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10 Pantry Essentials You Should Never Be Without

Keep these pantry essentials in stock and no matter how empty the fridge gets, you'll be able to throw a meal together at a moment's notice.

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Pantry essentials - dried pastaPhoto: Shutterstock

Dried pasta

What makes dried pasta one of our pantry essentials? Taste, convenience and versatility! Most packaged varieties of dried pasta take 10 minutes or less to cook, so a pasta dish topped with homemade tomato sauce can be ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes! Stock up on a variety of pasta types including tubular shapes like rigatoni, short-cut varieties such as fusilli and elbow macaroni, and long noodles such as linguine and angel hair pasta.

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Pantry essentials - extra virgin olive oilPhoto: Shutterstock

Extra virgin olive oil

This “healthy fat” is wonderful for everyday cooking. Extra virgin olive oil is a great substitute for butter or margarine. Use it also for sautéing onions and garlic, drizzling over salads, add it to a bruschetta mixture and more. Here are the healthiest high-fat foods you should be adding to your diet.

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Pantry essentials - balsamic vinegarPhoto: Shutterstock

Balsamic vinegar


This delectable condiment is a pantry essential. It’s excellent as a drizzle over fresh strawberries or as a finishing glaze on meats and fish. And of course, combine it with extra virgin olive oil for a simple salad dressing.

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Pantry essentials - chicken brothPhoto: Shutterstock

Chicken broth


Don’t forget to stock up on stock—the base of any quick and easy soup, sauce or gravy. Non-meat eaters can opt for veggie stock instead. Either way, these ready-made broths are pantry essentials.

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Pantry essentials - canned tomatoesPhoto: Shutterstock

Canned tomatoes

Whole, crushed or diced—stock up on all different types of tomatoes to use in everything from stews and soups to a homemade salsa. With a can of tomatoes, you can also make a quick and easy homemade pasta sauce by heating it on the stove and adding salt, fresh garlic, spices, onions and your favourite vegetables. Check out more of our best kitchen hacks of all time.

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Pantry essentials - flourPhoto: Shutterstock

Flour

Not only for the baker who requires this essential ingredient for almost any recipe, flour is useful to have on-hand for dredging meat as well as thickening gravies, sauces and soups. Don’t miss these easy cake recipes that you make bake even when your cupboards are bare.

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Pantry essentials - red kidney beansPhoto: Shutterstock

Red kidney beans

Whether you prefer the dried or the canned variety, these pantry essentials are an excellent source of fibre and protein. Use them to make your favourite chilis and stews. Check out more painless ways to increase your dietary fibre.

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Pantry essentials - canned tuna

Canned tuna

From sandwiches to casseroles, canned tuna is the ingredient to reach for to make a variety of healthy and dazzling meals. Best of all, tuna is high in protein and low in fat.

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Pantry essentials - mustardPhoto: Shutterstock

Mustard

This versatile condiment is available in endless varieties. Opt for whole grain, which is excellent in sandwiches, or as a dressing or marinade. For those whose taste buds enjoy a kick, reach for the Dijon on the grocery shelf.

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Pantry essentials - chickpeasPhoto: Shutterstock

Chickpeas

Low in sodium and high in fibre, these delicious legumes can be used in a variety of ways. Also known as garbanzo beans, buy the canned version, drain and rinse them, and then toss into salads or an Indian curry, or mash them up to make a hummus.

Now that you know which pantry essentials to stock up on, check out these three-ingredient recipes that don’t require another trip to the grocery store.