Top 20 Essential Pantry Items You Need In Your Kitchen

Have you returned from work craving for some delicious food? Moreover, highly motivated to cook dinner yourself? But, what if you find your pantry empty and nothing to work with? Isn’t it gross? Making that extra stop to the grocery store at that moment spoils everything. Having a well-stocked kitchen with essential pantry items can be that make-or-break situation for you.

We have rounded up some pantry staples that you must store as you set up your kitchen. You may add or delete items according to your choice.

Top 20 Essential Pantry Items

Here are 20 essential pantry items a well-stocked kitchen should have –

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a healthy alternative to vegetable oils for cooking. It’s one of the essential pantry items you should store. However, you may also use canola oil, sunflower oil, groundnut oil, and rice bran oil for cooking.

panty item olive oil


Milk is a good source of calcium, and you must include in your diet. You’ll require it to make you tea and coffee too. You may also store non-dairy milk substitutes like soy milk or almond milk.


Eggs are incredible and versatile. They can be served in breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. There are almost infinite amounts of ways you can eat eggs. You’ll never want to wake up with eggs in your fridge.


Butter is another kitchen staple you need for everything from cooking to baking to spreading on your morning toasts. The list can go on beyond your imagination. It is one of the must-have pantry essential items you can’t live without.


Next is cheese. Make topping for you pizzas or use them as spreads for your sandwiches. Pair cheese with almost any snacks to make it gooey and tasty. There are various varieties of cheese you can store – parmesan cheese, feta cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar to name a few.

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Greek Yogurt

Upgrade your meals with delicious and healthy Greek yogurt. Whether you add it to your smoothies or take it straight up for breakfast, keeping a cup of Greek yogurt in your fridge is the right choice.

Lentils And Beans

Lentils and beans are handy pantry items to make healthy meals. Canned varieties can work but if you have time try using dried beans. Soak them overnight, and they are ready to cook. Beans are a great source of proteins, fiber, and iron.


Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger are a few veggies that you can stack up in your kitchen. They are not easily perishable and can stay fresh for a few days. They easily complement many dishes, and you can add them to tons of other recipes.

Tea And Coffee

Indian pantry cannot be complete without aromatic tea leaves and coffee beans. They’re the most popular beverages found in every kitchen. You cannot get out of the bed without sipping hot masala chai.

Coconut Milk

Full-fat coconut milk is a staple food item of many Indian dishes. It also makes a healthy dairy-free substitute in cooking and baking. Try to find coconut milk without thickeners or artificial sweeteners.

Seasonal Fruits

Fruits are a versatile option to stock your kitchen. Seasonal fresh fruits make great snacks, and they can keep you from reaching those salt-laden chips. Keep apples or grapes or pomegranate arils handy to curb your mid-day cravings.


They work great when you want to add flavor and zing to your meals. The different varieties of vinegar make heavenly dressings, sauces, and marinades. You can choose from white wine vinegar, oils vinegar, rice vinegar, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar to liven up the boring meals. You can buy two or three varieties as they are cheap and have a long shelf life.

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Seeds And Nuts

Nuts and seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins. They work together to benefit your heart and brain. Craving for unhealthy chips or sugary delights? Grab some nuts instead.

Sea Salt Or Kosher Salt

Can’t prepare any meals without this ingredient, right? This is the essential pantry items. Just a few crystals can elevate the flavor of your food. You may also use table salt or black salt in various preparations.

Dips And Sauces

  • Tomato Ketchup: Keep a bottle of tomato ketchup, or homemade tomato paste handy. It adds great flavor to your meals. Children adore it!
  • Salsa: It adds an extra spunk to your food. Add it to your potato wedges or stuff your eggs with it.
  • Pasta sauce: Love eating pasta? With a bottle of pasta sauce and some noodles in your pantry, you always have a go-to meal.
  • Dijon Mustard: This spicy sauce will take you off guard.



Wheat flour or all-purpose flour is a kitchen staple for Indians. We reach out for it to make varieties of flatbreads – rotis, puris, and parathas – every morning. Whole wheat flour can be an excellent swap for healthier meals.


Sugars are the most basic essential pantry items found in your kitchen. From granulated white sugar to brown sugar, they are required in almost everything. We recommend using brown sugar (demerara sugar).


Honey is a natural sweetener without an expiry date. If it ever crystallizes, heat it, and it will spring back to life. Yemeni Sidr honey is one of the best varieties of honey with a host of health benefits. Try it ones, and you’ll never forget its flavor.

Whole-Grain Pasta

Pasta can make quick healthy meals. Stock a few boxes of whole wheat, quinoa, or brown rice pasta in your kitchen now.


Spices add a great flavor to any dish. Most of them are used for natural health remedies too. Stock your kitchen racks with spices like red pepper/chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, nutmeg, fennel and more. Herbs like dill, thyme, sage, basil, and oregano also add great flavors to your food.


Fix your meals in a jiffy by stocking these essential pantry items in your kitchen.

We’ve rounded up most of the ingredients for you.

Now it’s your turn.

What are your favorite pantry essentials?