Now that you’ve made the decision to eat a more veggie-centric diet, your pantry might be in need of a bit of an overhaul. I’ve put together this guide for stocking a vegan pantry with the hopes that you might be inspired to add a few new ingredients to your grocery cart!

Stocking a Vegan Pantry | A Taste of Trace

A few things to keep in mind. I work in a nut-free facility so I rarely cook/bake with nuts. Additionally, nuts are far more expensive than their seed counterparts. For these two reasons, I tend to only keep peanut butter (for my morning oatmeal) in my vegan pantry.

Furthermore, as a person who embraces frugality, I tend to stay away from pre-made vegan goods (such as pre-made veggie burgers, chick’n fingers, non-dairy cheeze substitutes, etc). I acknowledge that these items are actually very tasty and are extremely convenient. They can also become rather expensive if you buy them consistently. I choose to follow a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle and am content to not use these items. If however you have the means and the desire to use these items, go for it! Like I mentioned above, they are quite tasty and can definitely take the stress out of that 5pm decision of ‘what are we going to have for dinner?!’

Stocking a Vegan Pantry

A few tips before I start breaking down how I go about stocking a vegan pantry.

  • Work with what you have. This includes figuring out exactly what you do have – especially what’s lurking in the back corner of your pantry. (yes Mom, I’m looking at you and those 17+ boxes of stale crackers in the back of your pantry…). To avoid food waste, use up what you have, then slowly start adding plant-based alternatives instead. If you always buy chicken broth, next time try veggie broth! If you can’t get enough tuna for tuna salad sandwiches, finish your current stash and next time make a Chickpea Salad instead!
  • Spice is nice. Spices (& herbs) make up a HUGE part of my everyday cooking. They add SO much flavour and really have the power to kick a dish up a notch.
  • Get creative with storage. I keep almost every glass container to reuse for storage for bulk dry goods. (Pickle containers are the best – they’re huge! Additionally, I’m a bit of a hoarder of Mason/Ball jars. Oh, and peanut butter jars. Ok, all jars in general. Just ask Mac – he looooves it! haha). Having all of these empty jars on hand makes it easy to go to the Bulk Barn to take advantage of their Reusable Container Program!

Grains

  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Chickpea flour
  • Buckwheat groats (not its toasted counterpart kasha)
  • Quinoa*
  • Millet*

*As quinoa is a bit pricier, when cooking I often do a mix of half millet, half quinoa to make it go further.

Weekly Salad Challenge: Proteins | A Taste of Trace

Legumes & Beans

  • Chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • White navy/cannellini beans
  • Red lentils
  • Brown/green lentils
  • Yellow split peas

International Year of Pulses

Canned/Dry Goods

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Salsa
  • Coconut milk
  • Peanut butter
  • Tahini
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Mixed nuts

Weekly Salad Challenge: Proteins | A Taste of Trace

Bottled Goods

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • Tamari/soy sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Maple syrup

Refrigerated Items

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Non-dairy milk
  • Non-dairy yogurt

Herbs & Spices

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika (I prefer smoked)
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Curry powder (store bought or DIY)
  • Chili powder (store bought or DIY)
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt & pepper

Produce

  • Everything and anything that grows in the ground!
  • Aim to eat seasonally & locally (it tastes so much better that way!)
  • Frozen produce is good too. I regularly have peas and corn in my freezer.

Final Thoughts

Having a few (or all) of the above items from each category makes it super simple to whip up a delicious plant-based meal. Stocking a vegan pantry doesn’t have to be arduous or difficult. In fact, you likely have quite a few of the items lurking in the back of your pantry already!  Don’t feel like you have to go out and get all of these ingredients in one go either. Start with one or two new-to-you items and go from there. Once you get more comfortable cooking plant-based meals, branch out and try a few more. Have fun in the kitchen!

In my next post, I’ll be sharing a few of my very favourite go-to easy vegan dinners. Stay tuned for some vegan deliciousness! And, now that you’re on your way to stocking a vegan pantry of your own, you’ll probably have everything you need to make one of these said dinners!