There are many good reasons to have a well-stocked kitchen. If you have a stock of the most used ingredients in the kitchen, it will make your cooking cheaper and make your shopping easier.

With these few essential ingredients on hand, you’ll always be able to whip up a meal quickly.

Here is a list of pantry staples to keep your kitchen storage cabinets stocked and ready!


  • salt and pepper
  • flour
  • sugar: white, brown, confectioners (powdered)
  • cereal and oatmeal
  • rice
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • cornstarch
  • meat and vegetable broth cubes
  • potatoes
  • garlic and onions
  • knorr sauce mix


Oils, vinegar, and sauces are essential to giving life to your food. These items are pretty basic and inexpensive, and most have an extremely long shelf life. Don’t worry yourself over buying top quality when you’re just starting out.

  • oils: vegetable, olive oil, sesame oil, non-stick spray
  • vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • honey
  • mustard*
  • mayonnaise*
  • hoisin sauce*
  • fish sauce
  • sweet chili sauce*
  • jam and jelly*
  • kulør

* Refrigerate after opening.


Spices have a fairly long shelf life, especially if kept in an air-tight container, away from heat and sunlight. There is no exact expiration date for herbs and spices. If you can’t smell your spices, you won’t likely be able to taste them in your recipe, either. 

This list is highly personalized and will differ greatly depending on what kind of cuisine you like.

  • whole peppercorns
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • cinnamon
  • curry powder
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • cocoa powder
  • vanilla extract
  • turmeric


Obviously, these ingredients don’t have as long of a shelf life as dry goods, but it’s good to keep them on hand.

  • milk
  • eggs
  • butter
  • yogurt
  • cheese and shredded cheese
  • 1 – 2 type of cold cuts (lunch meat), fx salami, sliced ham
  • pickled cucumbers and beets (syltede agurker og rødbeder)


They’re extremely convenient and usually fairly inexpensive, so they can certainly be a lifesaver.

  • tomatoes: paste, diced, sauce, crushed/pureed
  • pasta sauce
  • coconut milk
  • tuna


Frozen vegetables are the next best thing to fresh because they don’t have any extra salt or preservatives added. They’re always there ready and waiting to be tossed into a soup, casserole, pasta dish, without worry that they’ll go limp and begin to stink up the fridge.

  • green peas
  • vegetable mixture
  • broccoli florets
  • berries
  • bread
  • bacon: sliced, bits
  • meats: chicken, pork, ground beef

A sneak peek of my basis stock. 😉 😊

So there you have it—my most valuable pantry staples that I rely on to get me through busy days and last-minute meal requests. What about you? What have I forgotten? What ingredient can you not live without having on hand at all times?