I can admit it: I cannot live without these kitchen staples. You’ve probably noticed the theme of me usually throwing things together last minute, but honestly, that’s life. As much as I work on planning ahead, there are always going to be a few meals that just slip through the cracks. In these moments of kitchen crises, I look forward to the challenge of taking what I have on hand and attempting to make the greatest thing ever, or at least something that passes as dinner.
So, every time I find myself unprepared and out of time, I am able to rise to the occasion because of these 6 items. They’re my kitchen staples that I could never live without!
6 Kitchen Staples I Can’t Live Without
1. Quinoa/Rice/Cauliflower Rice
This might seem obvious, but you can pretty much turn anything into a meal with the addition of rice. I’m all about revamping or stretching leftovers, so making a quick fried rice using the majority of the staples on this list is usually one of my first go-to meals when I don’t have anything planned. It’s easy, and successful 100% of the time.
2. Frozen Stir Fry Veggies
Again, if you have this and some rice, you have a meal. You can add the veggies to other meals of course, but I use these most when I’m feeling unimaginative and I feel like we could all use an extra dose of vegetables. Luckily, my kids love broccoli so it’s a win/win.
3. Frozen Pizza Dough
Make your own pizza night is a family favorite around here. Pizza dough is easy to make from scratch if you’re feeling adventurous and have the time, but it’s very affordable and your grocery store will have some fresh refrigerated dough you can grab. I always buy extra and toss it into the freezer to rescue us when we need something a little more exciting for dinner. Pizza is just a crowd pleaser! You can get as creative as you want with your pizza toppings or stick with the old favorites. The choice is yours, but with dough in your arsenal you can make dinner fun and delicious in a pinch.
4. Everything Seasoning
I should’ve put this on my Trader Joe’s Must Haves because this stuff is the BEST and I talk about it probably way too much. Here are just a few of my favorite uses for this seasoning:
- on hummus
- on avocado toast
- as fried rice seasoning (duh, in this post)
- on scrambled or soft boiled eggs
- crunchy topping on your salads
- in popcorn
- on your chex mix
This seems like a no-brainer, but I like to use eggs to extend the life of leftovers. You can make a frittata or omelet out of just about any leftover meat you have. Throw an egg into your stir fry or soup. Eggs are a kitchen essential in so many ways that they should have been number one on my list. Maybe I need chickens?
6. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Okay, okay, please don’t judge me, but if I don’t have these in my freezer I feel incomplete. Throw them in pancake batter, eat a handful for a quick dessert, or whip up a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies — you have eggs, after all! Trust me, you ALWAYS need chocolate on hand.
What do you keep on hand at all times? I’d love to expand my list of favorites!