Starting out on a vegan diet? 

Been going for a while but just seem to keep eating the same things over and over? 

This is an easy-to-follow vegan kitchen essentials guide to make writing your shopping list a piece of (vegan) cake!

If you’re looking to expand your diet and try some new foods then this list can give you a helping hand. It’s a go-to guide for knowing what to stock up on for all different types of healthy vegan cooking, with lots of easy recipes included.

You can print out this guide – there’s an easy download below. Or, just have it on the screen when you’re going through your cupboards for that big sort out when you switch to a vegan diet. 

For more on this and other tips for getting started, I’ve written a vegan starter guide. This guide makes it really easy to go through and check off all of that essential prep that makes switching to a vegan diet way less daunting.

Loads of my recipes use the ingredients from this shopping list so it’s a great place to get started. 

I’ve stuck to purely plant-based here so no junk food items or meat substitutes are included. This is the kind of diet that leads to the health benefits that are always mentioned in vegan documentaries, anyone seen What The Health?? If not is definitely worth a watch!

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two pictures of people shopping and vegetables with the text 'healthy vegan kitchen cupboard essentials.'

Vegan Kitchen Cupboards Essentials Guide

To make life that little bit easier, I’ve made you an easy to follow go-to-guide!

Just enter your email below to get your link for an instant download, and as a little bonus, you’ll receive the occasional email from me with new, easy, healthy recipes to try. 

It’s perfect to have on hand if you’re at the supermarket and wondering where to start, and don’t want the faff of searching online. 

Plant Based Kitchen Cupboard Essentials Pages laid out to provide a preview of the PDF

Vegan Cupboard & Pantry Essentials

So much of the food on this list is really easy to get hold of locally, but for the slightly more obscure items, I’ve included an Amazon link to make life that much easier.

This article contains a few affiliate links. When you buy through a link on this page, I may receive a small affiliate commission at no extra cost whatsoever to you. Thanks for your support!

Nutritional Yeast 

High in Vitamin B12 (a must-have for a vegan diet). It also adds a cheesy flavor to lots of different types of cooking.

Dried Pasta, Rice and Grains

These kitchen essentials are a must! If you keep to wholegrain types (brown rice, quinoa, wholewheat pasta, etc) then the health benefits are great. 

These also tend to be the types of food that will keep you fuller for longer and are naturally good for energy levels.

Tinned beans 

  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Butter beans
  • Chickpeas

These are just a few of the staples that I always have in my cupboard.

Great for stews, curries, quick lunches, and full of protein – beans are a great daily addition to your diet.

If you’re into batch-cooking then beans are great for this too. There are a TON of bean-based recipes out there that will keep great in the fridge or freezer.

Nuts & Seeds

Generally high in protein and healthy fats. A small handful a day is a very rough guide to the recommended intake.

Roasted or raw, it’s all good! You can add a handful of nuts to most dishes to add a bit of crunch and extra nutrition. Unsalted is better, but the occasional handful of salted pistachios is, well… amazing!

Flaxseeds and hemp seeds are well worth adding to the shopping list, they’re nutrient-packed and can be used in so many different ways. You can make flax egg as a healthy egg substitute, or just throw them in a smoothie for a quick health boost.

Maple Syrup

A great alternative to honey and SO useful as a natural sweetener in baking. 

There are lots of natural sweeteners like agave syrup, raw cane sugar, etc, but maple syrup has this rich caramel flavor that seems to make anything taste good.


Eat a variety for the best nutritional benefits, and don’t overdo the sweetest ones (pineapple and mango for example).

Dried Herbs & Spices

Vegan cooking definitely doesn’t have to be bland! Have a good stock of herbs and spices to get the wow factor into your cooking.

Here’s a list of my top 10 most used:

  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Ground Coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Herbs De Provence
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Chilli Powder
  • Garlic Salt 

Vegan Fridge Essentials


This soy-based food definitely has a bad rep. When it’s not cooked well it can be pretty bland and unpleasant, but it’s worth persisting with and experimenting as when it’s done right, it can be a really delicious and healthy addition to a vegan diet.

  • Firm – great for making tofu scramble or using in loads of different dishes as a meaty substitute.
  • Silken – I use this far less but it’s fun to experiment with. 


Load up with veggies!! It’s recommended to have around half of your plate as vegetables and to eat a variety of colors to get the best nutritional benefits.

Potatoes do count as a vegetable, but also as a carbohydrate section of the meal so think about swapping them with your pasta or bread. Sweet potatoes are more nutrient-dense than white potatoes.

And just in case your wondering, fries don’t count – we all wish they did! Unless you do something a little bit special like my healthy air fryer fries recipe.

Fresh Herbs

I LOVE fresh herbs, they can really pack a lot of flavor into a dish. Dried herbs are a great alternative if you don’t have fresh but I don’t think you can ever get the same level of flavor.

It can get expensive if you’re buying fresh herbs all the time so I’d recommend having a go at growing your own – all you need is a sunny windowsill to get you started to be able to grow herbs all year round.

I hope this vegan kitchen essentials guide helps you along with your vegan journey! It may seem like there’s a to to take in at first but if you just remember to get lots of variety on your plate and try to keep it plant-based, you’ll be okay!

This article contains a few affiliate links. When you buy through a link on this page, I may receive a small affiliate commission at no extra cost whatsoever to you. Thanks for your support!

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