We know not everyone loves grocery shopping, so we’ve created the ultimate vegan food list to help you stock your kitchen with everything you need to create amazing vegan meals and make sure you’re never hungry or unsatisfied. This list is full of healthy, whole food options as well as a few of our favorite more processed items to create a well-balanced diet that has room for a few indulgences. We’ve tried to include suggestions for our favorite brands for some of the items but feel free to substitute with your own favorite brands. Feel free to swap out items on this list or cross out things you don’t like. If store-bought guacamole isn’t your cup of tea, just skip it!

We’ve given a few tips and suggestions with each category as well as a brief description to help you understand how to use these items. It’s always a good idea to look up new recipes and find new ones to add to your rotation to ensure you don’t get bored and you’re getting a variety of nutrients in.

Pantry Items

These pantry staple items tend to be the more hearty items that round out your meals. Things like nuts and seeds, nut butters, beans, and whole grains add protein, healthy fat, fiber and a variety of minerals and vitamins while making your meal satisfying. Nuts and seeds are also a fantastic option for snacks. When purchasing nuts and seeds, it’s best to buy them in their raw form, as roasting can damage the fat in the nut as well as reduce overall nutrition. When purchasing beans and lentils, seek out companies with lower salt content in BPA free cans or buy them dried in bulk to save. Items such as canned tomatoes and coconut milk are perfect for making soups, curries and sauces and tend to be relatively cheap so they’re great to keep on hand at all times.

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Tahini
  • Almond butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Dates
  • Dried Fruit of Choice – figs, mango etc (trail mixes and snacking)
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • All-purpose flour (gluten-free if necessary or desired)
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Lentils (canned or dry)
  • Chickpeas (canned or dry)
  • Black Beans (canned or dry)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned coconut milk

Condiments, Sauces and Basics

Condiments, sauces, oils and the following are all the ideal flavoring components for your meals other than fresh and dried herbs and spices and the actual flavor of the food of course. These items can help replicate childhood favorites (french fries and ketchup anyone?) and can also make the difference between a dish tasting more authentic such as using tamari or coconut aminos in a stir-fry. They make great marinades for grilling and cooking and can also be used in creating delicious baked goods.

  • Ketchup – Annie’s
  • Mustard
  • Nutritional yeast – Bragg’s, Red Star or The Raw Food World for unfortified
  • Tamari or Coconut Aminos – Coconut secret or Bragg’s
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil – Chosen Foods
  • Apple Cider Vinegar or Coconut vinegar – Bragg’s, Coconut Secret
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salsa – Green Mountain Gringo or Drew’s
  • Dressing – Just Mayo, Daiya, Follow Your Heart
  • Coconut sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • stevia – Sweet Leaf

Fresh Produce

vegan food list

Produce is the star of the show in a plant-based diet. While all plant foods are amazing and have healthy qualities, produce is extremely medicinal offering up antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll and even enzymes if purchased fresh and within a day or so of picking. These items make your meals from your favorite green smoothies to your goddess bowls at dinner. Make sure you look for vibrantly colored items and for fruit check the smell, it’s usually a good indicator of the taste. Check out farmers markets when you get a chance for the best quality produce from your town.

As with the rest of this list, if you don’t like an item (kohlrabi for instance) then don’t buy it! If kale somehow isn’t your favorite leafy green, don’t pick it up! Unless of course, that is you’re trying to expand your taste buds and horizons, then try new things, even the things you think you don’t like just to see if it was a poor crop or a bad recipe. And of course, if you’re super into juicing or making smoothies, be sure to stock up on extra of those staple items!

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries, Blueberries or Raspberries
  • Apples
  • In Season Fruit (mangos in spring, stone fruit in summer, figs and persimmons in fall etc)
  • Kale
  • Spinach (large tub if you make green smoothies or juice)
  • Salad greens such as spring mix, sweet baby lettuces or baby romaine
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • In Season Vegetables (Asparagus in spring, corn in summer, Brussel sprouts in fall etc)
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

Dairy Alternatives

Dairy alternatives are booming, so luckily there are tons of options available at almost every grocery store. This is just a list of the most commonly used items but of course remember that if you don’t drink coffee, you probably won’t need creamer. Many of these items we gave several options but certainly, most people won’t need three milks or 4 nut cheeses, so only buy what you really want or need. When buying dairy alternative items that aren’t the brands listed below, be sure to double check for ingredients such as casein or lactose which unfortunately sometimes find their way into dairy-free items.

  • Milk
    • Milkadamia
    • Califia Farms Almond Milk
    • Hemp Milk
    • Pea Milk
  • Cheese – Nut-Based
    • Treeline Hard Cheese Classic
    • Treeline Soft Cheese Garlic and Herb
    • Kite Hill Ricotta
    • Miyoko’s Double Cream and Chive – soft
    • Miyoko’s Sharp Farmhouse – firm
  • Cheese
    • Daiya shreds or slices
    • So Delicious shreds
    • Violife Smoked Provolone Slices
  • Yogurt
    • Coyo coconut yogurt original
    • Kite Hill greek style almond yogurt
    • Forager cashew yogurt
    • Daiya yogurt
  • Coffee creamer
    • Califia better half
    • So Delicious coconut milk creamer
  • Cream Cheese
    • Daiya
    • Kite Hill
    • Tofutti
  • Mayonaise
    • Vegenaise
    • Just Mayo by Hampton Creek
  • Ice cream
    • Nada Moo
    • Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss
    • So Delicious in soy, coconut, almond, and cashew milk varieties

Meat Alternatives

vegan food listWe’ve written the definitive guide to the best vegan meat alternatives here, so check that out if you’re looking for a particular brand or item that we don’t have listed below. These items aren’t necessities for a vegan diet but can be great for transitioning or just incorporating if you enjoy them into a primarily whole foods vegan diet.

Cooler & Freezer Items

The cooler and freezer items we mentioned are staple foods that are great to keep on hand either for filling snack items or for rounding out meals such as throwing frozen berries into oatmeal, frozen mango into smoothies and frozen peas and your favorite Indian inspired dish. The drinks we added are just plain delicious and perfect for hydration and also offer healthy nutrients to your diet.

Cooler Items

  • Hummus – Hope Hummus or Cedars
  • Guacamole – Wholly Guacamole
  • Kombucha – Live Kombucha Soda or GT’s
  • Coconut Water – Harmless Harvest or C20
  • Sauerkraut and Kimchi – Wildbrine or Hawthorne Valley Farm
  • Wraps – Siete Foods or Rudi’s in the freezer section

Frozen Items

  • Berries
  • Mangoes
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Bread – Deland Bakery for gluten-free or Ezekiel


Snacks aren’t necessary, and are certainly considered processed food. But, snacks are also delicious and can be fun to enjoy with family and friends and are nice to have on hand. The following are our favorite healthier vegan snack items. Check out our ultimate vegan junk food guide if you’re searching for something a little different!

Superfoods (extras)

These items are by no means necessary for good health or great tasting food, but they are nutritional powerhouses that can be fun to experiment with. Picking up one or two of these items to throw into a smoothie can be a fun way to experiment with new flavors without breaking the bank. Or if you’re really curious or looking for ways to upgrade your health, like replacing your coffee with cacao, buy them all and go wild!

  • Raw cacao – The Raw Food World Brand
  • Spirulina powder – Nutrex Brand
  • Green powder such as barley grass juice
  • Goji berries – Organic Traditions or Sunfood
  • Maca – Sunfood or Navitas
  • Hemp seeds – Nutiva or Navitas
  • Protein Powder – Nutiva

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