Thirty-eight(ish) ingredients to cook (nearly) everything.

Ever feel like you go to the store and buy stuff only to come home and still have no idea what to make? Here are my basic pantry items that allow me to cook on the fly.

This won’t cover special meals and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be able to cook or bake every dish you might want. Instead it provides a way to make your way through nearly every recipe and make adjustments or substitutions during cooking. Further, you can scramble together a meal with nothing else in the house.

Full disclosure, I was trying to make a list of 20 items, but I kept adding. In truth, there are probably 50 things and I’m just forgetting a few.

With this list you can make pastas, stir fry, sheet pan dishes, soups, stews, casseroles, pizza, breads, quick breads, and biscuits.

Here is the list of products I keep on hand at all times:

Onions or green onions
Broccoli or zucchini (any seasonal vegetable too)
Bell peppers
Fresh fruit (whatever is in season)
Fresh herbs (I usually keep cilantro)
Cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese wedge

Smoked paprika
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Fish sauce
Soy sauce

Juiced and zested lemon
Chicken stock
Frozen herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil)
Ground beef or turkey
Chicken breast
Grated ginger

Canned goods
Plain tomato sauce
Refried beans

Dry pasta
Self-rising flour
All-purpose flour
Corn starch
Instant yeast
Cooking oil
Brown sugar
Baker’s sugar

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