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The 15 Essential Pantry Ingredients You Should Always Have on Hand

When stocking your pantry, there are a few ingredients that you should never be without, simple ingredients that you can easily combine to create a delicious and satisfying meal for your entire family.  We’ve put together a list of 15 essential pantry ingredients that are guaranteed to help inspire you in the kitchen and create a meal your family will enjoy.


Adding garlic to your cooking is a great way to give your dishes extra flavour.  You can also make your own easy garlic bread to go with your meals by simply drizzling a little olive oil over a piece of bread, rub with a clove of garlic and then pop under the grill to toast.

Dried Pasta

It doesn’t matter if you prefer Spaghetti, Penne or Linguine making sure you have a supply of your favourited dried pasta in the pantry will ensure you have the makings of an easy family dinner.

Canned Tomatoes

Again you can choose to stock your favourite type here – whole, crushed or diced.  Canned Tomatoes can be used to crate anything from an easy pasta sauce, casserole sauce, soup and more.


Whilst they may make you cry, when added to anything from soups, casseroles, stir frys and bbq’s they are guaranteed to make you smile.


Potatoes are arguably one of the most versatile vegetables.  Peel and cut them to make chips, steam and mash them to turn into mash or for a really simple meal, wrap a large potato in foil and bake for an hour or until tender and then top with butter and cheese.


Rice takes no time at all to cook and can be combined with a huge variety of ingredients to turn it into a yummy and easy meal.

Olive Oil

No cooks pantry is complete without a bottle of olive oil.

Salt and Pepper

A sprinkle of salt and pepper is the perfect way to add extra flavour to a simple meal.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce will bring flavour to not only your stir frys, but also pasta, casserole and meat dishes too.

Rolled Oats

These are another versatile ingredients and can be easily turned into a yummy breakfast, sprinkled over yoghurt for a healthy snack or turned into a delicious crumble topping for dessert.

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If you have a can or two of tuna in your pantry you will always have an easy meal ready to be put together.  Add it to cooked pasta with a  little olive oil and parmesan cheese for an easy mid week meal, or mix it through salad leaves for a light and healthy lunch.


From omelettes to cakes, the humble egg is one pantry ingredient you should never be without.


Flour isn’t just a vital ingredient when it comes to baking, it can also be used to coat chicken and fish or other meats as well as adding a little extra thickness to sauces.

Herbs & Spices

There is no need to stock every single herb and spice available, by making sure you have a few essential herbs and spices such as mixed herbs, cinnamon and mixed spice in your pantry, you can add extra flavour to your baking and cooking.

Frozen Vegetables and Fruit

Whilst not kept in the panty, having a packet of frozen veggies and fruit tucked away in your freezer is a great way to add some extra bulk to your meals.

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What are your essential pantry ingredients?

Lauren Matheson

Lauren Matheson

Lauren founded her website Create Bake Make as a way to justify the ridiculous amount of baking she loves to do. She has a super sweet tooth and enjoying a slice of cake (or two) is one of her guilty indulgences. As a Mum of two little boys, when she isn't creating fun activities for the kids or breaking up arguments over toy trucks and cars, you will find her in the kitchen baking up a storm - or hiding in the pantry with the latest cooking magazine and a hot cup of coffee!

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