Every working mom should have a few “go-to” ingredients—items you keep in your pantry because you know they can be trusted to help you whip up something yummy in a hurry. One of my favorites is instant onion soup mix. Open a packet on a chilly morning, sprinkle the mix over a pot roast, some carrots and potatoes, then add a cup of water or two and turn on your slow cooker. You’ll come home to a hearty, ready-to-serve meal.
A friend of mine—also a working mom—mixes onion soup mix with apricot preserves and Russian dressing for a tasty grilled chicken glaze. It sounds like an odd combo, but trust me. It’s delicious.
Then, of course, there’s your classic onion soup dip. Stir a package of soup mix into a container of sour cream the night before a party, and all you have to worry about is keeping your husband out of the Ruffles before your guests arrive. Or, if you’re like me, you have to keep yourself from stealing an advance dip or two. I *love* onion soup dip. In fact, I sometimes make it for myself as a reward after a busy week. I’ve been known to polish off an entire bowl without feeling guilty at all.
What about you? What are some of your must have ingredients? Tell us what you must have in your pantry, and how you like to use it.
More pantry-stocking inspiration
- Pantry Staples for Quick Homecooked Meals: 10 must-have pantry staples to help working moms make quick, homecooked meals.
- What’s for Dinner? Whatever’s in My Fridge: Sometimes, you just have to turn to Pinterest, get a little inspiration, and find something that pulls together some of the weird things you DO have in my fridge/pantry.
- Meal Planning to Save Money: 10 great meal-planning ideas from the author of the best-selling Fix, Freeze, Feast cookbook.
- Grandma to the Rescue! 9 Ingredients to Have on Hand: What did we learn from Mom? You can always whip up something good for dinner if you have something to work with. Here are 9 ingredients to have on hand.
- Our Top 10 Crock Pot Recipes: Check out this list of our 10 favorite crock pot recipes, so working moms can enjoy less time in the kitchen, more time with family. A must-bookmark!
- Shortcuts to Healthy Eating, Family-Style: How to get organic, natural produce and groceries, delivered to your door.
- I Heart Crockpots: Discover our simple formula for easy, tasty crockpot meals. Guarantees more quality (fun) time for you and your family!
- Classic Split-Pea Soup: Whether you’re feeling under the weather or just want to warm up, a nice cup of homemade soup can do wonders.
- Quick and Easy Fried Rice: This working mom-friendly fried rice recipe comes from a wacky Australian YouTuber.
Must have ingredients, according to …
Cooking Light: Foods and flavors from the global supermarket that every adventurous healthy cook should track down.
BuzzFeed: 23 ingredients you should always have in your kitchen (other than beer and cereal).
The Reluctant Gourmet: Basic items to have in your pantry so you don’t have to run out to the market every day.
Savory Made Simple: 32 must-have pantry ingredients for your kitchen.