My Most Used Pantry Staples

Most Used Pantry Staples
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A well stocked pantry is a must for the cooking fiend like me. I enjoy cooking and baking on the fly with no recipe to follow and creatively utilizing what is in my pantry at-hand. Many of the staples I mention are used almost everyday and are a necessity at this point *no joke*. This post is to be used as a guide and is a personal representation of what I choose for myself. You can add or take away anything on this list as you choose to build your pantry!

My pantry is incredibly small and I have to be very strategic with the storage solutions I use and how I choose to use them. I wrote all about my favorite pantry storage solutions and where to find them here.

Want a comprehensive pantry staples printable list? Scroll down to the bottom where I have provided a printable list, just for you!

Sharing on the blog today my most used pantry staples, broken down into their respective categories.

Most Used Pantry Staples


  • Olive oil spray
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Low sodium chicken stock
  • White wine vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar

I am a sucker for easy and convenience, so olive oil in spray form is ideal. I have used many cooking oils, but my favorites for taste are EVOO and standard olive oil. In a pinch when you need a white wine, white wine vinegar is an A+ substitute. Red wine vinegar is another game changer, and used heavily in my homemade salad dressing.

Most Used Pantry Staples


  • Dried thyme
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Bay leaves
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne
  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried parsley
  • Dried basil
  • Sweet onion
  • White onion
  • Garlic

Of course some of these spices will not appeal to everyone. Heavy rotation in my pantry includes salt + pepper (duh!), thyme, parsley, oregano, garlic, and sweet onion. Basil and garlic are my go-to for Italian inspired dishes, and my favorite enchilada recipe can easily be made with a homemade taco seasoning using the spices listed above.

Most Used Pantry Staples


  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Cannellini beans
  • Black beans
  • Sweet corn
  • Red kidney beans

Tomato sauce is used in about 85% of all my cooking. You want a pasta bake, pizza night, meatballs, lasagna, chili, soup…you get the idea. It’s a lifeline and a pantry essential. Throw your favorite legumes in and you have a party! My go-to’s are black beans (yum by themselves!), cannellini beans (hearty and flavorful), and red kidney beans (the star of my chili recipe).

Most Used Pantry Staples


  • Salsa
  • Mayo
  • Soy sauce
  • Bread and butter pickles
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dijon mustard

I think condiments are a very personal choice and everyone has their favorite combos. TIP: If you are in a pinch, an easy way to make my favorite honey mustard includes equal parts honey, mayonnaise, and dijon or yellow mustard.

Most Used Pantry Staples


  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cornstarch
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Granulated sugar

I love to bake and would say I am a novice. I bake the bare minimum and the pantry staples listed reflect that. Hopefully in the future I will gain more confidence with baking breads, doughs, and desserts and my pantry staples will grow. I use all purpose flour for roux, sugar in my tomato sauces for pasta and pizzas, and honey for my red wine vinegar based salad dressings.

Most Used Pantry Staples


  • Sweet potato
  • Yukon potato
  • Dried pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Wheat thins

I try to keep my carb intake on the lower end, eating starches in moderation. But, did you know not all carbohydrates are created equal? I tend to eat more sweet potatoes than pasta, yellow potatoes, or rice, because they are lower in carbs, high beta carotene levels (why sweet potato and carrots are orange), and high in fiber. I roast sweet potatoes as a base for chili, soups, in place of noodles or rice dishes, and my favorite, sweet potato fries.

Tell me your favorite pantry staples! Do you have a similar pantry as me? Let’s start a conversation in the comment below.


Megan is the author behind M & Bee, helping almost thirty-somethings create simple & relatable recipes, productivity tips, and budget-friendly DIY ideas for your home and life.

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