Vegan staples to add to your shopping list

vegan shopping list staples article cover

A lot of people don’t go vegan simply cause they don’t know where to start. Other than what foods you can or can’t eat, how do you go about putting together a shopping list?

This post is going to cover a few food groups and some vegan staples you can add to your regular shopping list. 

Protein rich foods

Protein is essential to any diet, for general well being, and especially for those who lead an active lifestyle. Here are some vegan friendly protein rich foods to add to your shopping list.

Edamame, soy chunks, tofu & tempeh

No matter how you slice it, all of the above are derived from soy and is a great source of lean protein (tempeh especially). I like to eat a balance of soy chunks when making meatier meals, tofu for when I’m making scramble and tempeh for wraps and stir fries. 

Soy products are often very cheap and go a long way when transitioning to a plant-based diet. One tip I have is to go to an Asian supermarket and buy dried soy chunks in bulk, these last long and just require a quick soak prior to cooking!

Red, green and brown lentils

Lentils are easily my favourite legume, ever. Not only cause they taste good, but they’re also versatile, and a great source of protein, as well as thiamin, iron and zinc. 

You can use lentils for a curry, stew or even for a great vegan alternative to mince-based bolognese. They’re much cheaper and last long when bought in bulk, in its dried form.  

Red lentils are ideal for curries and soups, as they somewhat dissolve, whereas the green and brown lentil varieties hold their shape and texture, working as a mince alternative and great in stews. 


Blackbeans are a great legume for holding bold flavours. It’s also a great source of iron and other nutrients. Blackbeans can be bought canned, but are cheaper when bought dried and soaked for 8 hours prior to cooking. 

veganised feijoada

Try out our veganised feijoada, a Brazilian-inspired blackbean and rice dish. 

Chickpeas (and gram flour)

Chickpeas are a great legume that’s alkaline, versatile, and rich in protein and other nutrients including copper.

You can make chickpeas into falafels, homemade hummus, as well as an array of dishes such as stews and curries. Gram flour is flour made from ground-down chickpeas, that can be used to make onion bhajis, as well as tofu-free vegan omelettes. 

vegan gram flour omelette recipe

Frozen peas

Frozen peas are a great go-to for some extra protein in a dish. Say, a pea risotto or as part of a vegan shepherd’s pie. 

They barely need any cooking, and last a good while in the freezer, a great go-to for a last minute protein fix.

Vegan meat alternatives

Although I don’t eat vegan meat every day, we can’t deny that these food products are rich in plant-based protein. I keep it this to around 2-3 times a week, but is a great option nonetheless. 

When you’re missing the meat, and want to sub for a plant-based protein, you can enjoy the following vegan meat alternatives:

  • Sausages
  • Chicken (strips, chunks, nuggets)
  • Mince
  • Bacon (strips and chunks)
vegan spaghetti meatballs

Try our vegan spaghetti meatball recipe

Healthy vegan fat sources

It’s an all too common vegan stereotype that our community is skinny/slim. Maybe it’s simply due to a lack of awareness of healthy vegan fats to eat daily. Here are some staple vegan fatty foods to add to your list today. 


Avocado is a great plant-based fat source, rich in nutrients such as vitamin E, as well as being a great, plant-based source of copper. 

Great in salads, guacamole and sandwiches, avocado is a great staple to incorporate for ensuring you’re consuming enough fats every day. 

Dark chocolate

Not everyone’s cup of tea, but dark chocolate (always make sure it’s vegan) is a great vegan fat source. Add it to your morning oats, or break into chips for some homemade chocolate chip cookies. 

It’s also rich in iron, as well as magnesium and zinc, you learn something new every day right?


Nuts are a well-known nutrient dense food that everyone able-bodied should be eating daily, including healthy omega fats. They’re a great fat source, but also essential for active people to get those extra needed calories. 

Some of the healthiest nuts to incorporate into your daily diet include:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts (best vegan source of selenium)
  • Cashews
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts


Nuts aren’t everyone’s cup of tea though, luckily you can also get similar nutrients from seeds. Some of these nutrients include zinc, iron, magnesium, etc. 

Here are some of the best seeds to add to your shopping list:

  • Black sesame seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Healthy oils

No salad isn’t complete without some healthy oils drizzled on top. My personal favourite is extra virgin olive oil, which I put on top of salad. 

Coconut oil is great for baking, and sunflower oil for general frying. If you’re on a tight budget I’d recommend just getting a tub of coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. 


Hummus has got to be one of my favourite foods altogether. It can be used as a spread with breadsticks, enjoyed in a sandwich or on top of a loaded salad. 

A great fat source on account of the tahini, combined with chickpeas, this is not only a healthy fat, but also a powerhouse of nutrients. 


High in healthy fats, olives are a great addition to salads, can be made into a delicious olive tapenade, or enjoyed on their own.

Olives are great, personally, I prefer the black olives to green olives, but each to their own. 

creamy olive pepper pasta

Check out this creamy olive pepper pasta

Healthy vegan whole grains

No diet is complete without wholegrains. Or any truly balanced meal, that being said. Check out our recommended staple whole grains to add to your shopping list. 

Brown rice

Brown rice is a more nutritional form of the conventional white rice you usually find on the shelf. We recommend getting this over white rice as it’s higher in protein, carbs and nutrition overall. 

Great alongside a lot of meals, brown rice is a solid staple. 

Cous cous

This is my life saver when I run out of ideas for supper, I can just soak some couscous in hot water. After soaking for 5-10 minutes, it’s ready to have other condiments on top or along side it. 

Try out our veggie chickpea cous cous for some inspiration, or our gluten free quinoa alternative. 


Quinoa is a pseudo cereal that behaves like a wholegrain, such as rice. Somewhat of a nutritional powerhouse, quinoa is a complete protein source that belongs on everybody’s shopping list. 

plant based chickpea quinoa

Pure oats (gf)

Oats, specifically pure oats, are naturally gluten free. 

A great breakfast grain, pairs beautifully with syrups, cinnamon and fruits. Oats are also a nutritionally dense food that belongs in every vegan’s diet, rich in magnesium, zinc and protein, to name a few. 

Pasta and noodles

What’s life without a bit of pasta every one in a while?

Contrary to popular belief, unless explicitly stated, most pasta and noodles are naturally egg (and animal product) free, who doesn’t love a good spag bol or stir fry?


Who ever said vegans couldn’t eat bread? 

Most bread is also vegan, and by bread we’re talking wraps, sliced bread, fresh loaves, baguettes, etc. Just be sure to ask before you buy.

Affordable fruit

Fruit is essential for maintaining proper health. Best consumed in the morning, fruits help clear out the digestive system of waste when eaten on their own. Here are some cheap, easily accessible fruits to add to your rotation. 


Apples are great, you can literally grab and eat one on the go. Also great in salads, if that’s your bag. 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so they say!


Bananas are one of my favourite fruits, not in terms of taste, but in terms of versatility. Bananas are a cheap option for those on a budget. 

They can be used in smoothies, as a binder when baking, and a simple, quick snack when peckish. 


An orange a day will give you 100% of your recommended vitamin C, an essential vitamin to survive the cold and flu season. 

I love me a breakfast of cut up oranges and kiwis, with some pumpkin seeds when I want something light.


Kiwis are a nutritionally dense fruit that many people overlook. Rich in copper, vitamin C, and even calcium. 

Kiwis are great on their own, or paired with other fruit in a fruit salad, or blended in a green smoothie. 

Dried mulberries

Dried mulberries are a relatively infamous fruit that I feel should be much more known for its benefits. 

Rich in vitamin C, iron and calcium, no I’m not joking. Add this to your daily home-made trail mix, this is literally a nutritional supplement for anaemic vegans. 


Grapes are a great source of fibre, tasty, and great paired with apples and kiwis. If you like fruit bowls for breakfast, grapes are a great addition for your shopping list. 

Root veggies

As well as grains and greens, you’re going to need some bulky foods to help fill you up. Here are some of my personal favourite root veggies. 


Potatoes are versatile, nutritional, and fill you up. Enjoy them cut into home-made fries, roasted or even mashed with some vegan roast. 

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of vegan vitamin A, and a great complex carbohydrate for the active person. 

They’re also relatively cheap, be sure to add these to your shopping list!


Pumpkin is great in stews, as well as roasted or blended into a sauce. Also a great source of vitamin A, this is a great nutritional food to include in your fridge. 

vegan red lentil pumpkin soup recipe

Try out this red lentil pumpkin soup recipe


Who doesn’t like carrots right? 

These can also be roasted, added sliced to stews, or even eaten raw dipped in hummus. 

Go-to greenery

As your parents once said: “eat your greens”, damn right. These are my recommended greens to add to your shopping list. 


Broccoli is a great go-to veggie for the fit, enjoy them steamed or even roasted.

Great alongside popular mains, and the stems can also be dipped in hummus. You can even try making some broccoli croquettes, if you’re feeling extra fancy.


Spinach can be used in salads but also cooked down in stews and pastas to easily add extra nutrients to your diet. 

Spinach is also relatively cheap, but wilts quickly. 

Runner beans

Runner beans are a nice bulky green to have in your fridge. 

Great alongside fresh meals and drizzled in olive oil, runner beans are also fairly cheap for the fibre they provide. 

Green beans

I’ve gotta be eating green beans around 2-3 times a week to be honest, I can’t get enough of them. 

Try this garlic green beans recipe on for size and understand why this should be a staple for every vegan’s shopping list. 

green beans

Try these garlicky green beans recipe


Courgette, or zucchini, is a versatile veggies that’s a great addition to any meal. 

Whether you choose to roast, spiralise or slice and put into a soup, courgettes are a great purchase for your shopping list. 

Veggies to eat raw

This list is the recommended veggies I’d say to add to salads, or eat raw with hummus. More affordable staple veggies for the list. 


There is no salad without lettuce, which is the cheapest of the raw veggie list. 

There are many varieties I’d recommend getting, including:

  • Romaine
  • Batavia
  • Little gem 
  • Green & red leaf


Rich in water, numerous vitamins, and great for fresh flavours, cucumber is a great revitalising vegetable to buy regularly. 

It’s also fairly affordable, and lasts longer in a sauce, such as in homemade tzatziki. 


Tomatoes are a great salad veggie, great paired with avocado. I personally prefer the cherry variety, but I get the big juice Roma ones sometimes too. 

Tomatoes are also cheap and cheerful, and also really easy to grow from home. 


Raw sweet peppers give salads that much needed crunch, and are also great dipped in hummus also. 

Rich in vitamin C, yet another sickness season essential. 

Extra essentials

Some other vegan-friendly essentials, that don’t belong in any previous list. 

Tomato paste (and chunks)

Other than fresh tomatoes, tomato paste and chunks are essential for creating rich, tasty sauces. 

Especially when it comes to pasta dishes, stews and curries. 


Garlic is my go-to when it comes to making rice, it just has a beautiful aroma that you can’t deny. It lasts ages too and you can even buy it in a dried, granulated form to use as a seasoning. 


What’s a seasoned meal without onion in it? I mean, not every meal needs onion, but at least 80% of them do. Alls I know is it gives all my meals their essence. 

They also come in powdered form for those who simply wish to use it as a seasoning.

Lemons and limes

A good cook understands how to bring out the acidity to complement the seasonings in play. Lemons and limes are an essential ingredient for my weekly shop. 


Mushrooms are so versatile and necessary for that meaty fix. Have you ever tried fried oyster mushrooms? If not you need to go check that recipe right now. 

Some examples of tasty mushrooms you can get include:

  • Button 
  • Porcini 
  • Shiitake
  • Oyster
  • Portobello
jerk portobello close up

Try out our jerk portobello mushroom recipe

Veg stock

Somewhat of a base to every stew, just like the omnivores use chicken stock, thou shalt use vegetable stock. 

Most are accidentally vegan, but always be sure to check the ingredients list. 


Luckily for the vegan world, all seasonings are vegan. 

Now, for the beginner, you’d need to experiment and find what flavours you’d like to emulate, that’ll determine what seasonings you’d like to use. 

Some examples of my favourite herbs and spices include:

  • Sweet or smoked paprika
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Basil or oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary

Or spice mixes:

  • Curry powder
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • Zataar seasoning
  • Italian herbs

Vegan milk

This one’s self explanatory, if you love your cereal, and found your accidentally vegan one, secure yourself a vegan milk of choice. 

Luckily we now have plenty of options, such as:

  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Soy milk
  • Pea milk
  • Hemp milk
oat milk bottle

Or… Make your own!

Vegan staples to add to your shopping list

Hopefully you enjoyed this post on vegan staples to add to your shopping list. If you found this post useful, be sure to share this with a friend or loved one. 

Thanks for stopping by and considering veganising it for your vegan lifestyle inspiration. Stay well and stay blessed.