Plant Based Pantry Essentials

Every vegan is different – even when it comes to their diets. Not every vegan or person following a plant based diet is created equal, but I do like to think that some of my pantry essentials are things that will permanently end up in your pantry as well.

Before I go grocery shopping, I like to make sure that all pantry essentials are fully stocked in my kitchen since they are things that I tend to use the most often. For example, bananas and almond milk are huge staples in my house, so they are always on my grocery list!

Refrigerated items

  • At least 3-4 cartons of unsweetened almond, cashew, or coconut milk
  • Nutritional yeast, which provides Vitamin B12 and is great for giving recipes a nice “cheesy” flavor (you don’t buy nutritional yeast in the refrigerated section; you actually buy it in the bulk section of your natural foods store. However, I like to store it in my fridge to keep it fresher for longer)
  • Minced garlic
  • Tofutti Non-Hydrogenated Better Than Sour Cream
  • Hummus (to be used as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, or to make cheese-less quesadillas)
  • Zevia soda and sparkling water (regular soda is indeed vegan, but I prefer to consume as little sugar as possible)
  • An assortment of fresh vegetables including kale, spinach, organic carrots, and organic celery
  • Extra firm organic tofu
  • Organic peanut butter
  • Non-dairy buttery spread such as Melt or Earth Balance
  • Whole grain sprouted bread
  • Organic jam
  • Maple syrup
  • Corn or flour tortillas (I like to freeze them right away or at least freeze half of the pack)

Freezer items

  • At least 2-3 boxes of veggie burgers (free of milk, eggs, etc.)
  • Frozen french fries
  • At least 2-3 bags of assorted frozen veggies
  • At least 2-3 bags of frozen fruits, such as blueberries and mixed fruits
  • A pint or two of non-dairy desserts (for sweet tooth cravings)
  • At least 1-2 bean and rice burritos for food emergencies

Other veggies & fruits

  • Apples, bananas, and clementines
  • Yellow onions
  • An assortment of tomatoes for cooking, burgers, or for snacking
  • Organic red potatoes or sweet potatoes

Pantry items – baking

  • Flour (including whole grain spelt, buckwheat, and oat flour)
  • Whole grain oats (I like old fashioned oats and steel cut – just blend in a blender or food processor to make oat flour)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar
  • Coconut sugar (a nice substitution for refined white sugar or cane sugar)
  • Agave nectar
  • Raw cashews, almonds, and sunflower seeds for making plant based cheeses or raw desserts
  • Coconut oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Baking soda, baking powder, and cornstarch for baking
  • Chia seeds and ground flax meal for making plant based eggs
  • Chocolate and vanilla plant based protein powder
  • Non-dairy chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Pantry items – cooking

  • An assortment of spices including onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, turmeric, chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, dill, basil, italian seasoning, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, and paprika
  • Cans of crushed, diced, and whole tomatoes
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Soy sauce or gluten free tamari
  • Whole grain pasta (I like to keep penne and spaghetti stocked)
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice (I use basmati and jasmine the most frequently)
  • Canned chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans (make sure there isn’t any added corn syrup or sugar), white beans, and pinto beans
  • Just Mayo sandwich dressing from Hampton Creek

Pantry items – snacks

  • Larabars
  • Snacks such as popcorn, brown rice cakes, potato chips with sea salt, and tortilla chips with salsa
  • Roasted mixed nuts for snacking
  • Oreos or Newman’s Own Newman-O’s (they are technically plant based)
  • Just Cookies from Hampton Creek

What is one plant based product you can’t live without? Let us know!

Alex Beane

Alex is a freelance writer who holds a BA in Professional and Creative Writing. She has a strong interest in veganism, holistic health, and emotional and physical wellbeing. When she isn’t reading and writing about health and wellness, Alex is trying new plant based recipes in the kitchen or can be found volunteering with a Minneapolis-based animal rights organization or local rabbit rescue. Find Alex on LinkedIn or view her writing portfolio.