the vegan pantry


Making the switch to a vegan diet doesn't mean buying a lot of special vegan products, as the staples of your vegan pantry should be whole, unprocessed plant foods that are readily obtainable at your local supermarket or wholefood store. 
It is recommended that processed foods be minimised and only used in small amounts to add extra flavour to meals or occasionally for convenience. Below are some dietary staples plus some other foods that might be handy to have in your pantry or fridge, especially when you are new to vegan eating.


Breakfast Bread

Vitality Bakehouse offers a variety of breads which are all gluten free, dairy free and egg free. This breakfast bread is delicious! Check your health food store to see if they stock it.


Chickpeas are another member of the legume (lentils, beans and peas) family. They can be bought dried or canned and are great in a curry, a risotto or salad. They can also be used to make your own hummus and other dips.

Dried or Canned Beans

Packed with protein, fibre and iron and low in fat, beans are a great basis for healthy main meals. Kidney beans, pinto beans, lima beans, adzuki beans, borlotti beans, navy beans etc., each have their own unique taste and can be bought dried or canned. Dry beans are very economical to use: just soak overnight in water, rinse then boil until tender, rinse and drain. They freeze well so cook up a big batch and freeze in meal-size portions for later use. Or keep canned beans on hand to add to salads, soups and stews.


Flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) are rich in omega 3 fats, which are important for healthy eyes, heart and brain.They are best consumed freshly ground as they are not digested when eaten whole. Flaxseeds can be added to cereals, smoothies, pancakes and baked foods.A small electric coffee grinder or nut grinder grinds them perfectly in seconds. Once ground they should be used or kept refrigerated.


Lentils are part of the legume family and the most common varieties are brown/green and red. Red lentils do not require soaking and become mushy when cooked whereas brown/green lentils retain their shape. If you are fortunate to live near an Indian grocery store you will no doubt find many other varieties of lentils there, which can be used to make delicious dhals, soups, dips and curries.

Non-Dairy Milks

There are a wide variety of non-dairy milks available. Soy and rice milk is readily available in supermarkets, both in the fridge section and on the shelf. Other varieties such as almond, oat, quinoa and hemp milk can be found in health stores.


Apart from being a handy snack, nuts can be added to salads, stir fries and other dishes  adding protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are best bought raw and unsalted and will keep fresh longer if kept in an airtight container in a cool place. Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium - just one a day is all that is needed.

Savoury Yeast Flakes

Savoury yeast flakes have a cheesy flavor. They can be used to sprinkle on salads, sandwiches or soups and can be used to make cheese-like sauces. They are a good source of B vitamins, including B12. Available from,, health shops.

Seeds (Others)

Sunflower seeds and pepitas are good to snack on and add flavour and nutrients to smoothies and salads as well as hot dishes. Sesame seeds are delicious fried and used to top salads and savoury dishes. Chia seeds are highly nutritious and great to add to breakfast cereals, smoothies or even make your own breakfast pudding.

Tahini is simply sesame seeds ground to a paste and is available as hulled or unhulled, the latter being richer in calcium.  It can be used as a spread, added to dips or mixed with water to make a white sauce for vegetables or pasta.



Whole-grains and foods made from whole-grains are richer in vitamins, minerals and fibre than their more processed counterparts. It is recommended that whole-grains be eaten every day, so keep your pantry well stocked with foods like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, rolled oats (pictured), brown rice cakes and whole-grain crackers. Other grains like millet and barley can also be used. For baking and making pancakes, use wholemeal flour in preference to white flour.


Agave Nectar

Agave nectar can be used as a replacement of honey. It dissolves well in cold liquids as well as hot. It comes in light, amber and dark varieties, with the light being a delicate flavor and the dark more caramel like. It is available in most health stores.

Beef 'Style' Stock

(Cubes and Powder)
Massel do a variety of stock powders, use in place of traditional beef stock in gravies, casseroles, stews.
Company: Massel
Uses: sauces, gravy
Availability: widely available

Bombay Bites

Company: Blue Lotus Foods
These are bite size pieces of tempeh in a bombay sauce. You can snack on them straight from the packet or add to wraps and stir fries. There are other flavours of dynabites available, but these are definitely a winner!
Availability: Coles

Bombay Potatoes

Company: Tasty Bite
Uses: as a meal or its own, side dish or wrap
Availability: supermarkets

Cake/Muffin Mix

There are many cake/muffin packet mixes available that are vegan (and can be made using egg replacer), check the health section of your local supermarket or health store. Some brands are Melinda's, Orgran and Deliciously Free.

Casserole Mince

Company: Sanitarium
Uses: pies, casseroles, burgers, chilli
Availability: supermarket, health stores

'Cheese' Slices

Company: Tofutti
Uses: sandwiches, burgers, pizza topping
Availability: some supermarkets,,,, speciality shops.


(Various flavours)
Company: Redwood
Uses: Sandwiches/wraps, baking, sauces, pizza topping
Availability:,,, health stores, speciality shops.

Chicken Flavour Noodle Soup

Company: Osem
Uses: use as is, or as a soup or casserole base
Availability: some supermarkets, kosher stores

'Chicken' Style Stock

(Cubes and Powder)
Company: Massel
Uses: sauces, gravy
Availability: widely available

Condensed Soy Milk

Perfect for fudge, caramel and toffee! Sweetened condensed milk is now available from:,,

Cream 'Cheese'

Company: Tofutti
Uses: sauces, dips, baking, sandwiches/wraps/toast
Availability: Widely available

Cream 'Cheese' - French Onion

Company: Tofutti
Uses: sauces, dips, baking, sandwiches/wraps/toast
Availability: Widely available

Crispy Crumb Schnitzels

Fry's produce a range of products including burgers, sausages, sausage rolls and cottage pies.
Company: Fry's
Uses: main meal, sandwiches/wraps
Availability:, some Safeway/Woolies, South African stores, vegan friendly stores.


Many commercial breadcrumbs are not vegan, however these Cornflakes Crumbs are animal free.
Company: Kelloggs
Uses: Coating
Availability: widely available

Custard Powder

Some custard powder contains milk and egg products. However the one pictured by Foster and Clarks and the Orgran custard powder are both vegan. Available from supermarkets and health shops.

Dairy-Free Pesto

There are a few dairy free pesto's around. The one pictures is a coriander flavour and was bought from Foodworks. There are also other brands and other flavours such as sun-dried tomato or basil pesto. offers a few different varieties. Use on pasta, pizzas, lasagnas or as a dip etc. If you live in Victoria Vegie Gourmet do a range of vegan pestos, you can check their website for stockists.

Egg Replacer

Use this egg replacer in baking wherever a recipe calls for eggs. Simply mix 1tsp egg replacer with 2 tbsp water!
Company: Orgran
Uses: baking
Availability:Widely available

Gravy Powder

A lot of gravy powder is actually vegan, simply check the label. Use it to make traditional gravy or to thicken stews and casseroles. Widely available.

Ice Cream

There is a huge variety of non-dairy ice creams available. Some you will find in your local supermarket and others in health food stores, vegan-friendly stores, kosher shops etc.

Kecap Manis

Kecap Manis is a dark, syrupy soy sauce from Indonesia. It is sweet not salty and often flavoured with star anise and garlic as well as palm sugar. It is available from supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.


These marshmallows are light and fluffy and quite addictive! Perfect to top your vegan hot chocolate!

Available from and

Medjool Dates

These are bigger and softer than regular dried dates. They are great eaten as they are or use them in smoothies or for sweetening dishes . Most supermarkets sell them in their fruit and vegetable section.

Mexican Chilli Beans

These are Coles own brand beans, but you may be able to find other brands. They're a quick and healthy meal option, they can be served with rice, in a wrap, on a baked potato or on their own.


Miso comes in different varieties dark brown, black brown and red brown which have different strengths and flavours. It is rich in protein and B12 and is great for digestion as it contains bacteria and live enzymes. Adds flavour to soups, casseroles etc. It must not be boiled as this destroys the beneficial enzymes. Available in health food stores, and as instant soup in supermarkets.

Mock Meats

There is a huge range of mock meats available. They can be a useful transition food for those making the change to a vegan diet. Some like vegan burgers, sausages and roasts are available in supermarkets. Yet other varieties such as vegan bacon, pepperoni and sandwich slices are available from health shops and vegan friendly stores as well as,, Other varieties such as mock duck, beef, chicken, prawn, fish etc can be found in some asian grocery stores.


Most ready made pastry is vegan as it is made with vegetable oil. Simply check the label to make sure. Widely available - usually frozen.


Available in various flavours including, strong 'cheddar', smoked, edam. This cheese grates like regular cheese and melts too. Great for toasties and pizzas!
Company: Bute Island Foods
Uses: anything you would use cheese for!

Sour 'Cream'

Company: Tofutti
Uses: sauces, dips, baking, sandwiches/wrap/toast
Availability: Some supermarkets,,, kosher stores, vegan-friendly stores, health shops.

Soy Strips

These strips come dehydrated so you need to soak before cooking. They are great to marinade as they soak up all the flavours. You can use them in stir fries, sandwiches and wraps, casseroles etc. You can buy them in asian grocery stores, Global Green and Vincents Vegetarian Foods.

Soy Yoghurt

There are a few soy yoghurts around, some are not vegan as they use cow's milk as a starter. They come in a variety of flavours, you can eat as is, use in smoothies, as a breakfast topping and in baking!


Tamari is richer and stronger than traditional soy sauce. It is wheat free and made from whole soy beans. It can be used in any dishes where you would use soy sauce. Widely available.


Tempeh is a whole soybean product from Indonesia. It is firmer and has a stronger flavor to tofu and is higher in fibre, protein and vitamins. It makes a good meat substitute. There are many brands available, they can taste a little different to each other so try a few to find one you like. The one pictured is our favourite, its available from Vincents Vegetarian Food.


TVP stands for Textured Vegetable Protein. It is normally made from defatted soy beans, making it rich in protein and other nutrients but low in fat. It needs to be soaked in hot water for 10-15 minutes before use and is available as "mince" or chunkier shapes. It can be used in place of meat in a variety of dishes. Although it is not in itself particularly flavoursome, it absorbs other flavours so is best prepared in dishes with flavoursome ingredients like stock, herbs, curry, chilli or other spices, tomato paste etc.

Vegan Bacon

Cholesterol and cruelty-free bacon! This is the most widely found vegan bacon but others are available. Company: Redwood
Uses: sandwiches, wraps
Availability:,,, speciality/health stores.

Vegan Cream - Rich's

You can use this sweetened cream as it is for pouring, or you can whip it up to a thick consistency.
Company: Rich's
Uses: Desserts, Topping
Availability: (frozen) kosher sections in some supermarkets, kosher stores, speciality stores

Vegan Cream - Soyatoo

This is a great product if you like deserts or sweet sauces. It's a thick consistency and has a sweet flavour. You can whip this cream. There are other soy and rice creams on the market too.
Company: Soyatoo
Uses: baking, desserts, pouring
Availability:,,, speciality stores

Vegan Ham

Bake whole or cut a piece off and cook as required.  Great hot or cold in sandwiches and salads.
Available from
Global Green
Asian grocery stores

Vegan Margarine

Brands such as Nuttelex, Tablelands and Organic Mountain are widely available in most supermarkets and grocery stores. There is also a variety of other dairy free spread and soy butter available from health stores and vegan- friendly stores. Most margarine contains palm oil, the only palm oil free margarine currently available in Australia is produced by Melrose and available in health stores and other speciality shops.

Vegan Mayonnaise

There are a few brands of vegan mayonnaise available. The Praise 97% fat free and dijonnaise are both vegan but their other varieties are not. Kingland, Plamil and Melrose also have vegan versions available. Watch out as some 'Soy Mayonnaise' actually contains egg - check the label. Widely available from supermarkets, health shops, and

Vegan Pepperoni

Company: Redwood
Uses: Sandwiches/wraps, pizza topping
Availability:,,, speciality shops,

Vegetarian Mushroom Oyster Sauce

Use this sauce instead of traditional oyster sauce. There are a few brands available. You can buy from Global Green,, Asian stores or online at

Vegie Mince

This mince can be used in place of animal mince. It doesn't have a strong flavour and is best in dishes where it can soak up flavours. You could use TVP or other soy mince also.
Company: Sanitarium
Uses: pies, casseroles, burgers, chilli
Availability: supermarket, health stores

Vegie Burgers

There are many veggie burgers on the market. Some contain milk or egg, so check the label to ensure they're vegan. There are many varieties including lentil, bean, vegetable and soy burgers. Widely available in the frozen and fridge section in supermarkets, grocery stores and vegan friendly shops.

Veggie Sausages

There are a lot of veggie sausages available, ranging from hot dog to gourmet style. Check labels as some may contain egg or dairy, but there are plenty of vegan ones available. Widely available in the frozen and fridge sections of supermarkets, grocery stores and vegan-friendly shops. Most are high in protein and some are fortified with B12.


These waffles come in a variety of flavours. Simply pop in the toaster and voila!
Company: Vans
Uses: breakfast
Available: speciality food stores, health shops

White Cooking Buttons

(White Chocolate Buttons)

These chocolate buttons are great for cooking, although it's hard not to snack on the odd one or three once the packet's open!
Company: Sweet William
Uses: baking, sweet sauces
Available: health stores, speciality shops,

White Delight

(White Chocolate Bar)
Great tasting vegan white chocolate, ideal if you've got a sweet tooth!
Company: Sweet William
Uses: eating, baking, sweet sauces
Available: most supermarkets, health stores, speciality stores.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce is traditionally made using anchovies (fish). However, there are a few brands available that are anchovy-free. Simply check the label to make sure the one you buy is anchovy free. Add to sauces, casseroles, pastas etc.