Beginners Plant-Based Diet Grocery List

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Anyone new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle knows that learning to shop and cook differently can be a challenge. This Plant-Based Diet Grocery List will help guide you through the process.

man shopping in grocery store produce section pushing buggy and reading grocery list

Starting a new way of life and health is like beginning a journey, so it’s helpful to have a map. This is a new adventure to a whole food plant-based diet, and I was completely unprepared for all the changes when I began a few years ago, so I’m determined to make it easier for those who come after me with this article. There is a link to a PDF copy of this list below.

This list of 70+ Plant-Based Meals can help beginners and motivate others who might be interested in the food healthy vegans eat.

What foods can I eat on a plant-based diet?

If I could take each of you on a trip to your local grocery store and point out the most healthful products, I would. I actually used to do that locally, and it was a very rewarding experience for me to share what I’ve learned with newbies.

Since I can’t do that for most of you, the next best thing is for me to share my personal experience with a whole food plant-based diet.

These are just some of your options.   I believe this plant-based shopping list will give you a good idea of how to get started.

To help even more, I have a YouTube video called My Plant-Based Grocery Haul where I show you exactly what I buy and share menu ideas. Our Plant-Based Starter Kits can also help you get going on the right track!

Grocery List:

Keeping a well-stocked kitchen and planning meals ahead of time are two very important goals with this way of health.

NOTE: I do not keep all these varieties of veggies and fruit in my kitchen all the time. Who has that kind of room? I just want to give you an idea of what is available.

GRAINS

Different types of cereal grains with ears
  • Old fashion oats
  •  Rice  (brown, Jasmin,  wild, etc.)
  • Bulgur (a wheat grain that is great for adding  texture to meatless dishes)
  • Quinoa
  • Barley (I add to soups and stews)
  • Millet (I add to soups and stews)
  • Cornmeal (for cornbread)
  • Grits
  • Unbleached flour (whole wheat, spelt, brown rice, barley, etc.)
  • Whole-wheat pastry flour
  • Pasta (whole wheat, spelt, artichoke, quinoa, etc.)
  • Bread (rye, pumpernickel, spelt, etc.)
  • Tortillas (corn & whole grain flour)

LEGUMES

different types and colors of legumes spread out on table

Every dried and canned variety you can think of includes these:

  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Garbanzo
  • White beans (navy, cannellini, Great Northern, etc.)
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Green peas
  • Split peas
  • Edamame (soybean, fresh or frozen)
  • lLentils (red, green, brown, etc.)
  • Nuts
  • Many, many more…

VEGETABLES

vegetables lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli
l

 There is no limit here. I do not keep all of these on hand. This is just to make you aware of what is available:

  • Potatoes (red, Russet, Yukon gold, etc.)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Artichokes
  • Lettuces (Romaine, endive, butterhead, loose-leaf, etc.)
  • Other greens (spinach, collards, etc.)
  • Cabbages (purple, green, Napa, Bok Choy, etc.)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bean sprouts
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  •  Bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • Pepper (the hot ones)
  • Onions (purple, yellow, white, etc.)
  • Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • This is just a few…

FRUITS

Assortment of summer fresh berries and fruits. Mix of blueberry, cherry, kiwi watermelon, strowberry, tangarine, mandarine peach, clementine on black slate plate on black slate plate. Top view

Again, there is no limit.

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • Nectarine
  • Peach
  • Bananas
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • Kiwi
  • Avocado
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, etc.)
  • And many, many more

CONDIMENTS

Bowls of various sauces - ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue, soy, mustard, pesto, garlic, sweet chilli Top view. Flat lay.  (Bowls of various sauces - ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue, soy, mustard, pesto, garlic, sweet chilli
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Amino acids
  • Tahini (this is a sesame paste. Usually found in the peanut butter section)
  • Maple syrup
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Dijon mustard
  • Yellow mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Worcester sauce (make sure it doesn’t have anchovies)
  • Vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Sweetener  such as sucanat or sugar (sucanat is a less refined sugar)
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Corn starch or arrowroot powder (for thickening)
  • Vanilla
  • Vegan, low-fat soup cups (Dr. McDougall’s brand)

SPICES

spice bowls and spoons with variety of different spices on white background
  •  Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika and smoked paprika
  • Peppercorn mélange
  • Turmeric
  • Tarragon
  • Cayenne
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Steak seasoning
  • Bay leaf
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Just to name a few…

I wrote an entire blog on spices, Top 15 Spices in My Plant-Based Kitchen.  


CANNED FOODS

Seamless food background made of opened canned chickpeas, green sprouts, carrots, corn, peas, beans and mushrooms on white background

REFRIGERATOR FOODS

refrigerator with different healthy food
  • Hummus
  • Plant-based milk (soy, almond, rice, etc.)
  • Tofu (firm, extra firm, silken)
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Lemon juice
  • Flax meal
  • Salsa

FROZEN FOODS

frozen food section at grocery store
  • Ezekiel bread (they are kept in the freezer section of many grocery stores)
  • Hash browns
  • Fruits (like berries, etc.)
  • Chopped spinach
  • Corn nibbles
  • Green peas
  • Mixed veggies
  • Stir fry veggies
  • Pizza crusts: Sami’s Bakery Millet & Flax
  • Whole-grain bagels
  • Whole-grain buns (for bean burgers and carrot hot dogs)

Where to find recipes

Now, to put all these items to use, please check out the Recipe Section of my blog. There are over 300 delicious recipes–everything from main dishes like Vegan Nacho Supreme to desserts like Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. There’s even a Grilling Section.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

*Originally published November 09, 2015.

Helpful Articles:

I hope this plant-based diet shopping list will help get you started well on your new journey. It will be a wonderful adventure! Happy cooking and health everyone!

If you need a little help in the kitchen, take a look at our healthy cooking tips and essential plant-based kitchen tools.

About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

Grocery List PDF Download

This is a link to a downloadable Whole Food Plant-Based Diet Grocery List PDF. If meal planning is something you need a little help with, this article Plant-Based Meal Planning 101 can assist with that too.

This is an excellent 15-minute video with plant-based nutrition expert, Jeff Novick, on grocery store shopping. And, these are his 10 Simple Plant-Based Meals for Beginners.

 

 

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42 Comments

  1. I am considering a plant based way of eating, per suggestions from my daughter. She and her husband are eating this way and have nothing but good things to say. I am currently on weight watchers and I’m in a quandary over can I do this on WW, can I give up meat, eggs,cheese and all other milk based products. Can I do this with WW.

    1. There is a ‘subscribe’ button on the top right-hand side of my page. Just enter your email address to receive all my latest blogs as they are published. Thanks so much for following!

  2. Thank you so much Terri! I enjoy your articles and tips! And since the cooking summit last October, I have learned so much more about WFPB cooking and eating! Honesty, my weekly (sometimes daily) “go to” is my Instant Pot!!!! It has helped introduce easier and healthier ways to prepare our meals!! Thanks for your help and introducing it to me!!
    ❤my InstantPot❤

    1. Hi Melissa, It is wonderful to hear that you are still excited and learning so much. Yes, the InstantPot is amazing! Leslie Haas is the expert in that area, and I learned so much from her too. She’s the InstantPot Queen!

  3. I love this post, very helpful! I’m a vegetarian going vegan 🙂 I’m not sure if you’ve heard of them but for about a year now I use flavor god seasonings. They are very flavorful and I add them to all my meals! (Yes, i even bring them for when I eat out) best of all? For the size and amount you get, the price is very affordable! http://www.flavorgod.com I went to their page and asked a specialist through their web chat to clarify what seasonings are vegan friendly.
    Flavor God Specialist:
    “All Flavor God seasonings are Gluten Free and most are Vegan (not Vegan is Ranch. They are also Kosher certified and are manufactured under the supervision of the Kashruth Division of the Orthodox Union. Also, all seasonings are Paleo, except Honey BBQ, Gingerbread Cookie, Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Donut – these are the only non-paleo seasonings.”

    1. Hi Lindsay, that’s terrific! I am glad you found it useful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing it with your followers, and I hope it will helpful for many of them. Great blog! 🙂

  4. Interesting reading. Ive switched to this PB diet. But im not sure about stocking so many tins. You can buy packets of beans and soak overnight. What milk products have you tried or tested as ive stopped cows milk.

    1. Hi Shelley! I agree, soaking beans overnight is the way to go if you have time and advanced notice. I love to soak three different beans together overnight, then cook in my crockpot all day while I’m at work. Nothing better than coming home to the smells of basil, thyme, onion, garlic, and the other spices cooking with the beans. Yum! To answer your question about plant milks, I like almond milk and also use soy milk at times. Best of luck on your new plant-based journey!

      1. I am new to do this PB diet. I too work all day and it is very hard to come home to cook for an hour each night. I have always used my crock pot and love crock pot meals. Do you have any links to great recipes for the crock pot that are PB?

        1. Kelly, that’s a good question. Here are a few slower cooker recipes to get you started.
          Chili Beans https://eatplant-based.com/sunday-lunch-healthy-style/
          Hearty Vegetable Stew https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/hearty-vegetable-stew/
          Smoky Sweet Potato Chili https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/sweet-potato-chili-recipe/
          Irish White Bean Cabbage Stew https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/irish-white-bean-and-cabbage-stew/

          Happy slow cooking!

  5. I have a really big problem with the texture of beans, what can I use instead? I am thinking it is time to change my life, but am very hesitate because of the texture problems I have. Any ideas would be very much appreciated!

  6. Good suggestions but do you realize the Dr. McDougall’s soups have yeast extract, which is another form of msg?? Another reason not to buy pre made foods! A better option is to keep miso and veggie broth on hand to make a quick veggie soup.

    1. Hi Misha, I just checked the ingredients list, and there is no MSG in the variety of McDougall soup cups that I have on-hand. Also checked on Dr. McDougall’s forum where I have many friends, and there’s no discussion about MSG in the products. I do know that Dr. McDougall no longer owns the food products that carry his name, as he sold the company. I would be very interested in a link to where you found your information, if you wouldn’t mind sending it to me. And, you’re right, it’s always best to made your own when you can.

  7. Terri.
    I too am a PBN graduate. What you’ve shared here is essential and oh-so-helpful.
    Thank you.
    Mary

    1. Hi Mary! Thanks so much, and I really hope this finds its way to those just getting started with this way of health and life. So excited that T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies picked it up, because it makes that so much more likely!

  8. Hi Terri,

    This is awesome!! I am a fellow graduate of the plant-based certificate program through e-Cornell and look forward to sharing this excellent guide on my page, Whole Living Nutrition.

    Many thanks!

    Beth

    1. You’re very welcome! Thanks for stopping by, Beth! I’m going to find your page now and check it out. 😀

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