The Ultimate Vegan Pantry Checklist

Having the right ingredients on hand is a definite must when you are considering a switch to a vegan lifestyle. By ensuring that you have all your nutrients – such as protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals – you’ll ensure that you will have all the bases covered when it’s time to eat.

Canned Food and Beans

These staple items can provide a base for most meals: chili, masala, soups, curries, sauces, etc.

Good items to include:

  • canned and dried beans
  • tomato paste and canned tomatoes
  • vegetable broth
  • coconut milk
  • chili peppers
  • pumpkin puree.
Look for cans without BPA linings or opt for glass jars.

Seeds and Nuts

Adding seeds and nuts to your meals adds protein and trace minerals, among other nutrients.

Some suggestions include:

  • chia seeds
  • flax
  • walnuts
  • pumpkin seeds
  • cashews
  • almonds.
Nuts and seeds don’t stay fresh forever; cycle out your stock regularly, so they don’t get stale. Or put them in the fridge once you’ve opened a new container.

Dried Spices and Herbs

Besides adding flavor to your meal, spices and herbs contain essential micronutrients. Although fresh herbs are best, having a stock of dried herbs on hand can increase the flavor of pretty much any meal, so you can enjoy your vegan dishes, rather than suffering through them.

Good items to include:

  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • vanilla extract
  • cayenne pepper
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • basil
  • paprika
  • cumin


You can use condiments as dressings, but also as sweeteners, thickeners, to add flavor or to create marinades.

Some suggestions include:

  • agave
  • almond butter
  • red curry paste
  • tahini
  • coconut aminos
  • mustard
  • nutritional yeast.


Healthy, whole grains make a great base or side dish and provide protein and carbohydrates.

 Keep the following items on hand:

  • quinoa
  • gluten-free rolled oats
  • corn tortillas
  • millet
  • puffed rice cereal
  • brown rice
  • gluten-free pasta.

Oils & Vinegar

Much like condiments, oils and vinegar can make a humdrum meal fantastic. Make vinaigrette, marinades, or use as a healthy base for stir-frys.

Suggestions include:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coconut oil
  • hemp seed oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • and apple cider vinegar – but you can try all sorts of oils and vinegars to add flavor to your meals.

Dried Fruit & Chocolate

Dried fruit is great for everything from salads to desserts, and who can live without a bit of dark chocolate once in a while? Additionally, dates and other dried fruits can be used as sweeteners in smoothies and baked goods instead of sugar.

Items include:

  • dried fruit (like dates)
  • dark chocolate


As part of a healthy lifestyle, water is going to be your go-to beverage, but you’ll want to have a couple of items on hand:

  • water
  • almond or other nut milk 
  • coconut water

While you are surveying your pantry, be sure to clear out any items you won’t need once you switch to a healthy plant-based diet. Look for things that are heavily processed and those that contain animal products. Once you have your pantry in order, you’ll be all set for a long and healthy vegan lifestyle!