top of page

Your Vegan Starter Set: Must-Have Staples for the Pantry and Fridge

Looking to become a vegan and don’t know where to start? Moving into your own place looking to cook vegan meals for your self? Making new recipes is so much easier when you’ve got most of the ingredients on hand. Here are some vegan pantry and fridge staples for the aspiring or seasoned vegan to craft a well-rounded pantry. Pick and choose what you like from this list as inspiration to build your own plant-based pantry!

Baking Ingredients

  • Agave

  • Baking powder

  • Baking soda

  • Brown sugar

  • Maple syrup

  • Raisins

  • Vanilla extract

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Whole-wheat flour (white whole-wheat and whole-wheat pastry are best choices for baking)

Beans and Legumes

  • Dried lentils

  • Beans of choice (many are available dried; canned are great for convenience) — black beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas /garbanzo beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, pink beans, white beans, and so forth


  • Corn tortillas

  • Whole-grain bread

  • Whole-wheat bread crumbs

  • Whole-wheat tortillas (100 percent whole grains)

Canned Goods

  • Apple butter (good for baking)

  • Applesauce (good for baking)

  • Coconut milk

  • Fruit jams or preserves (no sugar added)

  • Marinara sauce — (check labels for vegan)

  • Seed butters — sunflower and sesame (tahini)

  • Nut butter — almond, cashew, and peanut

  • Silken light tofu (may be in Asian section)

  • Tomatoes (plum) — chopped, crushed, and whole

  • Tomato paste

  • Vegetable stock


  • Oatmeal

  • Standard rolled oats are great to eat raw in cereal

  • For baking, use rolled, steel-cut Irish, and quick-cooking oats

  • Various cereals — 100% percent whole-grain is great


  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Chutneys (great to spice up your wraps and rice and beans)

  • Cooking sherry and/or vermouth

  • Hot sauce

  • Mustard, but check ingredients for dairy

  • Olives (in water)

  • Rice vinegar

  • Salsa — standard tomato, as well as fun variations, like peach and mango

  • Tamari and / or soy sauce

  • White vinegar


  • Non-dairy milk — almond, coconut, soy, hemp, rice, or coconut soy (my preference is unsweetened plain for savory cooking and vanilla flavored for desserts

  • Tofu — Firm and silken

  • Vegan cheese (check the label to make sure it’s caseine / dairy dairy-free)

  • Yogurt — almond, coconut, or soy

Freezer Section

  • Frozen edamame — great snack

  • Frozen fruit — blueberries, mangoes, peaches, and strawberries , mangoes, and peaches (perfect for smoothies, pancakes, and other treats)

  • Frozen spinach — we use it so much in cooking

  • Frozen vegetables

  • Frozen-fruit bars (popsicles)

  • Sorbet

  • Veggie burgers (make sure they’re vegan — many contain eggs and/or cheese; find brands with as few ingredients as possible)

Grains and Pasta

  • Amaranth

  • Barley

  • Brown rice — short short-grain and pre-cooked or quick cooking

  • Bulgur

  • Corn kernels for popping

  • Farro

  • Lasagna noodles — whole wheat, no boil

  • Pasta — whole wheat or brown rice

  • Quinoa

  • Wheat berries

Herbs and Spices — Dried

  • Allspice

  • Basil

  • Black pepper

  • Cayenne

  • Chili powder

  • Cinnamon

  • Cumin

  • Curry powder

  • Garlic powder

  • Ginger, ground

  • Nutmeg

  • Oregano

  • Paprika

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Rosemary

  • Saffron

  • Sage

  • Sea salt

  • Thyme

  • Turmeric


  • Almonds

  • Brazil nuts

  • Cashews

  • Pecans

  • Pine nuts

  • Walnuts


  • Fresh fruit — tons, in all colors; I especially love: Apples, bananas (great to freeze), berries, mangos, and melons

  • Lemons for cooking

  • Fresh vegetables — tons, in all colors: I love bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green and yellow zucchini, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes or yams

  • Be sure to get extra carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, and onions for freezing and cooking

  • Fresh herbs — parsley, basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, and rosemary

  • Dried fruits — apricots, cherries, cranberries, dates, prunes, figs, prunescherries, and raisins

  • Salad and dark, leafy greens (buy pre-washed and organic when possible) — arugula, collard greens, endive, kale, collard greens, mixed salad greens, radicchio, red-leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, spinach, and watercress


  • Chia

  • Flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed; store in fridge once opened); or buy whole flaxseeds and grind yourself

  • Flax

  • Pumpkin

  • Sesame

  • Sunflower

87 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page