After Christmas is a great time to do an inventory of pantry stock. Throw out all the old and out of date items first. Use various things that can go with your leftovers to make new family favourites. Then take stock of what you have and don’t have from the list below. Some people know there is no need for the baking goods as they never make cakes. However, flour is a must if you cook.

While this is a comprehensive list of I consider them pantry staples (and if you would never use some of them, that is fine, just don’t stock them in your pantry). Do what works for you.

Baking Staples

  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Vanilla beans
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Unsweetened and semisweet dark chocolate
  • Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Dry yeast

Canned and Bottled Items

  • Italian plum tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Green and black olives
  • Olive paste
  • Anchovies
  • Anchovy paste
  • Capers
  • Chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Hot sauce
  • Mustards
  • Italian oil-packed tuna
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Canned fruits
  • Chutneys
  • Fruit jam

Dried Pasta

  • Spaghetti,
  • Penne
  • Rigatoni
  • Fettuccine
  • Lasagna
  • Couscous


  • Plain Flour
  • Self Raising Flour
  • Whole-wheat
  • Cake (not self-rising)
  • Almond
  • Cornflour

Grains, Rice, Dried Beans

  • Quick-cooking polenta
  • Oats
  • Arborio, long-grain white, medium- to long-grain brown, and basmati rice
  • Green lentiles
  • du Puy lentils
  • Black-eyed and split peas
  • Black and cannellini beans

Nuts and Dried Fruit

  • Pecan and walnut halves
  • Pine nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Raisins
  • Currants
  • Dried apricots
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Sun-dried tomatoes

Store the nuts in the freezer and the dried fruit in the fridge


  • Extra-virgin olive
  • Canola
  • Peanut
  • Specialty oils such as toasted sesame and white truffle

Spices and Seasonings Herbs and Sauces

This list is from Delia Smith’s Complete Cooking Course

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Chives
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Star Anise
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper include peppercorns
  • Capsicum – chilies whole, crushed dried, and chili powder.  Cayenne pepper, Tabasco sauce and paprika
  • Mustard – English, Dijon, American, seeds and dry mustard powder.
  • Vinegar – Wine (red, white and rice) malt, cider, distilled and flavoured
  • Allspice
  • Capers
  • Caraway seeds
  • Cardamon
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder and Garam Masala
  • Curry pastes
  • Ginger
  • Juniper
  • Mace and Nutmeg.  (I prefer whole nutmeg and grating it myself)
  • Mixed Spice
  • Saffron
  • Tumeric

Sugars and Other Sweeteners

  • Granulated white
  • Light and dark brown
  • Golden Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing Sugar
  • Liquid Glucose

Image courtesy of Container Store  This list is from Matha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook

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