Stock a Vegan Pantry + Recipes!

Welcome to the vegan corner of Live Eat Learn! I hope to make this an ultra-informative place for you to come for all things vegan eating. Let’s jump to the good stuff first:

Vegan Recipes This Way!

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On this page, you’ll also find:


How to stock a vegan pantry

While my pantry is not completely vegan, the following are some of my vegan-specific pantry and refrigerator staples for a well-balanced vegan diet. Note that this isn’t absolutely everything you need in your pantry, just a few very vegan-specific staples to help you keep good nutritional balance and make really tasty vegan food!

Pantry staples

    • Grains and Flours
      • Rice (wild grain, brown, arborio): I use brown rice as a replacement to white rice almost always. Wild grain rice tends to be more fibrous and nutty, which is fun on salads. And arborio is important for tasty risotto!
      • Quinoa: Technically a seed but treated as a grain, this contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
      • Oats: Rolled, instant, or steel-cut doesn’t make a difference apart from the texture you’re going for! Learn more about them here.
      • Oat flour: This is simple oats ground into a fine powder. Perfect for thickening up sauces and stews, and for gluten-free baking!
      • Almond flour: Almonds ground into a fine powder. Perfect for gluten-free baking!
      • Millet: A nutty grain-like seed that can be made into porridge, breads, and a whole lot more.
      • Buckwheat: A gluten-free grain made from a seed. Its groats are great for porridge and its flour is perfect for gluten-free baking.
    • Vinegars
      • Apple cider vinegar: Great in salad dressings or to bring a tart sort of bite to vegan cheeses.
      • Balsamic vinegar: My go-to salad dressing ingredient/quick flavor-maker on roasted veggies or on savory tomato/strawberry/watermelon dishes.
    • Oils
      • Olive oil: My go to for almost all stovetop cooking.
      • Extra virgin olive oil: An important member of the oil team for cold dishes, like salad dressings. This one has a lower smoke point, meaning you can’t heat it quite as high.
      • Safflower oil: With almost no flavor, polyunsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), and a high smoke point, this is your oil for healthier frying.
      • Sesame oil: This also has a high smoke point, but brings a really sesame, nutty taste. Super tasty in Asian stirfries!
      • Coconut oil: This has a high smoke point and a distinct coconut aroma and taste. It’s high in saturated fat, so use it in moderation.
    • Sweeteners
      • Maple syrup: Use a touch of maple syrup as a sweetener instead of sugar for a more rounded taste and more phyotchemicals and antioxidants than table sugar.
      • Medjool dates: Soak these to get them nice and soft then remove the pits and blend into a date paste. This paste works wonders for sweetening things like baked goods!
      • Stevia: The leaves of the stevia plant are dried, ground up, and sometimes removed of their color to create a substance that can be substituted for sugar.

Refrigerator Staples

    • Condiments and Sauces
      • Miso: An umami-rich paste made from fermented soybeans. It’s great for adding salt/savory/umami to soups, dressings, marinades, the works.
      • Dijon mustard: Adds a bit of spicy intensity to dishes. Even if you don’t like mustard (like me), this is an important one to have for general cooking.
      • Tahini: Made from sesame seeds, this is a potent little sauce that I incorporate into Asian dishes and baked goods alike.
      • Sriracha or chili garlic sauce: Does this one need an explanation? Spice is a necessity in my kitchen. If sriracha isn’t your thing, chili-garlic sauce is a close contender.
      • Hummus: Made from chickpeas and tahini, this is a protein-packed spread that’s great in sandwiches or as a veggies/pita bread dip.
      • Soy sauce and tamari: Soy sauce is salty and usually contains gluten, while tamari is thicker, less salty, and contains less (or sometimes no) gluten. I always have at least one on hand!
      • Salsa: Because sometimes chips and salsa for dinner is just what’s gonna to happen.
  • Alterna-milks and Dairy
    • Soy milk: A protein-rich alternative to cow’s milk.
    • Almond milk: Lower in calories and saturated fat than soy and cow’s milk, but a bit lower in protein.
    • Oat milk: I love the super oaty taste of this milk…almost like the milk left after a bowl of cereal!
    • Rice milk: High in carbs and low in protein, this one is really just good for those with allergies or lactose intolerance.
    • Earth Balance or Smart Balance butter: Margarines made from a blend of natural oils, totally dairy-free!
  • Alterna-proteins
      • Tofu: Coagulated soy milk curds (yummm!) I like to keep a few packs in the freezer! They take on a really nice texture when they thaw + you’ll never run out.
      • Tempeh: Fermented cooked soybeans. This has an earthier taste and a whole lot more protein and fiber than tofu.

Vegan Substitutes

  • Egg replacements
    • Soft tofu for scramble eggs
    • Unsweetened apple sauce for eggs in baking (1/4 cup apple sauce = 1 egg)
    • Mashed banana for eggs in baking (1/2 banana = 1 egg)
    • Flax seeds for eggs in baking or breading (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water, mix and let sit 15 minutes in fridge)
  • Meringues
    • Use aquafaba (chickpea water) to get a similarly fluffy result!
  • Whipped Cream
  • Gelatin
    • Use agar agar, a seaweed derivative, for thickening similar to gelatin
  • Yogurt
    • Dairy-free yogurts are becoming more and more popular, but if you can’t find any, blend 1 cup silken tofu with 2 Tbsp lemon juice and a pinch of salt

Vegan resources

P.S. Have an awesome vegan tip that’s not listed here? Send me a message and I’ll include it so we can all learn from each other! 

P.S.S. This post contains affiliate links for products I love, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.

How to stock a healthy vegan pantry, from the dry good staples to the sauces and secret ingredients you'll need in your fridge. This guide also includes common ingredient substitutions, my favorite online resources, and of course, recipes!

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