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Pantry Must-Have: Chickpeas

Pantry Must-Have: Chickpeas

I aspire to be a person who always uses dried beans rather than canned, but I’m just not always that organized. I’ll keep working towards this goal; in the meantime, I always buy canned chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans). When they’re on sale, I stock up.

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They serve so many purposes for me. As a single person cooking for one, I like that I am able to work one can into several, completely different meals. I always rinse and drain the chickpeas before use. Here are a few of my favorite uses:

1. Soup: Chickpeas go great in soups, both broth-based and pureed, and go particularly well with sweet potatoes and butternut squash, (add chickpeas near the end of cook time).

2. Green Salad: Toss in with mixed greens, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, crispy prosciutto, and a basil vinaigrette.

3. Salad (good for lunch to-go): Toss in with pearl barley, golden raisins, toasted almonds, green onion, and a red wine vinaigrette.

4. Pasta: Sauté the chickpeas with garlic, red onion and spinach, toss with farfalle and a simple brown butter sauce.

5. Braised Meats: Add to a slow-cooker meal with lamb, onion, tomatoes, curry, warm spices, and dried apricots.

Bobby Flay&rsquos Pantry Must-Haves Are So Relatable

As a chef𠅊nd Iron Chef, in fact—restaurateur and cookbook author, Bobby Flay has been welcoming us into his TV kitchen on Food Network for decades. Now, he&aposs inviting us into his actual kitchen and giving us a sneak peek of what and how he cooks when he&aposs off the clock.

"Earlier this year, @misfitsmarket asked their followers to send in some questions for me to answer. One of them: What are my 5 pantry staples? Here&aposs my answer," @bobbyflay says in the caption for the IGTV video.

Flay joined the "ugly produce" food waste-reducing subscription box brand Misfits Market as the chef-in-residence in October 2020.

"Five would not be enough, but I&aposll give you a couple of ideas," Flay says as he stands in his walk-in pantry. and proceeds to give us a lot more ideas than "a couple." (And we&aposre grateful for all the tips and sneak peeks!)

He swaps containers for many of his spices and baking staples, but for all the products in cans and jars we could spot the labels, we&aposre linking them here so you can channel your inner Food Network star.

  • Extra virgin olive oil, which he uses to finish a dish
  • Canola oil, which Flay uses for cooking
  • Canned whole peeled tomatoes (Flay stocks these Cento Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes $40 for 12, 28-ounce cans,
  • Calabrian chilis (He has TuttoCalabria Sliced Calabrian Chili Peppers $11.40 for 10 ounces,
  • Piquillo peppers
  • Spanish paprika
  • A variety of mustards (We spied French&aposs Classic Yellow Squeeze Bottle Mustard $19.40 for six 14-ounce bottles,
  • Capers
  • Ketchup (Heinz Tomato Ketchup $12 for six, 20-ounce bottles,, is tucked right in the front of the condiments shelf)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Long grain rice
  • Arborio rice
  • Polenta
  • A variety of flours
  • Classic bread crumbs
  • Panko bread crumbs (You can snag two, 25-ounce canisters for $13.85 on
  • A mix of pasta shapes
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Fish sauce
  • Coconut milk
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Ground chile de arbol

"Can I have your pantry lol. Love it ❤️," one fan commented on the video. Once you take a peek, we think you&aposll agree!

If you&aposre interested in a deep dive of the spices Flay swears by to perk up his meal, check out this bonus 5-minute Instagram video.

5. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

A shepherd’s pie is sure to please the whole family. It’s simple, filling, and comforting. Ditch the traditional meat filling and try lentils instead. You’ll be surprised at how meaty and satisfying it tastes.

Use just one pot to make this coconut curry soup. | Jessica in the Kitchen.

How To Put Together A Healthy Pantry Meal

Base Your Meal Around Your Protein

Think about what protein you want to have for dinner, then build from there. If you are having lentils or beans this will also give you time to prepare them for maximum nutrition – see my post How To Cook Lentils + 5 Reasons Why We Should Eat Lentils. If you have some tofu available – think ok do I have stir-fry vegetables or buddha bowl ingredients? If you have edamame on hand – think do I have ingredients for an Asian soup, or can I make an edamame hummus? Here are some example combinations:

  • Red Lentils: They break apart nicely so go well in soups or curries.
  • Green or French Lentils: They hold their shape better so go great on salads, Buddha bowls or in any dish that would traditionally use minced meat.
  • Chickpeas: You can add them to a curry, on top of a Buddha bowl, on top of a roasted vegetable sheet-pan dinner.
  • Beans: Beans such as kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans or bean-mixes go great in salads, soups or stews.
  • Black-Beans: Great to have on hand to make tacos, just add some Mexican seasoning mix.
  • Tofu and Tempeh: Great baked or pan-fried and added to stir-frys, on top of Buddha bowls, or into Thai or Indian inspired curries.
  • Edamame Beans: Add them to soups, or on top of Buddha bowls or salads. Purchase them in the shell and they are a great high protein snack.

How To Use Up Leftover Vegetables

When your crisper is looking pretty bare and your not sure what to make, I like to think of my vegetables as going into four categories. From your vegetables, can you make a one – stir-fry, two – a soup or stew, three – a salad, or four – roasted vegetables.

  • Stir-fry: cabbage, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, mushroom, onion, ginger, garlic, bok choy, peppers
  • Soup or Stew: potato, sweet potato or yam, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, mushroom, parsnip, turnip
  • Salad: spinach, kale, beets, carrot, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, peppers, cabbage
  • Roasted Vegetables: potato, sweet potato or yam, mushroom, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts

What Pantry Staples Should I Stock Up On?

What do you go through a lot of in your house? Make a list of items you don’t think you could go without, and make sure you have at least a few week’s supply in your house. For some people this might be coffee, for others, it might be frozen berries. Whatever it is, try to make sure you have slightly more than a 2-weeks supply at home, just in case the grocery store is without on your next shopping trip.

Homemade Hemp Milk Recipe

Dried Mexican chiles

Why We Love It: "I don’t have all the onions/carrots/herbs for making flavorful stock right now, but chiles take care of the work. I have at least six different types in my pantry from a shopping spree in Mexico City last spring (remember VACATIONS?). The other day I made a pot of pinto beans with one morita chile, nothing else, and it flavored them completely with a sweet smokiness. Today I threw a spicy arbol into a pot of bleh quinoa. Tomorrow—who knows? my sanity is waning—a chipotle might drop into my coffee grounds. A guajillo in my bathtub. Things are getting weird here.” —Alex Beggs, senior staff writer

Pantry Essentials Tips & FAQ

The essential pantry staples for home cooking are basic ingredients you need for a well-stocked kitchen so you can prepare almost any meal.

Naturally, this varies from person to person based on personal tastes, dietary requirements and cuisine preferences. To get an idea on what this looks like for you, assess what ingredients you use on a regular basis. Do you mostly cook with extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil? What meals do you have on a regular basis? Do you have any allergies or dietary preferences like gluten-free or vegan? Do you regularly cook pasta dishes or rice?

Once you’ve established these key areas, you’ll have an understanding on what this looks like for you. Included in this post, I’ve prepared a kitchen pantry essentials checklist to help you develop a well-stocked and functional pantry!

Pantry recipes are homemade meals created using staple pantry ingredients you have available. The best thing about these recipes is that you can usually substitute and adapt the ingredients to what you have available at home.

The one thing to keep in mind while you’re reading a recipe, is to have fun with the process, be flexible and to make the recipe your own by experimenting!

What people consider “essential” depends on their personal tastes. Although you could prepare most cuisines with the below 9 spices, I suggest you experiment to find your preferred tastes.
* Fine Sea Salt
* Whole peppercorns (freshly cracked
* Cinnamon (ground or sticks)
* Ground coriander
* Ground cumin
* Ground cayenne pepper (omit if you use fresh chilli)
* Dried chilli flakes
* Paprika and
* Dried oregano.

I’ve written a free 80+ Kitchen Pantry Essentials Checklist that covers other staple items like essential baking ingredients, essential oils and vinegars, freezer staples etc. You can download it below.

Air Fryer Chickpea Taco Tools


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my disclosure.

Here are some of the items you will need to make this recipe.

    • .
  • Use this handy spatula for stirring the chickpeas.
  • Measure out your spices with these measuring spoon set.
  • Mix your chickpeas in these mixing bowls.
  • Try this spice kit for different flavours on the chickpeas.
  • Cook chickpeas on this roasting pan if you prefer them in the oven. .
    • Store leftover food in these bowls.
    • Please check out my must-have list of Air Fryer accessories. There is something for everyone.

    Ready to whip up a quick colourful supper? Then gather all your ingredients and let me show you &hellip

    Courtney Davison is Forks Over Knives’ associate editor. A writer and editor on a wide range of subjects, she co-wrote a nationally syndicated advice column from 2016 to 2018 and co-authored the 2018 book Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice from Dear Annie. Courtney is a longtime vegan and in her free time enjoys trying new recipes and spending quality time with her cat.

    see more from this author

    Olive oil. In all cooking and baking, you need some kind of fat. My favorite for cooking is usually an extra virgin olive oil, perfect for sautéing, sprinkling over avocado toast, and everything in between.

    Vinegar. Adding acid to a meal will immediately brighten your meal and take it to the next level, not to mention, it is the base of all homemade salad dressings (1 part acid to 2 parts fat/oil is the trick!) and it can turn milk into buttermilk—hello, homemade biscuits!

    Honey. Or your preferred sweetener (sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc.) because if you want to be able to make sweets on the go, you’ve got to have a sweetener.

    Sriracha. Add a dash of this tangy, spicy sauce to any rice bowl, egg dish, or pretty much whatever you want and it adds instant flavor, heat, and that something that immediately makes a dish taste more complex.

    Now let&rsquos talk about fried Brussels sprouts. I know when you hear the word &ldquofried&rdquo you&rsquore immediately turned off. Who can eat &ldquofried&rdquo food all the time? Folks, you can add Brussels sprouts in the air fryer to the guilt free eating list. Seriously.

    Don&rsquot use more than 2 tbsp in your air fryer when &ldquofrying&rdquo anything which is great for your waistline. The air fryer uses a power fan to move air throughout while cooking your food. The air fryer is quicker than the convection oven and will crisp your food faster and better than the oven.