10 Easy Vegan Essentials for Your Food Shopping List

10 Easy Vegan Essentials for Your Food Shopping List


Look for these top 10 classic vegan essentials that I always put on my vegan food shopping list to turn out quick and easy meals all week long.

What fills my pantry and fridge? Which plant-based foods do I always put on my shopping list? Number one, you will always find a variety of whole grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices in my pantry (check out my plant-based pantry toolkit here for a useful vegan pantry shopping list). And number two, I supplement those items with weekly visits to my own veggie garden and local farmers market for a variety of produce. But I also have some convenient vegan food essentials that I like to keep on hand to turn out reliable, delicious plant-based meals every day of the week. That’s why I’m sharing my 10 Easy Vegan Essentials for Your Food Shopping List today.

10 Easy Vegan Essentials for Your Food Shopping List

1. Soy Milk

Fortified soymilk is a go-to in my home. I buy it by the case at Costco, because fortified, unsweetened soymilk is one of the things I include in my everyday diet in coffee, cereal, smoothies, baking, sauces, and so much more. It’s important to get adequate calcium and vitamin D in a well-balanced vegan diet, which is why I recommend favoring nutrient-rich fortified plant milk. Soymilk, in particular, is much higher in protein than other plant milk varieties. I recommend purchasing organic, plain, unsweetened soymilk for your best nutritional bet.

Check out some of my favorite recipes using soymilk:

2. Shredded Plant-based Cheese

I always keep a bag of plant-based shredded cheese in my fridge as an easy ingredient in cooking. There are multiple brands that make vegan cheese shreds (Violife, Diana, Follow Your Heart) in a variety of flavors, including Mozzarella, parmesan, Mexican, and cheddar. You can enjoy shredded plant-based cheese in tacos, lasagna, mac and cheese, and pizza. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that vegan shredded cheese is not super healthy stuff. It is typically made from refined, low-nutrient ingredients, so it’s more about taste and convenience than health. If you want to enjoy a more healthful take on plant-based cheese, make your own cashew cheese here.

Here are some of my favorite recipes using shredded plant-based cheese:

3. Plant-Based Yogurt

I love keeping a few plant-based yogurts in my fridge for a simple breakfast or snack, or cooking ingredient. There are several brands I like, including Kite Hill, So Delicious, Silk, and Nancy’s. Some are richer in protein than others, and I try to favor those that are higher in protein and lower in added sugars. One of my favorite easy treats is unsweetened plant-based yogurt topped with with fresh berries and granola. Yogurt is also a good base for creamy vegan desserts, and plain cultured vegan yogurt is great in dressings and dips. Learn more about choosing the best plant-based yogurt here.

Try these recipes that contain plant-based yogurt here:

4. Plant-Based Margarine

Earth Balance is my favorite plant-based margarine for spreading and cooking—it’s simple, delicious, and made with unsaturated vegetable oils. While I recommend using whole plant fats—avocados, nuts, seeds, olives—in the kitchen more often than refined oils, I think it’s ok to include small amounts of margarine in your diet.

Check out some of my top recipes using plant-based margarine.

5. Plant-Based Egg Substitute

There are several plant-based egg substitutes out there, including Just Egg and EnerG Egg Replacer. However, you can make your own egg replacer with chia seeds (pictured above), flax seeds, and aquafaba. Learn more about using natural vegan egg replacements here. And if you’re looking to enjoy something that resembles eggs for breakfast, try scrambling tofu with turmeric and nutritional yeast and your favorite veggies (see my recipe here).

Find some of my top recipes featuring egg substitutes:

6. Plant-Based Mayonnaise

You’ll always find a jar of vegan mayo in my fridge. It’s great for spreading on sandwiches and veggie burgers, stirring into salad dressings, and even mixing into recipes. While you’re better off choosing whole plant fats like avocado, nuts, and seeds in your diet, a small amount of vegan mayo made with unsaturated plant oils in your diet is fine.

Try some of my classic recipes that include vegan mayo:

Farro and White Bean Veggie Burgers

7. Veggie Burgers

I’m in love with a good veggie-burger! They are good ole standbys in my kitchen for easy meals, cookouts, picnics, and parties. I always have some stowed away in my freezer. And there are so many brands out there, such as Beyond Meat, Boca, Gardein, Hillary’s, and Sweet Earth. What’s even better is making your own homemade veggie burgers—filled with healthy whole ingredients like beans, whole grains, and vegetables—from scratch and freezing them for quick meals.

Here are some of my favorite easy veggie burger recipes:

Savory Baked Tofu

8. Baked Tofu

Though I like making my own homemade baked tofu, I do put prepared baked tofu on my shopping list for a simple, easy plant protein source that you can slice into salads, grain bowls, and sandwiches. There are several brands of baked tofu, including Wildwood, Simple Truth, and Nasoya. Look for them in the tofu section of your supermarket.

Try including baked tofu in this recipe for Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing.

9. Organic Tofu

While we’re talking about baked tofu…I can’t go a single week without tofu in my life. In fact, I include tofu in my diet almost every single day. This protein-rich plant protein made from soybeans is so versatile and nutritious. You can use it in stir-fries, pasta dishes, salads, grain bowls, and more! It also has a long shelf life, so I always have at least one container in my fridge. There are many varieties of tofu that are good for specific purposes. Learn more about tofu in my Ultimate Tofu Guide here. And learn how they make tofu here.

Get inspired to use tofu in many ways, starting with these recipes:

10. Plant-Based Jerky

It may seem a bit obscure, but plant-based jerky is always in my purse and travel bag as my on-the-go, delicious, protein-rich snack. Some vegan jerky comes in small, individually wrapped shelf-stable packages, so they are shelf stable (no refrigeration required) and don’t take up a lot of room. Not to mention vegan jerky can be a good source of plant-based protein, which can be hard to find while traveling. This particular brand (featured above) is my all-time favorite.

For more vegan shopping lists, check out the following:

I am not a spokesperson for these brands featured in my blog, but I have included Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Influencer, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information about affiliate links, click here.

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