Cooking Ingredients You Should Have At All Times

Having these essential ingredients in your kitchen prepares you for almost any recipe. While its pretty hard to have every food available in your kitchen. These staple ingredients can be stored for long enough time without having to replenish too frequently.


Salt is not a hard ingredient to forget, but instead of just a table condiment. Salt is very important for cooking as it really helps bland food taste better and also brings out the flavor in other foods. Salt also helps preserve foods such as certain meats.

Having both table salt and sea salt in your kitchen is important. As you may need to use table salt for baking because of the finer texture and its more concentrated. Sea salt tastes slightly different and is easier to dash over the top of foods without getting too much.

Black Pepper

Another overlooked ingredient but this one is obviously needed on this list. Ground pepper is not only a good thing to keep at your table. You can use it to flavor many foods before or during the cooking process.

If you are browning beef sprinkle some ground pepper on for added flavor.


Butter has so many uses that it makes for one of the best ingredients to have at all times. Butter allows you to pan fry almost any food. It is also used to make sauces and is very important for baking.

Unsalted butter is great because you can control how much sodium is in your recipe, but salted butter tastes great on breads and lasts longer. Butter stored outside of the refrigerator can last for up to two weeks.


Whenever you run out of onions or forget to pick up some from the store. You quickly realize how often you might be using this ingredient.

Onions can be used in almost any recipe and they pair really well with beef. Its almost like they were made for each other. Another great thing about onions is if you want to get someone exciting about what your cooking. Just toss a few diced onions into your frying pan and the smell alone will draw their attention.

The aroma makes your cooking seem that much better.

Find out which onions you prefer to use for cooking. As each one can serve a different dish uniquely. Like red onions for example, they are much better on a BBQ pizza than just white onion.


Garlic is another special ingredient that is a must have for every home cook. Garlic can take a plain pasta dish to the next level. It also lasts a long time unpeeled (about 3 weeks). Garlic is also very easy to use and it doesn’t require very much. As a little garlic goes a long way.

Olive Oil

Another kitchen staple for serious home cookers is olive oil. Used often as alternative to butter for frying, olive oil is actually healthier to fry with. Besides frying foods with olive oil can be used for marinades, sauces and even salad dressing.

There are a few types of olive oil available but extra virgin olive oil is the best for cooking. As it has the highest smoke point. Meaning it doesn’t burn (start smoking) until nearly 375° Fahrenheit.


If your going to keep flour on hand you might as well keep some sugar. As you will definitely need it for almost any baking recipe.

Sugar is also great for coffee, cereals or even making home made sauces. While its obviously not a healthy ingredient and I would recommend alternative sweeteners. Traditional refined sugar still has an important role in home cooking.

All-Purpose Flour

You will find having all purpose flour serves your home cooking very well. Besides baking cookies, muffins, making waffles or pancakes. All purpose flour is great to have on hand for pizza dough and breads. It also can be used to thicken gravy or other sauces. You can even make homemade noodles by using flour.

Even if you buy pizza dough from the store having flour on hand can help you shape the dough or roll it out.

All-purpose flour can last up to 8 months when stored properly.

Shredded Cheese

Shredded cheese is a very useful ingredient to keep stocked. You can also freeze bags of shredded cheese to have for long periods of time. Try to buy some when its on sale and stash it in the freezer.

Mozzarella is great to have if you like making pizza’s or meatball subs frequently. Cheddar cheeses are good for nachos or cheesing up your macaroni and cheese. Also you can make cheese breads as an easy appetizer.


Always something good to have in your shelf or pantry. Rice lasts a very long time and it doesn’t take much to feed a family. Its also very versatile and easy to cook.

Rice is most commonly cooked by boiling it in water.

Use rice for stir fry, burritos and even soups.

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