16 Pantry Basics You Can Make At Home

Yes, you really can make your own pantry basics! from Easy No-Soak Beans in the pressure cooker to DIY Tomato Sauce, we've got you covered.

16 Pantry Basics

Growing up, I didn’t realize just how many things I could make from scratch. I grew up on bottled salad dressings and condensed soups. I’ll never forget the first time I read about making my own cream of mushroom soup. I was floored by how easy it was, and it really didn’t add a ton of time to what I was cooking.

Since that day, I’ve learned how to make a lot of pantry items from scratch and have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of not relying heavily on canned items.

Yes, I said FREEDOM! I remember the feeling of defeat I used to have when I wanted to make a recipe but didn’t have the canned goods in my pantry. Since I've learned how to make things on my own, I just have to have a few basics stocked up, and the possibilities are endless.

If looking at this round-up overwhelms you, and you think, “There’s no way I can make all these things from scratch all the time!” -- have no fear! I totally hear you!

Just start with one item and master making it. Use it in several different recipes, and before you know it, making it from scratch will become like second nature. Once you’ve got it down, move to another item and repeat the process. You’ve got this!

  • How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Instant Pot

    How To Make Fast, No-Soak Beans in the Pressure Cooker
    Emma Christensen

    Canned beans are so easy and convenient, but there are times when you run out of them and don’t have the time to soak dry beans overnight. This is why your pressure cooker is your new best friend! You can have perfect beans ready to go in under an hour!

  • Honey Mustard Dressing

    Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing - ball jar with honey mustard dressing wtih silver spoon
    Sally Vargas

    Once made, this dressing will last for up to two weeks in the fridge. It comes together in under ten quick minutes and can double as a marinade for chicken!

  • Easy Make-Ahead Alfredo Sauce

    Easy Alfredo Sauce tossed with pasta in serving bowl
    Emma Christensen

    Once you learn just how easy it is to make this sauce, you’ll wonder why you ever used the jarred stuff! We’ve also included a video at the end of the recipe so you can actually see just how easy it is to make!

  • How to Cook Instant Pot Rice

    Instant Pot rice in a bowl with a spoon and the instant pot in the background
    Coco Morante

    This is hands down my favorite method to use when making rice. It’s so easy to do and once the rice and water is added, it’s totally hands off. Gummy rice and overflowing boiling pots of water are a thing of the past! (P.S. You can freeze rice too!)

    Continue to 5 of 16 below.
  • Refried Beans

    Refried Beans Recipe in Bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Master homemade refried beans, and you’ll be set for life! They are so easy and extremely versatile! Serve them plain, on top of nachos or tostadas, use them as a filling for burritos, and even in a 7-layer dip. However you serve them, just make sure to double the batch because they’ll be gone fast!

  • Basic Tomato Sauce

    Basic Tomato Sauce
    Elise Bauer

    Use this instead of jarred sauce for all your sauce-y needs: a quick bowl of pasta, lasagna, pizza, dip for breadsticks...the list goes on. Make a double batch and freeze the extra!

  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

    Easy chicken noodle soup in a white bowl.
    Elise Bauer

    With cooler temperatures quickly approaching, this is one recipe you’ll want to keep in your back pocket. It really is a souper recipe! (And here's how to make it in the instant pot!)

  • Instant Pot Yogurt

    How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot
    Alison Conklin

    This may seem overwhelming to make, but I promise it’s not! Making it in the Instant Pot is a fail-proof way to make yogurt. You just press a few buttons and you’re done! Okay, there are a few other steps involved, but not that much more. Give it a whirl and see for yourself just how easy {and fun} it is to make!

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

    Elise Bauer

    I grew up on bottle ranch dressing and it was not my favorite. When I discovered homemade ranch, it was like a whole new world opened up to me! Trust me when I say that once you’ve tried this, you will never be able to go back to the bottled stuff again.

  • Cream of Mushroom Soup

    Easy Cream of Mushroom Soup in a bowl
    Elise Bauer

    Yes! You CAN make this from scratch! It does freeze well, but don’t add in the cream until after you’ve defrosted and heated it back up.

  • Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

    Substitute for Cream of Chicken Soup
    Sally Vargas

    While this doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, we suggest gathering everything ahead of time and prepping them all before you begin. It’ll make the process go much more smoothly!

  • Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing

    Easy Blue Cheese Dressing
    Sally Vargas

    This dressing really is a delight. It’s creamy and tangy but doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed with blue cheese. It will compliment any salad really well. Added bonus: It uses common, every day ingredients!

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • How to Make Chicken Stock

    Chicken Stock
    Elise Bauer

    We are giving you not one, not two, but THREE different methods on how to make chicken stock! Not only is it cheaper to make chicken stock on your own,, but it is easier than you think. If you need a couple of other methods, try it in the pressure cooker OR slow cooker as well!

  • Bean and Bacon Soup

    Bean and Bacon Soup
    Elise Bauer

    Best thing about making this yourself instead of opening a can is you get to add in as much bacon as you want! Feel free to use dry beans or canned beans. There’s directions for both!

  • Easy Tomato Soup

    Best Tomato Soup Recipe - bowls of tomato soup on table with bread
    Alison Bickle

    If you’re on the meal prep train, add this soup to your next stop. It’s freezer friendly, so you’ll definitely want to make a few batches to have on hand for nights when you don’t feel like cooking!

  • Tomatillo Salsa Verde

    Tomatillo Salsa Verde
    Elise Bauer

    You’re just a handful of ingredients away from the freshest salsa verde of your life! Feel free to boil, roast, or brown the tomatillos. Roasting or browning them will give you the most depth of flavor, though!