My Five Must Have Kitchen Ingredients

Sunday 2 January 2022

kitchen ingredients


Today I am very much thinking about some of the kitchen ingredients that I never want to be without and why.  There are just certain things I always keep in my cupboards and more than just a few of them. 

These are the ingredients that I know I can always make a meal out of.  They are versatile and delicious and wholesome. 

They are kitchen store cupboard must haves. Or at least they are my kitchen store cupboard must haves!   




Canned tomatoes and tomato products.  If you have a can or two of tomatoes in your store cupboard, you always have the making of something even if it is only a pot of soup.  I always try to buy the best canned tomatoes that I can afford. 

In the UK, I knew what those were, Cirio. Here I am still exploring what is available, but for the  moment I have Libby's and Alymer tomatoes in my cupboard.  Both whole and chopped in juice. 

I have been known to just eat them out of the tin with a spoon along with a slice of white bread and butter.  Sometimes I just stir them into cooked buttered and seasoned pasta.  Yes, I do LOVE tomatoes. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to use them!!!  

Macaroni, Cheese & Tomato Bake

MACARONI CHEESE & TOMATO BAKE    A delicious macaroni casserole with a fabulous tomato sauce and topped with a rich cheese sauce before baking.  

This is incredibly moreish and delicious and such a simple thing to make.  My oldest daughter and her husband just love it and she makes it for them all the time. Its fabulously tasty! 

Tomato & Rice Soup

TOMATO & RICE SOUP   Tomato & Rice Soup is a great way to use up leftover cooked rice. I prefer brown rice myself as it has more fiber and a higher nutritional value. 

This is a simple and delicious soup that is very satisfying to say the least. This is quite simply one of my favorite soups to make and to eat.  

You can access a full sized recipe here

Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

BUTTER ROASTED TOMATO SAUCE  This is one of my favorite pasta sauces. It is so simplistic, and yet at the same time incredibly delicious.

Proof positive that it is the simple things in life which bring us the most pleasure. Roasting a good tinned tomato in the oven really helps to heighten and bring out their very best flavors! 

Tomato Lasagne

TOMATO LASAGNA  Who says lasagna has to have meat in the sauce to taste good?  This fabulous lasagna has no meat but it is probably one of the most delicious lasagna's you could ever want to make!  

This is simple, uncomplicated, straightforward and delicious.  A delicious tomato sauce, with some cheese, lasagna sheets and a good béchamel.   

Types of Pasta 


The second most important thing that I keep in my kitchen is an assortment of pastas.  Long, short, tubular, flat, noodles, spaghetti, macaroni.  I keep quite a variety.

On its own, simply dressed with butter and some seasoning it makes a very simple and satisfying supper, but add a few other simple ingredients and you have a meal fit for a king! 

Here are some of my favorite pasta recipes: 

Pasta e Piseli

PASTA E PISELI   This recipe only calls for frozen peas, chopped onion, pasta, water and some cheese. You could call this Pasta and Peas. 

And it is fabulously delicious. You wouldn't think that you could make something so tasty out of just these few things, but like magic, you can! 

Pasta with Chicken Broth, Butter & Cheese

PASTA WITH CHICKEN BROTH, BUTTER & CHEESE  This dish  is a beautiful example of simple and uncomplicated foods.  Food done well and put together in a most delicious way.

I love nothing more than a hot bowl of this with some buttered toast on the side. I am in heaven.

Chicken & Parm Pasta Skillet

CHICKEN AND PARM PASTA SKILLET  This is one of my favourite kinds of meals, an all in one dinner for two, with only a very few ingredients.

Pasta, sauce and protein cooking all in the same pan on top of the stove.  I love cooking pasta this way.  It doesn't get over cooked, staying al dente, and the pasta absorbs even more of the flavour from the sauce


KITCHEN SINK PASTA Its amazing what you can cook when all you have area a few bits and bobs to work with. This is the type of cooking that I really like to do most of all . . . being inventive with what I have on hand. 

One of those quick and easy meals for when you are short on ingredients, except for little dabs of this and little dabs of that.  Quick, simple and delicious.  



Another incredibly versatile ingredient that I would not be without is the humble potato.  There is not much you cannot do with a potato. You can use them to make main dishes, side dishes and you can even use the cooking water.

I love them boiled, fried, baked, mashed, roasted, etc. In short. I love potatoes. They are in short, my favorite vegetable and I would not be without them.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use them:  

Perfect Creamy Mashed Potatoes

PERFECT CREAMY MASHED POTATOES  I am sure these need no introduction. On their own or as a side dish to your favorite protein, these are a firm favorite with most people.

And they are very easy to make. Mom always grated in a little bit of onion. That was here secret ingredient. Secret ingredient or not, I don't think anyone can argue that mashed potatoes are not one of the most favorite comfort foods ever! 

Melting Potatoes

MELTING POTATOES This is another favourite way to use potatoes.  Melting Potatoes.  These are done in the oven, a very close cousin to fondant potatoes,  (served here with pan roasted cod, very good) which are done in the same manner, except in a skillet on top of the stove.

These are simply peeled, cut into thick slices, rolled in butter, herbs and seasonings and then roasted until golden brown all over, and they simply melt in your mouth. 

Spiced Crispy Roast Potatoes

SPICED CRISPY ROAST POTATOES  Perfectly seasoned, crisp and delicious. These make the perfect side dish to serve with meat, poultry, fish, eggs, etc.  

Prepare yourself to fall utterly and completely in love. These are well worth falling off of the low carb wagon for!  What will you be serving them with!


Pan Fried Potatoes

PAN FRIED POTATOES  Of all the things my mother cooked for us when we were growing up we knew that when pan fried potatoes were on the menu we were in for a real treat! 

Leftover cold potatoes, sliced and fried in plenty of butter with onions and seasonings. Such a simple thing, but oh so delicious! 

smashed roasted new potatoes

This is a great way to cook baby new potatoes. Crisp on the outsides and soft and fluffy inside. 

Simply boil potatoes, place them on a baking sheet and gently crush them. Brushed with oil or butter and sprinkled with seasonings and roasted until all those broken edges get a crispy and golden brown. Yummilicious! 



Eggs are another ingredient that I would not want to be without. They are a perfect food encased in a shell and come in many sizes and colors. On their own you can enjoy them baked, fried boiled, etc. 

They are also wonderful combined with other things to make no end of a variety of eats.  Main dishes, side dishes, lucious bakes.  The almighty egg is something I just could not live without!  

Some of my favorite egg dishes are: 

Crispy Tortilla Eggs

CRISPY TORTILLA EGGS  I discovered this lovely egg dish a couple of years ago and fell in love.  It is a whole meal in and of itself.   These are phenomenal!  

Buttery crisp tortilla topped with a fried egg and cheese  . . . and garnishes. I like sliced spring onions, sriracha sauce and green tabasco. 

Herb and Egg Gratins


HERB AND EGG GRATINS These make the most perfect of indulgent suppers.  Not a lot of work or hassle . . .  the richness of cream and butter on the bottom of the gratin dishes . . .  the eggs almost poach in this mix.  

Baked eggs in the French manner.  If you follow the recipe exactly, rotating the baking sheet once during the cooking time, you should have perfectly baked eggs, with set whites and runny yolks.  

This makes a lovely simple supper when served along side a nice mixed salad of greens and vegetables. 

Scrambled Eggs Benedict

SCRAMBLED EGGS BENEDICT If you like Eggs Benedict as much as I like Eggs Benedict you will be in Eggs Benedict heaven with this.   

Your family will love this and you will love the ease of creating it.  Elegant, delicious and yet very simple to execute. All the elements of  regular Eggs Benedict, but a whole lot simpler.

Fried Potato Gnocci and Egg

FRIED POTATO GNOCCHI AND EGG  Occasionally my favorite things collide.  Like in this dish where you pan fry potato gnocchi in butter along with some fresh sage leaves. 

Once the gnocchi are golden brown and the sage leaves nice and crisp, you drop in a couple of large free range eggs and cook until just set.  If you don't have potato gnocchi feel free to substitute cold boiled potatoes.  Delicious either way.  



Onions are probably one of the most versatile of kitchen ingredients. I would not, could not be without them. They have a characteristic pungent flavor and are a must have ingredient adding flavor to all dishes they are used in. 

On their own fried in butter, gently caramelized, they are decadently delicious.  Dipped in batter and fried, oh my heavenly bliss.  Raw in salads, etc.   

I cannot imagine a kitchen without some form of onion and these are some of my favorite ways to use them:  

Roasted Onions with a Parmesan Cream

ROASTED ONIONS WITH A PARMESAN CREAM Decadent, gorgeous, filled with lush flavors these are one of my favorite ways to prepare onions.  

These are delicious and so simple to make.   You can have them as a side dish, or a vegetarian main with a grain and a few other vegetables. 

Cheese Scalloped Onions


CHEESE SCALLOPED ONIONS This is a lovely side dish.  Cheese and onions go together so very well.  They also go very well with most things. 

Easy to make. If you can make a creamed sauce, then you can make these.  Crispy topped and oh so decadent. 

Cheese, potato and onion pie

CHEESE, POTATO AND ONION PIE   No meat in sight, but I can promise you won't miss it.  This is a trinity of good taste encased in a rich pastry.

The insides of that gloriously flakey crust, with all those scrummy caramelized onions, and potatoes . . .  cream and cheese . . .  all meld together in unctuous gloriosity! To. Die. For.  Simple.  

Cheese and Onion Soup

CHEESE AND ONION SOUP  This is quite simply one of my all time favorite soups. I have been making it for years and years.  It always amazes me that something so delicious can come from such a very few simple ingredients.

This delicious recipe is proof positive that you need neither fancy expensive ingredients nor extreme talent to create a soul warming extremely great tasting soup.


favorite ingredients  

And there you have it my five must have, cannot do without kitchen ingredients. The five things I could not live without, along with 20 different ways to use them.

What are your favorite kitchen ingredients and how do you like to use them?  What is it that you cannot live without!! Tell me, I really want to know!! 

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  1. It's amazing what you can make with a few basic food items. President's Choice used to have a bottled Hollandaise Sauce that was delicious. Any leftover sauce was good over veggies. Now I'm hungry but it is a little too early for breakfast. Enjoy your Sunday. It's a snowy day here. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. I think a good bottled Hollandaise Sauce is a great thing to have in the store cupboard Elaine. President's Choice also used to make a great sauce many years ago called Grandmother Magilacutty's Sage & Onion Sauce. I loved it and used it a lot. A spoonful added to gravies was fabulous! They haven't made it in a long time now. Sad that! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. Oh wow! Thanks for the simple recipes. I'm going to try the tortilla and egg dish for breakfast.

  3. This is a fun idea for a post! Ithink I might have to add this to my ideas pile! Amazon says your cookbook will arrive tomorrow!


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