Cook Like A Pro With These Pantry Must-Haves | Easy Gourmet Food At Home

Cook Like A Pro With These Pantry Must-Haves | Easy Gourmet Food At Home

After a long day nothing better than getting home and having a delicious dinner. You open your pantry, stare aimlessly into it and think, 'How can I possibly create a meal with anything in here?' That's when your hopes and dreams go away you're hangry and will have to buy crap fast food, again.

The right kitchen basics will make it much easier for you to pull out your favourite recipes (or try something new) and put together a meal at any time of the day. Cooking is simpler and faster when you already have the ingredients. But what sort of items do I have to have in my pantry?

The best way to start is thinking about different courses, like appetizers, mains, drinks and desserts. Then, consider the meals that you already know how to prepare and the ingredients most often used in your home. You especially want to focus on ingredients with a long shelf life that can be shelf-stable for a few weeks or months (or, in some cases, even years), until you need to add them to something you're making. Such as canned beans, jarred olives, artichokes and peppers, crackers, dry pasta, jarred sauce, seltzer and even baking mixes are lifesavers.

We understand how life can be busy and that sometimes it's difficult to get organized and plan in advance, that is why we've created this list of pantries must have:

  1. Oil: even the most basic meals require a type of oil. Whether extra-virgin olive, canola, or vegetable you'll certainly need one. Not only for the basic frying, but Oils are also an amazing way of transforming everyday meals into something special. For example, try adding a tiny drizzle of La Tourangelle Black Truffle Oil on top of popcorn or stir into your mashed potatoes.
  2. Vinegar: widely used in cooking and baking, especially for salad dressing & marinades. The sourness is bracing, just like adding fresh citrus to a dish. By simply drizzling over homemade pizza, a bowl of warm pumpkin soup or even a simple leafy salad or roast vegetables, a dash of balsamic vinegar will make expansive new flavours open up. Check out this 5 minutes entree using the Willow Vale Caramelised Balsamic Reduction.Cook Like A Pro With These Pantry Must-Haves | Easy Gourmet Food At Home| The Local Basket
  3. Soy-Based Sauces: made from fermented soybeans to create a salty liquid used in cooking to create a rich flavour, the Soy Sauce and Tamari Sauce are a great addition to your pantry. If you enjoy Asian cuisine these condiments can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir fry to fry rice. It also works as a tasty topping for beef, chicken and other meats. Try this Teriyaki Chicken Pizza.
  4. Salt: there's more to salt's flavour than taste alone, not all are the same and some are better for cooking. Table salt is the most processed, treated to have fine grains and avoid caking. It's also often fortified with iodine, a chemical our bodies don't make that's essential for proper thyroid function. More expensive sea salts come from shallow pits or pans of sea salt that are allowed to evaporate naturally, and the salt crystals are harvested. At The Local Basket, we offer Olsson's salt, coming from two of the most pristine bodies of water found in Australia, and no chemical processes involved.
  5. Sauces & Dried Pasta: nothing handier than having some sauces & dried pasta ready to go in your pantry, you'll ensure to have a 15-minute dinner anytime you need. A good-tasting, simple tomato sauce can become a soup or a stew, or make a quick dinner with pasta or polenta. 
  6. Stock & Broth: chicken broth is one of the most common ingredients called for in recipes. Add flavour to your soups or casseroles. Beef and vegetable stock are great to enhance the flavour of your meat and are extremely useful in slow cooker recipes. What’s even better? Canned broths have a long shelf life. How about a Roasted Fennel & Garlic Risotto?Cook Like A Pro With These Pantry Must-Haves | Easy Gourmet Food At Home
  7. Nibbles: whether for unexpected guests or as comfort food, it's always a great idea to have some snacks stored. If you keep a few bites on-hand all the time, you'll be ready anytime someone comes knocking. Not your usual supermarket snacks, The Local Basket has an exclusive range of crackersbiscuitschips & chocolate to impress your friends and family.


A well-stocked kitchen is simultaneously comforting and empowering, turning dry, tiny grains and bottled sauces into amazing meals. We hope you like our ideas, but most importantly, remember to stock your pantry with what you’re confident using, and what you love to eat. A meal -- and a cook -- is only as good as the pantry behind it, so with some well-chosen staples and a few extra ingredients you can!