5 Pantry Must-Haves + Recipes | Naturally Ella

More often than not, I sound like a broken record. It doesn’t matter if I’m chatting with a friend or doing an interview. If we are talking about food, I’m talking about my pantry. I love produce and going to the Farmers’ market every week but it wouldn’t be near as exciting if I wasn’t prepared to make dishes from that beautiful produce. This is where the pantry comes into play and there’s nothing better than a well-stocked pantry.

This post is two-fold. The first is to share about my top pantry essentials I think you should have on hand. The second is to invite you to my January Pantry Reset. I am SO excited for this little project I’ve been working on and I’m hoping it will really help kick the year off right. The goal is to help you feel comfortable with your pantry and pantry ingredients. That way, when you bring a big bag of produce home, you’re ready to start cooking. I’ll be sharing 31 days of videos with tips and recipes. Click over to the pantry reset page for all the details. Or, if you already know you want to join, you can sign-up for a once-weekly email that will have all the videos, tips, and recipes or follow along on Youtube!

5 Pantry Must-Haves


Berbere Chickpeas and Chard with Farro | Naturally Ella
Chickpea Shawarma with Millet | @naturallyella

It’s easy to see, based on the number of recipes on the site, that I love using chickpeas. I always have a stash of cooked chickpeas on hand for making dips, bowls, and even snacks. Chickpeas are a wonderful companion to big flavors and are also perfect as the star of a recipe. A few of my favorite chickpea recipes:


Brown/Green Lentils

Marina-Smothered Lentil Bites with Mozzarella | Naturally Ella
Spicy Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

It is hard to compare using chickpeas with lentils- both are great in their own right. Lentils, like chickpeas, work well as the star of the recipe but they also can easily melt into the dish for an overall wonderful meal. Also, lentils are great if you haven’t planned ahead and want a legume for a meal in less than 30 minutes. Because of this, it’s rare I cook lentils ahead of time. A few of my favorite lentil recipes:



Millet Polenta | Naturally Ella

Choosing my favorite grains is tough. I use many different grains in my cooking. However, there are a few that find their way into recipes more often than others. Millet is one of those grains. It cooks in about 20 minutes, adapts to whatever kind of meal you might like, and is cheaper than some of the other gluten-free grains (like quinoa!) A few of my favorite millet recipes:


Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Ginger Brown Rice with Carrots and Hardboiled Eggs

I have a weakness for brown rice. Short grain, long grain, basmati- I love it all. It’s the perfect start for a vegetarian meal and also happens to be the base for my all-time favorite vegetable burger. It takes a bit of time to cook but I find it’s well worth the wait. I keep a few different varieties of rice on hand as I find some recipes work better with short grain versus long grain (especially in things like vegetable burgers and veg-cakes). A few of my favorite brown rice recipes:


Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds - Nuts and Seeds - Stock a Pantry

Brown Rice Carrot Fritters with Chipotle Sunflower Sauce | Naturally Ella
Vegan Roasted Carrot Sandwich with Sunflower Cream | @naturallyella

I waffled a bit on which nut/seed to include on this list. I love cashews, almonds, and pecans just as much as I do sunflower seeds. Each one can make a wonderful sauce, server as a crunchy topping, or be the perfect granola addition. However, I like sunflower seeds because they grow locally, are a bit cheaper than their nut counterpart, and are allergy friendly. A few of my favorite sunflower seed recipes: