A well-stocked kitchen is the key to stress-free cooking.
Growing up, my mom taught me to always keep your essentials on hand. That way, you can make a recipe in a pinch and never have to wonder if you have all the ingredients you need.
Though this list will vary depending on your dietary needs and your food and taste preferences, here are the must-haves most kitchens should keep around no matter what.
Eggs - hard boiled, scrambled, fried, baked. Eggs are a great source of protein in almost any form and at any time of day.
Olive oil - it’s versatile, delicious, and is the base for many different types of recipes, from meat marinades to vegetable sides. In our opinion, it’s worth it to opt for a quality cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil. We love Kasandrinos.
Canned tomatoes - tomatoes are included in almost every type of cuisine around the world, and though we always prefer fresh veggies, canned tomatoes deliver nearly the same nutritional content and taste. Use them in sauces, soups, stews, and side dishes for bright acidity and flavor.
Your favorite dried spices - spices are highly personal depending on your typical meals, but jarred, dried spices have a long shelf life and can be extremely affordable if you purchase at a bulk foods section at your grocery store. Cumin, oregano, thyme, and chili powder are common favorites.
Rice - it’s simple, but can make up a filling meal all on its own! Rice also takes on the flavor of whatever other ingredients you add, so a plain white or brown rice can become Spanish, Mexican, Indian, or Mediterranean with just a few different spices.
Garlic - it adds a ton of flavor in many different types of cuisines, while adding minimal calories. Peeling fresh garlic can be a pain, so try pre-peeled or pre-minced varieties. A garlic press is also a great kitchen tool to have on hand!
Sugar - we all know it’s best for you in limited quantities, but a pinch of sugar is a necessary and delicious part of many recipes. Depending on what you use it for, you’ll probably want a regular granulated sugar. If you bake frequently or use it in marinades or sauces, powdered or brown sugar may be a good addition. Coffee and tea drinkers often love our rock sugar crystals, made from pure sugarcane.