I like to keep my store cupboard well stocked with essentials such as canned or jar food, basic ingredients and long life products, ready for when I need them. Whether it’s for when I’ve been on the run all day and need to whip something up quickly for the family. Or my bank account has run dry and there’s still a week to go before I get paid. Here are some of my favourite store cupboard essentials.

1. Pasta

Dried pasta is great for turning into an easy pasta dish or a pasta bake. My go to recipes are spaghetti Bolognese and macaroni cheese. Both are really simple to make.

2. Bolognese Sauce

Essential for making a spaghetti Bolognese or pasta bake. If you have fresh minced meat available you can cook it in the sauce.

3. Tinned Tomatoes

No store cupboard is complete without a tin of tomatoes. Great to use on a pizza base or in a vegetable curry. To make a pasta bake or a homemade soup.

4. Rice

Standard Basmati rice is great for use with an easy curry or with tinned tuna, gherkins, peas and carrots for a rice salad.

5. Noodles

Dried noodles, like pasta, have along shelf life. They are great to cook and eat as they are with a dash of soy sauce or be a bit more adventurous and stir fry them.

6. Tinned Fish

Tinned fish such as tuna is a great store cupboard essential as it can be used to dress a salad, create a pasta bake, use as a sandwich filling or turned into fishcakes.

Oily fish such as mackerel and salmon are full of essential Omega 3 fatty acids, so they’re really healthy for you. Again, these fish are great to mix with pasta to turn into a pasta bake or enjoy on toast or with bread and butter. My son has been eating mackerel fillets in tomato sauce with a slice of bread and butter since he was about 3.

7. Tinned Vegetables

Tinned vegetables such as peas, carrots and sweetcorn can be useful to have on standby.

8. Lemon Juice

When you haven’t any fresh lemons, long life lemon juice is a great substitute. Lemon juice has a long shelf life to store in your cupboard but once opened you’ll need to keep it in the fridge and generally use within 6 weeks of opening. I like to buy small bottles of juice for this reason.

9. Vinegar

Vinegars are often used in recipes that need a bit of acidity. I keep balsamic, red & white vinegars for different dishes such as beef tomato salad with balsamic vinegar.

10. Oils

Oils such as sunflower, vegetable, rapeseed or olive oil will regularly be used in cooking methods such as frying and roasting. Olive oil can be drizzled over salad, other oils can be used to make a salad dressing.

11. Stock Cubes

Stock cubes come in different flavours (vegetable, chicken and beef) and can be crumbled into one-pots for instant added flavour or they can be used in sauces and gravy,

12. Porridge Oats

Porridge oats are handy not only as a breakfast options but also as ingredients for other recipes such as oat biscuits and flapjacks (you can add the dried fruit and honey you also have stored).

13. Tinned Fruit

Canned fruit is useful for a quick and easy dessert. Pour custard or evaporated milk (you can store these items too!) over the top.

14. Honey

Honey is great to use as a sweetener. Use it in breakfast cereals, flapjacks, salads and to glaze meat or root vegetables such as carrots.

15. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is useful for mixing with porridge oats for a breakfast or to make flapjacks.

Remember to make sure your store cupboard is in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. Keep only items that you are likely to use and make sure you regularly check the sell by dates. Although dry goods have a long shelf life, the do expire after a certain amount of time.

Interesting Recipes

If you’re looking for some interesting recipes have a look at these:

Fully loaded vegan brownies

Tomato and roasted red pepper soup

Vegan matcha cookies