Puerto Rican pantry staples are pantry essentials for making Puerto Rican food! Here is a list of items you will need to have stocked for cooking Puerto Rican food in your home.
Also, below there is a free printable to keep track of your pantry staples!
With everything that is going on right now, it is extremely important to make sure you have a stocked kitchen.
🍚 Dry Goods
Dry goods are best when bought in bulk and are great to have multiples of for smaller items.
Stock up on dry goods when they're on sale and remember to transfer items into containers with tight lids to ensure it remains fresh for a longer period of time and keeps away any pests.
- white sugar
- brown sugar
- baking powder
- baking soda
- corn starch (perfect for making natilla)
- dry milk or shelf stable milk
- dry beans- (Grab at least 2-3 of each variety to make different recipes such as refried beans from pinto beans or congri with black beans.)
- rolled oats (I love quick oats!)
- fine cornmeal (optional)
- cream of wheat
- bar of chocolate to make hot chocolate
- dried chili peppers (optional -perfect to make homemade pique or to add spice to your hot chocolate)
- soda crackers
- tea bags
- peanut butter
Check out our list of Puerto Rican rice recipes we have and learn all about the different grains of rice!
🥫 Canned Goods
The list below has some must have canned goods for Puerto Rican recipes. I personally try to have 5 or more cans of what I use often on hand (outside of sardines and octopus).
- tomato sauce (small 8oz cans)
- evaporated milk - Feeling a little festive? Enjoy a cup of homemade coquito!
- condensed milk - An essential ingredient for flan!
- coconut milk
- cream of coconut
- Vienna sausages -Try our vienna sausages with rice recipe!
- corned beef - Try our Puerto Rican corned beef with potatoes recipe!
- tuna -Go light and hearty with our tuna chayote salad!
- sardines (optional)
- octopus (optional)
- guava paste
- green olives
🍶 Oil, Vinegar, and Sauces
Oil, vinegar, and sauces are pantry staples that are used daily to marinate, saute, or add flavor to recipes! If I have to choose two items from the list below, it is oil and vinegar! (Then lemon and lime juice!)
- white vinegar (Large container.)
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- canola or vegetable oil
- soy sauce
- BBQ sauce - pulse with guava to make guava BBQ sauce!
- pasta sauce
- lemon juice
- lime juice
🧂 Herbs and Spices
The secret to Puerto Rican food having so much flavors often comes down to the herbs and spices used for cooking.
The MUST HAVE herbs and spices I always have on hand are (garlic powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, and chicken bullion) - no questions asked!
- black pepper
- adobo (optional)
- sazon (optional)
- chicken bullion (powder or paste)
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- dried oregano
- parsley flakes
- star anise
- ground cinnamon
- cinnamon sticks
- vanilla extract
- bay leaves
Achiote seeds is infused with oil to make achiote oil. Use this oil in place of sazon to add vibrant color to your food! Here is how to make achiote oil with just two ingredients!
🍴 Refrigerator Items
- cheese (cream, blocks, sliced)
- fresh herbs like cilantro
Don't throw out spoiled milk! If you realize your fridge can not fit another gallon of milk in it, allow it to curdle so you can make dulce de leche cortada! Here is a recipe to make curdled milk candy.
- Sofrito (homemade sofrito or store bought Goya sofrito is fine)
- pork fat
- puff pastry - This is a must have freezer item to make guava and cheese puff pastries also known as the famous pastelitos de guayaba!
- fruit for smoothies etc.
📋 Pantry Printable
Having a list of pantry staples on hand is always a great way to keep up with what needs to be replenished. You can click on the image below or here for your free printable plus shopping list sheets!