A Well Stocked Kitchen - How to Stock Your Pantry, Cupboards, Fridge and Freezer

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A Well Stocked Kitchen - How to Stock Your Pantry, Cupboards, Fridge and Freezer

 Having a well-stocked kitchen is essential to make cooking healthy meals for your family easier.

 I love the satisfaction of having healthy, homemade meals made for my family (most nights of the month), however, that wouldn’t happen without some planning (meal planning) and preparation (stocking the kitchen with the right ingredients). 

 When we stock our cupboards, fridge and pantry full of the basics, we are going to be well equipped to get family-friendly or last-minute meals on the table. 

 I rarely have time to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a meal, so having staple food items on hand enable me to put together a meal quickly. 

 The Best Way to Stock Your Kitchen

When it comes to keeping the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked, the best way to stock your kitchen is to stick to what you regularly use. Don’t make the mistake of buying a ton of random things you rarely use because they end up cluttering up your space and costing $ that could be used elsewhere. 

 If you do happen to need those specialty items one day, then pick them up then, but there’s no point in cluttering up your pantry/fridge or freezer with items “just in case”. 

 Even with basic ingredients, you can whip up some really great meals. These items can be mixed and matched to come up with something delicious, nutritious and fast. Basic pantry staples can be very versatile. They can be used to create something gourmet or something simple, plus a lot of pantry staples have a long shelf life in your cupboards, fridge or freezer, so they’ll last a while. 

 Having a fully stocked kitchen with all your pantry essentials is great, but if you are unsure of how to use some of these staple ingredients, they won’t do you much good. Take some time learning how to pair different ingredients to make meals if you need to. 

 A great resource for helping you find a recipe for random ingredients you have on hand is at All Recipes. On this site, you can input the ingredients you have and it will recommend recipes that use those ingredients. 

Here are a few on my favourite pantry staples that are very versatile. 

o  Beans

o  Diced tomatoes

o  Canned salmon and tuna

o  Coconut milk


I’ve also included some ideas of how I like to use them to give you some meal ideas.

 Beans are a pantry staple in our house and are versatile, they’re good for you, they’re inexpensive and they’re filling. 

I tend to have dried beans in the pantry, cans of beans for last minute meals are also in the pantry, and soaked beans in the freezer for the days I have a little more time to prep the beans. 

 Dried beans can be cooked quickly in the Instant Pot if you need them in a hurry and are all out of canned beans. Plus, dried beans are cheaper.

I like to do a large batch of cooked beans and once they have cooled off, I separate them into smaller portions and freeze them. These are great for using later in soups, stews and chili. 

 With beans, you can make:

·      Soups

·      Chilies 

·      Salads

·      Enchiladas or Burritos

·      Bean Burgers

·      Curries

·      Baked Beans


 Another staple I keep on hand is diced tomatoes; with these you can make:

·      Soups

·      Chili

·      Pasta 

·      Stews

·      Salsa

·      Tomato sauce

·      Curries

·      Enchiladas

·      Chicken cacciatore 


 Ideas for canned salmon:

·      Salmon patties

·      Pasta

·      Creamed salmon on toast (a family favourite)

·      Cream soup

·      Salmon melts

·      Pitas, wraps and sandwiches

·      Pasta Salad

·      Salmon risotto

·      Salmon crepes


 Meal ideas for canned tuna:

·      Tuna cakes

·      Creamy pasta bake

·      Tuna melts

·      Tuna and bean salad

·      Tuna wraps 

·      Soup

·      Rice and tuna casserole

·      Tuna salad sandwiches

·      Curried tuna pita

·      Tuna pasta salad


 Coconut milk is versatile and can be used sweet or savoury in these type of recipes:

·      Soups

·      Curries

·      Smoothies

·      Creamy pasta

·      Baking

·      Rice or chia seed pudding

·      Hot chocolate

·      Breakfast porridge

·      Iced drinks and treats

 How to Stock Your Cupboards and Pantry

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Canned and Bottled Staples

·      Stocks

·      Salsa

·      Canned soup

·      Tomato paste

·      Tomato sauce

·      Pasta sauce

·      Diced tomatoes

·      Pesto

·      Bruschetta

·      Beans (a variety)

·      Lentils

·      Coconut milk

·      Canned salmon

·      Canned tuna

·      Canned chicken

·      Refried beans

·      Canned fruit

·      Jam

·      Nut butters

·      Milk substitutes

·      +

 Grains, Dried Beans and Rice

·      Rice

·      Oatmeal

·      Pasta

·      Bread crumbs

·      Couscous

·      Crackers

·      Corn meal

·      Popcorn

·      Lentils (dried)

·      +


·      Soy sauce

·      Ketchup 

·      Mustard (variety)

·      Salad dressings

·      BBQ sauce

·      Mayonnaise

·      Hot sauce

·      Pickles

·      Worcestershire sauce

·      Curry paste

·      Minced garlic

·      Minced ginger

·      +


·      Maple syrup

·      Honey

·      Molasses

·      Cane sugar

·      Brown sugar

·      Coconut sugar

·      Sugar substitute

·      +


·      Avocado

·      Coconut

·      Olive oil

·      +


·      Apple cider vinegar

·      Rice wine vinegar

·      Red wine vinegar

·      Balsamic vinegar

·      White vinegar

·      Specialty vinegar

·      +


·      Oregano

·      Basil

·      Thyme

·      Garlic

·      Minced, dried onion

·      Curry

·      Italian

·      Taco

·      Parsley

·      Greek

·      Chili powder

·      Onion powder

·      Cumin

·      Rosemary

·      Red pepper flakes

·      Marjoram

·      Bay leaves

·      Ginger

·      Dill

·      Pepper

·      Salt

·      +

 Freezer Staples

·      Frozen vegetables

·      Frozen fruit

·      Bread

·      English muffins

·      Pizza crusts

·      Tortillas

·      Broth (homemade)

·      Beef (variety)

·      Chicken (variety)

·      Other meat (pork, turkey, etc.)

·      Breakfast sausage

·      Bacon 

·      Cooked, shredded chicken

·      Cooked ground beef

·      Beef (variety)

·      Chicken (variety)

·      Other meat (pork, turkey, etc.)

·      Sausage and smokies

·      Tortellini and ravioli

·      Butter

·      Cheese (grated)

·      Refried beans

·      Soaked beans

·      Cooked beans

·      +

 Baking Staples

·      Flour (variety)

·      Baking powder

·      Baking soda

·      Corn starch 

·      Powdered milk

·      Unflavoured gelatin

·      Yeast

·      Cocoa

·      Salt

·      Chocolate chips

·      Bakers chocolate

·      Pumpkin puree

·      Apple sauce

·      Nuts and seeds (variety)

·      Dried fruit

·      Brown sugar 

·      White sugar

·      Coconut sugar

·      Sugar replacements

·      Molasses

·      Vanilla extract

·      Other extracts and flavours

·      +


·      Ginger

·      Cinnamon

·      All spice

·      Cardamom

·      Nutmeg

·      Cloves

·      +

 Fridge Basics

·      Milk

·      Yogurt

·      Sour cream

·      Parmesan cheese

·      Cheddar cheese

·      Butter

·      Vegetables (variety)

·      Fruit (variety)

·      +

 The list of items to stock your kitchen can be never ending. This is a fairly basic list, so if there are items on here that you wouldn’t eat, skip those items. If there are items missing, that you eat often, add them to the list.

 The point of having your cupboards, fridge and freezer stocked is so that you have items on hand that work for you, to make a meal. 

 Once your cupboards are well stocked, it will be easy to whip up a recipe because you’ll have everything you need. 

 What are some basic kitchen ingredients that you like to have on hand?