adobo
  • Coconut milk
  • Salsa
  • Peanut butter
  • Brown basmati rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Wild rice blend
  • Pasta – spaghetti + cut pasta like rotini, orzo, gemelli, or rigatoni
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup

Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |


Baking Staples

You should be able to make any basic cookie or cake recipe with the following items on hand.

  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dried fruit/nuts
  • Old fashioned oats
  • Corn starch
  • Yeast

Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |


Seasoning Staples

These are the most common spices called for in most recipes I use. I’ve also included everything you need to make your own taco seasoning and seasoned salt!

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried parsley
  • Paprika
  • Grill seasoning
  • Red chili pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |


Oils / Vinegar Staples

The following oils and vinegar will let you create and cook everything from salad dressings, to basic sautes and stir frys.

  • Nonstick spray
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Almond or grapeseed oil
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Low-sodium soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari
  • Rice vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar


Counter Staples

Garlic and shallots/onions seem to find their way into everything I cook. I always keep a big bowl of them on the counter.

  • Garlic
  • Shallots/onion


Food Storage / Protection Staples*

Store food in the fridge and freezer, and more using these food storage staples.

  • Foil
  • Glad Press ‘n’ Seal
  • Parchment paper
  • Ziplock freezer bags – gallon and quart-size
  • Ziplock sandwich bags
  • Wax paper

Secrets of a Well Stocked Kitchen |