This vegan pantry staples list is the only one you need. After being vegan for almost 7 years, I’ve figured out what you need and what you don’t need to stock in your vegan pantry. Plus, I’ll share with you which items are worth buying in bulk to save you money and help keep your pantry stocked year round.
Whether you are looking to create a vegan stockpile, create a vegan emergency food supply, or just make sure you have the basics vegan pantry staples on hand for convenient cooking, this post covers it all. All items I buy in bulk I’ve marked with an asterisk*.
- rice* – I always have both white rice and brown rice in the pantry and buy both in bulk from Costco. White rice is a great vegan pantry staple for emergency preparedness because it can be stored for YEARS if stored in a tightly sealed container with oxygen packets. Brown rice will also store well for about 6 months.
- quinoa* – Quinoa is another grain to buy in bulk because it will last for about 2 to 3 years.
- oats* – I buy rolled oats, steel cut oats, and oat groats all in bulk and use at least one daily! Rolled oats are also easy to blitz into oat flour in a food processor or blender.
- buckwheat – This is a new one for me, but I’ve recently become obsessed with eating buckwheat groats like oatmeal. They are so creamy and absolutely delicious!
- pasta* – I usually have a variety of pasta in the pantry (I also buy it in bulk at Costco). Just like the rice, white pastas will stay fresh longer than whole wheat pastas but both last for months, if not a year. Gluten free pastas made from rice or legumes are also great to store in the pantry.
- rice noodles – I typically have rice noodles and ramen on hand to make dishes like Spicy Creamy Ramen or Noodle Stir Frys.
- lentils* – There are a ton of different lentils or dal you can buy, but green or french lentils, black lentils, split peas and red lentils are my top 4 I keep in the pantry. Lentils are also another food storage favorite. I typically buy dry lentils, but for emergency preparedness, having a few cans of cooked lentils is a great idea.
- beans* – Beans are a huge vegan pantry staples for me and I typically keep black beans, pinto beans, white beans of some kind, and chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) in the pantry at all times.
- jackfruit – Jackfruit is an amazing substitute for shredded chicken, pulled pork, and shredded beef textures. Make sure to buy green young jackfruit canned in brine for savory recipes. Ripe jackfruit stored in syrup is ideal for smoothies or sweet desserts. I recently found jackfruit for a super discounted price at Grocery Outlet and bought 18 cans to last me a while!
- tomatoes* – I like to keep diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and tomato sauce on hand. I buy it in bulk at Costco!
- tomato paste* – Another favorite vegan pantry staple to buy in bulk at Costco.
- beans – Although I almost always buy dry beans and legumes and cook them myself in the Instant Pot, having a few cans on hand for emergencies or when you don’t have time to defrost your freezer stash is awesome. Note: Kidney beans are the only beans I always buy canned. They can make you sick if they are not cooked thoroughly at a high enough temperature and it’s not worth the risk for me!
- coconut milk – Both coconut milk and coconut cream are my go-to staples to store in the pantry. They last a long time and are useful in both sweet and savory recipes. Try it in my Overnight Vegan French Toast Casserole.
- fire roasted green chilies – You’ll typically find these in the smaller 4 ounce cans and they’re great to have. They add tons of flavor to soups, enchiladas, chili, and more.
- chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – I won’t buy these in bulk but I always have a can or two in the pantry! They also store well in the refrigerator once opened.
- flours*- I recommend having all purpose flour or a 1:1 gluten free flour blend, chickpea flour, almond flour, and tapioca flour. I buy a majority of my flours in bulk at Costco when I can because they have a long shelf like and it is significantly cheaper. Another flour to consider stocking is a bread flour – this is the flour to use when making homemade pizza dough or homemade bread.
- sugars* – Organic cane sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, date syrup and agave syrup are my top sugar pantry staples. I will also buy powdered sugar in smaller quantities for when I need it.
- baking powder – I don’t recommend buying baking powder in bulk because it has a short shelf life.
- baking soda* – I do buy baking soda in bulk because I use it for lots of things besides cooking! I buy the huge bag at Costco and remove about 2 cups for cooking, then use the rest for cleaning and laundry.
- vanilla extract – Pure vanilla extract is pricey but it lasts forever and you typically only need a little bit at a time. I’ve found it for the best price at Costco.
- cacao powder* – For all of your chocolate needs! I don’t use this every week, but it stores for a long time and it’s cheaper to buy in bulk at Costco.
- yeast – Another one not necessary to buy in bulk (unless you love baking bread!). I always get instant yeast when I can because it’s so easy to work with.
- cornstarch – Essential for thickening things like soups and sauces. I also use it to pan fry tofu and get it nice and crispy.
- chocolate chips – Double check that they are vegan! I always have some sort of dark chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips in the pantry. I’ve also recently found vegan friendly white chocolate chips and regularly have those in the pantry now too.
Nuts and Seeds
- coconut shreds – I use this when making energy bites, overnight oats, smoothie bowls, vegan bacon bits and desserts!
- almonds* – Both whole almonds and slivered almonds are always at the top of my vegan pantry staples along with almond butter. If you have the space, storing nuts in the fridge and freezer helps retain their freshness longer.
- peanuts – Both whole peanuts and peanut butter are always in my pantry. I always buy the organic peanut butter 2-pack at Costco because it’s very affordable for a natural peanut butter.
- cashews* – I buy raw cashews at Costco and find they have the best price. Cashews are super versatile in vegan cooking and have been a staple in my kitchen for years.
- pecans – I use these less frequently than almonds and cashews but I do usually have them in the pantry for desserts, making pecan milk, or snacking.
- walnuts – Like the pecans, I keep these in a smaller quantity but walnuts are a great source of Omega 3s and can be added to both sweet and savory recipes.
- sesame seeds – I love sprinkling these on Asian inspired dishes or really anything for a nutritional boost!
- chia seeds*, flaxseeds*, hemp seeds – I always have these in the refrigerator and use them in a number of ways. Highly recommend stocking all 3.
Oils and Vinegars
If you’re not comfortable cooking with or consuming oils, skip them. I, however do cook with cast iron frequently and am okay with moderate amounts of refined oils in my diet.
Vinegars on the other hand are absolutely essential! I recommend keeping everything from this list in your pantry.
- coconut oil – I usually have unrefined and refined, but if I was to pick just one, I’d stock unrefined. I’ll use it for cooking as well as for making homemade lotions and body scrubs.
- avocado oil* – My go-to all purpose oil. It’s neutral in flavor and has a high smoke point.
- extra virgin olive oil
- sesame oil
- apple cider vinegar
- white vinegar* – Just like the baking soda, I use this one for both cooking and cleaning. Buy it in bulk and separate a smaller portion out to keep in the kitchen pantry.
- white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
- rice vinegar
- liquid smoke – I loop this one in with the oils and vinegars, but it is neither. It’s a favorite vegan pantry staple because it will give a dish like Vegan Lentil Meatloaf that smoky flavor without the meat!
- hot sauce – Also not a vinegar or oil, but hot sauce usually contains a good amount of vinegar so I add it to this section, too. Stock your favorite!
As you can see, I have quite a few, but I honestly use most of them on a regular basis. If you’re just starting out stocking up your vegan pantry staples, the top 10 spices to have are:
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
- red chili pepper flakes
- Italian seasoning blend
- nutritional yeast* – I’ve started buying nutritional yeast in bulk because I use it so much. I also prefer the non-fortified nutritional yeast. It’s less bright in color but it’s the same cheesy deliciousness!
- vegetable broth* – I’d technically consider this a bulk purchase because I use Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base (low sodium). They sell it at Costco for about $6 and it is equivalent to almost 100 cups of vegetable broth. Once opened I store it in the refrigerator but I usually have a few backups on hand in the pantry, too. If you see it at Costco, be sure to snag a few because they don’t always have it.
- soy sauce – I prefer to buy tamari over soy sauce. I like the flavor better and it is naturally gluten free. I also will almost always have coconut aminos for an option that is significantly lighter in sodium.
- ketchup* – A pantry staple, right?! I buy the two-pack of Organic ketchup at Costco. Lasts us a while and is an amazing price.
- tortillas* – I’ll keep these in the refrigerator or freezer, but I always have taco-sized tortillas on hand. They’re super useful and affordable. Again – I buy these at Costco for the best price!
- tortilla chips – Chips aren’t necessarily a pantry staple, but we do always have them. They are great for snacking and making homemade nachos.
- kind bars – A new pantry staple in our household. We LOVE these bars. They’re filling, contain healthy nuts and dark chocolate, and are great for grabbing on the way out of the house. They’re on the pricier side, but we buy them for about $1 a piece at either Grocery Outlet or Costco.
- coffee – Of course if you’re not a coffee drinker, skip this! I wanted to add it to the list because it is a pantry staple for coffee drinkers. It’s also something you can buy in bulk – freeze excess beans to retain their freshness.
- tea – I absolutely love tea and always have a wide variety on hand. Stock what you love!
How to Build Up a Vegan Pantry
If you’re just starting out, please do not feel pressured to go out and buy everything on this vegan pantry staples list. It’s taken me 7 years to build these vegan pantry staples up and create a mini staples stockpile for emergencies.
I recommend buying a few things each week, as your budget allows, and growing your vegan pantry staples stock slowly. For example, if you’re making a recipe this week that calls for 1 can tomato paste, buy 2 or 3 so you’ll have it on hand next time. Then, store anything extra you’ve purchased in a “backstock” section in the pantry!
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Remember, growing a vegan pantry stocked with bulk items is a marathon, not a sprint!