First, can I just say that I wish the photo above was my pantry? All those beautiful labeled jars and wire baskets. Maybe someday. Right now it’s a dark hole in the wall that I struggle to keep organized. So that’s why I’m not sharing a picture with you.
But there are some things in my pantry that are pretty important to my cold weather recipes. You know how people will say their must have kitchen ingredient is lemons or good olive oil or something fancy like that? Yeah, mine are super basic. But having certain items on hand really helps with my menu planning and cooking! Here are a few things you will always find in my pantry during the cold months.
Potatoes and Onions: These vegetables are easy to buy in bulk and they’ll last me a month or longer in those big bags! Since I make soup on a weekly basis, they are two ingredients I most likely have already so I don’t have to worry about buying two more potatoes and an onion every week.
Bouillon Cubes: Again, I’m a soup maker. While I often use broth that I’ve had in the freezer or store bought broth, it’s very smart to have these on hand. I’ve added them to soups when the broth I had wasn’t enough and thrown them in a pot when I’ve whipped up “Leftovers” soup for lunches.
Bisquick: You could argue that the boxed mix is made up of baking ingredients you already have… and you’d be right. But that box mix has the directions on it for pancakes and biscuits and bread and whatever else you might need in the carb department. It’s fast and simple for when I don’t want to make biscuits from scratch for real.
Canned Pumpkin: What cooking woman doesn’t have a can or two of pumpkin in her pantry during Fall? It’s great for that time when you need to whip up something Pumpkin Spice flavored for that pitch-in.
Canned Soup: Both Dearest Carl and I work from home which makes hot lunches a possibility. Canned soup makes that possibility too easy. Aldi stocks the off brand of the good chunky kind so when the weather turns cold, I stock up on clam chowder and tomato soup.
Ramen Noodles: I personally love ramen noodles. They’re fast, they’re hot, they’re cheap. Lately I’ve been trying to experiment a little more with them so they end up a little more gourmet. It’s another great option for lunch and in dire need, dinner.
Bacon Bits: Bacon bits are great for two reasons. One, they save you the hassle of frying bacon only to crumble it up for a recipe. Two, it tastes exactly the same. I always have some since I use them frequently in soups and quiches.
What kinds of ingredients are your pantry must-haves?
(Image via Mrs. Meyers)