Let’s stock your vegan pantry, fridge, and freezer! If you are moving into a new home, and need to stock your vegan kitchen from scratch, this is the ultimate vegan staple foods list for you. If you already have a stocked kitchen, but would like to add more vegan staple foods, this list will help you too.
To make this long list easier to use, I divided into 14 categories! To establish an efficient kitchen, you don’t need to have every ingredient on this list – just choose a few favourites from each category and build a stash of staple foods that work for you from there.
This post is all about Vegan Staple Foods!
cursive = stored in the fridge
bold = stored in the freezer
1. Legumes And Legume Products
Legumes are the primary source of protein and essential amino acids of a vegan diet. They are cheap, and very versatile.
Not only are legumes eaten as a wholefood staple in diets around the world, but they are also found in a variety of delicious and nutritious legume-based products.
From Red Lentil Dal, Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Black Bean Chili, One-Pot Cheesy Chickpea Broccoli and Rice Meal Prep, The Easiest Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas, to Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowls With Peanut Sauce, all types of legumes and legume-based products can be used to create protein rich vegan meals.
- dried or canned beans (kidney, navy, pinto, black, lima, adzuki, mung, black gram, etc.)
- dried broad beans
- dried or canned or canned lentils (red, green, etc.)
- fresh or frozen peas (garden peas, etc.)
- dried or canned chickpeas
- dried or canned black-eyed beans / cowpeas
- dried soybeans
- soy mince / textured vegetable protein
- vegan meat substitutes made of soybeans
- legume flour (chickpea flour, red lentil flour, lupin bean flour, etc.)
- legume pasta (chickpea pasta, red lentil pasta, etc.)
- protein powder (pea protein powder, soy protein powder, etc.)
- peanuts and peanut butter
2. Grains And Grain Products
Grains are an excellent choice of starchy food!
They are an important part of a balanced vegan diet, not only because they are rich in fibre, but also because they are a source of iron, protein, zinc, and even selenium.
For breakfast, enjoy grains in Overnight Muesli In A Jar, 3-Ingredient Apple Sauce Baked Oats, or Bread Machine Vegan Cinnamon Rolls. For lunch and dinner, you can serve rice, millet, wheat berries, pasta, quinoa, etc. interchangeably as part of your meals.
- rice (basmati, jasmine, and brown)
- wild rice
- oats (steel-cut, rolled, and instant)
- pearl barley
- popcorn kernels
- grain flour (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, rice, buckwheat, teff, etc.)
- corn starch, potato starch**, tapioca flour** or arrowroot flour** for thickening
*Quinoa is technically a seed, but is practically used in the same way as grains.
**Potato, tapioca, and arrowroot flour are technically made of root vegetables.
Nuts and seeds are likewise great vegan staple foods!
Not only are they nutritional powerhouses, but they are also my number one snack of choice. They are delicious and oh so satiating due to their high healthy fat content.
- Brazil nuts
- coconuts (fresh, shredded, etc.)
- macadamia nuts
- pecan nuts
- pine nuts
Yes, I store my selection of seeds in the fridge and I highly recommend you try it too if you don’t manage to eat your seeds in time before going rancid.
Seeds go rancid because of 3 causes: oxygen, heat, and light.
Firstly, I store seeds in airtight containers which keeps out the oxygen. It also prevents outside odors from getting in, which are easily absorbed by seeds.
Storing them in the coldness and darkness of a fridge helps to keep heat and light at bay.
One thing to keep in mind is that storing seeds in the fridge might affect the flavor of the seeds slightly. This is easily resolved by toasting them in a pan, before serving them on top of breakfast or a salad.
5. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is not essential to a vegan diet, but it can be a delicious and convenient addition.
Nothing beats a comforting porridge or pancake, topped with dried fruit. It is also great in this Muesli Mix, for an easy and cheap breakfast. Lastly, I love to pair dried fruit with nuts or seeds, for an on-the-go snack!
6. Non-Dairy Products
Non-dairy milk is the number one vegan staple, which I always have on hand in my fridge! My two favorite kinds of non-dairy milk are soy and oat milk.
Soy milk is high in protein and I always make sure to purchase soy milk that is fortified with calcium. This gives me peace of mind that at least part of my daily calcium need is covered. I use soy milk to make my own soy yogurt, but also in oats, baked goods, smoothies, and other sweet goods.
Oat milk is my favorite kind of milk to froth and I thus use it to make cappuccinos and hot chocolate!
For savoury dishes, I tend to have a third kind of non-dairy milk on hand, such as cashew milk or another neutral-tasting kind of non-dairy milk. The taste of soy milk can be rather strong and can overpower a savoury dish. Oat milk is naturally sweet in taste and thus isn’t ideal to use in savoury dishes either.
Other non-dairy products I use regularly is vegan butter, non-dairy yogurt, and vegan cheese.
- non-dairy milk (soy, oat, cashew, etc.)
- vegan buttery spread
- non-dairy yogurt (soy, coconut, cashew, etc.)
- vegan cheese and cream cheese
It might seem overly obvious that vegetables are vegan staple foods, but truth is, vegans can just as easily rely on heavily processed foods as non-vegans can. Needless to say, there are vegetarians and vegans out there who do not consume enough vegetables!
Vegans who want to stay healthy should consume an adequate amount of vegetables. To avoid deficiency, it can be helpful to focus on eating enough calcium-rich vegetables, such as kale, bok choy, and turnip greens, and iron-rich vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.
But most importantly, aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables on a vegan diet:
- Leafy green vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, beet greens, Swiss chard, watercress, all types of lettuce, etc.)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radish, etc.)
- Root vegetables (potato, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, turnips, etc.)
- Allium vegetables (onion, garlic, leeks, scallion, shallot, chives, etc.)
- Stems/ stalks (asparagus, celery, fennel, fiddle head, etc.)
- Vegetables that are technically fruits (all types of squash and pumpkin, bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, avocado, olives, etc.)
*Mushrooms are technically a fungus.
Just like vegetables, it is important to aim to eat a variety of fruits on a vegan diet:
- Apples, pears, and grapes
- Citrus (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pomelo, mandarins, etc.)
- Stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries)
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, currants, etc.)
- Tropical (bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapple, coconut, kiwi, passion fruit, guava, lychees, rambutan, star fruit, pitaya (aka dragon fruit), jackfruit, etc.)
- Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.)
What you may or may not know, is that most refined cane sugars are not suitable for vegans. This because they require bone char to complete the filtration process.
The good news is that “raw” sugars skip the filtration process making them vegan-friendly choices. This includes raw cane, demerara, and muscovado sugar.
Another safe choice for vegans are unrefined sweeteners! These are my personal favourite choice. I just love the caramel flavour of coconut sugar.
10. Herbs And Spices
When cooking, herbs and spices are used in small amounts to provide flavor to food. I love experimenting with herbs and spices and tend to have a wide variety available in my pantry. Here’s a list of which one I currently have:
- bay leaves
- black mustard seeds
- cayenne pepper
- chili flakes
- chili powder
- chipotle rub
- cumin seeds
- curry powder
- dried fenugreek leaves
- garam masala
- Italian herbs
- mixed spice
- nutritional yeast!
- smoked paprika
- yellow mustard seeds
What would a kitchen be without cooking oils? In my kitchen, I avoid deep frying because I just can’t stand the mess it creates, however, I love using a variety of oils in moderate amounts to transfer heat, brown food, and add flavor. You’ll want to choose your oil based on what temperature you’ll be cooking and what flavor profile you are going for. Here are some of my favourites:
- extra virgin olive oil
- grapeseed oil
- coconut oil
- sesame oil (toasted and unrefined)
- peanut oil
- hemp oil
You might be interested to learn that vinegar plays an important role in vegan baking applications, and thus absolutely can’t be missed in a vegan kitchen! In vegan baking, vinegar is often used for it’s leavening and flavor enhancing properties. Adding some vinegar to soy milk, letting it sit for 10 minutes and allowing it to curdle, enhances dairy-like flavors. The acid in the vinegar also activates baking powder and baking soda, which enhances the leavening or rising of your baked goods. My favorite vinegar to use in vegan baking is apple cider vinegar,
Vinegar can also add a punch of flavor and personality to a host of dishes, especially salad dressings, marinades, chutneys, sauces and soups.
Condiments can make all the difference when cooking! It’s a convenient way to impart a specific flavor, which enhances the overall flavor or complements the flavor of a dish.
My favorite vegan condiments:
- bouillon cubes or stock powder
- tomato products (tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes)
- canned goods (baked beans, coconut milk, coconut cream, etc.)
Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to let me know, by leaving a comment below.
This post was all about Vegan Staple Foods!
Learn More About Kitchen Organization:
- How To Organize Food Storage And Meal Prep Containers
- 7 Ultra Efficient Tips To Organize Kitchen Utensils
- How To Organize Spices In A Cabinet