Giada Says These Are the 5 Groceries You Should Always Have in Your Pantry

updated Aug 21, 2020
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(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

Giada! She’s just like us! In that she also has to deal with that weeknight struggle of getting dinner on the table. The last time we saw the Food Network star (during pre-quarantine times!), we asked her to share her number-one tip to help people get dinner on the table during busy weeknights.

Her top tip feels especially useful these days: “Have a well-stocked pantry. If you don’t have any ingredients in the house, it’s gonna be real tough. So either stock your pantry, stock your freezer, or stock both.”

She’s got a (pretty obvious) point there. What should you stock in that pantry, though? She had some suggestions for that, too.

  1. Arborio rice
  2. Dried pasta
  3. Jarred tomato sauce
  4. Calabrian chili paste (“To give some heat,” she says, adding that the stuff can sit in the fridge for a long, long time after being opened.)
  5. Olive oil

“That’s all you need,” she says. Lemons would be nice, too, she points out, so it might be worth checking out this post: The Best Way to Keep Lemons Fresh for a Whole Month. Armed with these supplies, you can always make some sort of basic-but-not-boring pasta dish or even risotto (although you will also need some sort of broth for the latter — add it to the list!).

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

The Calabrian Chili Paste That Giada Loves

You probably have all but one of these things already, right? If you’re looking for a suggestion for Calabrian chili paste, Giada was using this stuff from Tutto Calabria. Just use it sparingly; it’s legit spicy. And again, it will stay good in your fridge for at least three months once you open it.

Buy: Tutto Calabria Crushed Calabrian Chili Pepper, $9 for 10 ounces

How many of these Giada-mandated pantry staples do you have right now?