24 Vegan Pantry Staples 

Never be stuck with nothing to eat! Stocking your pantry and fridge with these 24 vegan pantry staples means that a simple and nourishing meal is always available.

A brightly lit pantry with ingredients in glass jars and lots of fresh herbs. A graphic on the image reads "24+ vegan pantry staples".
Here is my list of what I think makes a good pantry.

Have you ever run out of something to eat? Maybe you get sick, or work is keeping you extra busy so you can’t run to the store, or you got stuck in the house from bad weather.

The following list of 24 vegan pantry staples form the base of all my recipes here on the blog. With these on hand, I can make so many different meals. Breakfast to Dinner and even Dessert are available with I’ve got these on hand. 

Toss in some fresh fruits and vegetables and you will be able to make just about everything here on the blog! 

1. Rolled Oats 

Collage of 3 images featuring rolled oats as the main ingredient including blueberry oatmeal, blueberry overnight oats, and no bake granola bars.

Let’s start off with a breakfast essential: Rolled Oats! These oats are so versatile and make for a hearty and healthy breakfast. 

Oats are super healthy with their fiber and beta-glucans, which help to lower total cholesterol and keep you full.

Use them in recipes for breakfast like overnight oats or simple cooked blueberry oatmeal or some easy vegan granola. They also are great as oatmeal breakfast bars for on-the-go food. 

Oats are also perfect for adding to desserts like peanut butter oatmeal cookies or giving some texture to black bean burgers. 

And if you have a good blender, dry rolled oats can even be made into a homemade oat flour. 

2. Bananas 

Collage of 3 images with banana as the main ingredient including vegan ice cream, s'mores ice cream, and banana bread chocolate chip cookies.

Bananas are a must have item in my kitchen. I eat at least one a day! 

This fruit not only is a great snack in and of itself, they also are delicious when used as a protein smoothie base, thrown on a peanut butter sandwich, or turned into dessert in some banana bread or banana bread chocolate chip cookies

And who can forget to mention a vegan favorite recipe: Banana (N)Ice Cream or S’mores Ice Cream

Bananas make for a great egg replacer and if you use one that is sweet and covered in lots of banana freckles, they can also replace some of the sugar in a recipe. 

3. Beans 

Collage of 3 images featuring beans as the main ingredient including chickpea curry, chickpea sandwiches, and a plant based queso sauce.

Beans! They are good for your pantry and easy on your wallet.

Beans are one of the best things when it comes to complex carbs, fiber, and protein.

I always always have cans of beans in my pantry. You can use them not only in soups, Buddha bowls, or to make black-bean burgers, but they are also the base of some of my favorite recipes like plant based queso dip

And for a great weeknight meal, you can’t go wrong with my 20 minute Chickpea Curry! 

Here is a quick list of the types I always have on hand:

  • Black Beans
  • Cannellini Beans 
  • Dark + Light Red Kidney Beans 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Frozen Edamame Beans 

When buying beans, try to find ones that only have the beans, water and a little bit of salt in the ingredients. I always rinse and drain my beans before using them in cooking. 

4. Lemons 

Collage of 3 images featuring lemon as the main ingredient including a lemon dressing, a lemon pound cake, and a Greek salad with a lemon dressing.

Lemons get a special spot on this list because the longer I am vegan the more I find myself reaching for a fresh lemon! 

They are not only yummy when added to some water, but a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is such a great way to finish off a meal before serving (plus it helps to absorb the iron in green salads better when splashed with lemon!). 

I add a splash of lemon juice to my plant-based queso for that extra oomph of flavor. And lemons are the base for my favorite lemon-Dijon dressing which is then used in some of my favorite recipes like Lemon Lentil Salad, Classic Greek Salad, and on my Lemon and Dill Potatoes

Plus, lemon juice can be combined with soy milk to make a homemade vegan buttermilk! This helps baked goods rise taller in the oven and is a great alternative if you don’t like to bake with apple cider vinegar. 

If you can’t find fresh lemons, there is nothing wrong with keeping a bottle of lemon juice! 

5. Spices 

Collage of 4 images featuring different spice blends including a chai spice, taco seasoning, pumpkin pie spice, and an all purpose seasoning blend.

When first going vegan, don’t be intimidated by the list of spices you find yourself gathering. My spice cabinet has grown into just that – a full two shelves filled with tons of spices! 

Spices are the best way to make your vegan cooking and baking better. If you take away nothing else, remember this: Always add more spices. Here is a quick rundown of the spices I turn to the most:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cinnamon 
  • Ground Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin 
  • Paprika (sweet or smoked) 
  • Dried Herbs like Basil and Parsley and Cilantro 

I love to use spices so much that I’ve made up a few spice blends of my own! Make sure to check out my pumpkin pie spice blend, taco seasoning mix, savory all purpose spice blend, and chai spice blend

6. Sugar + Flour 

Collage of 3 images of different bread recipes on the blog including challah bread, rye bread, and Hawaiian rolls.

I think it comes as no surprise to no one who has been on this blog for a minute that I love baking. But even if you have never baked anything beyond break-and-bake cookies, having some sugar and all purpose flour is so important for your pantry. 

Not only can you make delicious desserts like classic chocolate chip cookies or sweet potato brownies, but you can make homemade dinner rolls, freshly baked rye bread, and use it as the base for my 5 minute vegan gravy

And if you are gluten free, I can’t recommend King Arthur Measure for Measure enough. It is totally vegan and makes great gluten free foods and baked goods! 

As for bread flour, that is a bonus pantry item. I don’t always use it but have found it to be super helpful to the success of the vegan challah bread

For sugar, I always suggest both white and brown sugar. Just make sure that you use beet sugar or organic cane sugar so they will be vegan. 

Coconut sugar makes for a great bonus sugar to keep in your pantry as a lower glycemic index sugar that is a perfect swap for brown sugar in all recipes. 

7. Peanut Butter or Other Nut/Seed Butters 

Aside from the quintessential peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter and other nut and seed butters are so perfect to have on hand for quick meals. 

Use peanut butter (or peanut free soy nut butter or sunflower seed butter) in dishes like my Spicy Peanut Noodles for a delicious 30 minute dinner. And you can’t go wrong with a quick and easy protein packed peanut butter smoothie for breakfast or a post-workout fuel up. 

And naturally, peanut butter makes for some freaking amazing peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies. For a fun homemade treat, try making them into homemade peanut butter cups! 

8. Hummus 

I know that I already mentioned beans on this list, but hummus deserves its own special spot on the list. 

Just like beans, hummus is rich in protein, fiber, and lots of minerals.

This is the perfect smear for things on top of sandwiches, to dip veggie slices into, or even as a base for a simple salad dressing. 

My family jokes that we have hummus running through our veins. We eat so much of it! 

9. Potatoes 

Collage of 3 recipes featuring potatoes as the main ingredient including vegan deviled potatoes, sweet potato brownies, and vegan challah bread.

Potatoes are scientifically one of the most satisfying and filling foods on the planet. So it totally makes sense that for a lot of people they are a comfort food! 

Potatoes are full of vitamin B6 and are a super source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, fiber, and panthothenic adic.

Which is why I’m so sad when people avoid potatoes. They are actually a superfood to add to your diet as they are so healthy and no, they don’t make you gain weight.

I love to keep white potatoes and sweet potatoes on hand always, but don’t be afraid to try other kinds like purple potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, yams, red potatoes, tiny potatoes, big potatoes, any kind! 

My favorite recipes include a side dish of lemon and dill potato salad, vegan deviled potatoes, and you can’t go wrong with a batch of sweet potato brownies! Potatoes are also the secret ingredient in making homemade challah and Hawaiian rolls extra soft and fluffy. 

10. Pasta 

Collage of 2 images featuring pasta as the main ingredient including a baked mostaccioli and a lentil and fennel pasta.

If there was one food that I could eat everyday, it might be pasta. I love this delicious starchy food in every shape and size. 

So it’s no wonder that I love to share pasta dishes here on FVK! Some of my favorites include a lentil and fennel pasta dish that comes together in about 30 minutes. I make some gochujang noodles for my lunch almost once a week. And for comfort food, you can’t say no to a big scoop of my favorite mac and cheese baked in the oven. 

Plus, it’s super easy to mix together a plant based bolognese sauce that has tons of veggies for another one-bowl meal. 

And if you are gluten free, there are so many options available now. My favorite brand is Banza chickpea pasta which gives a little extra boost of protein. But you can also find pasta made from things like rice and corn, to lentils, beans, or even buckwheat pasta (which isn’t made with wheat it just has a similar name).

11. Condiments 

Condiments are the special elements that add tons of flavor and are perfect for using in sandwiches, soups, dips, dressings, and so much more. 

I always keep ketchup, yellow mustard, and Dijon mustard in the fridge. 

12. Frozen Fruits + Veggies 

You can’t beat frozen fruits and vegetables for flavor and convenience. Here in the midwest, I don’t always have access to fresh produce (especially in the long winter months) so frozen fruits and vegetables are a lifeline. 

Aside from topping oatmeal and cereal with frozen berries, you can also use them in blueberry muffins, as the basis of pies, or use the veggies in soups and stews. Frozen veggies almost always are used when I make my gochujang pasta. I even freeze my own fruits like bananas and sweet summer corn so I can make a street corn salad anytime. 

13. Spinach + Greens

Collage of 3 different salad recipes on the blog including a Greek salad, a spinach strawberry salad, and a fuji apple salad.

Dark, leafy greens are perhaps the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. I eat greens every day and love how they make me feel. 

Spinach, kale, chard, arugula, romaine, red and green leaf lettuce, all of them rotate in my kitchen depending on the season. 

Spinach and kale go into my smoothie that I make almost every morning. 

They also get added to things like pasta dishes, stuffed peppers, and soups for extra nutrition. 

And of course, you can use them to make incredible salads like my spinach and strawberry poppyseed salad, kale and fennel salad, and the classic vegan Greek salad. 

If you can’t find fresh greens (in the off season) don’t be afraid to use frozen greens! They have just as much nutrition as fresh, and sometimes more if it is the off season. 

14. Lentils 

Collage of 4 images featuring lentils as the main ingredient including a lemon lentil salad, lentil sloppy joes, lentil bbq burgers, and a lentil and fennel pasta.

The tiny, humble lentil is perhaps my favorite food on the planet since being vegan. I love them so much. 

Lentils are seriously a powerhouse of nutrition, packed full of fiber, protein, and tons of vitamins and minerals like iron, B vitamins, zinc and potassium. They are a great choice for people who work out a lot or vegan athletes because they are such a little super food.

You can keep them dried in the pantry, or even purchase some canned cooked lentils. I honestly keep both on hand because on nights I have a few extra minutes to cook them from dried I will, but some weeknights I need to use the already cooked lentils to save 20 minutes! 

They get used almost daily in my kitchen. From recipes like my lemon lentil salad that I have been enjoying on toasted sourdough bread with hummus, to thick sauces like a plant based bolognese or a lentil and fennel pasta. And they make the most amazing sloppy joes and bbq sloppy joe burgers!! 

Seriously, don’t sleep on lentils. 

15. Tofu 

Collage of 3 images featuring tofu as the main ingredient including a tofu french silk pie, a vegan quiche, and scrambled tofu.

Tofu is probably the most classic vegan food of all time. This amazing little plant-based protein is honestly so versatile in the number of ways that you can use it! 

Tofu is made from soybeans, although there are now new options on the market for those who are sensitive to soy that are made from things like lentils and pumpkin seeds.

Starting with soft or silken tofu, you can make some egg free tofu egg salad sandwiches for a quick and easy meal. Or you can make some impressive desserts like my Chocolate French Silk Pie

Use a box of firm tofu to make the most unreal scrambled tofu ever which is amazing on it’s own or on toast with avocado! 

You can use extra firm or high protein tofu to make things like my Teriyaki Tofu Cubes, slices of Herb Oven Roasted Tofu for special occasions, or use them to make dinner quickly with my 20 Minute Tofu Tacos!

16. Rice 

There are so many varieties of rice and I love them all! Brown rice, jasmine, basmati, long grain, short grain, wild rice, and even black rice! 

Rice is one of my favorite starches to add to a meal. I love to make it in the rice cooker so it’s pretty fool-proof and perfect for a set it and forget it type of meal. 

Try out my Spanish Rice, Coconut Rice, or even Cilantro Lime Rice, all make in the rice cooker! 

Aside from that, rice is also one of the key ingredients in my taco casserole and it super fantastic in stuffed peppers. 

17. Plant-based milk 

Soy milk is my hands down favorite as it is unflavored and unsweetened, making it perfect for both savory and sweet applications. 

But there are so many other kinds of milk available now like oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, and even banana milk! 

Use it as the base in oatmeal, for making vanilla pudding or chocolate pudding, and add a splash to scrambled tofu to make it extra creamy. 

18. Canned coconut milk 

I know I just mentioned plant based milk, but canned coconut milk deserves a spot on the list all on its own! 

Canned coconut milk, either the full fat or low fat version, is the most amazing thing. Use it to make recipes like chickpea curry extra creamy, chill it and whip it into homemade vegan whipped cream, add it to smoothies and shakes, or add a dollop to banana nice cream for the ultimate dessert. 

19. Canned tomatoes + paste

Collage of 2 images featuring tomatoes as the main ingredient including a chickpea curry and vegan goulash.

Canned tomatoes are always on my grocery shopping list because I use them so much. Things like canned peeled whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and even ketchup. 

From pasta sauces to chickpea curry, to goulash and minestrone soup, even adding a tomato paste to my queso dip to add some extra umami flavor! 

My favorite brand is Cento tomato as they don’t add citric acid to their products. Just tomatoes and salt! 

20. Nutritional yeast 

Collage of 3 images featuring nutritional yeast as a main ingredient including scrambled tofu, vegan gravy, and a vegan quiche.

Don’t be scared of this ingredient. Nutritional yeast is one of the best secret weapons you have in your pantry for amazing tasting vegan food. 

Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast that is grown on either molasses or corn and then dried out to deactivate it. So it won’t make bread recipes rise, but it does have some pretty amazing benefits.

Super nutritious and a natural source of vitamin B12, it also offers folic acid, selenium, zinc, and even some protein as it is a yeast! This ingredient has an almost cheesy like flavor that adds an amazing depth of flavor to dishes that don’t even need to taste cheesy. 

You can sprinkle it over top of things like popcorn, pizza, or your pasta dishes just like you would a parmesan cheese.

I add it to my plant based queso dip (obviously) but also to things you might not expect like my vegan quiche, scrambled tofu, and my 5 minute vegan gravy

21. Veggie broth 

Not only is vegetable broth good for making soups and stews and adding to gravy, but it also is what I use to saute my veggies on the stove with instead of oil. 

You can make it  yourself using kitchen scraps that you collect over the week. Store it in a big container in the freezer so everything stays fresh. 

My favorite store-bought brand is “Better than Bouillon: Vegetable” which is a totally vegan option. It adds such a great depth of flavor to everything. 

22. Soy sauce / tamari 

Soy sauce and tamari are fantastic additions to things like my scrambled tofu and teriyaki tofu recipes. They add saltiness and umami flavor all in one! 

It also works great to saute your veggies on the stove! 

Tamari is a gluten-free version of soy sauce that uses just the soy. Coconut amino acids is a great alternative for those who are looking to have a soy-free and wheat-free option.

I typically purchase the low sodium version of tamari as I find it has the best balance of salt and umami. 

23. Ground flaxseeds 

Collage of 2 images that use flaxseeds including chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake.

Perhaps my favorite egg replacer, flaxseeds are super powerhouses of alpha-linolenic acid, an Omega-3 fatty acid! This is a super important nutrient that vegans need to be aware of, just as we are vitamin B12 and vitamin D. 

Mix the ground flaxseeds with hot (almost boiling) water to make a perfect egg replacement in baking. They are what hold together my vegan chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake! 

They are also delicious to sprinkle on top of oatmeal, added to smoothies, or on top of salads. 

24. Applesauce 

Another great baking assistant is Applesauce! Purchase an unflavored and unsweetened version to use as a substitute for butter, eggs, and oil in vegan baking. It helps to keep things extra moist and is a reason behind the success of some recipes like my super moist vegan carrot cake. 

If you try these out, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, vegan friendly recipes you can subscribe to the newsletter. Did you make these? Please tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest! I love to see your creations!

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