Vegan Pantry Staples

Veganism isn’t hard to maintain if you’re stocked with the right supplies in your pantry.

It’s easier to eat healthy when you have all your meals planned out. The best way to stay true to that is by stocking up on your vegan pantry staples.

These are foods you can quickly grab at any time and prepare a healthy and delicious vegan meal.

And although household pantry staples may vary with personal preferences, food allergies, and even ethnicity, it can be difficult for some people to decide which kinds of food to have. And I understand!

To help you stock up, this article takes you through some essential vegan pantry staples that every home cook should have on hand!

You might also like Gluten-Free Vegan Shopping List and Dr. Sebi Food List.

assorted grains and seeds, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds in paper sacks

1. Whole grains

Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which can help prevent overeating and control hunger pangs. If you choose brown rice instead of white, you’ll also get more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Besides, whole grains can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from breakfast cereal or a side dish at dinner to making homemade bread and pasta. Whole grains are an important part of any balanced diet.

Whole grains are full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and should definitely be top of your list. They make for a filling breakfast, and their high fiber may help keep you satisfied longer. The fiber content may also help reduce calorie intake, thus helping maintain a healthy weight. Fiber also promotes digestive health, among other benefits.

Start your day off right with a bowl of hot oatmeal. You can add a spoonful of hemp protein or some chia seeds for added nutrition, and swap out animal milk for almond milk, coconut milk, or soy if it fits your diet.


Quinoa is a gluten-free superfood packed with protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. It can make for a great breakfast and can be used in a huge variety of recipes. For instance, it can make for a fantastic alternative to starchy white rice, breadcrumbs, or pasta. It can also be used as a side dish or thrown into a salad for a healthy lunch option.


A versatile and cheap ingredient, oats are great for adding crunch or some bulk to your meals. They are low in fat and can be added just about anywhere: porridge for breakfast, cakes for dessert, smoothies for a midday snack. The possibilities really are endless!
In terms of nutrition, oats are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, and phosphorus. They are also low in calories, making them a great weight-loss option. They are also a great cholesterol-lowering ingredient. So, ensure you have some oats in your pantry at all times.


You can easily cook up a cup of buckwheat into one of your favorite porridge recipes, such as oatmeal. Buckwheat flour is also great in pancakes and other baked goods. Another plus: buckwheat is high in nutrients like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. It has been shown to lower blood pressure as well. With all these benefits, there’s no excuse not to include them in your vegan pantry staples.


Native to South America, amaranth is an ancient grain that’s a good source of protein. It also has vitamins C and E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Amaranth is naturally gluten-free. In addition to being delicious on its own, try using it in your baking for a nutrient boost. Amaranth can be purchased raw or as flour at most health food stores.

Additional whole grains to have include

You don’t have to include all of them; just pick a few that you will likely use and enjoy.

2. Legumes

Assorted beans, pinto, kidney, mung beans, black beans, adzuki


If you’re a newbie to plant-based eating, it can be hard to know where to start. Beans are a great place; they’re full of protein and other nutrients, making them an ideal staple. You can buy canned beans or cook your own dry beans (it’s cheaper) and then freeze them in bulk portions. Canned beans are convenient because all you have to do is open and add them to your favorite dishes! However, they are not the healthiest version.

Regular consumption of beans also provides a great addition to your fiber intake, which promotes digestive health, prevents inflammation, and boosts the immune system, among other benefits.

They are also fairly priced and can be found easily in any cereal or food store. Furthermore, beans are versatile in their recipes and exist in different varieties giving you the power to choose.

According to The American Heart Association (AHA), the average adult should eat about three cups of beans per week. Try some recipes like spicy black bean burgers, veggie chili with rice and beans, and black bean brownies.

Though beans are highly nutritious and good for you, they contain raffinose, a complex carbohydrate that the body cannot fully digest. This may cause gas and other digestive disturbances. To minimize these effects, ensure you are soaking your beans before cooking them. Healthier Steps Beans.

Here are some soaking methods to choose from:

Traditionally soaking beans: 8-12 hours

  • Clean, rinse, and soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and discard soaked water
  • Rinse the beans with fresh water
  • Let them boil

Hot water soaking beans (preferred): 24 hours

  • Clean and rinse the beans
  • Place the beans in a large pot and for every 2 cups of beans, add 10 cups of hot water
  • Bring the pot to boil for an additional 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and cover them. Let them sit for up to 24 hours
  • Drain and discard the water
  • Rinse the beans with cool water and bring them to boil

This method provides the most tender and soft beans.

Quick soaking beans: 1 hour

  • Clean and rinse the beans
  • In a large pot, add six cups of water for every 2 cups of beans
  • Bring it to boil and let it boil for an additional 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from the heat, cover, and let them sit for 1 hour.
  • Drain and discard soaked water
  • Rinse the beans with fresh water
  • Add a new batch of water and let them boil until cooked

This is the easiest method and can still provide tender and soft beans

The process of soaking and boiling can look tiresome, and the best thing is to boil a large portion of beans, portion them into your preferred serving sizes, and store them in the freezer to use whenever needed.

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

These protein-rich legumes make a great base for many tasty meals. You can make your own hummus or use them in place of ground beef in any recipe. Plus, chickpeas offer fiber and manganese, a trace mineral that helps your body absorb vitamin C and metabolize carbohydrates.

They’re also an excellent source of folate, which is important during pregnancy. Chickpeas are one of my favorite sources of plant-based protein. I love to add them to salads or pasta dishes, but they’re also delicious when mashed into veggie burgers!

Dried, canned, or fresh chickpeas are a great source of nutrients. Add them to salads, soups, or stews; they also make an awesome snack on their own. Just make sure to read labels when buying canned varieties; many brands contain salt. Also, make sure your chickpeas are stored in airtight containers so they don’t dry out.
You can also roast chickpeas instead of buying store-bought chips or crackers! Try roasting them with cumin seeds or paprika and an assortment of other spices if you want some variety.

Chickpeas Recipes.


One of my favorite things about being a vegan is that I have so many options when it comes to plant-based protein. Depending on what type of beans and legumes you like, lentils are an excellent inexpensive, high-quality protein source to include in your vegan pantry staples

Whether sprouted or whole, lentils are packed with health-enhancing nutrients. They’re also versatile and easy to cook. These little legumes are great for just about any meal, including soups, stews, casseroles, curries…the list goes on!. Plus, they taste great cooked with vegetables or on their own as a salad topping.
Additionally, they are easy to store in your pantry for a long time—I try not to buy them canned because they tend to be less expensive dry. In addition, canned options are high in sodium and other unhealthy preservatives and additives.

If you’re looking for a quick meal idea, just throw some lentils into boiling water and wait until they’ve softened (usually 20 minutes or so). Add some veggies or spices if you want to make them more interesting.
Lentils also come in a variety of colors (e.g., green, red, and brown lentils), which means they can add some visual appeal to any dish.

Lentil Recipes


Filling, sweet, and healthy—what’s not to love about peas? Peas are versatile, cheap, and quick-cooking—plus, they contain a good amount of protein. This versatile legume is also a great source of plant-based iron, better for your health than meat. Like other legumes, peas are also packed with fiber, which helps your digestion and can even lower blood pressure.

You can eat them whole or pureed as a side dish, mash them into a dip, or blend them into soups and sauces. You can also use them in stir-fries with tofu or vegetables or as toppings for salads.
Peas are great for just about any recipe that calls for canned beans. I generally stick with either green split peas or black-eyed peas because they both cook fairly quickly—in 20 minutes or less—and they have a lighter flavor than other types.

dried nuts, beans and seeds on a wooden background

3. Nuts

Nuts are a nutritious addition to keep you feeling satiated.

They also provide the needed omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and other important nutrients.

You can enjoy a handful as a snack or toss them on salads or baked goods.

Nut butter can also make a delicious addition to crackers and toast. Just ensure you read the labels carefully and avoid those with additives such as sugar or excess salt. Likewise, there are many recipes on homemade nut butter, and maybe you should give them a try.

Best nuts and nut butter to buy

4. Dried fruits

Dry fruit makes for a healthy snack when you need a quick energy boost.

They are also a great way to enjoy fruits all year round, even those out of season.

You can include dry fruits in different recipes such as savory dishes, desserts, and salads.

But remember to consume them in moderation, as dry fruits can be high in calories, due to their concentrated sugars.

Best dry fruit to buy

  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Figs
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Grapes

nutritional yeast flakes in a glass jar on a white background

5. Nutritional yeast

With most vegans deficient in vitamin B 12, nutritional yeast is a great way to boost your intake.

It’s also a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Besides, it has a cheesy flavor, making it an excellent ingredient for vegan mac and cheese recipes.

You can also use nutritional yeast to coat tofu or sprinkle it on popcorn, soups, and other dishes.

6. Pasta

Pasta is an essential pantry staple as you can easily pair it with any sauce, vegetables, or protein. Always go for whole-grain pasta to ensure you are getting lots of fiber and other nutrients.

There is always a gluten-free version for those on a gluten-free diet.

Best pasta to buy

  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Chickpea pasta
  • Brown rice pasta
  • Quinoa pasta
  • Black bean pasta
  • Red lentil pasta

7. Seeds

Like nuts, seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber and provide a feeling of early satiety and satisfaction.

Seeds can be eaten on their own, in bread and muffins or other baking recipes, in homemade trail mix, or be added to smoothies or yogurt.

Best seeds to buy

8. Oils

Healthy oils are another staple to always have among your vegan pantry staples.

Oils such as olive and coconut contain vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can make a great addition to your diet. Just ensure you are going for extra virgin versions, so you are increasing your nutrient intake.

Olive oil

Olive oil is another staple to always have among your vegan pantry staples. It’s rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that help keep your heart and brain health. Add some extra virgin (virgin) olive oil (EVOO) to smoothies, and dips, or even use it to sauté veggies for a delicious dish. You can also drizzle it on top of your bowl of quinoa, stir it into your pasta sauce, and use it in salad dressings and marinades.

If a recipe calls for cooking oil, try swapping in extra virgin olive oil instead. However, it has a low smoking point, so it’s not suitable for high-heat cooking. Consider using coconut oil instead, but don’t overdo it since coconut oil can be high in saturated fats.

Coconut oil

A staple in most kitchens around the world, coconut oil is a healthy fat that can be used for cooking, added to smoothies and salads, or even eaten by itself. It’s solid at room temperature and melts with heat, making it easy to cook with. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and is rich in vitamin E (1 tbsp provides over 50% of your daily recommended intake). Use it as an alternative to butter on toast, stir-fries, baking recipes, and more.

You can also use coconut oil as a beauty product: massage into skin after showering for softness; apply to hair for extra nourishment; use as a shaving cream, or add some into your bath water for extra hydration. For best results, look out for virgin coconut oils – these are cold-pressed without using any chemicals, which means they retain their natural goodness and health benefits.

9. Dry Herbs and Spices

image of dried spices like cinnamon, cloves, on a wooden background

Some people would argue that herbs and spices aren’t staples; others wouldn’t. Whichever camp you fall into, we can all agree that herbs and spices are great for flavor and variety in plant-based cooking. If nothing else, a good spice rack will help add variety and flair to your dishes.

And they not only improve the aroma and taste of food, but regular consumption may also provide medicinal properties.

Best herbs and spices to have

  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne
  • Paprika
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Chili flakes

Final thoughts on my favorite vegan pantry staples:

Deciding on what to eat on a vegan diet can be pretty daunting, especially when you don’t have any supplies within your reach.

With these healthy vegan pantry staples, you can easily pull off a delicious vegan meal and prevent any temptations to compromise.

More Vegan Tips:

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