• Alyssa Fontaine, RD
  • Jul 03, 2024

Vegan Food List for Beginners

Transitioning to a vegan diet can be an exciting journey, but it can also feel daunting at the beginning. Your first trip to the grocery store to stock up on essentials may seem confusing and challenging, but with time, it will become second nature to you especially with our beginners vegan food list.

There are several key items you’ll need to facilitate your transition. Adopting a vegan diet introduces you to many foods you may not have considered before.

Our vegan nutritionist has created this breakdown to guide you through the transition, ensuring you’re fully stocked and prepared to embrace veganism.

Now, with these essentials on hand, you’ll have everything you need to create meals that meet all your nutritional requirements effortlessly.

Tips from a vegan nutritionist on where to begin


Before diving into your grocery list, it’s essential to consider what you already have in your pantry and your personal preferences.

Keep in mind that some items on the grocery list provided later in the article may not align with your tastes or dietary needs. It’s important to be mindful of what you enjoy and what you already possess.

Each vegan has a unique palate, so experimentation with new flavors is encouraged. Explore different options to discover what delights your taste buds and suits your individual preferences.

Ultimate vegan food list for beginners 

Here, you’ll find some essential categories of food to seek out during your grocery run, along with a general guide to various types of food to consider. This provides a framework for what to look for while also allowing you to customize your choices according to your preferences.

Produce Section:

  • Assorted fruits and vegetables based on preference and recipes.

Pantry Staples:

  • Legumes (canned or dried)
  • Grains (quinoa, rice, oats)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Canned vegetables and sauces
  • Whole grain flour (for baking)

Refrigerated Section:

  • Tofu, tempeh, or seitan
  • Plant-based milk alternatives
  • Plant-based yogurt and cheese alternatives
  • Fresh herbs

Freezer Section:

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Veggie burgers or meat alternatives

Spices and Condiments:

  • Herbs and spices
  • Nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavor)
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Olive oil or other cooking oils
  • Vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, etc.)

Bakery Section:

  • Whole grain bread or wraps

Staple shopping list for your vegan food list for beginners

Below is a more detailed breakdown of key ingredients that form the foundation of a vegan diet, curated by our team of vegan nutritionists who consider these items as staples.


  • Lentils 
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • Black Beans
  • Edamame (Fresh or Frozen)

Grains and Seeds

  • Quinoa
  • Oats 
  • Rice 
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds

Soy Products

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Soy Milk

Nuts and Nut Butters

  • Almonds and almond butter
  • Peanuts and peanut Butter

Plant based milk alternative

  • Oat beverage
  • Cashew beverage

Other protein sources


Although shopping as a new vegan may initially require some adjustment, you’ll soon become an expert.

For further guidance to help you master the art of grocery shopping and receive personalized tips tailored directly to you, consider booking a discovery call with one of our expert vegan nutritionists.

Additionally, if you’re interested in learning more about meal prep, explore our article “Tips for Vegan Meal Prep from a Vegan Nutritionist” for comprehensive insights.

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