Chef Wendy

How to Stock Your Cupboard and Freezer

Do you sometimes struggle to create fast family dinners because you don’t have the necessary ingredients?  We can help!  
Keeping a well-stocked cupboard and freezer can take all the hassle out of making quick delicious meals for your family.  Here is our suggested Master List of ingredients to keep in your kitchen at all times. 

If you have some or all of these to hand, plus fresh meat, chicken, cheese and veggies, you’ll easily be able to whip up a fabulous meal for your loved ones!

Click on the links below to find recipes featuring these ingredients! 


• Plain long-grain rice, plus Basmati rice for curries
• Pasta, including spaghetti and pasta ‘shapes’ such as macaroni, fusilli or penne
• Dried lasagne sheets
• Samp
• Brown and red lentils for use in stews, soups and bakes
• Dried beans
• Mealie meal for making plain pap, phuthu, pap tart and other tasty pap dishes 
• Couscous for accompanying spicy tagines and stews, or for making substantial salads
• Flour and self-raising flour, for making quick breads, muffins, dumplings and white sauces, and for coating fish or chicken before frying 
• Baking powder, for quick breads, bakes and scones
• A few packets of instant yeast, for making vetkoek, breads and pizza bases.
• A selection of nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts and almonds 
• Dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas, dates and apricots.  These will come in handy for adding a fruity touch to curries and tagines 
• Dried breadcrumbs for coating fish and chicken


• Olive oil, plus sunflower and/or canola oil, for frying and for salad dressings
• White-wine vinegar and other flavoured vinegars of your choice
• A selection of Knorr Salad Dressings. (Keep these in the fridge after you open them.)
• Prepared mustard, such as Dijon mustard or Hot English Mustard
• Tomato sauce
• Soy sauce for great-tasting Asian dishes
• Peri Peri or Tabasco sauce, or any similar hot sauce
• Mayonnaise for making sandwiches, salads, dips and dressings 
• White and red wine for adding amazing flavour to your food. If you don’t cook with alcohol for religious or cultural reasons, click here to read Chef Wendy’s top tips for wine substitutes 


• Tinned whole or chopped tomatoes, or tomato-and-onion mix for stews, soups and casseroles.
• Small tins or sachets of tomato paste for enriching soups and sauces
• Canned pilchards for making easy economical dishes 
• Tuna for making bakes and other quick family dishes
• Baked beans for quick easy dinners and stews
• Sweetcorn for soups and stews
• Chickpeas for veggie stews and quick hummus
• All sorts of tinned beans! Kidney beans, butter beans or cannellini beans for salads, soups and stews.  
• Coconut milk or cream for curries and other Asian-style dishes


• Salt and black pepper
• Aromat
• Robertson’s Mixed Herbs
• Robertsons curry spices, including cumin, coriander and turmeric
• Robertsons nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and paprika
• Rajah Mild & Spicy Curry Powder for curries and other spicy dishes
• Robertsons bay leaves for stews, soups, curries and bakes
• Dried chilli flakes, or chilli powder, or cayenne pepper 


• Knorr Chicken, Vegetable and Beef Stock Pots, for adding flavour to stews, soups, casseroles, roasts and other dishes
• A selection of  Knorr Dry Cook-In-Sauces for whipping up a huge variety of easy family meals 
• Knorr Cook-In-Bags in all four flavours - BBQ, Garlic & Rosemary, Spicy Roast Chicken and Lemon & Italian Herbs. These are so versatile for creating easy, succulent roasts of all kinds. Click here to read Chef Wendy’s top tips using Knorr Cook-In-Bags 
• Knorr Stew Granules, for thickening stews, curries, and pie fillings
• Knorr packet soups, for enriching and thickening hotpots, stews and curries
• Knorr ‘Mates’ for brilliant instant bakes, lasagnes and rice dishes


• Frozen peas, sweetcorn and mixed veggies for serving as side dishes, and for making amazing risottos, savoury rice,  pasta dishes and stews  
• Whole ginger bulbs, heads of garlic and lemon grass for Thai-style dishes.  (Freeze them still in their skins, and grate them into your dish straight from frozen)
• Frozen grated cheese.  Grated Cheddar, Parmesan and other hard cheeses (for use in bakes and sauces) freeze well.  Place the cheese in sealed plastic bags or lidded plastic containers. 
• ‘Woody’ herbs such as rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, curry leaves, lemon grass and sage. Freeze these loose in bags or plastic boxes, then crumble them, still frozen, into your stews and soups. 
• Bacon. (Handy tip: Chop up the rashers into small pieces, and then freeze them in small packets.  When you need to add a smoky flavour to stews & casseroles, add the frozen bits directly to a very hot frying pan before adding the onions and other ingredients.)  
• Frozen lemon juice.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice into ice-cube trays and freeze.  When you need to add a little lemon juice to a stew or soup, pop in one frozen cube. 
• Lemon zest. When lemons are in season, finely grate the yellow part of the peels and freeze them in plastic bags.