With summer in the rearview mirror and fall temperatures dipping down to the 40s at night, it’s a good time to peruse your pantry and make sure it’s stocked with everything you need for creating healthy, delicious cold weather dishes. Think roasting, braising, and baking. Casseroles, stews, and soups might also be calling your name. If your pantry is well stocked with basics, you’ll always be ready to put dinner together for your family. Here are some things to always have on hand for the upcoming winter months.
Canned Goods – Keep a supply of these canned basics, which you will then flavor and embellish the way you want.
- diced tomatoes
- tomato sauce
- tomato paste
- pasta sauce
- beans of all kinds
- tuna or other fish
In the refrigerator
- a variety of cheeses such as Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, raclette, etc.
- butter or vegan spread
- yogurt or sour cream
- fresh vegetables
Frozen Foods – You don’t need a second freezer to keep a few of these basics on hand
- wheat or corn tortillas, good for making tacos, enchiladas, tamale pie, etc.
- a variety of meats/sausage/bacon/fish, if you are a carnivore
- veggie burgers, tofu, or other vegan protein if you don’t eat meat
- bread/buns/bagels, etc.
Dry Pantry Items
- A variety of grains: rice, oats, quinoa, barley, polenta, couscous, etc.
- A variety of dry legumes such as lentils, split peas, garbanzo beans, black beans, etc.
- Veggies such as potatoes, yams, onions, shallots, garlic, etc.
- A variety of pasta: spaghetti, macaroni, rice noodles, etc.
- Condiments such as Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, mayo, soy sauce, mustard, ketchup, a variety of vinegars. Use for dressings, vinaigrettes, and marinades.
- Oils such as olive, coconut, peanut, etc.
- Meat and/or vegetable stock or concentrated broth
- Cornstarch or arrowroot, for thickening gravies and sauces
- Sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup
Seasonings – Don’t forget to keep your favorite herbs and spices on hand for perfectly seasoned stews, soups, and roasts
Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil, dill, bay leaves, curry powder, ginger, cayenne, rosemary, etc.
Baking supplies – if you like to bake
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda and baking powder
- chocolate chips
- cocoa powder
- confectioner’s sugar
- cane sugar
- brown sugar
- vanilla extract
Optional but nice to have: dried fruits & nuts
- peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc. are nice to put on salads
- raisins, dried apricots, dried cherries, cranberries, etc. are also nice for salads and grain dishes
Note: Every pantry is as unique as every person! Your pantry should reflect the way you like to cook and include your personal favorite staples.