vegan food list for beginners

Vegan Food List for Beginners: Top 10 Foods You Need to Try

Are you looking for a vegan food list for beginners? For a vegan shopping list to help you grab all of those basic vegan food items?

In this article I will be sharing a very basic list of grocery items that every vegan should be grabbing. As well as the top 10 foods you should add to your grocery shopping list!

When you first become vegan, grocery shopping can be one of the most intimidating parts of the transition. This is because vegan grocery shopping might seem difficult if you aren’t used to it.

But don’t let that stop you! Creating a grocery list full of delicious vegan foods is much easier than you think. So, keep reading to find out more!

How to Make a Vegan Food List for Beginners

When you are looking to make a vegan food list for beginners it is important to create two basic routines.

The secret to a successful shopping trip vegan or not, is to do these two things before going to the grocery store. One or both of these two tips will help to guarantee a successful shopping trip no matter what!

Plan Ahead

There is nothing worse than arriving at the grocery store unprepared and uncertain of what exactly you need to buy!

This is where planning ahead becomes crucial because otherwise you will find yourself arriving unprepared.

Take a few minutes to go through your kitchen to look for things you need to buy or things you don’t need to buy.

Doing this will help you to be more organize as well as help you to not forget important items. Or overspend by buying items that you don’t need.

The best way to keep on top of planning out your meals and grocery list is to keep a weekly meal planner on hand. This planner is great as it is magnetic and can be stored on your fridge for easy use!

Plan Your Meals

Another very important task that you need to do before going grocery shopping is to plan your meals.

This can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. I personally make two large meals a week to spread out as my dinner options. This means that I only need to plan out two meals per week and grab other items that I know I will use in my other meals.

This is a simple meal planning strategy that works for me, but you could make it even more detailed!

Meal planning is so efficient for your vegan grocery list because it makes it much clearer as to what you need to buy.

Knowing what meals, you are going to make, makes it so much easier to prepare by buying those items.

Basic Grocery Items to Grab

This is not a full or detailed vegan food list for beginners by any means. But it is a basic list that you could build off of easily according to what you have on hand. Or what your family normally eats and needs to stock up on.

You might add to this list or take away from it depending on what you need or what you like to eat. But over time you will most likely begin to have a basic list of your own of the food items that you repeatedly buy.

Because we all have a mental list of the items that we always need to have around. Having a grocery list like this just makes it easier to stay on top of.


  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Frozen Fruit


  • Rice
  • Flour
  • Seasonings
  • Dried Pasta
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Nut Butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Sweeteners
  • Tea or coffee
  • condiments


  • Plant Milk
  • Vegan Butter
  • Tofu

Fresh Produce:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Herbs

Top Foods to Buy: Vegan Food List for Beginners

This is a selection of the top 10 foods that I think should be on every vegan shopping list at least once for you to try out!

These foods are the ones that I find myself grabbing week after week because they are so useful.

All of these foods are fun and flavorful and can be used in a large variety of ways depending on what you like to eat. Making delicious vegan meals that much easier to create on a daily basic without any extra stress.

vegan food list for beginners

1.    Nutritional Yeast

I have spoken on nutritional yeast several times before because it is just so useful in vegan cooking!

Nutritional yeast is one of the easiest protein rich foods for vegans and it makes an excellent cheese substitute.

It naturally has a cheesy flavor and appearance and can be added to creamy soups, on top of potatoes or veggies, made into a cheese sauce, or used in vegan ricotta cheese.

It is a must have ingredient if you follow a vegan diet! These nutritional yeast flakes are the ones that I highly recommend and use myself.

Related: What is Nutritional Yeast Used for

2.    Almond Meal

Fine almond meal is another ingredient that has such an amazing assortment of uses. Not only is it a great way to get in your healthy fats and protein it can even be used in the place of flour in many recipes.

You can make amazing almond cookies and desserts. Or you could use it with nutritional yeast to make a savory vegan parmesan or a cheesy spread!

3.    Flax seeds

Flax seeds are an ingredient that should definitely make an appearance on your vegan grocery list!

These little seeds are very useful in replacing eggs in baking or using as a binding agent in recipes like vegan patties or casseroles.

Organic flaxseeds are full of healthy fats, proteins, and fiber as well so you could simply sprinkle them over your meals.

Related: Chia Seeds Vs Flax Seeds as an Egg Replacement

4.    Sundried Tomatoes

Sundried tomatoes have an uncanny taste that is very similar to pepperoni! Making them excellent when added on top of homemade pizzas.

They can also be added to lasagna and pasta dishes for a fresh burst of flavor and color.

If you want sun-dried tomatoes that are packed with flavor you need to try these packed sun-dried tomatoes and herbs! They are great on pizzas or in pasta sauce.

5.    Tomato Sauce

This might seem like a dreary ingredient to put in this list but believe me when I say that tomato sauce deserves a place in your cart!

A can of tomato sauce can come in handy in so many different ways. From being used as pizza sauce, pasta sauce, added to soups, or to sausage recipes.

Tomato sauce is the number one basic ingredient that I always find myself reaching for.

6.    Canned Beans

Canned beans, specifically Canned chick peas are another ingredient that should definitely be on your vegan food list for beginners!

There are so many ways that you can put a can of beans to good use. Especially if you are at a loss of what to make or are in a hurry to eat something nutritious.

Beans are one of the best protein foods for vegans and they are also very versatile in the kitchen.

You could make a hearty chili, bean patties, beans and rice, or a Mexican salad and those are just a few options!

Not to mention that the liquid from a can of chickpeas can be used as an egg substitute.

Related: Vegan Sources of- Protein You Should be Eating

7.    Instant Oatmeal

instant oats are another basic ingredient that you might be wondering why it is even mentioned. But I have learned over the years of being vegan just how useful instant oatmeal really is.

I use these all of the time as binders in my vegan patties and sausages. I have even used them to bread certain foods or use them in the place of breadcrumbs.

You can also make a deliciously hearty bowl of savory oatmeal for lunch or dinner.

8.    Vegan Sausage

Vegan sausage is a great food item to just have around for when you may need it. Especially if you are a vegan beginner and don’t know how to substitute meat in all of your meals.

I like to buy vegan sausage and freeze it so that I can pull out or two sausages as I need them.

They go great in soups and stews, crumbled over salads, roasted with veggies, or even simply eaten on their own with a side of potatoes!

The apple sage Field Roast Sausages are my personal favorite!

9.    Gnocchi

For a long time, I never ate gnocchi because I just assumed that it wasn’t vegan. But you might be surprised to find out that most brands of gnocchi are actually vegan friendly!

This is a great food to help spice up your meals an add some much-deserved carbs to your menu.

You can add potato gnocchi to soups, casseroles, Sautee them on the stove, or roast them with some veggies.

10. Coconut Oil

Coconut old is an ingredient that I have to make sure that I never run out of. It is just that important!

It is not only a relatively healthy oil for you to eat but it makes an excellent butter substitute.

This is great if you don’t want to spend money on vegan butters or prefer not to use vegan spreads. Because coconut oil is definitely the healthier option.

Organic coconut oil is also great in chocolate recipes and added to baked goods.

How to Shop for Vegan Food on a Budget

It might seem as though eating a vegan diet can become quite pricey, and to a certain extent it can be, if you rely solely on vegan products.

For the most part vegan food is some of the cheapest food out there. Rice, pasta I’m looking at you! It is those fancy vegan food items that start to quickly add up.

As long as you try to stick to the basics, you will be able to create very low budget meals without any problem.

So, here are a few simple tips to help you stick to your budget even when shopping on a vegan diet.

Make it Yourself

The best way by far to save money when eating a vegan diet is to make most of your food yourself.

This will save you money that you would otherwise spend on pricey vegan products. Especially since these kinds of foods are not necessary to eat a vegan diet.

You can try making your own vegan patties and sausages. You could also avoid vegan dairy products to either do without or try to make them yourself at home.

If you are feeling really adventurous you could even start making your own bread or pasta!

Follow Sales

There aren’t too many sales when it comes to vegan products, but it doesn’t hurt to look out for them.

Every once in a while you might catch an amazing sale on a vegan product that would otherwise be out of your price range.

When this happens, you can stock up!

Sales will greatly depend on where you shop so you will have to look into the sales in your area.

Also, keep an eye on sales happening on food that you regularly buy. You could save a lot of money and end up stocking up your pantry as well.

Look for Cheaper  Options

You would be amazed at how many products are accidentally vegan! And these products are usually much cheaper then the vegan ones.

Instead of buying expensive vegan brands you might be able to get by on products that just happen to be vegan.

There are many frozen products, pastas, soups, canned goods, and snacks that are accidentally vegan. These options are also usually cheaper than other options available to vegans.

Next time you go grocery shoping just take a look at the ingredients list on certain items. You might be pleaantly surprised by a few!

Buy in Bulk

There are many foods that you might buy regularly that can actually be much cheaper if bought in bulk.

Dried pasta, rice, beans, and flour are all good examples of this.

Bulk food is often much more affordable in the long run if it happens to be something that you would regularly buy.

Try looking for a bulk grocery store in your area or you can take a look online.

Conclusion of Vegan Food List for Beginners

Has this vegan food list for beginners helped to inspire you to make a more efficient vegan shopping list?

Do you use any of the foods mentioned above? I use al of them and find them to be amazing additions to so many vegan meals. They are easy to adapt to different recipes and make dishes taste that much better.

Have you tried any of the foods mentioned above? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear what foods you always have to have around on a vegan diet!

Or what kinds of foods your grocery shopping list always has to include.

1 thought on “Vegan Food List for Beginners: Top 10 Foods You Need to Try”

  1. Pingback: 6 Ways a Vegan Diet Will Change You for the Better | Oh My Vegan

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