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The Overseas Mexican Pantry


One of the most well-loved cuisines globally is Mexican food, so it should be no surprise that many like to fill their pantry with their favourite Mexican items. Whether you enjoy having your own Taco Tuesdays at home or generally love this cuisine, having the essentials on hand ensures that you can always prepare a delicious meal.

That said, traditional Mexican food is known for its unique ingredients, making it challenging to find overseas. So, to help you in your next grocery run, here are some key components to stock up in your Mexican pantry. These are staples for many dishes that should not be too hard to find in your local groceries.


No matter what food you have in mind, chillies are a must-have in every pantry. Dried chillies like chipotle, guajillo and chiles de Arbol are all great for infusing flavour to your dish or making salsas and sauces. You can also get canned chillies like pickled jalapenos to add to sauces and pastes.

Of course, you can also opt for fresh chillies like your jalapeno and habanero for a more robust and intense flavour. However, these have a much shorter shelf life, so make sure you use them immediately.


Whether you plan to make quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, or tacos, you will need tortillas. Depending on your preference, time, or skill in the kitchen, you can opt for pre-made tortillas or make your own. Generally, authentic tortillas are made with corn masa, water, and salt. It might take some practice to get the dough right, but you can better replicate the taste of traditional Mexican food once you do.

Herbs and Spices

Mexican food is bursting with flavour, so you need to have various herbs and spices in your pantry regardless of your preferred dish. Mexican oregano, cumin, thyme, allspice, cloves, achiote, and chilli powder are just some of the most common spices used in cooking.

Fresh Staples

Remember to also get some fresh produce that can add zest and more depth to the flavour of your food. One example would be cilantro, which you could think of like Mexican parsley since you top it in almost every dish. You also have limes, which pack some acidity and are non-negotiable for ceviche, salads, tacos, and guacamole.

Other fresh staples you should have in your pantry include avocados, onions and peppers, tomatoes, and radishes.

Dried Beans

Beans are another popular ingredient featured in many dishes. While there are many types to choose from, pinto beans, black beans, and lentils are household favourites among Mexicans. They work well for soups, salsas, burrito fillings, refritos, refried beans, and several other meals that can keep you filled.

Even if you are miles away from Mexico, you can still enjoy the comforts of Mexican food from your home, so long as you stock your pantry with the right ingredients! So, make sure to grab the essentials listed above, so you can enjoy a delicious Mexican meal whenever you crave it.

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