My Most Valuable Cupboard Staples

My Most Valuable Cupboard Staples

What’s for dinner tonight? I’m always heading to my cupboards to save the day. Here’s a list of my most valuable cupboard staples. This is what I like to keep stocked up on. They’re basic, versatile ingredients that are used pretty frequently and have a long shelf life. 

Dry Goods

  • Flour: plain, self-raising, bread flour
  • Sugar: white, brown, icing sugar
  • Oats
  • Rice: White, brown, Arborio (for risotto) – they’re all essential. But make your life easy and get a rice cooker, you’ll be glad you did.
  • Corn Meal
  • Baking Powder
  • Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Beans (Dry & Canned): A great source of good protein, and also very versatile. They make a great side or main dish.  Plus there are so many different types: cannellini, chickpea, black, black eyed, pinto etc. Remember that dried beans need soaking overnight – so if you’re in a hurry, canned would be the way to go.
  • Lentils
  • Pasta: Dried pasta is cheap, keeps forever and becomes a meal in minutes. Just get a good variety of shapes, and cous cous. 

Sauces, Oils & Vinegars

These cupboard staples are essential to add flavour and can be used to make a million different dressings and sauces that will liven up even the most boring meals. 

  • Oils: vegetable or sunflower, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil, non-stick spray
  • Vinegar: apple cider, red wine, rice, balsamic
  • Soy Sauce
  • Mirin: A type of rice wine similar to sake.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Marmite
  • Hoisin Sauce (or any Asian sauces): This list can be long, just choose your favourites: Hoisin, teriyaki, chilli sauce & paste, black bean sauce. So many meals can be wonderfully elevated by pretty much any one of these.
  • Honey
  • Mustard: wholegrain, yellow, Dijon
  • Mayonnaise
  • Peanut Butter: Not just for the obvious. If you mix it with some soy sauce, Asian chilli paste and some chicken broth to thin it a bit – you’ll end up with a super simple and delicious sauce for pretty much anything.

Herbs & Spices

For super fresh and affordable spices for cupboard staples, look for them sold in bulk (this is becoming more popular in supermarkets and online).

  • Salt
  • Whole Peppercorns
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Chilli Flakes
  • Chilli Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Curry Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Turmeric 

Fridge Staples

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Greek Yoghurt
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Grated Cheese (can also be kept in the freezer for longer term storage)
  • Flour Tortillas (almost anything can be made into a quesadilla for a quick meal!)

Freezer Items

I like to keep a variety of frozen fruits and vegetables on hand. They’re always there ready and waiting to be thrown into a soup, smoothie, casserole, pasta, or even a curry, without worry that they’ll go bad quickly.

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli Florets
  • Fruit: blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, pineapple
  • Edamame Beans
  • Carrots
  • Sweetcorn

I also like to make sure I have some meat stored in my freezer for quick meals. 

Tinned Goods

Extremely convenient and usually fairly inexpensive, so they can certainly be a life saver. I try to stick to tins with as little additives as possible.

  • Tomatoes: puree, passata and chopped
  • Beans: black, kidney, baked
  • Coconut Milk
  • Beef, Chicken & Vegetable Stock: Super important. The base of most every soup starts with one of these. 

Jars

  • Dried mushrooms: They need hydrating, but are fantastic.
  • Capers & Olives: Whether added to a pasta sauce, pizza or turned into an appetiser – used all the time!
  • Marinated artichokes: For pizza or alone as an appetiser.
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Anchovies

So there you have it. What about you? What ingredient can you not live without having on hand at all times? Let us know in the comments below!

Vivre Le Rêve
Welcome to Vivre Le Rêve, an online lifestyle magazine for all those who are or who want to be living the dream! I’m Rose, the lifestyle editor here at Vivre Le Rêve.