Vegan Shopping List: Essential Grocery Items

For your grocery shopping trips, give this vegan shopping list a look. The point of this shopping list isn’t to include every conceivable vegan grocery item. In fact, the items here only cover the essentials, so you won’t get overwhelmed by all there is to eat. If you’re new to vegan eating, this list will acquaint you with the most important foods.

Not every item on this list is always vegan. For instance, you’ll need to read labels when buying chocolate, frozen pizza, and veggie burgers.

For more ideas, check out our vegan grocery, which offers links to the best food deals on Amazon.com. Also, if you have an Indian, Asian, or Mexican grocery in your town, definitely go check it out. These places carry some delicious vegan foods you won’t find anywhere else.


The fruits and vegetables sold at your local market are too numerous to list, so below we’ve just listed the most popular items. Please see our vegetable and fruit guides for extensive coverage of these foods.

  • Salad lettuce (mixed greens, romaine, spinach)
  • Stir fry greens (kale, chard, cabbage)
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Apples

Pantry Staples

Some key items you’ll want on hand for everyday cooking.

  • Olive oil
  • Tomato sauce
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Maple syrup
  • Tahini (for making salad dressing or hummus)
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder (non-aluminum)
  • Flours for bread or pancakes

Grain-Based Foods

From crackers to pasta to breakfast cereal, vegans have all sorts of possibilities. Buy whole grain products whenever possible for better nutrition.

  • Pasta
  • Ramen
  • Bread (for sandwiches and toast)
  • English muffins
  • Bagels
  • Large whole-grain tortillas (for wraps)
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Polenta
  • Couscous
  • Rice stick noodles (for Pad Thai)
  • Oatmeal or other hot cereal mix
  • Crackers

Convenience Foods

When you’re too busy to make a real meal, these foods can come to the rescue.

  • Tubbed Hummus (Nearly all brands are vegan)
  • Frozen burritos (Amy’s Kitchen)
  • Frozen pizza
  • Tater tots or hash browns
  • Frozen or boxed vegan Mac & Cheese
  • Frozen vegan chicken tenders or fish (made by Gardein and other brands)
  • Shelf-stable chana masala and other microwavable Indian entrees (Tasty Bite and other brands)

Vegan Meats & Other Protein-Rich Foods

Most vegan meat products these days are purchased by non-vegetarians, which is a clear sign that this product has hit the mainstream. Thanks to that, you have a wide assortment of magnificent products.


You’ve got an abundance of choices when it comes to going dairy-free. Any good natural food store sells all of these items in their refrigerated case.


Whether you want an egg substitute for baking or you want to make some classic scrambled eggs, these vegan products will give you exactly what you need.


These and other ready-to-eat items are nice to keep in hand when you’re short on time and suddenly hungry.

  • Energy bars (Clif bars, ProBars, and Lara bars)
  • Dried fruit
  • Guacamole (boxed refrigerated pressure-packed is much better than tubbed)
  • Salsa
  • Popcorn (bagged, microwavable, or kernels you pop at home)
  • Chips (tortilla chips or potato chips)
  • Olives


There’s no reason to forgo bold flavors on a vegan diet. These items will add zing to whatever you’re cooking.

  • Salt (always buy iodized, since to help avoid risk iodine deficiency)
  • Tamari or soy sauce (always check labels. Some soy sauce has fish extracts)
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Barbecue sauce (Most are vegan. Great on fried tempeh!)
  • Vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, or red wine)
  • Herb or Spice Mixes (available inexpensively in bulk at any good natural food store)
  • Vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise or Just Mayo)
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Salad dressing (Annie’s Goddess dressing or italian vinaigrette)
  • Pickles, jalapeños, or relish
  • Canned chipotle peppers (chop and mix with vegan mayo for an amazing spread)
  • Indian lime pickle and other varieties. (Patek’s and many other brands)


Let’s be realistic: no vegan shopping list is complete without sweets and other indulgences!


Don’t come up short on key nutrients. For more information, check our vitamins guide and our introduction to vegan nutrition.

Household Products

Here are some final household and personal care items you’ll want to pick up when you’re doing your grocery shopping.

  • Vegan Toothpaste
  • Hand and body soap (Mrs. Meyer’s, Trader Joe’s, or Dr. Bronner’s)
  • Dish detergent (Mrs. Meyer’s)
  • Laundry detergent (Mrs. Meyer’s or Method)
  • Countertop spray and other cleaning products (Mrs. Meyer’s or Earth Friendly Products)
For further reading: don’t miss our grocery page, which collects the best deals on vegan groceries available from Amazon.com.
FTC: We use income-earning Amazon.com affiliate links. More.

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