Pantry & Kitchen Essentials

I’ve put together a list of things that have made their way into my kitchen the last 2 years. Some of the items you might already own, others you might not have thought about. These are the items I use the most in my everyday cooking.

My kitchen is not the biggest, but I do have a bunch of closet space and plenty of drawers to store all of my kitchen essentials. I try to keep it simple and use to tools that I have in many ways,so that I wouldn’t have to get more tools than I need. I recommend that you get the tools you need little by little, or if you’re eager, go on a kitchen haul. I got most of my kitchen tools from second hand stores. There are always treasures to find there


You don’t necessarily a lot of spices to make a dish pop with flavor. But you should have some variety spices in your pantry making it easy to try different pairings and experimenting with them. Here is a list of spices that I use most often in my cooking.

  • Paprika powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Mushroom powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground coriander
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried basil
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried dill
  • Dried oregano
  • Turmeric powder
  • All purpose seasoning
  • Chili powder
  • Chili flakes
  • Ground pepper


You shouldn’t feel like you have to rush to store and get all of the items listed down below. Get them one item at the time. These are the basic tools that come in handy in my everyday cooking. A lot of those tools can be used in many ways. You probably already own many of these tools anyway.

  • large, deep skillet
  • wok pan
  • medium and large saucepan
  • medium and large pot
  • 3in1 food processor (food processor, blender stick and a whisk) 
  • vegetable peeler
  • can opener
  • rubber spatula
  • measuring spoons
  • dry measuring cups
  • liquid measuring cup
  • cutting board (wood, for the weight. Easier to cut)
  • colander
  • wooden spoon
  • pan spatula
  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • water heater/tea kettle
  • rice cooker
  • toaster


These items will help you store your leftovers easily.

  • zip-lock plastic freezing bags
  • aluminum foil
  • plastic wrap
  • baking sheets
  • various size plastic containers (perfect for leftovers, pack lunch)


Worried about protein? Well, legumes are here to help out. Legumes are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, making sure you get the nutrition you need. They’re cheap and quite versatile. You can use them in burgers, salads, stir-fries, pasta, etc.  

I’d like to say that I use dried legumes, but I don’t. Since I rarely plan my recipes, I feel like I don’t have the time to prepare them properly, so I use canned legumes instead to save time and energy. The benefit of that is aquafaba, which I use in a lot of creative ways.

  • lentils
  • chickpeas
  • black beans
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • kidney beans
  • peas


High in protein and fiber, grains make a great addition to your main meals and are vital for a healthy diet. There are a variety of grains, but I use these the most.

  • jasmine & basmati rice
  • bulgur wheat
  • quinoa
  • oats
  • couscous (technically not a grain, but I’ve added it here anyway)
  • whole wheat pasta
  • whole wheat bread


I don’t have a lot of different flours in my pantry, I try to keep it simple and use all-purpose flour for most of my baking and oat flour if I want it more filling. I use flours mostly for baking, sauces and gravies.

  • all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • oat flour


Although fresh is best, along with the legumes, I keep some things canned in my pantry to save time.

  • coconut milk
  • tomato paste
  • tomato sauce
  • diced tomatoes


These are the essentials for your sauces, dips, mayo and dressings. Having just a couple of these items will make it easier to spice up your dishes.

  • peanut butter
  • tahini
  • sweet and chili sauce
  • soy sauce (regular)
  • mushroom soy sauce ( I can’t recommend this enough, I add a dash to most of my dishes)
  • dijon mustard
  • curry pastes (red, green, yellow)
  • sriracha
  • jams


There are a variety of plant based milks to choose from now, soy and rice milk are popular. I find that soy milk leaves a distinct taste in sauces and dips, and rice milk is too think for me.  I have found two of my favorites that are more neutral in taste. Some recipes call for milk and I like to add a dash to my morning coffee, so I always keep some in my fridge. They are usually fortified with essential vitamins like B12, making it a great addition to your fridge.

  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Unsweetened oat milk


Having a couple of vinegars  in your pantry is an easy way to spice up dishes that need some acidity. Works great in marinades and salad dressings too.

  • apple cider vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • rice vinegar


I use a couple of different oils in my cooking, depending on the dish. For low heat cooking I use olive oil and for high heat cooking I use either rapeseed or sunflower oil. For salads, dressings, marinades and cold cooking I use extra virgin olive oil.  I use coconut oil for most of my baking.

  • sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
  • olive oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coconut oil


Some more basic essential things to have in your pantry for easier cooking.

  • baking powder
  • corn starch
  • brown sugar
  • quick rise yeast
  • nutritional yeast
  • ground flaxseed (egg replacement)
  • maple/agave syrup
  • chia & hemp seeds

I hope you find value in this list and that, it makes your life in the kitchen a bit easier.  🙂 

Got any recommendations or additions to this list? Comment down below and let me know!