Your pantry staples say a lot about you

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Pantry, cupboards, your kitchen counter – wherever you place to put your kitchen essentials is, you’ve probably got a couple of items that your purchase to keep on hand. If you take a minute to write them down, I bet they’d say a lot about who you are!

I posted a little quiz yesterday on Facebook and Twitter, asking my friends and followers what their pantry staples were. For those that I knew, it was almost a little funny to see their responses because it said so much about their character! I also received great feedback and ideas for things I should probably keep in my pantry, too.

Here were some of the common items that multiple people mentioned:

  • Cream of whatever soup – literally, people said “cream of anything”
  • Rice
  • Chicken broth/stock
  • Hot sauce, or specifically Sriracha
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Olive oil
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned tomatoes

Others that were not so typical:

  • Alex mentioned hot peppers, and that he never leaves the house without lemon pepper – interesting! He’s a very creative individual.
  • My boyfriend John said cereal – of course, because he eats cereal as a snack and NEVER for breakfast, but definitely a staple in our house.
  • Stephanie brought up cajun seasoning “because it can make anything taste better” – she’s vegetarian, so I totally understand why that’s important. Some veggie food can be very bland and needs to be “kicked-up a notch,” as Emeril would say!
  • Carrie, owner of Frittle Candy, always keeps rice noodles, coconut milk and yellow curry sauce from Trader Joe’s on hand.
  • My college roommate Bek keeps Sriracha, lots of rice, dried beans and lentils. She’s also vegetarian. See a theme here?
  • Amber brought up sesame oil – she and her husband use it as a replacement for olive oil.
  • And Megan, my best friend in high school, says “garlic, garlic and more garlic.” Totally fits her character. And no, you really can’t have too much garlic, ever.

Common themes? Seems like a majority of my friends and followers keep items on hand that have a long shelf-life and a variety of applications. A jar of Sriracha will last quite a long time.

What are my pantry staples? I’m so glad you asked!

  • A Bear Creek soup – usually between $3 and $4, this soup makes enough servings to have leftovers. Anytime I start thinking about needing something FAST, I turn to this. My favorite is the navy bean one.
  • Morningstar Farms chicken patties/chicken nuggets – Yeah, I’ll heat up a chicken patty for breakfast or lunch. I like how quickly I can get a protein to help fend off hunger pains until it’s time for a real meal. Plus, they are delicious!
  • A few kinds of pasta and a jar of sauce
  • Noodle soup
  • Chicken and beef¬†bouillon cubes – sometimes more versatile than stock, but a different flavor than the boxed stuff.
  • Peanut butter, paired with one of 5 jams in my refrigerator at any time
There’s also a difference between what I would consider pantry staples and what others said. For instance…
  • Baking supplies – flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, confectioner’s sugar, white granular sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, corn syrup,
  • Spices (this list really could go on and on) – kosher salt, ground black pepper, seasoned salt, garlic salt, dried dill, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, Penzey’s pasta sprinkle (can replace basil, oregano, thyme)
  • Garlic and onions
  • Condiments, sauces and dressings – Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar, soy sauce, white distilled/white wine/red wine vinegar,¬†worcestershire, Sriracha, ketchup, yellow/dijion/whole grain mustard
Some upcoming projects include making worcestershire and sweet chili sauce from scratch. We’re a little addicted to dips and dressings in this house.
Each kitchen is different, and so I’m interested to know if what you keep matches your personality and style. What do you keep on hand that fits you, whether it’s in your pantry or just plain must-have item?


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  • Anita at Hungry Couple

    Hmm. Let’s see now…potatoes, white onions, red onions, garlic, cereal, rice cakes, lots and lots of different seasonings and spices, jasmine rice, wild rice, barley, couscous, wheatberries, bulgar wheat, penne pasta, various cans of beans (no, we’re not vegetarians), all the baking standards (flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, etc.), matzo meal, panko breadcrumbs, coffee (not for me), various teas, chicken broth, beef broth, olive oil, canola oil, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, raspberry vinegar (we always make our own salad dressings), mayo, mustard, BBQ sauce and…some creamy soups for when I just need to eat a bowl of comfort. So, what does all that say about me? :)

    • solidgoldeats

      I think it means that you like to cook, like me! I have a lot of items I didn’t mention but wasn’t sure if they’re really “pantry” staples or just things I keep on hand – or, what’s the diff, really? But, you’re more adventurous – I don’t keep couscous, bulgar wheat or matzo meal on hand as those items rarely make it onto my dinner plate.

  • Kalamity Kelli

    I keep powdered milk (some recipes call for it) plus all the things you metioned – and others too. I love having bullion cubes – very versatile and take up so much less room. I love Bear Creek Soups!! That’s funny that we both have those – even my mom keeps those.

    • solidgoldeats

      Bear Creek Soups save me from fast food hell!

  • Wade Wingler

    Triscuits! Boxes and boxes of ‘em! We have an unhealthy addiction to this healthy snack. They’re great for you–until we dip them in peanut butter, french onion dip or shingle them with slices of cheese. But…. say it with me…. tris….cuits….. mmmmm……..

    • solidgoldeats

      You’ve seen the commercials about how they’re good on their own and they totally are! But I prefer mine with cheese. And bacon.

  • Abbi Achterberg

    Love this post! Mine would include: various pastas, sauces and canned tomatoes (for when I have time to make sauce from “scratch”) are always on hand. I find Italian dishes to be the easiest go-to for when things are hectic at dinnertime. Also, all baking items and chocolate chips for when my son wants to bake cookies. Oh, and chicken broth and bread crumbs (regular and panko) are a must!