As a long-time vegetarian and vegan cookbook author, I'm often asked for product recommendations for everything from vegan-friendly food brands, to awesome vegetarian cookbooks, to ethical home and beauty products.
Rather than sprinkle these recommendations throughout the whole site, I've created one master list right here for easy reference. That way I can be sure to keep it up to date too!
My Favorite Veg-Friendly Brands
Pastas & Grains
Couscous - Rice Select
Couscous is one of my favorite ingredients. Most people things it's a grain, but it's actually a tiny pasta. My favorite way to serve it is topped with grilled veggies and an orange-balsamic dressing.
I've had the best luck with this Rice Select brand - it's consistently fresh and produces nice fluffy couscous!
Basmati Rice - Royal
I typically keep several different types of rice in the pantry. But if you're only going to stock one, I would make it Basmati. It's versatile enough to be used in just about any dish, including ones that call for jasmine rice.
I serve Basmati rice with Indian dishes like vegan Red Lentil Dal or Vegetable Curry, and even use it for Mexican dishes like these vegetarian Burrito Bowls when it's what I have on hand.
Rice Noodles - Thai Kitchen
Rice noodles can be tricky to find in regular grocery stores, so I tend to order them online and keep a box or two in the pantry.
They're perfect for making Vegan Pho or simple Thai Curry Noodles.
Egg Noodles - No Yolks
These egg noodles from No Yolks are a favorite of mine. Made without yolks, hence the name, they have lower cholesterol and are a bit healthier than traditional egg noodles.
I used these noodles to create my One-Pot Thai Green Curry Noodles and Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup. If you're looking for a vegan substitute though, you can go with a basic fettuccine noodle.
Note that these are vegetarian, but not vegan. If you want to vegan-ize a recipe with egg noodles, I suggest substituting another vegan-friendly dry pasta like fettucine.
Quinoa is a wonderful addition to any vegetarian pantry. It's a great vegan source of protein, and loaded with healthy fiber, iron, and potassium.
Quinoa makes a great base for a variety of dishes from veggie burgers to quinoa risotto.
Rolled Oats - Quaker
Rolled oats are a pantry staple that you don't want to miss. They're perfect for making homemade granola, fancy yogurt parfaits, or just making old-fashioned vegan oatmeal cookies!
Nuts & Seeds
Ground Flax Seed - Viva Naturals
Flax seeds are a wonderful vegan-friendly source of Omega-3 fatty acids. They're also handy for making your own egg replacement, called a flax egg.
Just whisk together a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 2-3 tablespoons of water, and you have a pretty good substitution for eggs in most baking recipes!
Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds) - Terrasoul
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are a super healthy addition to the pantry. They make a nice little snack on their own. But they're also wonderful anywhere you need to add a little crunch. Try sprinkling them over crisp salads, creamy soups, or baking them into homemade granola.
Raw Almonds - Happy Belly
Almonds are another handy item to have around for healthy vegan snacking. And even better, you can blend them into your own homemade almond milk. Just be sure to buy whole, raw almonds if you plan to use them for plant milk. I like these Happy Belly ones from Amazon - they are a great value.
Raw Cashews - Terrasoul
Raw cashews are great for making your own homemade cashew cream, a great substitute for sour cream or yogurt in many recipes. They're also great for making your own cashew milk, or blending into sauces for a creamier finish.
Beans & Legumes
Red Lentils - Rani
Lentils are a pantry must-have for vegetarian and vegan cooking. I personally prefer red lentils, like the ones used in my internet-famous Red Lentil Dal. These split red lentils from Rani Brands are my go-to.
Brown Lentils - Palouse
When a recipe calls for lentils and doesn't specify a type, they're almost certainly calling for brown lentils. This is what most people think of as "regular" lentils.
I often add them to dishes like chili for an extra dose of protein, but they can also be used for fancier recipes like this vegan moussaka.
French Green Lentils - Food to Live
The third type of lentils I like to keep in the pantry are French Green Lentils, which have a nice peppery flavor and hold their shape really well when cooked. These are the lentils I use for my popular Lentil Mushroom Salad!
Black Beans - Bush's
Black Beans are one of my most used ingredients. They're a fantastic source of vegan protein, and versatile enough to work in all kinds of recipes from chilis to enchiladas to buddha bowls. I like Bush's brand, but most supermarket generic brands are also just fine.
Most of my recipes use canned black beans for convenience. If you prefer dry beans, I like these from Iberia.
Red Kidney Beans - Goya
Kidney beans are super nutritious and full of vegetarian protein. I don't cook with these nearly as often as black or white beans, but I do love keeping them on hand to add to my favorite slow cooker chili.
If you prefer cooking from dried beans, you can also get the dried version of these.
Cannellini Beans (White Kidney Beans) - Bush's
These white cannellini beans are always in my pantry, and for good reason. Packed with protein and fiber, they're a healthy addition to all kinds of recipes from creamy soups to fancy pot pies.
Dressings & Sauces
Daiya Salad Dressings
Daiya makes a really delicious line of dairy-free salad dressings. They come in flavors like Homestyle Ranch, Blue Cheese, Creamy Caesar, Honey Mustard, and Creamy Italian. These are great for tpoping salads, sandwiches, and even pasta salads!
While they are all dairy-free, they are all not completely vegan, so be sure to check the label for your favorite flavor
Sir Kensington's Dressings and Dips
Sir Kensington's is another brand I particularly love. Their dressings are dairy-free, but do contain free range eggs. They come in Avocado Oil Ranch, Classic Ranch, Buffalo Ranch, and Pizza Ranch.
Vegan Pesto - Mantova
Pesto is a must have pantry staple. But most brands do contain dairy, typically in the form of parmesan cheese. I'm a big fan of this vegan-friendly pesto sauce from Mantova. It's full of flavor, with no dairy in sight.
Alfredo Style Sauce - Daiya
Daiya has been a reliable choice for vegan dairy substitutes for years, so it's no surprise that their alfredo sauce is one of the best out there!
Other Pantry Staples
Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk, Gluten Free, 13.66 oz (Pack of 12)
Coconut milk is a great vegan substitute for heavy cream in all kinds of recipes. It can be used to add some creaminess to soups, add moisture in vegan baking, and can even be used to make dairy-free ice cream.
Make sure you grab the unsweetened variety, unless a recipe specifies otherwise. And be sure to know the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream (which is much thicker).
Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes - Rotel
Diced tomatoes are a pantry staple for me. I love the convenience of having a can of tomatoes ready to go any time. They're great for making a quick homemade salsa, cooking into chilis, or even making a delicious dip like this Chickpea Tomato Dip.
Crushed Tomatoes - Cento
Crushed tomatoes are super handy to have around for making an impromptu marinara sauce, a vegetarian chili, or even throwing together a quick tomato soup.
Artichoke Hearts - Reese
Artichokes are a great for adding a big dose of flavor to an otherwise boring dish. I love them scattered across a fresh salad, served alongside hummus and pita bread, or stirred into my paella.
Roasted Red Peppers- Mezzetta
Roasted red peppers are another way to add a whole bunch of delicious flavor to your recipes. Of course, you can roast your own peppers. But who has time for that?
Kalamata Olives- Mezzetta
These kalamata olives are a great way to add some vegan-friendly healthy fats to your diet, and they pack a huge punch of flavor too! I love them with any kind of Greek food - hummus, tabbouleh, feta cheese - you get the idea. These hummus bowls are a great way to show case them!
Spanish Olives - Lindsay
Green olives are also great to have on hand for adding a bit of healthy fat and flavor to your dishes. They're great on salads or sandwiches, or mixed into pasta salads as well. I especially love these Harissa-infused olives with a little kick of spice!
Black Olives - Pearls Olives to Go!
I love black olives, and always have them in my pantry. But I also rarely need a full-sized can for a single recipe. I hate wasting them, which is why I really love these little snack packs.
You can eat them on-the-go of course, but I just like that they come in smaller portion sizes that are perfect for most recipes.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Partanna
If you think all olive oils are the same, then you've never had really good olive oil! A high quality oil will make a huge difference to the taste and quality of your dishes. I always look for oils that are packaged in dark bottles or tins, which keep out the light and help keep the oil fresh much longer!
Coconut Oil - Viva Naturals
Coconut oil is a wonderful vegan-friendly cooking oil that has a distinct flavor. I really like to use this as a replacement for butter in vegan baking. I use it in recipes like these Anzac Biscuits or these Carrot Muffins.
Balsamic Vinegar - Colavita
Balsamic vinegar is my go-to, and is literally always on my countertop. I've found this variety from Colavita to be a nice balance of quality, age, and value.
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction - Alessi
I love making a balsamic reduction, which is simply cooking down balsamic vinegar until it forms a thick syrup. It's totally delicious drizzled over salads, risottos, flatbread - pretty much everything. But since I don't always have time to make it, I always keep a bottle of this Alessi balsamic glaze in my fridge!
Spices & Herbs
Garam Masala Indian Spice Blend- Rani
Garam masala is the spice blend of Indian cooking. It's an essential in my home, and I particularly love this authentic mix from Rani Brands.
Ginger Paste - Spice World
I love cooking with ginger, but the fresh stuff goes bad way too quickly. So I prefer to stock this squeeze ginger in my fridge so I always have the taste of fresh ginger without running to the grocery store.
I also really like this one from Gourmet Garden, which you can find in the produce section at the grocery store.
Vegan Parmesan - Nooch it!
As far as vegan parmesan substitutes go, this one from Nooch It is one of my favorites. It's made from grated cashews and nutritional yeast, and gives just the right amount of cheesy texture for topping off dishes like pasta or tomato soup!
Nutritional Yeast - Bragg
Nutritional yeast has long been a favorite among the vegan crowd. It gives a nice nutty flavor and cheesy texture that makes it great for replacing parmesan cheese in many dishes. I also use it as an ingredient in some of my sauces to add a bit of cheesiness, without the dairy.
Cheese Sauce - Daiya
I'm a big fan of this dairy-free cheese sauce from Daiya. It has a great texture and pretty convincing flavor. And it's dairy free, soy free, and gluten free too.
Parmesan Shredded Cheese - Follow Your Heart
For a shredded parmesan substitute, my current top pick is this one from Follow Your Heart. It's perfect for sprinkling over pasta, and even melts reasonably well so you can use it to top off lasagna or other baked dishes.
Cheddar Cheese Shreds - Daiya
These cheddar style cheese shreds from Daiya are my top pick for a vegan cheddar cheese. In my experience, the Daiya cheese and this one from Follow Your Heart are the most meltable vegan cheese available.