Kitchn Essentials - Groceries

Kitchn Essentials: Must-Have Groceries for Home Cooks in 2020

With Americans cooking at home more than ever, we asked ourselves the ultimate question: What groceries are absolutely essential right now? Our team tested, tasted, and debated to bring you this list of our absolute favorites for shopping and eating well in 2020. Meet the Kitchn Essentials, Grocery Edition.

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Cold Brew Coffee
Chameleon Organic Cold-Brew Concentrate

If you like to start your day with an iced coffee, make it Chameleon Concentrate. This strong caffeine jolt goes down smooth, with no bitterness or aftertaste. Yes, it's a bit pricier than some other concentrates on the market, but it's the closest we've found to barista-level brew. This stuff makes mornings (and afternoons!) at home just a little more special.

Non-Dairy Milk
Chobani Oat

One of the few good things to come out of 2020: the launch of Chobani Oat, a new line of plant-based beverages made with oats (a much more sustainable option than nut-based milk alternatives). Of all the dairy-free milks we’ve tried, oat milk has proven to be the superior companion to coffee, cereal, and smoothies — it’s even great by the glass. Faith Durand, Kitchn’s Editor-in-Chief, loves this extra-creamy version swirled into strong iced coffee with a dash of maple syrup.

Harney & Sons Viennese Earl Grey

“I drink a pot of tea every single day, and I’m obsessed with Harney & Sons' Earl Grey,” says Features Director, Ariel Knutson. Senior Contributing Editor, Sheela Prakash, agrees and argues that even the Earl Grey-averse will love this lighter, lemony, Darjeeling-based version. While on the pricier side for tea, an 8-ounce tin of loose leaf is a little luxury that all of us deserve right now.

Polar Seltzer

We have a dedicated LaCroix fridge in our New York City office, and Spindrift ran away with Kitchn’s top honors for this fizzy category C868彩票:back in 2018. It's 2020 now, though, and our eyes are on Polar Seltzer. The family-owned company (since 1882) has a huge following in New England, and finally announced a plan to distribute their huge breadth of flavors nationwide last month. Cranberry Lime is widely considered their best flavor, but other winners include Blueberry Lemonade, Cranberry Clementine, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and their widely controversial (but beloved) Vanilla.

Coffee Beans
Atlas Coffee Club

Because we haven’t gone anywhere in a while (and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon), we’re looking for other ways to see the world. Atlas Coffee Club, a coffee subscription service that mails ethically sourced coffee from a different country each month right to your door, is here to help you get both your travel and caffeine fix. Each delivery comes with a postcard, and the bags' packaging is a representation of its country of origin. Lifestyle Editor, Lauren Masur, C868彩票:tested them out and said that Atlas is the closest thing to a coffee shop cuppa that she’s tasted in months.

Health-Ade Pink Lady Apple

Our devotion to Health-Ade (a woman-owned kombucha brand!) has only grown stronger these last few years. With probiotic benefits, this bubbly fermented tea comes in 17 flavors including Ginger-Lemon, Blood Orange-Carrot-Ginger, and Cayenne Cleanse. If you’re wondering, Pink Lady Apple is the booch of choice for many Kitchn staffers.

Bread & Breakfast

Whole-Grain Bread
Dave's Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Organic Bread
There’s a clear consensus among the Kitchn staff that Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains is one of the greatest sandwich breads of all time. In its deeply toasted form, these nutty, seedy slices are sturdy enough to stand up to any condiment, cold cut, or sandwich topper you can think of. Pile it on, people.
White Bread
Dave's Killer Bread White Bread Done Right Organic Bread

Speaking of piling it on, we also really love Dave’s White Bread Done Right. “I think their white bread is the very best bread that Dave’s makes,” says Food Editor Meghan Splawn. “My kids are obsessed with it, and it's proven essential when making a classic PB&J or Fluffernutter.” We are also big supporters of the company’s Second Chance Employment policy, a hiring process that grants job opportunities to people with past criminal records.

Burger Buns
Martin's Potato Rolls

You’ll never be let down by a Martin’s Potato Roll. These slightly sweet and springy-to-the-touch burger buns are C868彩票:a backyard cookout classic for a reason. If you ever needed further justification to choose these among a sea of other options, rest assured that C868彩票:Shake Shack entrusts its precious patties to Martin’s Potato Rolls, so you can too.

Hot Dog Buns
King's Hawaiian Sweet Hot Dog Buns

Just one taste of King’s Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and you’ll be mad you weren’t using them for backyard cookouts this whole time. While we love the little slider rolls, we’re also big fans of the brand’s hot dog buns: They have that same signature subtle sweetness, so they lend a little something special to a regular ol’ hot dog.

English Muffins
Thomas' Original English Muffins

Anyone who’s ever dabbled with English muffins knows that Thomas’ means business when it comes to their signature “nooks and crannies.” They’re an absolutely perfect vehicle for escorting butter, jam, smashed avocado, peanut butter — you name it — into your mouth. They’re also ideal for egg sandwiches and sopping up runny eggs.

Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Seed + Flax Granola

According to Arie, “This granola has the perfect amount of clusters to seeds, and goes well with everything. I must have had 100 boxes of this in the last few months.” Made with organic flax, pumpkin seeds, rolled oats, and cinnamon, this all-purpose granola will help you seamlessly transition into the fall months ahead (even though time is meaningless right now).

Rolled Oats
Bob's Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Yes, store-bought granola has its perks, but if you’re anything like us, learning to C868彩票:make your own from scratch has truly guided you through quarantine. For Lauren Masur, C868彩票:that hobby has been fueled by Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats. These are also the go-to oats for Deputy Food Director, Grace Elkus, who admits she “ate Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal every day for way too many days.” If you learn this employee-owned company’s backstory (C868彩票:we heard it from Bob himself!), you’ll fall in love with the brand too.

Breakfast Bars
Nature's Bakery Raspberry Fig Bars

In need of some back-to-school snacks (whatever that means)? Look no further. “Nature’s Bakery fruit bars are kind of like an old-school Nutrigrain or Fig Newton,” says Meghan. “My kids love them.” That sentiment was seconded by Food Editor Kelli Foster, and thirded by Studio Food Editor Amelia Rampe. The rest of the staff had their mouths full and couldn’t speak.


When Faith was pregnant with her children, she craved one thing and one thing alone: Cheerios, in plenty of cold whole milk. "I like to think my body knows best, and the nostalgic but hearty taste of Cheerios in all their oaten splendor is still my gold standard cereal," she says. "They satisfy me and fill me up, and that perfect clutch-able shape is still the best pick-up practice for tiny baby hands. They're the standard all other cereals are judged by for taste and satisfaction."

Frozen Breakfast
The Pioneer Woman Roasted Veggie Egg Bites

About a year ago, Lauren Masur was invited to a brunch to celebrate The Pioneer Woman’s frozen food line — a party with Ree Drummond herself! Upon arrival, guests were greeted with passed hors d'oeuvres including bite-sized frittatas loaded with roasted bell peppers, onions, cheese, and spinach. It wasn’t until midway through the event that Lauren realized these weren’t from the fancy hotel’s catering menu — they were heated straight out of the box. And so good!


Canned Tuna
Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna

Although Wild Planet is steeper in price than other canned tuna options on shelves, we feel strongly that it’s worth the extra money: Wild Planet is consistently ranked the #1 canned tuna brand by Greenpeace for sustainability, traceability, and ethical practice. Each can contains 100 percent pure tuna and sea salt. In short, there’s C868彩票:nothing fishy about it.

Tinned Fish
Bela Sardines

Don’t turn your nose up at tinned fish — especially sardines. Amelia, a tinned fish a-FISH-ionado, swears by Bela Sardines. “Not only are they a really good price point for Portuguese sardines, but they’re also the very best you can buy and are available everywhere.” Get a few tins and make C868彩票:this sandwich on repeat.

Quick-Cook Beans
A Dozen Cousins 3-Flavor Variety Pack

We’ve long sung the praises of a certain brand of canned beans, but we’re over them now … for many reasons. These are even more convenient (you just have to warm them up and they’re already seasoned) and way tastier. Get the variety pack so you can try them all and then eat them as a side, stuff them into tortillas, pile them on top of rice, or sauté them with some greens.

Dried Beans
Rancho Gordo Cranberry Beans
It’s harder than ever to secure a steady stash of dried beans these days. And Rancho Gordo beans aren’t just any dried beans — they’re heirloom varieties that require less soaking time, and cook up much creamier and more flavorful than a standard batch of dried beans might. If you can get a monthly Rancho Gordo Bean Subscription, do it. If not, at least aim to get these in your cart.
Canned Tomatoes
Cento San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes

This familiar yellow can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes is a must-have pantry staple for soups, stews, sauces, and much more. For further proof of just how extraordinary these canned tomatoes are, might we point you in the direction of C868彩票:our blind taste test in which Cento took home top honors among nine other contenders? Rich and earthy, but also naturally sweet, these peeled tomatoes also make for the perfect C868彩票:no-fuss pizza sauce, says Grace.

Tomato Paste
Cento Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

Whoever was in the meeting that decided that Cento tomato paste belonged in a squeeze tube instead of an ill-sized can deserves an award. For those of us who gravitate towards recipes that call for just a tablespoon of tomato paste at a time (*raises hand*), this handy-dandy squeeze tube, which lasts up to 45 days after opening, is about to become your best friend. Also, it won in C868彩票:our tomato paste taste test. Just wanted you to know.

Canned Vegetables
Green Giant French Style Green Beans
Can vegetables be a treat? Tender old-school French-cut green beans, straight from the can in their savory broth, are our weeknight vegetable crush when we need a super-fast dose of green and there’s no more fresh produce in the fridge.
Broth Concentrate
Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base

During a time when having a fully stocked pantry is more important than ever, we believe that C868彩票:this little jar of highly concentrated flavor is an absolute must. Each one is the equivalent of 38 (8-ounce) cans of broth. (That’s 9.5 cartons.) Better Than Bouillon will save you time, money, and free up your shelves for other essentials.

Campbell's Well Yes! Harvest Carrot & Ginger Sipping Soup

The first time Faith tried this sippable soup she was (truly) about to scoot through the airport: "I had a flight to catch and a bottle of this in my bag. I downed it ahead of security and felt a sudden, unexpected sense of nourishment wash through me, even though the soup wasn't heated. It was pungent and just spicy enough — a drink that felt punchy and filling. If you've sworn off canned soup for any reason, may I recommend these sippable soups?"

Olive Oil
California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Multiple Kitchn staffers say that California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil is their “everyday olive oil.” And guess what? It’s what Ina Garten keeps in her pantry too. And if it’s good enough for the queen of “good olive oil,” it’s good enough for all of us!

Finishing Olive Oil
Brightland Olive Oil

A little kitchen luxury is having a few olive oils to choose from — one for making everyday dishes, and another for cautiously drizzling over hummus, dipping crusty bread in, and making a restaurant-worthy vinaigrette with. We love Brightland Olive Oil, founded by C868彩票:Aishwarya Iyer and sourced from a single-estate California farm, for all of our sparingly fancy olive oil needs.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is super trendy these days, with lots of people touting its health benefits. We love it for salad dressings, simmering beans, slow-cooking meat, and more. Plus, you can use ACV to DIY a highly effective fruit fly trap.

Spreads & Sauces

Duke's Real Mayonnaise

If you know someone utterly devoted to Duke’s, they probably have a connection to the Southeast, where the brand first got its start. As far as two of our staffers (former and current Georgia residents) are concerned, this regional favorite is the only mayo you need. Even our Northern staffers agree.

Heinz Tomato Ketchup

If it’s not Heinz … are you really going to risk dipping your fries into it? This familiar squirt bottle has always been here for us when we need it, so why abandon it now for those new-to-market ketchups that are trying to catch up?

Maille Dijon Originale Mustard

Let Maille Dijon mustard be your secret ingredient. Sheela, our resident “Tastemaker,” swears by this condiment to add a tangy, smooth flavor punch to pretty much any savory recipe. This creamy blend doesn’t have any added sugar either (whereas some other Dijon mustards do).

Zach & Zoë Sweet Bee Farm Raw Honey

This beautifully packaged raw honey is the product of Zach & Zoë Sweet Bee Farm, a family business named after the Johnson family’s two children. When the family got into beekeeping and honey-making after moving to rural New Jersey, they decided to make a business out of it. You’ll find their creative flavors like ginger, lavender, matcha, and more in Chelsea Market in New York City and in their online shop.

Soom Sesame Premium Tahini

Soom Foods C868彩票:got its start when its founders (three sisters!) spotted a major gap in the tahini marketplace in the U.S. The spread, made of Ethiopian sesame seeds, is the silkiest tahini you’ll find on the market. Meaning: You can open it up and you barely have to stir it.

Ithaca Classic Hummus

Once you take your first dip of Ithaca Classic Hummus, you’ll never go back to the kind you were buying before. It somehow tastes just like homemade. The brand got its start at the Ithaca Farmers Market in 2013 and it’s now available in grocery stores nationwide.

Hot Sauce
Cholula Hot Sauce Original

It was tough to narrow down the expansive hot sauce category, considering how many options there are out there, but after much debate, the Kitchn team agreed that this tangy-smoky-spicy sauce is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner essential. If you’ve only got space for one hot sauce, this is the most versatile one to get.

Salad Dressing
Hidden Valley Ranch

In our comprehensive salad dressing taste test from a few months ago, Hidden Valley Ranch took home top honors as the best ranch and was Meghan’s favorite out of a dozen bottles. “The flavor is buttermilk-forward with an even tang and plenty of herby flavor in a super-creamy dressing that will never, ever let you down,” she says.

Chili Crisp
Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp

“Lao Gan Ma Spicy Chili Crisp is one of my favorite condiments,” says Studio Food Editor Jesse Szewczyk. “I put it on practically everything. It has this wonderful combination of textures and flavors that just can't be beat. It's spicy, tingly, and intensely savory. The crispy bits add a pop of texture, while the chilis bring a nice level of heat that is strong but not too intense for people who are sensitive to spice.”

Tomato Sauce
Rao's Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce

We are not exaggerating when we say that Rao’s jarred pasta sauce C868彩票:tastes just like homemade. It really does! That’s exactly what makes this sauce worth the extra few dollars a jar. In fact, Rao’s is so good that some Kitchn staffers (who prefer to remain anonymous) say they could definitely eat it with a spoon and call it soup.

Almond Butter
Justin's Maple Almond Butter

This sweet and salty almond butter won unanimously. Pair with frozen bananas, swipe some on a toasted (Thomas’) English muffin, blend it into smoothies, or just eat it by the spoonful. (We clearly have a thing for eating stuff right out of the jar … )

Peanut Butter
Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

When it comes to peanut butter, Faith is the ultimate Goldilocks. To her, some are too smooth, too sweet, too salty, too plain. "What I am always looking for is a peanut butter that tastes roasted and robust, with enough texture to ensure me that I am eating freshly ground peanuts, not a slippery paste," she says. "And I want some salt to balance the taste, but no sugar (that's for the jam to provide on my sandwich!). After trying gobs of fancy peanut butters, I always come back to Smucker's Natural: It really is just right."

Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves

These French preserves taste about as close to homemade as you can get, with large chunks of fruit and absolutely no fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, or preservatives. Once you scrape out every last bit, save the jar and use it to shake up C868彩票:homemade salad dressing or prep C868彩票:overnight oats. The checkered lid will make you smile every time you twist it open.

Haven's Kitchen Herby Chimichurri

Because we can all use a shortcut sometimes, we love the Haven’s Kitchen line of refrigerated pre-made sauces. (We also love the smart pouch design and screw-cap lids.) Try the Herby Chimichurri paired with grilled flank steak.

Simmer Sauce
Brooklyn Delhi Golden Coconut Curry
If you have a jar of Brooklyn Delhi Golden Coconut Curry in your pantry, then you have dinner tonight. Just add some chickpeas, veggies, and rice. The best part is that it’ll be ready in minutes but will smell like you stood over the stove all day.
Frontera Roasted Tomato Salsa

Yes, it’s possible for small-batch salsa to come in a convenient jar right next to the shelf-stable brands in the chip aisle. Somehow, no matter when you open the jar, this salsa always tastes like it was freshly made, mere minutes ago.

Baking & Seasoning

Vanilla Extract
Nielsen-Massey Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract

Jesse, Kitchn’s expert baker, admits that Nielsen-Massey is on the pricier side, but he says it’s worth it for its “dark color and super-strong, high-quality vanilla flavor.” He also loves that you don’t have to go to a specialty baking store or search all the ends of the internet to find it.

Brownie Mix
Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix

Good brownies are easy enough to make from scratch. But 2020 has been a year, so cut yourself some slack and buy a boxed mix. This super-dark, double-chocolatey mix has won blind taste tests with our staff, and you might even prefer it to your usual C868彩票:homemade recipe!

King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Remember a few months ago when you couldn’t find flour in the grocery stores? It wasn’t just you. King Arthur Baking Co. reported that flour sales were up 150 percent from April through June of this year (compared to the same months last year). Order our go-to AP flour online from King Arthur so you’ll never be without it again.

Kosher Salt
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

We strongly believe that there’s a trifecta of salts required in every home kitchen. First up, our preferred coarse salt for seasoning and brining: Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. (We’re actually mad at Costco right now because a lot of our local warehouse stores seem to have cut this stuff from its shelves, forcing us to buy it elsewhere … in smaller quantities.)

Sea Salt
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

No other salt on the market will make you feel like more than Maldon Flaky Sea Salt. These mesmerizing geometric flakes are the perfect finishing salt to cascade over blistered shishito peppers, generously buttered toast, and cookies and brownies! Pro tip: makes a really great gift.

Table Salt
Morton Salt

Morton Salt is the salt we love for baking. Because the crystals are so fine, some home cooks and bakers believe that it dissolves more quickly and evenly into dishes compared to other brands of table salt.

No-Salt Seasoning
Costco Kirkland Signature Organic No-Salt Seasoning

To balance out the fact that we just gave a list of three different salts that should be in every kitchen, here’s a no-salt seasoning option from Costco’s private-label brand, Kirkland Signature. If you’re watching your sodium intake (and still want your food to taste good), this 14.5-ounce blend of 21 spices and ingredients C868彩票:will do the trick. Sprinkle it on top of veggies, steaks, chicken, and more.

Guittard Chocolate Baking Wafers

When it comes to all things baking and chocolate, Amelia swears by these. “I love using these wafers instead of regular baking chips because of the way that they melt,” she says. “They make the most perfect pools of chocolate.” Put them in your cookies and banana breads.

Supernatural Sprinkles

If you’re looking for a bright spot in these dark times, know that sprinkles are the one thing that’s never let us down. Naturally dye-free and delightfully shaped, these Supernatural Sprinkles are a staple in Meghan’s household (where you’ll often find her sweeping them off her floor). When in doubt, put some sprinkles on it.

Fleischmann's Instant Dry Yeast

Another item we never want to be without again? Yeast. After a surge of panic-purchasing back in early spring, this precious leavening agent was nowhere to be found. The good news is that it’s mostly back in stock. We recommend buying a 1-pound package (of instant or active) now, though, just in case.


Smoked Gouda Triscuits

Triscuits are having a moment. Maybe it was the about what the name "Triscuit" actually means. Maybe it was the ever-multiplying flavors and the way they keep amping up these simple, crunchy crackers with so many interesting ingredients (Black pepper! Sweet potatoes! Jalapeños!). But for Faith, nothing beats the Smoked Gouda flavor, which has a strong whiff of cheesy funk, and a savory satisfaction. (P.S.: This flavor comes in a mini version too, which makes a great snack mix with popcorn and smoked almonds.)

Animal Crackers
Trader Joe's Organic Animal Crackers

According to Grace, TJ’s organic animal crackers are an under-the-radar find that can’t be missed. “I bought my dad a container of these (plus some Airpods) for Father’s Day, and he was 10 times more excited about the animal crackers,” she says. “They’re so good because they hit just the right notes of lemon and vanilla.”

Cheese Crackers
Extra Toasty Cheez-It Crackers

If you’ve ever gotten way too excited to find a slightly burnt Cheez-It in a box, this box C868彩票:will blow your mind. Because they’re all slightly burnt! Technically they’re extra toasty. Call them what you will — they are ridiculously good.

Potato Chips
Cape Cod 40% Less Fat Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
If you love crunch, Kitchn’s resident New Englander and Managing Editor, Lauren Kodiak, has a smart chip tip for you: Get the reduced fat ones. “Cape Cod’s reduced fat chips are far crispier and crunchier than the full-fat version. And trust me, I’m the first person to buy full-fat everything else!”
Cheese Balls
Pipcorn Cacio e Pepe Cheese Balls

Organic! Heirloom! Cheese balls! (An unlikely trio of words and phrases!) One of the most appealing features about these organic heirloom cheese balls is the fact that they are not a radioactive shade of orange. We love all the flavors but buy the Cacio e Pepe ones the most often because of their Parmesan cheesiness and visible flecks of black pepper throughout. Don’t worry — you’ll still need to lick your fingers.

Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists

The only way to eat a Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twist pretzel (aka the perfect sweet-and-salty snack) is by slowly unraveling it in your mouth, munch by munch, all the way to the bottom of the helix. If you’re bored in quarantine and have never tried this particular method, now’s the time!

LesserEvil Oh My Ghee Organic Popcorn

Over the past few months, we’ve officially decided that popcorn counts as dinner. And if you’re really doing it right, you’re having an entire bag of this light, airy, salty, buttery, popcorn from LesserEvil. You can't go wrong with any of the flavors.

Tortilla Chips
Siete Grain Free Sea Salt Tortilla Chips

These tortilla chips (made with cassava flour and avocado oil) are a Kitchn team favorite because they’re sturdy enough to stand up to any dip. The company is run by a Mexican-American family of seven (siete!) from South Texas who’ve undoubtedly mastered the formula for perfect grain-free tortilla chips.

Oreo Double Stuf

Sometimes it’s the old favorites that provide the greatest comforts. Despite decades of innovation in the Oreo space (did you know they make ones that are filled with Pop Rocks?), the very best version is the simple double stuffed. Not too much, not too little — just the right amount of “stuf.” As you probably know, they always taste better when dunked in a cold glass of milk.

Good & Gather Everything Cashews

Honestly, we’re fans of basically everything in Target’s new-ish Good & Gather line. If we had to pick just one thing, though, it’d be these nuts. The addition of the everything seasoning is just so smart. And we also love Target’s suggestion to use these in a party mix.

Fruit Snacks
Welch's Fruit Snacks

You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the pure magic of Welch’s Fruit Snacks (made with real fruit juice). Let these nostalgic gummies take you back to simpler times — when a pouch of these was the best lunch box surprise ever.

Kids' Snack
GoGo SqueeZ YogurtZ

Parents (including our very own Faith Durand) love these kid-friendly yogurt pouches because they can be stored at room temperature until opened. They’re a good source of calcium and protein, and have no preservatives or high fructose corn syrup.


Grape Tomatoes
Sugar Bombs Grape Tomatoes on the Vine

“It's strange to say that I have a favorite tomato brand, but here we are,” says contributing writer Patty Catalano, who has a special place in her heart for Sugar Bombs. They’re bright red, sweet, packed on the vine, and have that all-important pop-in-your-mouth effect when you bite into one whole.

Organic Girl Little Gems

Reading through New York City and Bay Area restaurant menus, Faith kept coming across this phrase "Little Gems." These gems, it turned out, were a breed of tiny, perfectly cupped lettuce leaves — crispy and juicy, just the right size for one mouthful of salad, no cutting necessary. "I considered them a luxury for restaurants alone — and then Organic Girl brought out them out in easy-to-find packaging," she says. "These are, hands-down, my favorite lettuce for salads and more: Little Gems liven up your boring old veggie plate with their perfect crunchable, poppable shape and size." Just add ranch. If salad can be a tiny luxury, these Little Gems are it.

Salad Kit
ANY Southwestern Salad Kit

Last year, when we hunted down every single salad kit we could find, there was one major consensus: No matter what the brand, Southwestern-style salad kits (which must include a creamy/spicy dressing, tortilla chip crunchies, and cheese) are crowd-pleasers, without fail. Need a salad kit that everyone in your family will love? Get a Southwestern one.

Produce Shortcut
Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Zig-Zags

If you happen to find these in the TJ’s produce aisle, buy them! The crinkle-cut shape will spoil you and make it so that you never want to break down an entire butternut squash again. They also make the best crinkle-cut butternut squash fries when tossed in the C868彩票:air fryer! Just know that they C868彩票:are usually in high demand.

C868彩票:More Info
Bagged Vegetable
Green Giant Fresh Broccoli Florets

“Even though the experts have been saying that the coronavirus isn’t likely to be transmitted through food, I’ve been a bit nervous about buying produce that’s just been sitting out in the open,” says Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman. “Instead of taking chances, I’ve been relying on these packaged pre-cut broccoli florets. I know they’re more expensive this way, but they’ve also been impressively fresh, so I think it’s money well spent."

Cotton Candy Grapes

Believe it or not, these grapes 100 percent live up to their name because they taste exactly like cotton candy. No joke. These unbelievably magical grapes are essentially the unicorn of the produce aisle, so if you happen to come across them, give them a try.

Produce Subscription
Misfits Market Subscription

Because we’ve been going to the grocery store less frequently than we were months ago, we’ve gotten creative with C868彩票:subscription services. C868彩票:This produce box filled with (sometimes) wonky-shaped produce from local farms has supplied many of us with so many fresh fruits and veggies, we’re rarely having to leave the house. And at $35 for a 22-pound box, the price can’t be beat.


Spreading Butter
Kerrygold Naturally Softer Pure Irish Butter
This gold-and-green tub is a little luxury that we like to keep in our fridges for the express purpose of making even the simplest buttered toast feel fancy. Sprinkle with Maldon flaky sea salt to feel even fancier.
Land O'Lakes Unsalted Butter
Our favorite unsalted butter (for baking and more) comes from Land O’Lakes, which happens to be a farmer-owned cooperative. Pro tip: Butter keeps really well in the freezer, so it’s a smart idea to have a package or two on hand for when the need strikes.
Siggi's Triple Cream

Kelli couldn’t say enough good things about Siggi’s Triple Cream: “It’s super rich, high in fat content, and decadent — even when eaten right out of the container. Fact: It tastes like dessert.” If you’re tired of the same ol' Greek yogurt, give this thicker Icelandic stuff a try.

Plant-Based Yogurt
Siggi's Plant-Based Coconut Blend

Of all the non-dairy yogurts we’ve tried, Siggi’s (once again) is the only one that really nails the texture and flavor. It only has 8 grams of sugar per serving, is made with a coconut milk base, and contains plant-based pea protein that will keep you full whether you have it for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Try the strawberry flavor first.

Snacking Cheese
Babybel Mini Rolls

Babybel Mini Rolls, which come in a delightfully mesmerizing spiral, are, dare we say, better than string cheese! The only downside is that these are not packed in the iconic (and fun-to-remove) red wax that the OG semisoft cheese version is. You’ll never miss it, though, with how fun these are to unspiral.

Fancy Cheese
Fromager d'Affinois Double-Cream Brie

Lisa is only half joking when she says she considers the nearest cheese shop anytime she has to move. “This French double-cream soft cheese, however, is available at pretty much every supermarket and tastes like something you’d get at a high-end shop,” she says. “Let it sit out for a bit so it has time to soften up — and definitely eat the rind.”

Spreadable Cheese

“On a bad day, Boursin on some Carr’s crackers really works for me,” says Kitchn’s Interim Executive Editor, Carey Polis. Make like Carey and brighten a bad day with some spreadable cheese on a simple cracker.

Polly-O Ricotta Cheese

No lasagna, manicotti, stuffed shell, or ravioli is complete without Polly-O Ricotta. Also, try whipping the stuff for a decadent toast topper. Bonus: C868彩票:An empty container also acts double duty as an appropriately-sized vessel for some homemade sauce that’s ready to be tucked away in the freezer.

Cottage Cheese
Hood Cottage Cheese

In 2018, we declared that cottage cheese was “back, baby!” and our feelings haven’t changed a bit. These salty, creamy curds also make a wonderful blank canvas for a protein-packed breakfast (a single serving has 13 grams, which is way more than a standard cup of yogurt) or filling afternoon snack. Seriously, use this cottage cheese like it's yogurt.

Sour Cream
Daisy Sour Cream

Sour cream is the secret to C868彩票:the best banana bread. It’s the base of dreamy dips, and key for C868彩票:a tangy cheesecake. You’d think that all sour creams are the same, but we find that Daisy has the best texture and the right amount of tang.

Nellie's Free Range Eggs

It’s impossible to count just how many eggs we’ve consumed for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners these last few months. At one point, some of us even considered getting our own C868彩票:backyard chickens! As an alternative to that, though, Nellie’s Free Range eggs are a free-range (duh), hormone-free option we can feel good about picking up.

Grains & Pasta

Massa Organics Short Grain Brown Rice
This California company makes the only brand of rice that Faith will use. She loves this soft, tender, and flavorful rice so much that she buys it by the 20-pound bag. (Who among us doesn’t need 20 pounds of rice right now?)
Quick-Cook Rice
Maya Kaimal Organic Surekha Rice

Need a quick dinner helper? What about microwaving one of Maya Kaimal’s Organic Surekha Rice pouches? The South Indian rice is firm and sweet, and comes in two flavor options: Turmeric and Cumin and Perfectly Plain. Best of all, each bag takes only 90 seconds to zap.

TruRoots Quinoa

Mix up your grain bowl game with this consistently light, fluffy, and nutty quinoa. Compared to other grains, quinoa is relatively low in calories and higher in fiber and protein. We love to use it to make salads, grain bowls, stuffed peppers, chili, and even oatmeal!

Weeknight Pasta
De Cecco Bucatini

If you ever want to witness a lively debate, just ask a group of people what their favorite pasta shape is. For a majority of the Kitchn team, that’s bucatini, a kind of wider spaghetti with a tiny hole running through the center. The purpose of the hole is twofold: to allow for more even cooking and also to let some sauce sneak in! Not for nothing, C868彩票:De Cecco is popular in Italy, too.

Weekend Pasta
La Fabbrica Della Pasta Colonne Pompei

These spiral pasta noodles are already ridiculously long, and when you pile them in a bowl, they look like one endless fusilli! It’s the kind of silly gag we need at this point after 23+ weeks of boring ourselves with our own home cooking.

Boxed Mac and Cheese
Annie's Shells & White Cheddar

In times like these, everyone needs an emergency supply of boxed mac and cheese. We always find ourselves coming back to Annie’s because the white cheddar cheese sauce is simply the best (please watch Schitt’s Creek).

Gluten-Free Pasta
Jovial Foods Brown Rice Penne

Gluten-free pasta has made some serious strides over the past few years, and Jovial Foods has been the brand to watch. Its pasta is made in Tuscany from 100 percent organic whole-grain rice grown in Italy. Lauren Kodiak (a big fan of this penne) says you can’t even tell it’s gluten-free.

Soba Noodles
Hakubaku Organic Soba Noodles

These soba noodles are made of a blend of wheat and buckwheat flour and cook in just four minutes, making them ideal for a quick dinner. Fun fact: These noodles are made in Australia and connecting Japanese soba noodles with Australian wheat.

Meat & Seafood

Applegate Organics Uncured Sunday Bacon

As far as we're concerned, the only bacon that's worth bringing home is Applegate's Sunday Bacon. All their meat is antibiotic- and GMO-free and raised humanely. This bacon cooks up super crisp and has a richer, deeper flavor compared to other brands. Pro tip: For less mess, C868彩票:bake it in the oven.

Aidells Artichoke & Garlic Sausage

Aidells is one sausage we’d be okay with knowing how it gets made. The ingredient list is simple and the flavor combinations are a party and a half (although we’re partial to the Artichoke & Garlic). When you’re tired of the same protein options you’ve been relying on, Aidells will help you mix it up.

Whole Foods Whole Catch White Shrimp

Because of Whole Foods’ commitment to seafood that's responsibly farmed or wild-caught by certified sustainable fisheries, this is frozen shrimp we can feel good about. We love that we don't have to worry about where these shrimp came from or their impact on the environment.

Plant-Based Burger
Beyond Meat Beyond Burger Plant-Based Patties

Beyond Meat Patties weren’t designed for vegetarians or vegans — they were engineered to woo carnivores over to where the grass is greener (literally). C868彩票:These imitation meat patties emit a fatty juiciness when cooked, and actually look, feel, and taste uncannily like ground beef. Yay for trying to reverse climate change!

Atlantic Cod

Tilapia’s time is up. When in doubt at the fish counter (or in the frozen aisle), keep an eye out for Atlantic cod. This mild and flaky white fish is sustainable and easy to find. The mild flavor and flaky texture work in everything from tacos to a skillet dinner.

C868彩票:More Info
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

We don’t know where we would be as a recipe site without boneless skinless chicken thighs. They are cheaper, far juicier, and harder to overcook than breast meat, and for that we owe them our endless devotion. No freezer should be without a pack of chicken thighs. Also if you haven’t made C868彩票:this recipe yet, do it tonight.

C868彩票:More Info
Deli Meat
Boar's Head Sandwich Style Pepperoni

Every day we set a new record for days in a row having eaten lunch at home, and because of that our sandwich game has leveled up. Using Boar’s Head Sandwich Style Pepperoni, C868彩票:a taste test winner, will make you feel like you’ve been slinging sandwiches forever.

Frozen Meatballs
Costco Kirkland Signature Italian Style Beef Meatballs

Trust us when we say that you will never in your life taste a frozen meatball as juicy as Costco's Italian Style Beef Meatballs. They’re great on top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese (sorry couldn’t help it).


Frozen Aromatics
Dorot Gardens Crushed Garlic Cubes

Food Editor at Large, Christine Gallary, has strong feelings on why C868彩票:you should buy frozen garlic (mostly because she can’t stand the lingering smell on your hands when you mince it and because even garlic was hard to find this spring). These cubes of crushed garlic, oil, lemon juice, and salt frozen into a little ice cube tray are what she calls “a happy discovery.” And they’ll last way longer than the fresh stuff.

Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s has always been up there on our list of all-time ice cream greats, but this year they earned even more respect in our book after the brand strongly aligned themselves with the Black Lives Matter movement and declared that “silence is not an option.” In support, we’re buying a pint of every flavor.

Frozen Yogurt
Yasso Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Bars

If ice cream isn’t an option, we’ll choose C868彩票:Yasso Frozen Yogurt Bars any day. Each bar has very little sugar, compared to other frozen desserts. And aside from being fairly virtuous, they’re fully delicious (minty!), which is really what we care about.

Puff Pastry
Dufour Classic Puff Pastry

“Unlike other frozen puff pastry options, which are made with shortening, this is all butter and it tastes so much better,” says Jesse. Butter is better, agreed all the bakers on staff. And unlike another staff favorite (the stuff from Trader Joe’s), this puff pastry is available year-round.

Chicken Nuggets
KidFresh White Meat Chicken Nuggets

These white meat chicken nuggets are blended with puréed cauliflower and coated in a whole-grain breading. And, hear us out, your kids will love them. Lauren Masur is pushing 30 and she keeps a box of these in her freezer ... just for herself.

Chicken Dinner
Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

Every year, Trader Joe’s asks customers to vote on their favorite products, and this bag consistently wins the very top spot. It’s honestly just as good as your favorite takeout place, and even less expensive. C868彩票:We love these chicken bits in the air fryer, but if you don’t have one then 20 minutes in a 400°F oven will do the trick.

Veggie Burger
Hilary's Organic World's Best Veggie Burgers

We recently conducted a taste test of 27 different frozen burger patties (beef, turkey, alt-meat, and veggie) and shifted allegiances in the veggie patty category. Hilary's World’s Best Veggie Burgers stood out the most for its appealing texture and balanced flavor that didn’t get lost on a bun.

Frozen Pizza
Mama Cozzi's Pepperoni Pizza

Back in May, sales of frozen pizzas were up 100 percent from the same time last year. If you’re planning to stock up on some, try Aldi’s C868彩票:widely beloved Mama Cozzi line. Just be sure to plan ahead: They’re so popular that the store often C868彩票:sells out on Fridays. If you can’t find Pepperoni, try one of the fun special toppings from the current Aldi Finds offerings. Get the frozen kind or a refrigerated take-and-bake option. You really can’t go wrong.

Frozen Veggie Shortcut
Birds Eye Protein Blends Tuscan Style

A steamable bag of grains, veggies, legumes, and sauce is your express ticket to the easiest side dish ever. We love all the protein blends from Birds Eye, but our very favorite is the Tuscan style which is a mix of farro, veggies, chickpeas, and a citrus olive oil sauce.

Seapoint Farms Shelled Edamame

We love the fact that we can just pour some edamame out of this easy pouch — no shelling necessary! Just thaw and the soybeans are perfect for snacking by the handful or adding to salads, grain bowls, rice dishes, and more. You can also throw some in the air fryer with some sea salt to make a crunchy treat.

Frozen Fruit
Dole Cherry Berry Blend
Fresh berries are expensive, but this bountiful frozen blend is a steal in comparison. Plus, it’s got everything your smoothie-loving heart could ever desire: blueberries, pitted cherries, blackberries, and raspberries.
Cheese Bread
Brazi Bites Cheddar & Parmesan

Brazi Bites are the best thing to happen to the freezer section this year. Pop a few on a sheet tray, and in 20 minutes you’ll have steaming hot pão de queijo — a crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside breakfast staple made with tapioca flour, cheese, eggs, and milk. They also come in a cinnamon churro flavor. Both are a must-try.

Frozen Potatoes
Ore-Ida Potatoes O'Brien

This mix of potatoes, peppers, and onions is our secret to a super-easy breakfast casserole. Just mix the still-frozen potatoes with some beaten eggs and a handful of cheese, then bake. Easy.

Tater Tots
Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs
Our official frozen tot taste tester (yes, that’s a job around here) recently declared that there’s no such thing as a bad tater tot. These sweet potato puffs are the slightly sweet, nostalgic side dish you crave. Tip: If you have an air fryer, cook them in there.
Cauliflower Rice
Trader Joe's Organic Riced Cauliflower

It’s really cumbersome to break out the food processor and make riced cauliflower yourself. That’s why we’re so happy it comes prepped in the freezer section. Plus, the frozen stuff is a little less stinky than the fresh stuff. And while it doesn’t really compare to actual rice, it’s a great low-carb option for stir-fries, burrito bowls, and casseroles.

Mrs. T's Classic Cheddar Pierogies

Maybe you grew up eating these with either melted butter or sour cream? It’s time to revisit them. This time, try them wrapped with a bit of goat cheese, hot pepper jelly, and a piece of prosciutto (a fancy appetizer for Netflix night!). Or put them in a stir-fry, on top of a leafy salad, or on a meaty kebab.

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