vegan food essentials
Food & Recipes Resources

Vegan Food Essentials Guide

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Food & Recipes Resources

Vegan Food Essentials Guide

“What are vegan food essentials?”

It seems like I get asked that quite a bit when it comes to what to keep on hand in a vegan kitchen.

So today I wanted to share with you a vegan food essentials guide to help you with your vegan journey.

If you are just starting out vegan use this guide as a reference and by all means don’t feel like you have to buy everything at once.

Allow yourself some time and grow your pantry at your own pace.

When we went Vegan back in 2014, we found that there were a lot of vegan food essentials that we used quite frequently in our daily cooking.

Here’s our handy guide below where we share our favorites:



  • Vegetable Spread: Earth Balance which comes in 5 different varieties.
  • Dairy Free Cheese: Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Field Roast
  • Plant Milks: Soy, Rice, Almond, Oat. Hemp, Coconut etc.
  • Yogurts: Daiya, Kite Hill
  • Dairy Free Ice Creams: So Delicious, Ben and Jerry’s, Almond Dream


  • Tofu: Extra firm for cooking or silken for sauces and desserts.
  • Seitan: Meat replacement, high-protein food made from cooked wheat gluten.
  • Beans: Kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, pinto beans.
  • Hemp Seeds: A complete source of all 20 known amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids
  • Seeds: Pumpkin, chia, hemp, sunflower, sesame. Great to sprinkle on salads.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, pecans.
  • Nut butters: Peanut butter, hazelnut, almond, cashew, sunflower, chocolate hazelnut, etc.
  • Lentils: Red, brown, green, black.
  • Miso: A paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt, used in a variety of vegan recipes.
  • Tamari: A rich, naturally fermented soy sauce.
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos: Not fermented, gluten-free, made from non-GMO soybeans and purified water. It is an excellent alternative for Tamari and Soy Sauce.
  • Coconut Aminos: Delicious sauce made from coconut sap.
  • Tempeh: Made from fermented soy beans, similar to Tofu.
  • Beyond Meat: Plant-based burgers, chicken, crumbles, and meatballs.
  • Gardein: Vegan meat alternatives, including burgers, meatless chicken, fishless fish, & more.
  • Sweet Earth: bowls, burritos, veggie burgers, breakfast sandwiches, seitan, breakfast “meats”, savory grounds.


  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole-wheat couscous
  • Whole or multi-grain pastas
  • Rice Noodles
  • Whole grain / sprouted bread and tortillas: Veganic, Silver Hills, Dave’s Killer Bread


  • Nutritional yeast: Sprinkle like cheese on your favorite dish and great for vitamin B12.
  • Vegetable stock
  • Vegetable bouillon
  • Tomato paste/puree
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, coconut oil.


  • Egg Replacer: Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut oil
  • Agave nectar
  • Maple syrup
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Raw Sugar
  • Coconut nectar
  • Flour: Almond flour, buckwheat flour, oat flour, whole wheat flour


  • Vegan Mayonnaise: Vegenaise
  • Mustard
  • Tomato Sauce/Ketchup: Amy’s, look for organic and with cane sugar ingredient
  • Sriracha: Sky Valley
  • Peanut Sauce: Sky Valley
  • Tahini


  • Dried fruit: Goji berries, apricots, currants, dates, mangos, cranberries, etc.
  • Fresh fruit
  • Hummus
  • Earth Balance: Vegan cheddar squares
  • Nugo Bars
  • Skinny Pop Popcorn: variety of flavors
  • Dark chocolate
  • Earth Balance: Vegan cheese kettle chips
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Way Better: Black bean tortilla chips


  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Bell peppers
  • Avacados
  • Sweet potato
  • Mushrooms
  • Berries
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash


  • Basil
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Vanilla extract 

That’s it!

Of course I may have missed a thing or two but it’s a good place to start.

Now it’s your turn.  Comment below and feel free to share with me what are some of your favorite vegan food essentials you like to keep on hand in your kitchen?

vegan snacks



Megan & Michelle
Frisco, Texas

Hi my name is Megan & in the picture above is my mom, Michelle. We are a mother and daughter team. I'm 19 year old and we are, inspiring young and old around the world that Veganism is the way of life. Vegan for the animals, people and the environment. Compassion = Veganism

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