Whether you’re vegan or not, having a few healthy vegan pantry staples stocked up at all times can make your life a whole lot easier.
Keeping a few essentials in your cupboards makes a world of difference, especially on those days where going to the shops sounds like the worst thing ever.
Whether you’re just setting out on your healthy eating journey or are a seasoned pro just looking for more advice, I’m sure that stocking up on these staples will help you stick to your clean-eating goals.
Though it may seem like a lot to keep all of these in your pantry, having the basics secured will benefit you in several ways:
- Buying less at the grocery store in the future
- Makes cooking a lot easier
- Allows for creativity in the kitchen
- Helpful when you’re in a pinch
I won’t claim that I can live off of the things in my pantry alone. I mean, I’m sure I could, but I also rely heavily on fresh produce and frozen fruit/ veg.
Those lists will come soon, but in the meantime, the pantry is the perfect place to start.
If you want to make sure you’ve got the basics down, keep reading for my full list of must-haves.
Healthy Vegan Pantry Staples
Keeping a variety of grains in your pantry is a good way to ensure that you can create a variety of meals. It gets old eating rice every night, or pasta, or quinoa.
But by keeping a mix, you can suddenly make a huge range of dishes and cuisines. The good news is that most grains are relatively cheap, so you can buy a few different types for backup.
- Rice: Great as a side dish. Rice is perfect for adding to stir fry and burrito bowls.
- Pasta: Always good to have on hand. The quintessential fast meal. You can easily whip up a simple meal with just pasta and a few other ingredients.
- Quinoa: Just like rice, it’s also great as a side. Good for nourish bowls, or even breakfast quinoa porridge.
- Oats: Essential to have on-hand for breakfast. You can also blend them up to make oat flour when baking.
- Rice cakes: Not everyone likes them, but I always keep a few rice cakes in my pantry for when I need a small snack. They’re so great when spread with peanut butter or hummus.
Beans are a wonderful source of protein for anyone who is plant-based. Not only are they highly nutritious, but they’re also super cheap.
You can buy them dry and soak them yourself, but I typically buy canned beans just because it’s easier.
I’m also including dried lentils in this list because I always have them around, and they’re perfect for adding to other dishes, or quickly creating a meal from scratch.
- Canned black beans: Great source of protein. Good for adding to Mexican-inspired dishes like burritos and tacos.
- Canned chickpeas: A more neutral alternative to keep in your pantry. You can throw them into salads, pasta, or even make hummus.
- Dried lentils (red & green): A wonderful protein source for vegans. I often boil some lentils to eat as a stew, in a curry, or to toss through a salad.
Nuts are essential in my pantry. Full of healthy fats and a bit of protein, they’re great for creating a balanced diet. Plus, they’re so satiating, they can keep you full for hours! Of course, you can stock up on whatever kind you prefer, but these are my go-to's.
- Mixed raw nuts: Mixed nuts are great to snack on. You can also add them to your baking, smoothies, or even salads.
- Peanut butter: I always keep a jar (or two) of peanut butter in the pantry. I use it on so many things: in my porridge, on toast, or to make a simple peanut stirfry sauce.
Fruit and Veg
Most of my fruit and vegetables are stored outside of the pantry, either in a fruit bowl or in the fridge. You can keep a few options in the pantry, though, just to ensure you always have some on hand. You can find a lot of veggies canned, but just because I generally prefer them fresh or frozen, I didn’t include them in this list.
- Dried apricots: They make a perfect snack, plus they’re a great source of iron for all you vegan readers. I love them on their own, or chopped up and thrown into a porridge or salad.
- Canned tomatoes: You never know when a can of tomatoes will come in handy. The possibilities are endless. Use them in a stew, create a pasta sauce, or pour some into a curry.
No meal is complete without the seasoning! These are my pantry essentials, but really, my list of spices could go on and on. If I had to choose just a few, though, I’d pick these. I use these things every day, and they’re always great to have on hand.
- Extra virgin olive oil: This is probably the most important grocery staple in our house. Get a high-quality oil, and use it to slick up and season almost anything. I use it on pasta, salads, and drizzled over avocado toast. Red Island is my personal favourite, but there are so many great options out there.
- Cinnamon: I couldn’t do without cinnamon. I love it on sweeter things, like peanut butter toast and oatmeal. A sprinkle of cinnamon can also take your morning coffee to the next level.
- Salt and pepper: Salt and pepper are the dynamic duo for seasoning anything. I love using salt flakes when I’m feeling fancy, but I also like to keep regular iodised table salt on hand for cooking.
- Chilli flakes: When you need a little heat, chilli flakes are the perfect solution. Just a pinch gives any meal more dimension.
- Cumin: Cumin is one of my favourite spices, so I always keep some in the pantry. It’s wonderful sprinkled on roasted veggies, added to a stew, or mixed with black beans for a burrito bowl.
- Paprika: Likewise, paprika is a must-have for me. Use it to anything that you want to add richness to; I always use it for roasted veggies and soups.
If you've found this list of healthy vegan pantry staples helpful, let me know in the comments below. If you have anything else you'd add to the list, I'd love to hear it!