What’s In Your Vegan Pantry?

by | September 10, 2017

Many people are afraid to become vegetarian let alone vegan because they are intimidated by what things they should have in their pantry so that, when hunger sets in, they have delicious and nutritious food to prepare and they won’t go completely mad and eat their own arm. It’s a common concern and I have to admit that it was definitely a major concern of mine as my arm looks rather tasty to me on some days. But when you have finally come to the decision to be vegan and also want to be healthy, knowing what staples to have in your pantry can be mighty scary. Here is my list of pantry items you should always have on hand.
Click on each picture or blue link to read more about each one! 


==>  pinto, black, kidney, red, white, garbanzo, and lentils  <==
Beans are great and a simple yet healthy way to get protein into your life. There are so many options for beans out there. My favorite beans are black and red. On the go, I will happily open a few tins of beans, mix them all together, put some in a bowl, add salsa, avocado and some hot sauce and have that as a meal. So delicious. It is better if you use the dried beans and rehydrate them yourself due to the sodium content of canning foods, but I don’t have time or patience for that so I use cans – just do your best to find beans that have no salt added or very low salt. You can put beans in almost every meal. Don’t be afraid to smash them up yourself and make refried beans, bean burgers or put them in wrap. So many options, so little time! Pack them into your pantry!


==> brown rice, white ricebasmati rice, quinoa, spelt, farro, millet, and bulgur <==

There are so many different types of grains. I am a huge fan of rice – brown rice, white rice, basmati, coconut, sushi sticky rice – I love it all and there are so many different ways to incorporate rice into your life. Quinoa is also a huge favorite of mine and is come in many different colors so you can make your meals nice and colorful. I have not yet ventured in to spelt, faro, millet and bulgar on my own yet but have tried them in various restaurants. These grains are all an excellent staple to have in your pantry.



==> There are sooooo many delicious pasta’s available!!  <==

Who doesn’t love pasta? When you have dried pasta, you can keep it in your pantry for a pretty long time so feel free to bulk up on the ones you love. I’m not the biggest pasta eater but in a pinch, when it’s been a long day and the kids are cranky, tired and hungry (or the adults), sautéing some veggies, boiling up some pasta and adding some tomato sauce is a super easy meal – you could even add some beans! We are a gluten free family and the options for gluten free pasta now are endless, which makes my celiac son very very happy.


Canned Coconut Milk

==> Regular Coconut Milk and Light Coconut Milk options are readily available <==
Canned coconut milk is great for making a dish creamy or for making creamy sauces. My family absolutely loves Asian themed dishes. Throwing a can of coconut milk on to a stir fry allows me to easily get some veggies into my kids. The options are pretty versatile and some people even use coconut milk for smoothies and coffee drinks. It’s a very delicious plant milk and I usually keep around 8-10 cans in my pantry at one time.

 Various cooking flours

==> Coconut, almond, tapioca, cashew  <==

You can use so many different types of flours for your recipes or to thicken sauces you have made. There is an amazingly wide variety of flours making it relatively easy to avoid processed bleached white flour. Browse your local store’s baking aisle or take a look on some of the various flours available here on Amazon. I always have tapioca and cashew in my pantry.

Canned Tomatoes

  ==>  saucecrushed, peeled, diced, paste  <==

There are several different types of canned tomatoes that you can use depending on what dishes you are making. Use crushed for marinara sauces. Use diced for chili or salsa, use peeled ones to make your own crushed sauces. Whatever your preference, canned tomatoes will definitely come in handy for something you want to make. I do recommend attempting a venture into canning or jarring your own tomatoes but for now, definitely get some store bought ones into your pantry.


==> chia, pumpkin, sunflower, ground flax, hemp <==
Seeds are an absolute addition to your pantry.  You can eat them straight out of the bag (hemp hearts, yum) or add them to dishes. One of my favorites is to add chia seeds to cashew milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Absolutely delicious. Ground flax seeds are a great addition to plant yogurt or a topping on a salad. You can even grind seeds up and use them to make sauces. Both chia and ground flax seeds have excellent omega content and help a lot with digestive tract back ups.


==>  peanuts, cashews, almondspistachio, walnuts, pecansBrazil nutmacadamiahazelnut <==
Oh the things you can do with nuts!  Just like seeds, nuts are great for snacking on. You can eat them straight out of the bag or put them on salads, in soups, in desserts. You can grind them up to make your own nut butters, nut flours and you can you can even make milk out of them! Cashews are excellent for making vegan cheese! Barring any allergies, you should most definitely keep a variety of nuts in your pantry.

Vegetable Stock

==> Low Sodium Vegetable Stock or Unsalted Vegetable Stock <==
I would always recommend that you make vegetable stock yourself as it’s SO easy and you can freeze it. However, if you are going to buy it, you should always aim for the low sodium or even unsalted versions. This is an area where you could very easily jack up your salt intake so be careful. Many people choose to move from oil based cooking to stock based cooking and that is wonderful. Being able to make the stock yourself will be a plus if this is a road you choose. Vegetable stock is very versatile and can be used in almost any entrée in order to thin sauces out, add more delicious flavor and make tasty soups. I always have several containers in my pantry and have my own homemade stock in the freezer.

Beyond Better Cheese Sauce

 ==> Variety Packs or Original Flavors <==
I had the amazing privilege of coming across this company at the Colorado Veg Fest and wow! This cheese sauce is absolutely amazing. It comes in bags of powder that allow to make 4 servings in each one. I made the one serving and it was enough for tacos for 4 people! This sauce is just absolutely delicious and they even have one made from sunflowers for those who have tree nut allergies! You’ll definitely want to buy a few of these for your pantry!



==> Maple Syrup and Agave Syrup <==
Maple syrup and agave syrup are great sweeteners that can easily take the place of non vegan honey and processed, refined sugars. I love using maple syrup in desserts and in textured vegetable protein. Delicious. Probably best to have both in your pantry….you’ll figure out a need for them, I promise.

Textured Vegetable Protein

==> Dehydrated soy flour is what TVP actually is <==
It comes in many sizes and forms. I like to rehydrate it in veggie broth while I saute some onions and zucchini in oil, maple syrup and seasonings. Mix it all together and it kind of resembles crumbled breakfast sausage. You can use in chili or even on salads. You can use the thicker ones, soy curls, to cook with some veggies for a nice Asian style dish (see photo). I personally like this sampler from Harmony House Foods as it has TVP with meat flavors and can satisfy that (hopefully only occasional) craving for foods of the past (if you were ever omni anyway).

Dried Fruit

==> Crispy Fruit <==
Most kids, and a lot of adults, love dried fruit so it’s an easy snack when you don’t have the will to prepare anything. You can also add dried fruit to a variety of different food – desserts, soups, stir fries, and salads – to make a wonderful sweet addition to an otherwise savory or bland dish. Some people are amazing and make their own fruit leather. I have not yet ventured on this trail yet but you should definitely look into since you can control the amount of sugar – always a plus! Until then, buy a box or two of these dried fruit bags for your pantry.


Leave a Comment