Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or new to plant-based, a well-stocked pantry is a must-have. Keeping wholesome, easy-to-prepare ingredients on hand means you’re only a few minutes away from a delicious, home-cooked meal – and much less likely to fall back to that impulse takeout order.
Keep reading to learn how to set up your plant-based pantry, from equipment to ingredients and everything in between. (We’ve even included tips from the Vega chef, Hannah, on how to use your pantry to get prepped for the week ahead.)
- High-powdered blender
- Immersion blender
- Large pot with lid
- Baking sheets
- Food processor
*Keep in mind, none of these are absolute must-haves; you can start a plant-based pantry in whatever way works best for you. These are just suggestions on making life a little easier.
- Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, black or kidney beans*
- Grains: brown rice, oats, almond meal
- Seeds: quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds**
- Nuts: cashews, almonds, peanuts
- Nut butters: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter
- Coconut oil and/or cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar (great for dressings!)
- Premade (or homemade!) vegetable broth for cooking
- Maple syrup, agave, or coconut sugar – great alternatives to refined sugars or honey
- Spices: salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder
- Condiments: tamari, hot sauce
- Coconut milk, canned
- Almond, cashew, oat, or soymilk
*Chef’s tip: buy your legumes dry and in bulk. Cook them at home with a piece of kombu kelp – the helps break down the carbohydrates, making them easier to digest – and then freeze the cooked legumes so they don’t go bad.
** Chef’s tip: keep a small amount of chia and flaxseeds on hand to make a replacement “egg” for baking
Tips from Our Chef
Keep it Simple
Hannah’s top tip for newly plant-based shoppers? Keep it simple. Stock your pantry with ingredients that will make it easy to throw together a meal – like grains and legumes – and shop seasonal produce to keep things fresh and nutrient-dense.
Focus on Fresh
She suggests staying away from too many highly processed “meat” alternatives. Instead of trying to replicate a meat dish, frame your meal around a feature vegetable or plant-based protein, like chickpeas, and spice it up from there.
Avoid the Aisles
Focus on whole foods from the bulk or produce sections. If you’re buying processed, Hannah recommends trying to stick to products with a short ingredient list and not a lot of added sugar.
Cook Once, Eat... A Lot
If you’re not already used to cooking and meal prepping, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Hannah’s tip is to cook big batches of ingredients that are easy to adapt – like brown rice, and then use it in different ways. One night you could whip up a coconut-milk curry to serve over the rice – the next, a quick veggie stir fry.
Set a realistic goal for yourself. Maybe you’d like to add in two meat-free days per week, or you’d like to meal prep plant-based lunches. Get inspired by looking through recipes (we’ve got tons here on the blog) and pick a few you’d like to try this week. After that, it’s time to hit the grocery store and stock up on everything you need for plant-based success.