Have you ever wondered, “What do vegans eat?” This vegan food list is here to help and perfect for beginners. Make your next shopping trip easier than ever with our ultimate vegan grocery list! This list contains all of the ingredients you need to prepare everything from rise-and-shine breakfasts to evenings-in-front-of-the-fire nibbles. 

A copper measuring cup filled with green lentils next to tomatoes and parsley on a cutting board.

Does anyone else secretly love grocery shopping? Filling your pantry with nourishing, wholesome food is a luxury that many of us take for granted! However, we do realize that shopping can be slightly more challenging when you’re in a rush – or when you have tiny hands packing your cart with food items you just don’t need! It can also become a little challenging when you change your diet. 

If you’ve recently taken a more plant-based approach to eating, shopping for groceries may not feel as quick and simple as it once was. If you’re a beginner, you may be wondering, “what do vegans eat?!”. To help you whip around the store, here are our top tips – along with our ultimate vegan food list!

Glass jars filled with dried beans sit on a kitchen counter. These are part of a healthy whole food plant based grocery list.

Top tips for vegan grocery shopping

Before we share our vegan grocery list, we wanted to impart our wisdom after years of buying and experimenting with plant-based ingredients. These tips will help you fill your pantry without overspending or missing out on the goodness that plant sources have to offer.

  • Shop for seasonal produce when you can. This simple planet and pocket-friendly tip will also mix up your repertoire and inspire you to use different ingredients in your cooking!
  • When buying mildly-processed ingredients, such as plant-based milk or tofu, opt for products that have been fortified with minerals and vitamins. Calcium and vitamin D-enriched foods are particularly common.
  • When buying canned goods, such as chopped tomatoes or black beans, look for low-sugar and low-sodium brands.
  • Instead of buying canned fruit (which is often high in sugar) buy, chop and freeze fresh fruit for smoothies, oatmeal and pancake recipes.
  • Vegan meat alternatives are rising in popularity, but it is much healthier to substitute meat with soybean products (such as tempeh) or pulses (such as chickpeas).

Now, are you ready to start shopping? Enjoy!

Crates of beautiful fresh zucchini with flowers, eggplant, and summer squash are part of a healthy vegan grocery list.

What do vegans eat? The ultimate vegan shopping list

Flavor bases

These items are the stars of the show! Stocking your pantry with these will elevate the flavor of almost any meal you cook.

  • Aromatics, such as garlic, chili, onion and ginger
  • Fresh or dried herbs, such as basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme and oregano
  • Fresh or dried spices, such as paprika, turmeric, cumin, curry powder and cinnamon
  • Vegetable stock
  • Nutritional yeast*

*Nutritional yeast is a great vegan source of B12. To find out more, check out ‘What is nutritional yeast + best nutritional yeast recipes.’

Mildly-processed staple foods

Having these foods in your kitchen will make preparing and cooking vegan dishes much simpler! They are mildly-processed but still packed full of great nutrients. Occasionally, I’ll use a meat alternative for a treat. There are many great options these days from brands like Impossible and Hungry Planet. Don’t miss our amazing meaty Vegan Chili Recipe

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh*
  • Coconut milk
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Olive oil

*Like tofu, the lesser-known tempeh is also made from soybeans. To learn more, read our ‘What is tempeh + best tempeh recipes’.

A package of almond based Kite Hill ricotta cheese. A healthy vegan plant based diary alternative.

Almond-based dairy alternatives can be part of a healthy vegan grocery list.

Dairy alternatives

Not every vegan eats dairy alternatives regularly, but they can be extremely helpful to have in the kitchen – especially for breakfasts and baking.

  • Unsweetened plant-based milk, such as soya, oat, rice, hazelnut or almond milk
  • Unsweetened vegan yogurt
  • Vegan butter or spread
  • Vegan cheese*

*You can also replicate the nuttiness of cheese by stirring nutritional yeast into soups, stews and sauces. Alternatively, soaked and blended cashews make a delicious cheese substitute, such as in our yummy vegan chocolate cheesecake, vegan cream cheese, and vegan ricotta recipes!

Fresh produce on a marble kitchen counter.


Loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, vegetables are the main event in any balanced vegan food list! The perfect combination of vegetables can add substance and flavor to any meal. Juicing is another way to get in plenty of veggies. 

The vegetables you buy will likely depend on the season, but some of our favorites include:

  • Root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes
  • Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, spinach and collard greens
  • Squash vegetables, such as pumpkin, butternut squash and spaghetti squash
  • Nightshades, such as mushrooms, eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers.

Note: Once you’ve filled your cart with fresh veggies, check out these 30 delicious vegan dinner recipes for all the inspiration you need to start cooking!

A platter of beautiful tropical fruit.


We love nature’s candy! Fruit makes the perfect between-meals snack, but it can also bring sweetness to both desserts and savory dishes. This cements its place firmly on our vegan shopping list.

You might enjoy:

  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and goji berries
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits
  • Pomes, such as apples and pears
  • Tropical or exotic fruits, such as mangoes, pineapples, dragon fruit, and coconuts. Stock up on frozen fruit for smoothies and protein shakes

Note: As with vegetables, it is often convenient and more cost-effective to shop for seasonal fruit produce from local retailers.

An overhead photo of Greek lentil soup, olives, pita bread, and wine. This is a healthy plant based dinner.


Protein-rich legumes can bring depth and heartiness to any meal. Nutritious, versatile and full of flavor, these legumes are some of our must-have pantry staples!

Note: You can buy legumes dried or canned and ready-to-eat. It is usually very inexpensive to buy bags of dried legumes, but many people prefer the convenience of canned goods.

A bowl of Italian farro salad to show healthy whole grains.

Unrefined grains

Unrefined grains make the perfect accompaniment to veggie-heavy dishes. Every vegan grocery list should contain a range of unrefined grains, as you’ll likely use them in most of your main meals.

  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Farro.*

We also love filling our pantry with wholewheat pasta (for when Italian cuisine cravings strike!) but it’s important to check that your chosen brand doesn’t contain egg. 

*If you’ve never heard of this Italian superfood, we explain everything in our ‘What is farro + best farro recipes’ guide.

Nuts and seeds

Don’t forget to add a selection of nuts and seeds to your vegan shopping list! With a sprinkle of flax seeds here and a handful of walnuts there, you can boost your consumption of calcium, protein, fibre and healthy fats without any animal products.

We love:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds.*

*If you’re a keen baker, you’ll be pleased to know that flax seeds can be used as a quick and simple egg replacement! Here, we explain how to make a flax egg. Prepared Sea Moss gel is another option as a culinary thickener. 

Printable Vegan Grocery List PDF

A PDF printable vegan grocery list or vegan food list for those wondering what do vegans eat.

What would you add to our vegan grocery list? I hope this vegan food list was helpful and answered the question of “what do vegans eat?” Feel free to download and print our PDF free printable grocery list here

These are some of the vegan food staples we rely on, but everyone’s kitchen looks a little different! How you choose to nourish yourself is all about what feels good for you.