When we entry into a new season, it reminds me to go through my pantry and throw away anything that is expired. It also gets me in the mood to do a pantry refresh. As the weather cools in the fall and we crave warmer, filling foods, it becomes the perfect time to stock up your pantry so that you can whip up hearty meals in no time. As a result, I’ve rounded up the best fall pantry staples to add to your cabinets.
All of the ingredients I recommend can be easily found at your local grocery store, but I will also list Amazon shopping links, so that you’re just clicks away from securing the perfect fall pantry. You can find these items from any brand, but some may or may not be organic, so be sure to go with the ingredients you prefer.
10. Broth (Bone, Chicken, or Vegetable)
Broth of any kind can become a secret weapon in the kitchen. Whether you’re making chicken, fish, or vegetables, you can always toss a little broth in there for extra flavor and nutrition, or make a sauce to go on top.
Furthermore, if you have some leftovers lying around, you can throw them in a pot with the broth and make your own homemade soup. This is great when you have vegetables of any kind and some leftover meatballs or chicken, for example. On cold, fall evenings, you’ll be so happy to have broth on hand in your pantry.
9. Canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are great to keep in your cabinets because they were canned when the most ripe. As a result, you can have fresh, in-season tomatoes during the fall when the tomatoes in the grocery store might not be as delicious as they are in the summer. I recommend buying plain and then you can add all the seasonings later when cooking up your recipe.
You can use canned tomatoes in soups, pasta sauces, or meat marinades. It comes in handy more than you might realize, so take advantage of buying cheap canned tomatoes now.
8. Tomato paste
Even though it might sound similar to canned tomatoes, tomato paste is actually very different. It’s thicker and creates a much richer flavor because it doesn’t have any of the tomato juices in it. As a result, it’s a key ingredient for tomato-like sauces because it will not make them watery.
Tomato paste is great fall pantry staple because it comes in small serving sizes, so you can buy it in bulk from Amazon and take out one tube of paste at a time. Tons of pasta recipes use tomato paste, so I can guarantee you’ll use it this fall.
7. Coconut milk
Coconut milk is an ingredient that most dairy lovers get weary of. However, it is a much healthier alternative to heavy cream and you can keep it in your kitchen for months at a time. This eliminates the stress of always having to have fresh dairy in the fridge.
Plus, you can use coconut milk to thicken up any sauces, soups, or even curry dishes. It brings a creamy, rich texture without all of the fat, so it shouldn’t be skipped in your pantry this fall. I recommend the unsweetened version because then you can use it in sweet or savory dishes.
Pro tip: you can even add this to your coffee in the morning if you run out of creamer.
6. Sweetened condensed milk
Sweetened condensed milk is an ingredient you may not have on hand. However, it can be one of the best fall pantry staples if you enjoy desserts or baking. Sweetened condensed milk is used in many pie recipes like pumpkin and apple, which are very popular in the fall. Plus, it can be used to make desserts like shaved ice, avocado coffee, dulce de leche, and more.
ALSO READ: 7 Easy Global Street Desserts at Home
5. Pumpkin puree
Nothing screams fall like pumpkin, so you have to get some pumpkin puree in your fall pantry haul. You can make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin pie, pumpkin overnight oats, and tons of other incredible fall recipes. Need I say more?
The great thing about pumpkin puree is that it usually doesn’t have extra ingredients added on. As a result, it’s full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so you can use it in nutritious ways. Be sure to get puree and not pumpkin pie filling, unless you want that premade. Both are examples of fall pantry staples that can help you in a pinch, but it depends on the end result you’re looking for. I tend to recommend plain puree because there are more recipes you can make.
Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber that you should add to your fall pantry staples. They work great with tons of cuisines like Italian, Greek, and Indian. You can marry them to many flavors because they are quite plain on their own. In fact, some grocery stores offer pre-marinated chickpeas, which can be a quick topping for rice or plain meats.
Many people use chickpeas in salads, but my favorite recipes for the fall include soups, pastas, and hummus. Have you ever made your own hummus before? If you keep a few cans of chickpeas in your pantry, you can whip up fresh hummus any time you want.
3. Pre-made soup
While this fall pantry staple is obvious, it is often overlooked unless illness has made its way into your home. However, soup in a jar, can, or package, can be a warm and comforting meal during the upcoming fall and winter months. The best thing about pre-made soup is you either have to warm it up or add water and that’s it. What could be easier or save you more time?
When looking for soup, think about vegetables or flavors you enjoy. There are so many options available, but here are some of my favorites:
2. Artichoke hearts
Artichoke hearts can be a salty addition to any meal, but especially soups, pastas, and chicken bakes, which I happen to make the most during the fall. It’s another vegetable that you can add to tons of recipes, especially when you might be running low on fresh produce.
Not to mention, but artichokes can be very time consuming and tricky to prepare at home. Instead, opt for these already cut, ready to serve artichoke hearts in a can. If you don’t like artichokes, a similar ingredient to keep around is olives. The salty flavor these ingredients provide can really spruce up any dinner dish.
1. Apple sauce
When thinking of the best fall pantry staples, I had to put applesauce as my number one. That’s because apple season is in the fall, so it is included in so many recipes and desserts. I can’t personally taste apple without thinking of fall.
Interestingly, applesauce can be used in certain meat dishes like pork or ham. It can also be used as a healthy substitute for oils in baking recipes. For example, many pumpkin bread recipes replace oil with applesauce and it gives the end result a softer texture as well as more nutrition.
Last, but not least, you can eat applesauce as a healthy snack for some extra fiber and natural sugar. I recommend getting the unsweetened kind because it’s pretty sweet on its own already. This keeps it easy and healthy to whip out in the kitchen.
Why Fall Pantry Staples Are Your Secret Weapon
There are so many reasons why I love canned and pantry foods. Mainly, I like being prepared and pantry foods always save me when I’m in a pinch or don’t know what to make for dinner. There are some truly delicious recipes that you can whip up entirely from these fall pantry staples.
Long shelf life
The first reason to embrace pantry foods is that they have a much longer shelf life than fresh produce and other ingredients you can buy at the grocery store. As a result, you can pick up a few things in advance and leave them in your pantry for 3-6 months at a time. It’s nice to buy in bulk without worrying if you’ll use all the ingredients or waste food.
Pantry foods help you cook seasonally even when you’re in a time crunch or don’t have access to fresh produce. For example, canned tomatoes are canned in the summer when tomatoes are fresh and in season. That way, when you want to make a dish in the fall using tomatoes, they will be far better than anything you can buy in the grocery store during that time of year.
Pantry foods tend to have hearty and filling ingredients that make great chili, soups, and side dishes. As a result, it can be a cost effective way to fill up on your meals. Check out the ingredients on the can if you’re curious what is actually going into the foods. Luckily, there are tons of brands that offer clean and simple canned goods, so you don’t have to eat preservatives or added chemicals in canned or pre-packaged foods these days.
Savory Cheese and Rosemary Bars
Now that you have a list of the 10 best fall pantry staples, get to your online grocery stores and stock up on these goods. I promise it’s worth the investment now because soon enough, we won’t want to leave the house when it gets cold or busy during the holidays. You’ll thank yourself that you have these healthy choices on hand and they can last in the fridge for months at a time. Prepared cooking is always the most enjoyable.