My always on-hand Ingredients

I've been asked what ingredients I always keep on hand in my kitchen. I actually walked around my kitchen, opened every door, and tried to imagine which of the items I couldn't live without. Here's my list of 40 ingredients I keep on hand at all times for creating dinners on the fly.

Spice cabinet:

Olive Oil
Vegetable Oil
Cajun Seasoning
Kosher Salt
Pepper mill
Packs of Taco Seasoning


Bread crumbs
Spaghetti Sauce
Alfredo Sauce
Boxes of Chicken Stock
Several varieties of "Cream of" soups. Mainly "Cream of Mushroom"
Cans of Whole tomatoes
Small cans of Tomato Sauce
Cans of red Enchilada Sauce
Cans of Refried Beans
Cans of Chopped Green Chilies
Dry pasta (Spaghetti, Ziti, Lasagna)
Bag of Red Potatoes


Milk (Whole)
Heavy Cream
Monterey Cheese (block-I shred as I need it)
Container of Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Mushrooms


Chicken (Leg Quarters and Split Breasts, bought in bulk and separated into Ziploc bags)
Ground Turkey (bought in bulk, separated into Ziploc bags)
Chopped fresh parsley (frozen in Ziploc bags)
Chopped fresh Green Onions (frozen in Ziploc bags)
Chopped onions (Bagged in 1 cup increments and then put in one gallon sized bag)
Bags of Frozen vegetables
Bag of Frozen Shrimp
Bag of Frozen Tilapia filets (Fish)

Does my list look anything like yours?


Hey Amanda! Your list is similar to mine, but some of my absolute staples are missing from your list! I love seeing how your cajun style shows in your staples :0)
Ha! I was wondering as I typed if anyone but a Southerner would consider white rice or cajun seasoning as a staple! What are your staples that I didn't include?
Cans of peas, cans of garbanzo beans, cans of white kidney beans, beef bouillon (I put it in EVERYTHING!), pepperoni, cheddar cheese, butter, basil, oregano, nutmeg, cinnamon, blue cheese, almonds, chilli powder, lettuce, fresh tomatoes, avocado, frozen soy beans, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, red and yellow peppers... Gosh this list screams Italian mama hehe :) Isn't it funny how much cooking is a part of your heritage? I use all those ingredients at least 2x a week...
I use those ingredients but not that often!! That's definitely Italian!! I want to see other peoples staples, this is so interesting!
Anonymous said…
I keep a box of instant nonfat dry milk as one of my staples...
Elizabeth said…
We always have Sofrito, Adobo, achiote, manzanilla olives, gandules, black beans, chick peas, a few onions, lots of garlic, shallots, basil, cilantro, potatoes, lots of rice, every type of vinegar and oil, canned diced tomatoes. Throw em all together and you get a good Puerto Rican meal!
I've never even bought half your staples, Elizabeth! Sounds like I'm missing out, though!

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