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Basic Pantry Ingredients - Category 2 of 3 - Short Term Storables

Updated on November 30, 2019
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don and his wife love to cook. They enjoy new and different recipes and experimenting with interesting combinations of ingredients.

A typical Pantry

A typical Kitchen Pantry
A typical Kitchen Pantry | Source


As I mentioned in Part-1 of this document called: My BASIC PANTRY Ingredients – Category-1, we, keep certain storable items in our Pantry and they fall into three general categories.

Category-1 includes a list of items that we plan on using and consuming over the next few weeks, even though they can be stored for a short period of time, they are either perishable or their flavors degrade if stored too long. See my Hub: My BASIC PANTRY Ingredients - Category-1

Category-2 is a list of items that we keep to provide flexibility in our diet, over time, for weeks or even with some, for months including, of course, Canned Goods.

And, Category-3 and to us, the most important category, is our stock of our favorite Herbs and Spices.


In Category-2, the majority of what we store are Canned Goods, among a few other items that can be stored for months or longer. And these items tend to reflect our personal tastes more so than the more generic items that we listed in Category-1.

So, listed below are our favorite Category-2 items that we keep in our Pantry, year round, that give us some degree of flexibility in our daily diets.

Pantry Items

Black Beans, canned- We both enjoy Black Beans, and we keep a couple of cans stored away when we want something simple and easy to prepare for dinner. We have several recipes that we use these beans in, including Black Beans and Rice, Black Beans with Hot Italian Sausage, etc.

Red Beans, canned- Again, these Red Beans go into several of our simple and easy recipes and we keep a couple of cans of these in our Pantry for variety.

Kidney Beans, canned- We keep a couple of cans of Kidney Beans and we wash and use them on top of our fresh tossed salads as a great fiber and protein source.

Green Beans, canned- A couple of large cans of cut Green Beans will provide a nice and easy side dish for a meal when you are looking for a simple, healthy and low calorie/fat side dish.

Yellow Corn, canned- We keep at least 2-3 cans of Yellow corn canned in water and with no additives. We use the Corn as a side dish, and we have several Salsa dishes that we make that call for Corn as an ingredient.

Mixed Vegetables, canned- Yes, we use those canned mixed vegetables that you see in the supermarket. First, they are a cheap side dish that provides a nice combination of healthy nutrients, but we also us them in several other recipes, including a hot Cheese and Vegetable dip, among others.

Black Olives, canned- We keep 3-4 of the small cans of sliced Black Olives, and we use them in numerous recipes and also on fresh salads, etc.

Pimentos- Again, a couple of small jars of Pimentos are good to have for those special recipes that use them.

Tomato Paste- We use a lot of tomato paste in our cooking, so we keep at least one medium sized can, a couple of small cans and a couple of the toothpaste-type tubes in our Pantry.

Tomato Sauce- Like the Paste, we use a lot of tomato Sauce, so we try to keep a couple of medium sized cans of a nice full flavored brand of canned Tomato Sauce.

Tomatoes, canned- We always keep a couple of large cans of tomatoes from a manufacturer that we feel provides a product full of flavor.

Jalapeno Peppers - A medium sized jar of Jalapenos should be in everyone’s Pantry for those dishes that need to be kicked up a little. We usually stock the whole, canned Peppers, but sometimes, we will get the sliced ones.

Yellow Peppers- We use a lot of mild pickled sliced Yellow Peppers in our pantry for use on Sandwiches and fresh salads.

Pickles, Dill- We always have a medium sized jar of Dill Pickles, usually sandwich slices, but often we will also have another jar of pickle spears. This is probably our favorite sandwich condiment.

Pickles, Sweet- We keep a medium sized jar of chopped sweet pickles for making different dips, spreads, etc.

Capers- We use a lot of Capers in our recipes, so we keep a medium sized jar on hand at all times. They provide a great taste to so many dishes.

Olive OIL- We cook almost exclusively with Olive Oil (EVOO specifically) and we always keep a liter bottle in our Pantry, for cooking, in dressings, in Dips, over fresh Salads and numerous side dishes.

Other Oils- We keep small containers of other special Oils that are called for in certain of our favorite recipes, such oils as; Coconut, Canola, Safflower Oil, Sunflower and other healthy vegetable Oils.

TUNA, canned-We enjoy eating Tuna, in our Tuna Salad recipe, as well as in several other of our favorite recipes including a great Tuna Spread. Typically, we keep 3-4 cans and we stock only white Albacore Tuna packed in water.

Chicken, canned- We don’t use it very often, but if you have a can of Chicken Breast meat in the Pantry and surprise guests come by, you put together a nice Chicken Dip by adding some; mayo, Pickle salt and Pepper.

Balsamic Vinegar- How do you cook without having balsamic Vinegar in your Pantry? We try to keep a large jar of a good Balsamic Vinegar, that is at least 5-years old, for our cooking.

Other Vinegars- We use a number of other Vinegars in our cooking, but the ones that we will always have in our Pantry are; White Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar.

Mustard- We eat many varieties of Mustard and we keep jars of several of our favorites, including; 2-large jars of Yellow Mustard, 1-medium jar of a spicy Hot Mustard, and several small jars of certain specialty flavored mustards.

Ketcup- Yeah, we have to keep a medium sized jar of Ketcup in our Pantry for such dishes as Fries, Onion Rings and the occasional Hot Dog.

Mayonnaise- We keep a heart-healthy jar of mayonnaise in our pantry for generic dishes, but we make a lot of our specialty Mayonnaise condiments, fresh, when we need them.

Hot Sauce- We keep several different Hot Sauces in our Pantry, including; a hot Red Pepper Sauce, a hot Barbecue Sauce, and our favorite flavor of all, for day to day use, a smooth Mexican style hot sauce such as the brand Cholula.

Worcestershire Sauce-You can’t easily duplicate this flavor filled sauce, so we always have a medium sized jar in our Pantry, and we use it often,

Peanut Butter- A quote that I heard somewhere says: “A house without Peanut Butter, is a house without Joy”. Of course, for those with peanut allergies, this is not a good Pantry item, but for the rest of us? YUM!

Saltine Crackers- We keep a box of these crackers (low salt of course) just for those nights we want a simple snack. And they are obviously good with a little Peanut Butter or Cheese, or Salami, etc.

Jams- We will usually have a small jar of Grape, Orange, and at least one other flavor of Jam in our Pantry. And, we only purchase, pure Jams with no sugar or other additives.

OTHER- And then there are the “Other” items. Every Pantry is a dynamic place. What you keep in your Pantry varies over the year and through the seasons.

At times you will have some items in abundance while for the rest of the year you may not use them at all, or rarely. These seasonal items probably account for 25-50% of the space taken up in your Pantry. And an occasional clean out can be very helpful in managing the size of your Pantry.

I mean, do you really need to keep the leftover; Christmas party plates, opened Red Food Dye, and the other partially used seasonal items in your Pantry, just taking up space. Get rid of it, and you will have a more efficient Pantry, ready for your use.


© 2011 Don Bobbitt


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