Vegetarian Pantry Essentials

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When it comes to creating a vegetarian pantry, keep it simple and start slow. If you are new to vegetarian cooking, rest assured there are only a few things you may need to change or update. Here you will find my list of Vegetarian Pantry Essentials that will help you get started or even expand what you already have.

Keep in mind, that these are just my suggestions, you will not need all of these items if you don’t like them. These items will allow you to enjoy the best vegetarian dinners you can make.

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Cooking Essentials

These cooking essentials are for cooking or seasoning all of your dinners. You will be able to also use most of these ingredients for all the sauces you are going to make.

  • Soy Sauce
  • Tamari
  • Miso
  • Tahini
  • Vegetarian Broth
  • Plant-based milk (almond, soy, oat, etc)
  • Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Canola Oil, Coconut Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar, Rice Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Peanut Butter, Nut Butters
  • Nutritional Yeast


  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Oregano
  • Black Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cayenne
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
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Seeds & Nuts

Most of the seeds listed here are perfect for snacks or for salad toppings. This list is also a great protein source for your meals. Add some seeds or nuts to any meal.

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pine Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Pistachio
  • Peanuts
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Dried Fruits

Dried fruits can also be used for salad or dinner bowl toppings. I also like to use dried fruit on a cheese board or plate. And dates are an excellent sweetener to use in place of sugar.

  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Dried Apricots
  • Dried Mangos
  • Dried Kiwi
  • Dates
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When it comes to baking, there are very few ingredients that will have to change to accommodate a vegetarian diet. If you would like to cut back on sugar, you can use maple syrup, honey, and agave in its place. I also don’t use milk chocolate for baking, instead, I use dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, or cacao nibs.

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Liquid Sweetener (Maple Syrup, Honey, Agave)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Rolled Oats
  • Cornmeal
  • Breadcrumbs

Dried Canned Goods

A full pantry of dried canned goods is a must for a vegetarian diet or any diet for that matter. Some of these items will also give you the protein you will need for your dinners.

  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Rice
  • Whole Grains
  • Beans (Black, Pinto, Kidney, Cannelli, etc.)
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Canned Tomatoes & other veggies

Fresh & Refrigerated Items

No diet is complete without fresh and refrigerated items for all of your meals. But these ingredients in particular will help you create some of your dinners.

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit (fresh or frozen)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Lemons & Lemon Juice
  • Lime & Lime Juice
  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Sour Cream
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Mixed Shredded Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Tofu

So when it comes to stocking your pantry for vegetarian dinners, keep in mind you need fresh ingredients, items that will pair with your vegetables, and spices & oils that you will need to season and cook your meals. Enjoy!

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