15 Household Staples You Should Always Stock in Your Pantry
Begone, dinnertime disasters! Having this collection of household staples at the ready will ensure that a delicious meal makes it on the table—no matter what.
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With their fragile skins and watery seeds, tomatoes are a pain to cut. Reduce the prep time on any recipe that includes this juicy red produce, like this delicious Italian pot roast, by stocking up on convenient canned diced tomatoes.
Frozen mixed veggies come in many assortments: classic, stir-fry, Italian-style, southwest—you name it. Any one of them is handy when you’re looking to make your quick dish a little healthier. These frozen veggie recipes make them taste almost fresh!
Broths aren’t just for wintertime soups. Keep a stash of chicken, vegetable and beef broths year-round for flavoring meats like these slow-cooked ribs, pastas and casseroles.
Any dish becomes heartier with the addition of rice—whether it’s white, brown or wild. And rice is just about the easiest side ever. Simply shake on a mix of your favorite seasonings, and you’ll be scraping your plate. Added bonus: it’s also one of the easiest ingredients to help recession-proof your pantry. Here’s how to make perfect rice.
Beans really are the magic fruit. By keeping a couple cans in your pantry, you have access to an inexpensive source of protein at all times. We suggest stowing cannellini, kidney, black, navy and garbanzo beans. Then go to town on these budget-friendly dishes that start with a can of beans.
Penne, spaghetti, bowtie, rotini—there’s no limit to the pasta shapes you can try! Stockpile whichever type you prefer for an easy entree or side. We recommend keeping some Asian varieties, like ramen and egg noodles, too.
Pile meatballs onto your favorite pasta dish for an instantly heartier dinner. (Our Test Kitchen found the best frozen meatballs!) Not in the mood for Italian food? Don’t worry—meatballs aren’t just for marinara! In fact, they’re handy to have for all types of cuisines—try ’em as sweet-and-sour meatballs.
Consider keeping cans of these golden kernels in your cupboard or a bag of these veggies in your freezer. Both options are a fantastic year-round substitute for everyone’s favorite summertime treat. Then toss them in one of these healthy corn recipes.
Pasta sauce is an obvious necessity for quick-prep pasta dinners, but it’s also a valuable ingredient to have on hand for meat loaf, sandwiches and even soups. We especially love it in this chunky turkey chili recipe.
Like potatoes, most varieties of this veggie don’t require refrigeration, but they do pack a punch of flavor. Red onions, white onions, yellow onions, sweet onions and shallots are all meal-makers. Pro tip: Here’s how to cut an onion without crying.
Although eggs need to be stored in the fridge (unless you’re European and keep your eggs on the counter), they’re worth the space. Eggs can be used as binders in items like meatballs, as a thickener in sauces and custards, or simply as a dish on their own.
Thanks to its high smoke point, smoothness and mild flavor, canola oil is the most versatile variety of oil and therefore a good option to keep close by.
You can’t store fresh chicken in your pantry, so the next best thing is storing the chicken of the sea. Canned tuna, which is typically white albacore tuna, is tasty in salads, casseroles, sandwiches and other family favorites. Cook up this 5-star tuna casserole with it for dinner tomorrow!
Not only is cider vinegar useful for adding tang to sandwiches, salads and even some desserts, but it is also great for household cleaning and beauty care, along with other unexpected benefits. You can’t beat that!