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With a well-stocked pantry you are always prepared to answer the most important question of the day, “What’s for dinner?”.

Here’s the remaining items on my list of Top 10 Pantry Essentials.

Top 10 Pantry Essentials Part II

#5

Dried pasta and noodles. Who doesn’t love a good plate of pasta? It’s cheap and quick to prepare. You can simmer a spaghetti sauce in under an hour, make a cream sauce in 15 minutes, or simply toss your pasta with some basil pesto. If you’re gluten-free keep rice noodles or soba noodles on hand.

#4

Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Having canned tomatoes on hand is a must. Use them for a super simple spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, or as a base for a casserole. (Try my Baked Ziti!)  

#3

Vinegars. Notice the plural? Keep a variety of vinegars on hand for a super quick salad dressing. With a drizzle of olive oil, followed by a splash of vinegar your salads will come alive. And add a splash of vinegar to almost any dish to make it pop. Vinegars you should always have on hand: red wine, basalmic, white wine, apple cider, and white.

#2

Oil. Always keep olive oil  and avocado oil in the pantry. Buy cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil and organic avocado oil. Olive oil provides the delicate taste you need for salad dressings. Avocado oil has a higher smoke point and is the perfect oil of choice when for a high-heat kitchen manuever like pan-searing. If you fry frequently, peanut oil is your better choice.

#1

Kosher salt. We hear a lot about salt and its overuse in our diet. But here’s the truth. You NEED salt to live. And your tastebuds need your food to be properly seasoned. The only way you’re going to overdo salt in your diet is if you eat a lot of convenient and pre-prepared foods. Learn to properly season your food. Kosher salt is the choice of professional cooks and should be your choice as well.

Find items 6-10 of Top 10 Pantry Essentials here.