Kitchen Essentials

Before tackling any recipe, a home chef must have an exceptionally stocked pantry. A dull knife can easily chop any cooking motivation you may have had and cooking in the wrong pan is a fast-track to take-out or delivery. Don’t be daunted by the list below, everyone knows Rome wasn’t built in a day after all. Start with the most essential and add as your palate and passion grow.


– Quality knife set (essentials: paring knife, chef’s knife, bread knife)
– Non-stick skillet (small and large)
– Non-stick saucepan (varying sizes – small and medium are most important)
– Large soup/pasta pot (even better if it comes with straining pot)
– Cookie sheet (at least 2 – one small, one medium)
– Casserole dish (or similar dish for oven use)
– Bread pan, muffin pan, and square baking pan
– Mixing bowls
– Handheld mixer
– Cutting board – I prefer bamboo (easy to clean, hygienic, lasts longer)
– Sturdy strainer/colander
– Measuring cups (liquid and dry)
– Measuring spoons (TBSP, TSP, etc)
– Wooden spoons
– Spatula
– Can opener
– Corkscrew
– Grater
– Zester
– Peeler
– Salad spinner – One of my favorite kitchen tools, makes drying lettuce a breeze
– Grapefruit spoon – Nothing works better on spaghetti squash
– Blender
– Food Processor

Herbs & Spices

– Basil
– Bay leaves
– Black pepper
– Cayenne pepper
– Chili powder
– Cholula
– Cinnamon
– Cumin
– Garlic Powder
– Herbes de Provence
– Marjoram
– Nutmeg
– Oregano
– Paprika
– Parsley
– Red chili flakes
– Red pepper
– Rosemary
– Sage
– Salt
– Siracha
– Tabasco
– Thyme
– Vanilla extract


– Extra-virgin olive oil
– Canola oil (or vegetable oil)
– Walnut oil
– Sesame oil
– Balsamic vinegar
– Apple cider vinegar
– Red wine vinegar
– White cooking wine
– Red cooking wine (or sherry)
– Reduced-sodium chicken broth
– Bread crumbs
– Worcestershire sauce
– Honey
– Ketchup
– Maple Syrup
– Low-fat mayonnaise
– Dijon mustard (original and coarse ground)
– Peanut butter
– Almond butter
– Soy sauce


– Unbleached flour
– Whole-wheat flour
– Rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)
– Baking powder
– Baking soda
– Sugar (or sugar alternative like Splenda)
– Brown sugar
– Cornstarch
– Chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans
– Dried apples, cranberries
– Bittersweet chocolate chips

Refrigerator Staples

– Unsalted butter
– Soft butter or margarine
– Milk
– Eggs
– Parmesan cheese
– Goat cheese
– Feta cheese
– Red onion
– Yellow onion
– Bell peppers
– Fresh garlic (or fresh chopped in a jar)
– Cilantro
– Lemon
– Fresh herbs (basil, sage, chives, rosemary)
– Spinach

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Categories: Baking, Cookwear, Herbs & Spices, Kitchen Essentials

Author:Sarah Haughey

Sarah is a Colorado native who loves exploring with her yellow lab Sadie. She blogs about travel, hiking with her dog, and cooking. And she LOVES craft beer. Follow her on Instagram @shaughey04 and Twitter @sarahhaughey4 Blogs: Outdoors: Food:


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