With a well-stocked pantry, you can always come up with a good, hearty meal even if you're low on time. The concept of a "perfect pantry" will, of course, vary from person to person - but these essentials are incredibly convenient to keep around in case of black-outs, emergencies, and just because of how common they're used in a wide variety of recipes.

The Bare Minimum

These essentials are used in an incredibly diverse range of recipes.

  1. All-purpose Flour
  2. Granulated Sugar
  3. Salt
  4. Pepper
  5. Oils (canola, vegetable, and/or olive)

Long-lasting Pantry Goods

While fresh ingredients are great, it's good to keep a store of canned goods and long-lasting grains in case of an emergency or certain foods are out of season.

  1. Canned Broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  2. Canned Tomatoes (diced, whole. pastes and sauces)
  3. Canned Tuna
  4. Pasta (your favorite varieties)
  5. Rice and other grains
  6. Bread Crumbs

Spice Rack

What spices are the most useful in your kitchen? Depending on what kinds of foods you like, this will obviously vary, but here are a few frequently used ones to keep in mind.

  1. Cayenne or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  2. Curry Powder
  3. Cumin
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Garlic Powder
  6. Onion Powder
  7. Paprika

Dried Herbs

There are plenty of differences between dried herbs and fresh herbs that vary depending on the variety, but these are great staples to have around.

  1. Basil
  2. Oregano
  3. Rosemary
  4. Parsley
  5. Bay Leaves

Fridge and Freezer Foods

Grocery store staples you'll probably want to keep in your fridge or freezer most of the time.

  1. Eggs
  2. Milk
  3. Butter (or margarine)
  4. Corn
  5. Peas
  6. Carrots
  7. Ground Beef
  8. Chicken Breast

Photo Credits: Preparedness Advice, Food as Passion, My Recipes, Modern Furniture Pic, Brooklyn Based

Top 10 Christmas Cookies of the Season.
Hearty, Chunky Soups for a Cold Day.
Healthy, Easy New Ways to Enjoy Salmon.
10 Tasty Ways to Make Canned Tuna Gourmet.
10 Creative New Ways to Cook Salmon.
12 Terrific New Takes on Jalapeño Poppers.
Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Pastas.
Snack Healthy with Homemade Hummus.
Every Dish is Made Better with Beer.
10 Exceptional Coffee Drinks to Make at Home.
10 Handy Meals Made in a Muffin Tin.
Vegan Appetizers Anyone Will Love.
Simple, Hearty Mexican Dishes for a Crowd.
10 Succulent Salmon Dishes for Healthier Eating.
Appetizer Ideas for the Big Game.
Italian Dishes Minus the Indulgence.
Cozy Chili Recipes and Creative Ways to Enjoy Them.
Fantastic, Flavorful 5-Ingredient Chicken Dinners.
10 Savory Curries You Can Make in a Hurry.
5 Creative Cinco de Mayo Recipes to get the Fiesta Started!.
Fun Football Shaped Bites for the Super Bowl.
The Ultimate Super Bowl Appetizer: 5-Layer Football Field Dip.
TOUCHDOWN! The Extreme Super Bowl Recipe Round-Up.
Complete Your Meal With a Perfect Wine Pairing.
Food Pairings with Sean McKenzie and Dave Matthews.
Top 10 Tips for Winning Dinners!.
From Apples to Kale to Salmon, How to Keep What You Love Fresh.
Cooking with Silk®.
Grow Your Own Ingredients: Fresh Garden Favorites.
Bring Game Day Parties to Life with Lit'l Smokies.
5 Lit’l Smokies Recipes to Bring Holiday Parties to Life.
Foods that Will Put You to Sleep.
5 Tips For Enjoying The Holiday Season, Guilt Free and Naturally.
Black Bean & Corn Guacamole.
Slow Roasted Pork Arepas with Quick Pickled Onions and Chimichurri.
Citrus Salmon and Watermelon Popsicles.