Storecupboard Essentials

A well stocked storecupboard makes preparing tasty meals so much easier. It means you can always prepare something, even if the fridge is bare.

The items on my store cupboard list are used time and again in my recipes so if you do invest in them – I promise you’ll use them regularly.  Buying ingredients to use once, then leave languishing on the shelf until it passes its use-by date isn’t cost effective so I won’t use them in my recipes.


  • Vegetable Oil  – This is perfect for deep frying at higher temperatures and is also used in my muffin and some cake recipes.
  • Olive Oil – This is great for using when frying meat, fish or vegetables. It frys at a high temperature without burning (not to be confused with the ‘extra virgin’ variety.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I only use this for dressings and dips – never cook with it as it burns too easily – plus it’s a waste of a premium ingredient!

Tins & Jars

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Cannellini beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Black olives
  • Tinned tuna – I prefer to buy mine in spring water

Dried Goods

  • Pasta – a long pasta (spaghetti, tagliatelle or linguine) are best for thinner sauces and a short pasta (penne or rigatoni) works well for chunkier or meaty sauces
  • Rice – long grain or basmati rice and a risotto rice (I use Arborio)
  • Noodles – egg or rice noodles are fine
  • Couscous
  • Dried fruit – I usually have apricots, raisins and dates
  • Nuts – ground almonds are useful in both curries and cakes, pine nuts are great for making a quick pesto or in salads and cashew nuts are great in stir-frys

Condiments/Herbs & Spices

  • Sea salt – I always use ‘Maldon Salt’ for it’s delicious taste
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • Good quality balsamic vinegar
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mint sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Dried rosemary
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Curry powder – mild or medium depending on your taste
  • Harissa paste
  • Stock cubes or stock pots – chicken, beef and vegetable


  • Plain flour
  • Self-raising flour
  • Baking powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Caster sugar
  • Soft dark brown muscovado sugar – lovely in sticky cakes
  • Icing sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Runny honey
  • Oats


  • Cornflour – great for thickening sauces and gravy

You might also be interested in my Fridge / Freezer essentials:

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