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The Well-Stocked Kitchen: The Scramble Staples List

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The Scramble’s staples list will help you to make sure you have a well-stocked kitchen and are never stuck wondering what to make for dinner.

The Scramble Staples ListHave you ever opened your pantry or fridge and thought, “what on earth can I make tonight?” You are not alone! One of my favorite tricks to avoid that paralysis is a well-stocked pantry.

To help you with this, I am sharing my secret to a well-stocked kitchen: The Scramble’s staples list. Having these basics will allow you to follow numerous Scramble recipes just from what you have in the house and also to improvise as you become a more confident cook!

The Well-Stocked Kitchen: The Scramble Staples List

There are a number of ways that The Scramble’s staples list and a well-stocked kitchen can help you:

You can take advantage of sales or bulk purchases on these commonly used items.

A well-stocked freezer can save you money. Frozen fish, chicken, and vegetables often have the same nutritional value as fresh but are less expensive and can be stored longer with less waste. I have included these items in the event you have extra freezer space.

Your grocery trips each week should be even faster. When you are well-stocked with staples, you can focus your weekly shops mainly on fresh produce, meats, and dairy.

With a well-stocked pantry, you can more easily pull together an extra meal or two (The Sixth Night Scramble) with unused ingredients in your refrigerator from the week’s meals (The Scramble’s recipe database can help!).

Depending on the size of your kitchen and pantry you can stock up on the following items.  Those items marked with an asterisk (*) are used especially frequently in Scramble recipes and are great candidates for bulk purchase.

Get a printable version of The Scramble’s Pantry Staples List FREE!

Frittata with Red Potatoes and GreensSimple Meals from a Well-Stocked Kitchen

If you are still skeptical that stocking your kitchen with staples is worth the effort, here are some examples of dishes you can make purely from The Scramble’s staples list.

Fried rice made with rice, eggs, ground meat, onions, and frozen vegetables and/or carrots.

Pasta with a quick skillet sauce (or jarred sauce) and pre-cooked sausage (if desired).

Omelet or frittata with frozen vegetables and left over cooked grains.

Bean and rice bowls with sauteed frozen vegetables and salsa.

RicePantry Staples

Oils: olive oil*, vegetable or canola oil*, peanut oil, sesame oil, nonstick cooking spray*, butter or margarine*

Vinegars: red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar*

Sweeteners: white and brown sugar, honey, pure maple syrup

Wines: rice wine, white cooking wine, red cooking wine, dry sherry

Bread crumbs: regular and/or panko

Flours: all purpose, whole wheat, cornmeal

Grains: white or brown rice*, quinoa, couscous, wild rice

Pasta: regular or whole grain, variety of shapes*

Broth: reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth*

Pasta sauces: store-bought or homemade red pasta sauce*

Canned tomatoes: 28 or 15 oz., diced*, fire-roasted, crushed, whole

Canned beans: black*, kidney*, cannellini, and/or pinto* beans

Nuts: pine nuts, walnuts*, slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans (Tip: store in the freezer as this will preserve their natural oils for longer)

Get a printable version of The Scramble’s Pantry Staples List FREE!

chopping-onionProduce Staples

Onions: yellow are the most often needed, but also consider red and/or sweet*

Garlic: heads of garlic will last for weeks or even months* (or buy the pre-minced jarred variety)

Carrots: great for snacking, but also often included in sauces, stews, and stir fries

Celery: a great aromatic for sauces, soups, and stews

Crispy Hash Browns with Sunny Side Up EggsFridge Staples

Eggs: helpful for omelets and frittatas, as well as baking

Butter or margarine

Milk: Dairy or your favorite milk alternative


Basil: used often in Mediterranean cuisine, great for sauces and stews, as well as salad dressings

Bay leaves: an aromatic often used in sauces and stews

Black pepper*: whole or pre-ground

Chili powder*: used often in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, also great on popcorn

Cinnamon: used in baking, stews, and sauces

Crushed red pepper flakes: a nice hit of heat to add to pasta sauces, pizza, salads, and more

Cumin: used frequently in Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Indian cuisine

Curry powder: used in Indian cuisine such as curries

Garlic powder*: a helpful, quick alternative for garlic

Oregano: frequently used in Mediterranean dishes, great in sauces, stews, salad dressing, and on pizza

Rosemary: wonderful in meat-based dishes, as well as Mediterranean dishes

Salt*: table, Kosher, sea salt

Thyme: used in lots of Mediterranean dishes

Get a printable version of The Scramble’s Pantry Staples List FREE!

Freezer Freezer Staples

Frozen vegetables: broccoli, spinach, peas, edamame, corn, etc.

Salmon: preferably wild, divided into 1 – 1 1/2 lb. packages

Firm white fish fillets: such as tilapia, cod, flounder divided into 1 – 1 1/2 lb. packages

Peeled and deveined shrimp: 1 lb. packages are great

Boneless chicken (white or dark meat): divided in 1 lb. packages

Ground meat or meatless crumbles: turkey, chicken, beef, or meatless crumbles, divided into 1 lb. packages

Pre-cooked turkey, chicken, or vegetarian sausage: sweet or spicy

Bread: yes, bread freezes well

Crispy Quinoa CakesCondiment Staples

Salad dressing: vinaigrette is our favorite (or you can make your own)*

Dijon mustard: great for adding a kick to a dish, also helpful in making your own salad dressing

Ketchup and barbecue sauce: a helpful condiment to have on hand, especially for kids

Mayonnaise: great on sandwiches, but also helpful in dips

Asian sauces: reduced-sodium soy sauce*, hoisin sauce

Salsa*: mild, medium, or hot, depending on your preference. Look for ones without added sugar.

Hot sauce: Tabasco, sriracha

Olives: great for salads and also to add a salty kick to stews, sauces, and casseroles

Capers: wonderful with fish, such as salmon

Do you have favorite staples that you would add to the list? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Get a printable version of The Scramble’s Pantry Staples List FREE!

Want more cooking inspiration? Check out our tips on how to make daily cooking easy and my secret to meal planning success.


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