The 20 Groceries That Got Us Through 2020

published Dec 21, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: CC Buckley

Of all the things that 2020 taught us, taking stock of what we’re privileged enough to have in our home kitchens is one of them. Months ago, the Kitchn staff reflected on the groceries we’d never take for granted again, after shortages, stockpiling, and supply chain issues made us appreciate them in a new light. Basics like yeast, flour, chicken, and eggs made the list, among others.

Now that we’ve been dealing with the coronavirus for nearly a year, we wanted to look back on the official list of groceries that really got us through 2020. Here are the things Kitchn editors bought on repeat, ate (or drank) when we were feeling down, snacked on during work meetings, and perhaps even gained a new love for over the span of this wild year.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. Butter

“We went through so much butter while quarantine baking — and even just spreading it on bread. I love Trader Joe’s cultured butter for toast. It has a good flavor and price point when compared to other premium butters.” Christine Gallary, Food Editor-at-Large

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Jesse Szewczyk

2. Nishiki Sushi Rice

“I became burnt out from cooking at home rather quickly and I started to make rice for dinner several times a week. I would top it with an egg, furikake, or cheese and eat it right out of the pot. I particularly love Nishiki brand sushi rice. It’s sticky, comforting, and delicious.” Jesse Szewczyk, Studio Food Editor

Buy: Nishiki Sushi Rice, $3.29 for 32 ounces at Target

Credit: Amazon

3. Corn Flakes

“I’ve eaten a surprising amount of … Corn Flakes. There’s something nice about having a bowl of cereal — when you’re in a bad mood or when you need a snack and can’t figure out what you want. It’s so boring but strangely satisfying. There’s also nothing like the feeling of discovering an extra-large flake!” Carey Polis, Interim Executive Editor

Buy: Corn Flakes, $3.69 for 18 ounces at Target


4. McClure’s Bloody Mary Mixer

“I used to make sure I always had a jar or two on hand whenever I hosted a brunch. That’s not a thing anymore, but my husband and I have taken to Sunday Morning Bloodies, as a way to differentiate the days! This is the only mix I’ll buy because it is that special. It even made Kitchn’s list of Bar Essentials.” — Lisa Freedman, Lifestyle Director

Buy: McClure’s Bloody Mary Mixer, $17.99 for 32 ounces

Credit: Thrive Market

5. Maya Kaimal Vegan Simmer Sauces

“When I need an impossibly easy, quick dinner (which is every night when you’re a new mom in a pandemic!), I have the perfect formula: Maya Kaimal vegan simmer sauce + canned chickpeas + jasmine rice. Repeat!” — Lauren Kodiak, Managing Editor

BuyMaya Kaimal Goan Coconut, $5.50 for 12.5 ounces at Thrive Market

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Salad Kits

“This was the year I truly embraced salad kits (and bottled dressing). I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to devote to lunch so this has been the simplest path to a healthy-ish lunch. I usually bulk it up with some crunchy veggies from the crisper, maybe some cheese, and leftover grains or beans. The dressing in salad kits is usually too sweet for me, so I always use this one from Primal Kitchen.” Kelli Foster, Food Editor

Credit: Courtesy of Ithaca Hummus

7. Ithaca Hummus

“As far as store-bought hummus goes, this stuff is the greatest. If I don’t have time to make my own hummus (let’s be honest, though, I do), this is my default. The Classic and Lemon Dill flavors are my favorites. They’ve made my Friday ‘happy hours’ a little more happy over the past year.” — Lauren Masur, Lifestyle Editor

Buy: Ithaca Hummus, $4.49 for 10 ounces at Target

Credit: Amazon

8. Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Potato Bread

“Over the past few months, I went through a phase where I only ate grilled cheese sandwiches on Martin’s Potato Bread with American cheese — sometimes ham too.” Amelia Rampe, Studio Food Editor

Buy: Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe Potato Bread, $2.99 for 18 ounces at Target

Credit: King Arthur Baking Co.

9. King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour

“I never thought I’d have to go gluten-free, but now that I have, I truly appreciate this flour blend. I’ve made (somewhat decent?) bread with it and it’s my favorite to use in any and all baked goods.” — Riddley Schirm, Lifestyle Editor

Credit: Amazon

10. Jarritos Grapefruit Soda

“We lived on this grapefruit juice (plus a big-old bottle of 1800 Tequila) from Costco for making Palomas this summer.” Patty Catalano, Contributing Writer

Buy: Jarritos Grapefruit Soda, $21.17 for six 12-ounce bottles

Credit: Amazon

11. Pork Rinds

“My husband and I have eaten A LOT of pork rinds. We really like the ones from Costco (4505 Chicharrones). And the Epic ones. And you know what? We also love the Utz ones.” Rebecca Longshore, Director of Growth

Buy: Epic Oven Baked Pork Rinds, $3.99 for 2.5 ounces at Target

Credit: Courtesy of Laoganma USA

12. Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp

“We’ve gone through at least half-dozen jars this year. ” — Carey

Buy: Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp, $8.99 for 7.4 ounces

Credit: Atlas Coffee

13. Atlas Coffee Subscription

“After signing up for the monthly Atlas Coffee Cub subscription, I finally found my favorite coffee beans. Each month I get to explore delicious flavors from different parts of the world.” Sholeen Damarwala, Commerce Editor

Credit: Instacart

14. Rotisserie Chicken

“I’ve never really be into rotisserie chicken, but the pandemic taught me how much of a game-changer it is. Now it’s always on my shopping list.” — Rebecca

Credit: Whole Foods

15. Ice Cream Sandwiches

“This summer I got really, really into ice cream sandwiches. I like the Whole Foods 365 ones so much that think I had one almost every night for a couple of months?” Ariel Knutson, Features Director

Buy: 365 Organic Ice Cream Sandwiches, $4.99 for 6 at Whole Foods

Credit: Target

16. Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles

“In 2020, my 2-year-old has eaten a shocking amount of these things.” Caroline Schnapp, Social Media Manager

Buy: Dr. Praeger’s Spinach Littles, $4.99 for 10 ounces at Target

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Styling: Brett Regot

17. Eggs

“I don’t think I have ever eaten so many eggs in my life. It’s probably because they are SO EASY to cook and there are so many different ways to prepare them.” — Rebecca

Credit: Kelli Foster

18. Ramen Noodles

“We fell back on classic ramen noodles a lot this year as a way to make use of leftovers or freezer foods.” — Meghan Splawn, Food Editor

Buy: Original Ramen Noodles, $9.95 for 16.75 ounces at Public Goods

Credit: Instacart

19. Amy’s Cheddar, Cheese, Bean & Rice Burritos

“I have eaten so many frozen burritos this year and I’m not ashamed to say it. Amy’s are the best” — Amelia

Buy: Amy’s Cheddar, Cheese, Bean & Rice Burritos, $3.19 for 6 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Amazon

20. Peeled Organic Dried Mango

“Dried mango makes the best work-from-home snack. My requirements are that it has to be nice and juicy still and not dusty and brittle.” — Caroline

Buy: Peeled Organic Dried Mango, $3.99 for 2.8 ounces at Target

What groceries have gotten you through 2020?