Stocking Your Pantry for Thanksgiving? Our Simple Printable Checklist of Essentials Is Here to Help!

Our handy guide to stocking your Thanksgiving pantry, with a printable check list. [Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

We've all been there. The roast is in the oven, you've got your sister peeling Brussels sprouts, you're keeping an eye on the dog to make sure it isn't grabbing a sneaky taste of the pies cooling in the hallway, your stuffing is getting packed into its casserole dish and—f*&k me, did I really just run out of kosher salt? I'm not going to say there's nothing worse than having to run out to the store in the middle of a marathon cooking session, but like root canals and bicyclists while driving, it's the kind of thing that's just best avoided.

Here's a quick check list of all the non-perishable goods you should have on hand to make sure that your Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch. To make it easier for you, we've made a super simple checklist that you can print out.

In the Fridge

All of these items can be stored in the refrigerator at least three weeks in advance.

Some vegetables and even some meats will last over a week in the refrigerator. Stock up on them early to save time and headaches with last minute shopping.

In the Freezer

Dry Goods

Keep dry goods in a dark, cool cabinet for maximum storage and please, for the love of all that is holy, do not store your oils above or near your stove. Heat will cause them to turn rancid very quickly. Keep them far form a heat source in a cool, dark space.

Jarred and Canned

  • All-purpose flour for all of your baking needs, like this Easy Pie Dough (of course, you can always go store-bought. Trader Joe's is the winner of our taste test.)
  • Baking powder and baking soda.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Brown sugar.
  • Corn syrup or maple syrup. The secret to great pecan pie or great mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Pecans. Know what else you can't make a great pecan pie without?
  • Confectioner's sugar to make icing sugar for your pumpkin swirl buns, and to help make everything look nice and pretty.
  • Graham crackers for an easy pie crust alternative!
  • Canned pumpkin to make that perfect pumpkin pie. (And check out our fresh vs. canned pumpkin taste test to see why you should really make your pie filling from scratch!)
  • Chicken stock is a thanksgiving staple essential for gravy, stuffing, and other dishes. You can make it yourself, or if you'd prefer, buy the low-sodium stuff from the store. Swanson's Chicken Cooking Stock was the winner of our taste test.
  • Kosher salt.
  • Black pepper—and we're talking real black pepper here. Please grind it fresh. That powdered stuff is good for one purpose only: giving your food little black specks without altering its flavor at all.
  • Olive oil for all of your salad dressings.
  • Marmite, soy sauce, and fish sauce, for enhancing the flavor of your gravy.
  • A neutral oil like canola, vegetable, or rapeseed, for high heat sautéeing.
  • The Produce Aisle

    Some produce is better kept at room temperature.

    If You Wanna Cheat a Little

    Thanksgiving is busy. We get it. Ain't nothing wrong with using some store-bought help if saves your your sanity.

    Kitchen Supplies

    • Extra rolls of paper towels, because you never know when that mess is gonna strike.
    • Heavy duty aluminum foil for lining your roasting pans, making for easy clean up.
    • Parchment paper to keep your roast vegetables from sticking.
    • Storage containers to make sure that everyone takes some home at the end of the night. I like to use these plastic deli containers. They stack, nest, and are dirt cheap.
    • Plastic wrap for wrapping up the extra turkey and casseroles.
    • Dishwashing liquid.
    • Sponges.
    • Trash, recycling, and compost bags.

    I feel like this list expands every single year, and I still manage to find something I left out (usually by running out of it on Thanksgiving). To make it easier for you, we've made a simple checklist that you can print out.