The Pantry Essentials Millennials Love, According to Better Homes and Gardens

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People love to complain about millennials being lazy and not knowing how to cook, but it turns out that there’s more to the generation than avocado toast (insert eye roll). According to a new survey by Better Homes and Gardens, 93 percent of millennials eat at home at least four nights a week, and it sounds like they’re having a lot of fun in the kitchen, too.

The vast majority of surveyed millennials say they specifically like to seek out new foods, flavors, and culinary experiences. And 93 percent of those surveyed say they try a new recipe at least every month.

In general, they’re more adventurous and curious about food, and that means they’re building up some pretty great pantries. Here are some of the most common pantry staples millennials say they use on a regular basis, according to Better Homes and Gardens.

Chipotle Chilis in Adobo Sauce

Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce are great to have around because they have a smoky heat you can add to just about anything. Use them for soups and sauces, as a marinade for meat, or even mince them with a bit of their own sauce and toss vegetables in it before roasting.

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is an essential ingredient in many Southeast Asian dishes. It gives a salty, briny, savory flash of umami to stir-fries, curries, salad dressings, pastas, and vegetables, and it’s also a versatile marinade for meats.

Read more: 3 Unsuspecting Recipes That Are Even Better with Fish Sauce


Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet, salty Chinese condiment made of soy beans, chiles, sugar, garlic, sesame seeds, and spices. It can be a dipping sauce or a rich, flavorful marinade. It’s also fantastic in the slow cooker.


Tamari is a Japanese fermented soybean sauce that’s similar to soy sauce, but it does not contain any wheat, so it’s often used as a substitute for soy sauce in gluten-free versions of recipes. (Some tamari does contain gluten, so check the labels if you need to be sure.) Tamari is also a little darker and richer than soy sauce, and much less salty. It’s great as a dipping sauce.


Kimchi is a Korean dish made of salted fermented vegetables. The crunchy-salty-spicy staple is great to eat on its own as a side dish, or as an ingredient in things like bacon pancakes and fried rice. You can buy kimchi in a store, or you can make kimchi yourself at home and make it as spicy or not-spicy as you like.

What are your pantry staples?