Plant Based Staples

The List of Plant Based Staples & Essentials You Need to Kickstart Your Plant Based Life

Here Is THE LIST of Plant Based Staples & Essentials to Stock Your Kitchen

We scoured the best plant based pantries, spice drawers/racks, fridges, and freezers for a list of the most important plant based staples & essentials you need to kickstart your plant based lifestyle.  Whether you go all out and purchase them all or sprinkle in a few items that you need as you go along, this is THE GO-TO LIST for all the essentials you need to make your plant based life successful.

These items are broken into an easy-to-follow list that you can print, highlight, and take with you to the store.  In addition to this, we include them on our Grocery List Printables, so you won’t ever forget an item again.  However you choose to organize it, we have you covered!

PLEASE NOTE…Some of the items listed below are known most commonly for their NON-Plant Based function (like mayo and Worcestershire Sauce) but you can find everything listed in a PLANT BASED FORM.  This entire list is meant to be plant based, so we marked some of those items with a “v-.”  Bottom line, just be sure to read the labels and find the right plant based brand.

Check out our PLANT BASED SWAPS page for many brand options to choose from.  Then discover easy ways to SHOP PLANT BASED with easy shopping strategies and the best places to find plant based items (like our curated WALMART STOREFRONT) to simplify your life.

Print This for Easy Reference

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HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE:  First, print the guide.  Then, highlight the items that you usually stock in one color, highlight the items you need to stock in another color and leave blank the items you don’t want to work with at this time.  This way you can easily sort the list into 3 sections and adjust YOUR Plant Based Staples & Essentials to fit YOUR plant based kitchen needs.


Snacks, canned goods, baking items, and more.  Your pantry is where the bulk of your plant based staples will go.  Check out the items below and then review the ORGANIZE YOUR PANTRY tips to bring it all together.


  • All Purpose Flour (♥See Helpful Hints Below)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Yeast
  • Cocoa Powder


  • Italian & Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Tahini
  • Nutritional Yeast (A Plant Based Must!)
  • Cornstarch (Great for Gravy’s)
  • Lite Unsweetened Coconut Milk – Can ( For Recipes)
  • Unsweetened Coconutmilk – Box (For Soups)


  • Granulated Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Maple Syrup (Great for Marinades)
  • Optional: Agave


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Best General Purpose)
  • Coconut Oil (Great For Baking)
  • Canola Oil (For Very High Temperatures)
  • Cooking Spray (Great for Grill Pans)


  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Distilled White Vinegar


  • 2-3 Healthy-ish Cereal (Like Raisin Bran or Oatmeal Squares)
  • 1-2 Unhealthy Sugary Cereal (For Cravings/Snacks)
  • Oats and/or Steel Cut Oats (Quick Cook)
  • Bread
  • Protein Powder
  • Optional: Sugary Syrup (In addition to Maple Syrup)


  • Almonds*
  • Pistachios*
  • Sunflower Kernels*
  • Pumpkin Seeds*
  • Walnuts* (Mix All * Together – ♥See Helpful Hints Below)
  • Flavored Almonds (Like Wasabi Soy)
  • Cashews
  • Super Seeds: Hemp + Chia + Flax (Mix in Shakes, Cereal & More)

Nut Butters/Dried Fruit

  • Nut Butters (Of Choice)
  • Peanut Butter Powder (Great for Protein Shakes)
  • Optional: Raisins (Great in Oatmeal or for Sweet Snack with Peanut Butter)
  • Optional: Dates (Great as a Snack or as a Sweetener Protein Shakes)


  • v-Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Saltine Crackers (Great for Soups/Chili’s)
  • Basic Neutral Cracker

Canned Beans

  • Garbanzo
  • Kidney
  • Black
  • Cannellini
  • Refried

Grains & Lentils

  • Quinoa
  • Rice: Jasmine and/or Basmati
  • Wild Rice Blend
  • Lentils: Green & Red
  • Optional: Brown Rice

Pasta, Sauce & Tomatoes

  • Assortment of Favorite Noodles (Spaghetti/Fettuccini/etc.)
  • Rotini or Orzo (For Pasta Salad)
  • Couscous (Great Mix In for Veggie Bowl)
  • Favorite Jar Pasta Sauce
  • Can Diced Tomatoes
  • Can Tomato Paste

Misc. Canned Goods

  • Jackfruit in Brine
  • Mushrooms (Great for Quick Recipe Add-In’s)
  • Corn (Easy Mix In for Mexican Dishes)
  • Diced Green Chili’s

Soups & Chili’s

  • Canned v-Chili
  • Canned v-Lentil Soup
  • v-Ramen
  • Boxed Butternut Squash Soup
  • Vegetable Broth (Keep Many On Hand)
  • Vegetable Bullion

Root Veggies

  • Yellow Onions
  • Red Onion
  • Baby Potatoes (♥See Helpful Hints Below)
  • Sweet Potatoes

♥HELPFUL HINTS♥ to simplify plant based food prep for your PANTRY PLANT BASED STAPLES & ESSENTIALS:

  • For most people (unless you have allergies or issues with gluten) it is easiest just to stock all-purpose flour and use it in the majority of recipes, even though some recipes call for more exotic flours (like oat, almond, etc).  There may be a slight learning curve to account for the different textures, especially in baking, but otherwise not significant enough to stock multiple varieties.
  • You can buy a prepackaged Mixed Nuts combo for ease, but since plant based eaters usually consume more nuts than average eaters (for their high protein content), we find it more cost-effective and tastier to make our own.
  • We keep versatile “baby potatoes” on hand instead of whole potatoes for simplicity.


Whether you use a rack, drawer, or lazy susan to organize your spices – this is a great list to flavor all those plant based dishes.  While this certainly isn’t a complete list, it will get you started and you can add more as you create new recipes.  Check out the items below and then review our tips to ORGANIZE YOUR SPICES for ways to keep your spices fresh and handy.

Must Have Mixes & Blends

  • NATURE’S SEASONS (Best All Purpose Veggie Seasoning)
  • DELICIU BACON SEASONING (A Really Good Vegan Substitute for Bacon Flavor)
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
  • Seasoned Salt (Great For Roasted Potatoes)
  • Italian Seasoning (A Super Combo You Will Use Often)

Basic Essentials

  • Salt: Iodized, Sea & Pink Himalayan
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Red Chili Pepper
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon

Good To Have

  • Nutmeg
  • Rosemary
  • Cumin
  • Celery Salt
  • Thyme
  • Bay Leaves
  • Ground Ginger


From sauces to condiments and beyond, here are the basic essentials you need for that plant based fridge.  Check out the items below and then review our tips to ORGANIZE YOUR REFRIGERATOR to make it easy to live a plant based life.


  • Ketchup
  • Mustard:  Yellow & Dijon
  • v-Mayo
  • v-BBQ Sauce
  • v-Dressings:  Italian & Creamy
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salsa


  • Soy Sauce (or Coconut Aminos or Tamari)
  • Teriyaki
  • Gyoza Dipping Sauce
  • v-Worcestershire
  • Hot Sauce (Fav – Frank’s Red Hot!)
  • Sriracha

Pickles, Olives & Peppers

  • Snacking Pickles (Whole or Spear)
  • Relish
  • Hamburger Dills
  • Green Olives
  • Sliced Black Olives
  • Sliced Pickled Jalapenos


  • Almond or Soy or Oat Milk (Unsweetened Tastes Great & Is Lower in Calories)
  • Non Dairy Butter: Tub & Sticks
  • Non Dairy Cheese: Slices & Shreds

Salad & Snacking Veggies

  • Shredded Carrots (A MUST HAVE for Quick Prep! ♥See Helpful Hint Below)
  • Spring Mix, Spinach or Romaine (♥See Helpful Hint Below)
  • Radishes
  • Cucumbers
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cut Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby Carrots (♥See Helpful Hint Below)
  • Celery
  • Edamame in Pod (cooked & salted)

Cooking Veggies

  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Whole Green Beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Asparagus


  • Tofu (Firm or Extra Firm – ♥See Helpful Hint Below)
  • Tofurky Plant Based Sausage
  • Hummus (Great for Snacking)


  • Minced Garlic (Large Bottle – ♥See Helpful Hint Below)
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes (Great Way to Perk Up Any Dish)
  • v-Jelly or v-Jam
  • Tortillas: Flour & Corn
  • Lemons & Limes

Best Outside of the Fridge

  • Cherry Tomatoes (A MUST for Quick Prep! ♥See Helpful Hint Below)
  • Avocado’s
  • Banana’s
  • Apple’s
  • Spaghetti Squash

♥HELPFUL HINTS♥ to simplify plant based food prep for your REFRIGERATOR PLANT BASED STAPLES & ESSENTIALS:

  • Always spend a few cents more and keep Shredded Carrots on hand because they come in very handy from daily salads to quick recipe throw in’s.
  • Rotate your lettuce consumption (romaine-spring mix-spinach-kale) to prevent getting tired of one type.
  • We take the easy way out and use baby carrots in the place of regular carrots, to save a little space in the fridge.  Regular carrots definitely taste better but the extra step to peel them sometimes makes a recipe too complicated.  If you are making something special, go for the regular, but for every day go for easy.
  • We make sure to have a few packs of “Extra Firm Tofu” readily available. Opt for a brand with minimal liquid content in the tofu, making the process of pressing out excess liquid swift and effortless.
  • We ALWAYS substitute premade Minced Garlic in a jar (usually the large 32 oz jar is on hand) for fresh garlic in our recipes.  There may be a slight difference in taste (not overly huge) but the time-saving advantage is considerable.
  • We ALWAYS have a container of cherry tomatoes on hand, they taste great and tend to have a decent shelf life.  We substitute them for other tomatoes whenever possible.


A fully stocked freezer means fewer trips to the grocery store, so stock up on these plant based staples & essentials and easily replenish them as you use them up.

Protein Replacements

  • Chick’n:  Nuggets/Patties/Strips
  • Chick’n:  Asian Flavor Morsels
  • Beef-less:  Ground & Burgers
  • Beef-less:  Meatballs
  • Veggie Crumbles (Great in Soups)

Veggies & Fruit

  • Mixed Veggies and/or Peas
  • Stir Fry Veggies
  • Blueberries (Great in Protein Shakes & Oatmeal)
  • Mixed Berries (Great in Protein Shakes & Oatmeal)


  • Tater Tots or French Fries
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Homestyle Potatoes with Peppers & Onion
  • Hashbrowns

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