Autumn is the perfect time to refresh your pantry – clear out your cupboards and make space for essentials to help you make easy evening meals and seasonal sweet treats. Head to the shops to pick up these must-have ingredients, then choose from our delicious autumn recipes to get started.
Pears, plums, apples and blackberries are all ripe for the picking in autumn, and are the basis of many comforting puds – and they’re even better when paired with cinnamon. This essential storecupboard spice is a healthy way to sweeten and flavour your favourite bakes – try a crowd-pleasing crumble, plum & almond crumble slice or this popular blackberry & apple loaf.
For more sweet ideas, visit our autumn cake recipe collection.
2. Rolled oats
There’s nothing better than a bowl of warm porridge on a chilly autumn morning. Our bodies require more energy as the temperature changes, so keep a bag of oats in the cupboard for a motivational morning meal. Try cinnamon porridge with banana & berries for an easy way to start the day right, or for more ideas, try our good-for-you granola or these brilliant breakfast muffins.
Ginger is a wonderfully versatile ingredient with some health benefits, too. Whether you choose to keep fresh, ground or stem ginger in the cupboard, it will add a gentle, warming spice to your dishes. Try our Thai prawn, ginger & spring onion stir-fry for a nourishing supper, or this sticky pear & ginger cake – it’s pretty much everything we love about autumn.
4. Pearl barley
Wholesome and healthy, pearl barley can be used in risottos, soups, salads and stews and casseroles. Find inspiration with our ultimate pearl barley recipes – the nutty texture pairs beautifully with sweet squash and root vegetables, all of which are in season this time of year.
Seasonal fruit and nuts are a brilliant combination – apples and pears are great with walnuts and hazelnuts, while plums go well with almonds. You can enjoy your fruit-and-nut pairs on top of your morning porridge, or use them in bakes. Serve a slice of apple & walnut cake with treacle icing for afternoon tea or treat your family to this five-ingredient plum & almond pastry.
Onions are the base of a multitude of meals, including soups, stews, bolognese and curries, so it’s important you always have some lurking in your storecupboard. In autumn, seasonal brown and red onions are a cheap ingredient, and if you keep them cool and dry they should last a while. Discover our best onion recipes along with some satisfying autumn soups.
A bag of potatoes can be roasted, baked, mashed and more – our potato recipes show that this humble ingredient can be enjoyed in so many different ways. Our favourite ideas include potato rösti cakes with sage leaves, or bowls of leek, bacon & potato soup for colder days.
Try occasionally swapping them for sweet potatoes for an extra boost of vitamins.
8. Canned tomatoes
Canned foods might seem less glamorous, but they should always be part of your storecupboard shop. Ensure you have a few cans of plum or chopped tomatoes on standby so you can easily throw together a tomato & chickpea curry or speedy pasta bolognese.
Use the distinct flavour of nutmeg to transform both sweet and savoury dishes in autumn. Grate it over roasted butternut squash, mix into creamy mashed potatoes or add to classic bread & butter pudding for a warm aroma and comforting flavour. Alternatively, this custard tart with nutmeg pastry is truly a dessert to be desired.
10. Maple syrup
Drizzled over berry-laden pancakes or used to glaze parsnips, maple syrup is a gorgeous ingredient that lends itself to the colder months. Sausage & maple swede traybake is one of our seasonal favourites, or those with a sweet tooth will find it hard to resist this maple, apple & pecan cake.
Our maple syrup recipe collection has even more ideas for you to try.
Have you used your storecupboard essentials to cook up an autumnal feast? Leave a comment below…