21 Essential Pantry Picks to Kick Takeout Cravings

Let’s face it, the siren call of takeout menus can be irresistible, especially when your pantry looks like a barren wasteland from a post-apocalyptic movie. But fear not, culinary warriors! Stocking your kitchen with these 21 essentials will not only save you from the clutches of endless pizza deliveries but might also trick you into thinking you’re a competent adult. Bon appétit!

21. Ramen Noodles

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The foundation of any self-respecting pantry. They’re not just for broke college students or aspiring minimalist chefs. With the right toppings, they can almost taste like real food.

20. Canned Beans

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A versatile gem. Whether you’re crafting a gourmet chili or just trying to bulk up your instant ramen, canned beans are the culinary equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig.

19. Rice

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It’s the blank canvas of the culinary world. Rice can become anything from a sad, solo dinner to a slightly less sad dinner with other stuff thrown in. The possibilities are endless!

18. Pasta

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Because sometimes, you need to carb-load for the marathon of avoiding cooking anything complex. It’s also great for when you’re feeling Italian, minus the energy to create anything that Nonna would approve of.

17. Jarred Pasta Sauce

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For those nights when the thought of chopping tomatoes is enough to send you into a spiral of despair. It’s like Italy in a jar, if Italy was mass-produced and had a barcode.

16. Canned Tuna

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It’s the chicken of the pantry, ready to be thrown into anything that needs a hint of the sea—or at least the hint of a sea creature.

15. Peanut Butter

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Eat it from the jar with a spoon. It’s not just a meal; it’s a cry for help. But who cares? It’s protein.

14. Instant Coffee

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Because life is too short for good coffee, apparently. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for when you’ve given up on the day but still need to pretend to function.

13. Boxed Mac & Cheese

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It’s a gourmet meal that screams “I’ve given up on cooking, but I still have standards.” Sort of.

12. Canned Soup

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Ah, the taste of mediocrity. It’s like someone made soup, then decided to remove all traces of effort and joy.

11. Popcorn

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It’s not just a snack; it’s a meal for those who have lost all hope. Bonus points if you manage to get more in your mouth than on the couch.

10. Frozen Vegetables

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They’re like regular vegetables, but sadder. Perfect for pretending you’re getting your daily dose of vitamins.

9. Soy Sauce

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For when you need to make everything taste not like cardboard. It’s the essence of flavor for the flavorless.

8. Instant Oatmeal

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Breakfast for champions who can’t be bothered. It’s like regular oatmeal, but for people with commitment issues.

7. Tortillas

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Wrap anything in a tortilla, and it’s a meal. It’s the food version of “fake it till you make it.”

6. Nutella

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Because let’s face it, life is bleak, and you deserve this. It’s the hug in a jar we all need.

5. Crackers

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The ultimate vehicle for anything spreadable or, let’s be honest, to eat straight from the box while questioning your life choices.

4. Hot Sauce

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To add a kick to your disappointment. It’s the culinary equivalent of saying, “This is fine.”

3. Herbal Tea Bags

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Because sometimes, you need to soothe the soul after realizing you’ve eaten ramen three times this week.

2. Chocolate

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It’s not just a snack; it’s emotional support. For when the existential dread sets in, but you remember you have chocolate.

1. Wine

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Technically not a pantry item, but who are we kidding? It’s essential for washing down the regret of not ordering takeout. Plus, it pairs well with all items 1 through 20.

The Pantry of Broken Dreams

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There you have it, a kitchen stocked to arm you against the temptations of takeout with items that whisper, “You tried.” Remember, it’s not about the quality of the meal but the avoidance of putting on real clothes to answer the door. Cheers to your culinary mediocrity!

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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