Must-Have Vegan Pantry Essentials

Must-Have Vegan Pantry Essentials

In our daily busy lives, what we eat is determined by the food we have in stock in our pantries. But again, how you stock your pantry will largely depend on availability, your personal taste, preference, and whether you have food allergies.

Having various healthy vegan food options in your pantry helps you eat healthy meals and avoid the temptations of convenience foods. You’ll be surprised that being a vegan does not mean being restricted to bland foods.

Some healthy options make up a balance of nutrition and flavor to your diet and will help you cut down on unnecessary shopping. This article explores 11 must-have vegan pantry essentials that you should always have to help you maintain optimal health.

How do I set up a vegan pantry?

Before we look at the top vegan pantry essentials, I know you are wondering how to stock a vegan pantry. The best way to go about it is to stock whole foods and limit processed foods high in added salt and sugars.

Choose a variety of food from different food groups mentioned below and experiment to find your go-to meals that you can prepare quickly. Try adding natural herbs and spices so that you won’t need to use artificial flavors and colors to make your food appealing. If you have an allergy to any foods, you should avoid stocking them.

11 Vegan Pantry Essentials To Consider

Let’s now look at the top vegan pantry essentials to consider.

1. Legumes

Plant based proteins are a must-have vegan pantry essential. You need a variety of legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas, to boost your protein intake. Legumes are versatile and are a great addition to your soups, curries, stews, and salads. Some of the legumes to consider include dehydrated garbanzo beans, black beans, red beans, pinto beans, navy beans, kidney beans, great Northern beans, and lentils. Stocking these dehydrated instant legumes reduces your cooking time from hours to just a few minutes of your time.

2. Whole grains

Grains are vital for a vegan diet due to their fiber and protein content.1 They are nutritious and full of flavor and add different textures to your meals. For example, you can use oats to make muffins or oatmeal porridge for a healthy breakfast. Also, stock grains and cereals, such as: brown rice, white rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, oatmeal, wheat, corn, and their flour counterparts (all purpose flour, corn, or wheat flour).

3. Meat substitutes

The best protein sources for vegans are limited to plant based products. The only problem is that these proteins may not have all the essential amino acids the boy requires. However, soy products have complete protein and provide all the essential amino acids.2 Therefore, you should always have tofu in your vegan kitchen to add to your baked goods, stir-fries, puddings, and dressings. Ensure to keep tofu in the refrigerator to keep it fresh longer. 

The best option is our meat substitute kit, which contains textured soy protein packs: bacon bits, beef bits, chicken bits, ham bits, and sausage bits - all vegan with amazing flavor.

4. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a must-have vegan pantry essentials because they are healthy snacks you can always have on the go. They are rich in healthy fats, fiber and protein, vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.1 You can use whole or chopped nuts in your salads, pastries, and dishes, while seeds make great options for garnishing.

Some nuts to consider include almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, pine, Brazil, or macadamia nuts. Also, consider stocking seeds such as sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds: they are nutritious and packed with fiber to boost your digestive health. You can add the seeds to your smoothies, oatmeal, baked brownies, or muffins.

5. Freeze dried fruits

Fruits are a great addition to your smoothies, salads, grain dishes, or toppings to your vegan pizza or savory dishes. You can also enjoy freeze dried fruits as a nutritious snack right from the pack. They tend to last longer and have a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. Consider freeze dried bananas, mangos, pineapple chunks, apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries. Also, consider dried fruits such as apricots, currants, raisins, and dates.

6. Freeze dried vegetables

The best way to increase your fiber intake is to eat vegetables with all your meals. But it takes time to buy, wash, chop, and cook vegetables every day. The good news is that freeze dried vegetables take the hustle out of preparing vegetables, and you don't have to worry about them wilting. Get the ready packs and add vegetables to your meals in a minute. Consider stocking freeze dried broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, and dried spinach. Use these veggies to make vegetable stock or even munch right from the pack as a healthy snack.

7. Condiments and vegan salad dressings

Stock miso or tahini in your fridge for excellent additions to your homemade soups and salads. You can choose either light or dark miso paste or both. Use tahini and miso paste to your steamed vegetables or tofu for quick, delicious weeknight meals. Other vegan pantry essentials in this category include mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, and tomato paste (you can make your own tomato paste from our tomato powder that we stock on our site).

8. Cooking oil

The choice of oil depends on your personal preference and availability. Oils such as coconut oil and olive oil are a good addition to a vegan diet due to their nutritional profile. Different oils perform differently when exposed to high temperatures, so you need to consider what methods of cooking you’ll be using. For example, some oils, such as flaxseed and nut oils, are good for salad dressing, but you should avoid overheating them. Other oils include olive, avocado, and peanut oils.

9. Vinegar

Vinegar is an essential vegan staple because of its versatile functions. Choose the vinegar type depending on the flavors and cuisines you want to use it for. Some types of vinegar to consider include apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine, and white wine vinegar.

10. Herbs and spices

What’s a pantry without herbs and spices to add flavor and bring your dishes alive? There are various herbs and spices to consider, such as cinnamon, cayenne and black pepper, basil, bay leaves, fennel, cardamom, cumin, parsley, ginger, cloves, curry powder, nutritional yeast, and nutmeg. 

Alternatively, you can buy whole dried varieties and grind them just before you cook to bring more flavor alive. Consider dried herbs and spices such as chives, garlic, jalapeno, onions, mixed bell peppers, and tomato flakes because they last longer. 

11. Natural sweeteners

Like any other diet, you must check your sugar intake on a vegan diet.3 Buy natural sweeteners, such as maple syrup, to sweeten your drinks or smoothies, and use it when baking or glazing your pancakes. You can also use it for making salad dressing. Other sweeteners include agave syrup, date syrup, rice syrup, and organic pure cane sugar.


What is in a vegan pantry?

You will never miss with essentials such as legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables in a vegan pantry.

What are the main ingredients in vegan food?

The vegan diet is characterized by plant based foods such as beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. Vegans don't eat animal food sources.

How do you stock a vegan kitchen?

You need to keep a variety of nuts, dried instant beans, lentils, grains, seeds, seed oils, and vegan friendly spices and condiments in a vegan kitchen. 

What is the most common vegan food?

The most common vegan foods include pinto beans, garbanzo beans, chickpeas, lentils, and soy based proteins like tofu.

What are some vegan snacks?

Healthy vegan snacks include rice cakes, protein bars, cookies, fruit chips, and vegetable chunks with vegan dips.

Final Thoughts

If you are seeking a convenient way to improve your kitchen experience, then look no further than these 11 vegan pantry essentials. Our revolutionary freeze dried products will reduce the preparation and cooking time and are great for quick meals during busy work weeks. Check out our shop to buy these essentials and more.


  1. https://vegan.com/food/foods/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/vegan-diet-overview
  3. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-eat-a-balanced-diet/the-vegan-diet/

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  • Branden Evans
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