Your pantry is an essential element in your kitchen that helps keep your family fed. If you don’t have it stocked appropriately, then you might find yourself in need at some point. Especially if the world stops for a Pandemic or even a snowstorm that keeps us homebound for a week or two unexpected. These top 10 pantry essentials to keep stocked not only give you peace of mind, but it also helps with keeping your family fed and keeps your budget in check.
Keeping your pantry stocked with these 10 pantry essentials will help make family meals less stressful when you are living in a time that is stressful. The last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to feed your family, or what you are going to feed your family when you can’t get to the market.
So let me not delay to share with you what I think the Top 10 Pantry Essentials to Keep Stocked.
Top 10 Pantry Essentials to Keep Stocked
This is a food item that is so diverse. You can use it as a side dish or in your main dish. Rice is used all across the world so there are so many recipes for rice, you won’t run out. You can buy rice in 1 lb bags as well as 25 lb bags. Rice has a long shelf life so you can purchase as much as your pantry will allow you to have.
Pasta is an easy meal to serve. You can make it as a main dish or a side dish. You can buy it in Gluten-Free, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, or regular pasta. You can get it in all shapes and sizes too. The great thing about pasta is that it fills up the body and goes a long way. Plus it is not hard on the budget. You can do soups, salads, hot pasta salad, or a main pasta dish.
This is loved in our home. If you look in our pantry you will see several jars of peanut butter. Crunchy, smooth, natural, and regular is in my pantry. You can make a dessert with peanut butter, you can do sandwiches, apples and peanut butter or just a big tablespoon of peanut butter. Each and every one of these gives your family protein.
This one might seem weird. But if you are in your home for a couple of weeks or so, fresh fruit becomes not so fresh. Applesauce has a long shelf life. As long as you purchase the unsweetened natural brands, it will be healthier. The other great thing about applesauce, it is a substitute for butter and oil in recipes if you run out of the other.
This one is not as well received in my house because my husband doesn’t like dried beans. I can not even disguise them. But it is good to have in your pantry even if you have family members that don’t’ really like them. Beans can be served as a main course and give great protein when needed. Beans can be in soups, with rice, as a side or as a main dish with cornbread. Dried beans have a long shelf life.
I keep bread dough in my freezer but you can also keep a couple of loaves in your pantry and just keep replacing them as you use them. You can also freeze prepared bread as well. Bread can be used for sandwiches, breakfast casseroles, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. If you free prepared bread, I would recommend that you place the bread in a sealed ziplock bag or wrap in foil over the packaging.
This is strictly off of your preferences. We keep canned chicken breast and tuna. You might want to keep Salmon or Spam. You know your family and know what type of meat they would like and eat from the pantry. I use canned chicken for soups, salads, casseroles. Tuna, I use for tuna cakes, salads, or eat just straight with a little salt & pepper. Canned meat usually has a long shelf life and is essential.
It is the #1 condiment now, so why not have it in your pantry. You can add salsa to a dish and change the flavor instantly. You can add it to your scrambled eggs, chips and salsa, you can put it on hamburgers and hotdogs. I can my own salsa each summer to where I have it the right heat & consistency that our family likes and I know what is in the salsa. This is something that you don’t really think about until you are out of it.
This is probably the most versatile cracker. You can eat it with cheese, peanut butter, put a marshmallow on it, and brown it in the oven. You can even use a blender and make it into panko to bread chicken with. I grew up with sometimes having a bedtime snack of crumbled saltine crackers in milk before bed. It was filling and even good. Saltine Crackers have a long shelf life.
This is not something that you would serve in a glass but if you have a recipe that calls for milk and you are out of fresh milk, you can use evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is concentrated and has a different flavor than fresh milk. When using it for cooking or baking, dilute it with equal parts of water and then use it like you would regular milk.
This is my top 10 pantry essentials to keep stocked based on my family’s eating and needs. I would love to hear what you would add to this list and how you would use the item.
If you have not seen my post about 5 Ways to Prepare for Second Wave of COVID-19 it has some great printables to use in any situation of being at home.