Vegan Pantry Guide for the Newbie Vegan

Vegan Pantry Guide for the Newbie Vegan

You said you would do it after the holidays. Well, the holidays are almost over. It’s the perfect time to give vegetarian or vegan life a try (and cleanse out all of that holiday junk). The process will be a lot easier if you prepare your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle first. Besides getting rid of meats and animal products, there are a lot of items you’ll need so you won’t find yourself standing in the kitchen mid-recipe thinking “What the hell is a lentil?” This beginner guide will make cooking vegan and vegetarian meals easier. Even if you aren’t ready to give being vegan or vegetarian a try, these ingredients will help you add healthy and hearty foods to your every day meals.


  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Rolled old fashioned oats

Beans and Legumes

  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lentils (red or green)

Seeds and Dried Fruits

These seeds will come in handy to add a little extra protein to your meals or smoothies all throughout the day. I put chia seeds in my oatmeal and pancakes. We use chia, flax, and hemp for smoothies.

  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Oils, Vinegars, and Stock

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Apple Cider vinegar (sooo many uses for this stuff, I’m definitely going to make a post dedicated to ACV)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Low sodium vegetable stock

Raw Nuts and Dried Fruits

Nuts and dried fruits are great for snacking, dressing a salad, making your own milk, and cooking.

  • Almonds (for snacking or making your own almond milk)
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins

Dairy and Egg Replacements

  • Plant-based milks (make sure it does not have carrageenan): Hemp milk, rice milk, almond milk
  • Coconut milk (often used for cooking)
  • Vegan butter (I swear you won’t tell the difference)
  • Bananas (1/4 cup mashed banana (about one banana)=1 egg)
  • Unsweetened apple sauce (1/4 cup=1 egg)


Once Terry and I started trying out being vegan, we quickly realized how limited our spice collection was and immediately upped our game. Of course, there are plenty more spices and feel free to get whatever you like. These are just some to get you started making some tasty meatless meals.

  • Basil
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • Nutmeg
  • Nutritional Yeast (not really a spice but definitely still handy, it’s like a parmesan cheese replacement)
  • Onion powder
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sage Leaves
  • Sea salt
  • Turmeric


  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Raw agave
  • Dates
  • Cacoa powder
  • Cacoa nibs

I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite vegan and vegetarian recipes soon. Me and Terry dibble and dabble with meat, seafood, and cheese now, but fully committing to veganism for 4 months really helped us see how possible and enjoyable it can be. For us, it’s all about moderation and a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully, this post will help you get started making healthy, delicious meals.

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