Rocco DiSpirito Just Shared 10 Ingredients He Always Has on Hand—Plus an Easy 20-Minute Dinner to Make on Repeat

Renowned chef Rocco DiSpirito has long been celebrated for his culinary expertise and innovative approach to cooking.

With a focus on fresh, flavorful ingredients and simple, yet elegant preparations, DiSpirito has inspired home cooks around the world to embrace their inner chef and create delicious meals in their own kitchens.

In this article, we’ll explore the ten essential ingredients that Rocco DiSpirito always keeps on hand, as well as a quick and easy 20-minute dinner recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights.

1. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil:

A staple in any kitchen, extra-virgin olive oil is prized for its rich flavor and versatility.

Whether used for sautéing vegetables, dressing salads, or drizzling over grilled meats, olive oil adds depth and complexity to dishes while promoting heart-healthy fats.

2. Garlic:

Known as the “stinking rose,” garlic is a powerhouse ingredient that adds depth and flavor to a wide range of dishes.

From pasta sauces to stir-fries, garlic infuses dishes with its aromatic essence, enhancing their overall taste and complexity.

3. Onions:

Onions are the backbone of many savory dishes, providing a savory-sweet base upon which other flavors can build.

Whether caramelized to golden perfection or finely diced for added texture, onions add depth and complexity to soups, stews, and sauces.

4. Fresh Herbs:

Fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, and thyme add brightness and freshness to dishes, elevating their flavor profile and adding a burst of color to the plate.

Whether used as a garnish or incorporated into marinades and sauces, fresh herbs are an essential ingredient in Rocco DiSpirito’s kitchen.

5. Lemons:

Lemons are a versatile ingredient that adds acidity and brightness to a wide range of dishes.

Whether used to flavor sauces, dressings, or marinades, lemons add a zesty kick that enhances the overall taste of a dish.

6. Chicken Broth:

Chicken broth is a pantry staple that adds depth and richness to soups, stews, and sauces.

Whether homemade or store-bought, chicken broth provides a savory base upon which other flavors can build, resulting in a more complex and satisfying dish.

7. Canned Tomatoes:

Canned tomatoes are a pantry essential that add sweetness and acidity to a wide range of dishes.

Whether used to make marinara sauce, chili, or salsa, canned tomatoes provide a burst of flavor that enhances the overall taste of a dish.

8. Whole Grains:

Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and farro are nutrient-rich ingredients that add texture and substance to meals.

Whether served as a side dish or incorporated into salads and stir-fries, whole grains provide a satisfying base upon which other flavors can build.

9. Leafy Greens:

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are nutrient-dense ingredients that add color, texture, and flavor to dishes.

Whether sautéed, steamed, or incorporated into salads and soups, leafy greens are a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

10. Eggs:

Eggs are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes, from breakfast classics like omelets and frittatas to dinner favorites like quiches and stir-fries.

Whether scrambled, poached, or fried, eggs add protein and richness to meals, making them a satisfying and delicious option for any time of day.

Rocco DiSpirito’s Easy 20-Minute Dinner: Lemon Garlic Chicken with Quinoa and Spinach


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken breasts and cook for 6-7 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the quinoa. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

In the same skillet used to cook the chicken, add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the lemon juice and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet with the garlic and lemon juice.

Stir to combine, then add the baby spinach.

Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted and the flavors are well combined.

Serve the lemon garlic chicken over the quinoa and spinach mixture.

Garnish with additional lemon zest, if desired, and enjoy!


With his ten essential ingredients and easy 20-minute dinner recipe, Rocco DiSpirito demonstrates that delicious, satisfying meals can be made with just a handful of pantry staples and a little creativity.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, Rocco’s approach to cooking inspires confidence and encourages experimentation, empowering home cooks to create delicious meals that nourish the body and soul.

So next time you’re in need of a quick and easy dinner idea, look no further than Rocco DiSpirito’s kitchen—where simple ingredients and bold flavors come together to create culinary magic.

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