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15 top pantry staples you need in your kitchen

There's nothing quite as annoying for home cooks as having a specific recipe in mind, getting it almost ready to go into the oven and then realizing you're missing one key ingredient. Or, standing in front of your refrigerator, which is somehow both full of stuff and yet mysteriously missing key foods that would quickly morph into a stew or a soup.

We enlisted restaurateur Billy Dec to help cook up the mother of all pantry lists. He himself loves to create meals that are healthy and can be easily stored and reheated to eat throughout the week. That means instead of hours spent scouring your shelves, you could be reading a good book, or hanging with your kids.

1. Sugar

Anthony's Premium Organic Cane Sugar, $11, Amazon


2. Quinoa, which is a great addition to any soups and stews (prices may vary)

365 Everyday Value, Organic White Quinoa, $6, Amazon

Healthworks Quinoa, $9, Amazon


3. Brown rice, a great addition to any soups or stews.

365 Everyday Value Organic Long Grain Brown Rice, $4, Amazon

Brown rice is a pantry staple

4. Garlic

365 Everyday Value, Organic Garlic Granules, $4, Amazon

5. Eggs

Amazon Brand Happy Belly Cage-Free Eggs, $4, Amazon

Eggs are great for breakfast, and beyond

6. Hot sauce, a great addition to give any dish flavor and heat (prices may vary)

Cholula Original Hot Sauce, $13, Amazon

Momofuku Ssäm Sauce, $7, Amazon

Queen Majesty Red Habanero & Black Coffee Hot Sauce, $13, Amazon

Hot sauce gives your dishes a major kick

7. Dry beans, which are a great addition to any soups and stews (prices may vary)

Camellia Brand Garbanzo Beans, $6, Amazon

Bob's Red Mill Cranberry Beans, $9, Amazon

365 Everyday Value, Organic Dried Black Beans, $4, Amazon

Black beans are great for soups and stews

8. Whole wheat pasta, which is a great addition to any soups or stews or to use for a quick pasta dish made with veggies, protein and a simple sauce (prices may vary)

365 Everyday Value, Organic Whole Wheat Penne Rigate, $1.50, Amazon

Barilla ProteinPlus Multigrain Pasta, $2, Amazon

Always have pasta on hand for a quick, filling meal

9. Soy sauce, which is great for marinades and salad dressings

365 Everyday Value, Shoyu Soy Sauce, $4, Amazon

Olive oil is a must-have

10. Olive oil, which is great for marinades and salad dressings (prices may vary)

AmazonFresh Mediterranean Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $6, Amazon

Athenos Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $10, Amazon

11. Vinegar, which is great for marinades and salad dressings

Colavita White Balsamic Vinegar, $5, Amazon

12. Mustard, which is great for quick marinades and salad dressings

Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, $3, Amazon

Mustard is another kitchen staple

13. Bouillon cube, which is perfect to use as a base/starter for soup

Knorr Cube Bouillon, Chicken, $1.50, Amazon

14. Almond butter, which is great as a snack

Barney Butter Almond Butter, $11, Amazon

Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter, $10, Amazon

You can snack on yummy almond butter.

15. Lemon juice, to brighten any dish

ReaLemon 100% Lemon Juice, $1.50, Amazon