long collage of food and text

After my last post (Emergency Vegan Food Supply), where I shared vegan food items to stock up on in case of an emergency, I decided to go through all the recipes I have and see if any fit the bill for using these ingredients. I found so many that do in fact use pantry staples! It was helpful for me to get them all in one place, and I hope you find it helpful too.

What are pantry staples?

Pantry staples are simply foods/ingredients that you use often, usually stored in a pantry or cupboard. Think beans, rice, flour, oats, canned tomatoes, spices, peanut butter, etc. It’s a great idea to keep some extra around for times when budgets are tight and you can whip up a quick meal.

*To be clear, I’m not suggesting you stock up on food for months, especially right now when people are panicking and stores are running out of food. Think about having two weeks of food on hand, and in the future, grab a few extra cans here and there, until you have built up a nice sized food pantry. You don’t have to buy everything all at once.*

For this particular round up of pantry staples recipes, I’ve included the use of foods that can be frozen as well, such as frozen vegetables, fruits, and even optional frozen vegan “meat” (only a few times, and it’s optional). Of course, if the power is out and you truly need to cook from non-perishable foods, you may have to sub canned vegetables and do the best you can. Many of the recipes don’t need anything from the freezer/refrigerator anyhow.

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There are quite a few recipes that call for tofu. And while I typically buy the refrigerated tofu packed in water, you can actually buy shelf stable extra firm tofu (I bought a case of 12 from Amazon) so it becomes a pantry item. Tofu packed in water can also be frozen. If you don’t have tofu, I give the option of subbing chickpeas or sometimes frozen cauliflower.

Don’t be afraid to leave out an item if you don’t have it, or use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. I have included 30 main dishes, 10 breakfasts as well as 10 easy desserts, because we all need something sweet in our lives, right? 🙂

To go to the recipe, you can click on either the photo OR the title below each photo.

Main Dish Recipes

bowl of chili with sweet potatoes, avocado and cilantro on top, grey towel and background

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

looking down on a bowl of tikka masala in turquoise bowl with white rice

Vegan Tikka Masala – may sub chickpeas for tofu, also use pinch of powdered ginger instead of fresh.

bowl of vegan mac and cheese looking down on it.

The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese – serve with frozen cooked green peas or broccoli

bowl of vegan baked mac and cheese

Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese

plate with serving of baked ziti on it, blue towel in background

Vegan Baked Ziti

lookin down on a casserole dish filled with baked beans and a spoon

The Best Vegan Baked Beans

looking down on casserole dish of vegan pot pie

Biscuit Topped Chickpea Pot Pie

close up of vegan tacos, highlighting tofu meat

Vegan Tacos with Tofu

looking down on a plate of vegan alfredo

Vegan Alfredo – Add vegan chickenless nuggets, optional or steamed frozen broccoli/peas

chickpea curry in a white bowl with rice.

20 Minute Chickpea Curry – If you don’t have curry paste, you can substitute curry powder. It’s also fine to leave out the tomatoes and basil.

close up of vegan bbq burger

Best Vegan BBQ Sandwich with Soy Curls – leave out coleslaw if you don’t have it, can always add a steamed frozen veggie as a side.

looking down on vegan curry with rice, cilantro and limes.

Easy Vegan Curry – substitute frozen vegetables for fresh

bowl of vegan chili with toppings and blue towel

Ultimate Vegan Chili – May substitute vegan ground “meat” for the tofu

looking down on a plate of tofu stir fry with rice.

Everyday Tofu Stir Fry – May substitute frozen vegetables

two plates with vegan pad thai from top with chopsticks

30 Minute Vegan Pad Thai – leave out fresh ingredients as needed, or add some frozen veggies like broccoli, carrots or peas.

bowl of vegan potato soup with a spoon

Easy Vegan Potato Soup

instant pot spaghetti, cooked twirled around a fork

Instant Pot Spaghetti

orange tofu on top of rice

Crispy Baked Orange Tofu – may also substitute chickpeas or cauliflower for the tofu

from above shot of vegan broccoli cheese soup

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup

vegan sloppy joe on a board

Vegan Sloppy Joes – may leave out green pepper if you don’t have it

chickpea tuna salad sandwich on a plate

The Best and Easiest Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwiches – leave out celery if needed

Hand holding instant pot vegan burritos

Vegan Burritos – leave out red pepper and kale if you don’t have it

Vegan Teriyaki Noodle Bowls

bowl of tomato soup with croutons and a gold spoon in it

Easy Vegan Tomato Soup

turquoise bowls with cauliflower soup with fresh thyme, white marble background

Vegan Cauliflower Soup

cooked pot of vegan lentil soup

Everyday Vegan Lentil Soup – could leave out carrots and celery, use frozen spinach

ladle with black bean soup taken from big pot

Black Bean Soup – leave out carrots and celery if needed

white bowl filled with vegan corn chowder.

Vegan Corn Chowder – may leave out red pepper, use canned or frozen corn

close up of vegan buddha bowl

Vegan Buddha Bowl – a great way to use whatever you have! Substitute beans, leave out tofu, use frozen vegetables

vegan meatloaf on a wooden board with parsley

The Best Vegan Meatloaf – may leave out carrots and celery if needed

Breakfast Recipes

close up of a half of avocado toast sprinkled with red pepper and salt

Simple Avocado Toast – I have bread frozen, and if you buy avocados still green they will last a quite a while. Store them in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.

jar of vegan overnight oats with blueberries and walnuts

Simple Overnight Oats

vegan waffles stacked with berries, whip and syrup.

Vegan Waffles

stack of vegan pancakes with a large piece cut out, showing insides

Simple Vegan Pancakes

from the side photo of vegan banana pancakes.

Fluffy Vegan Banana Pancakes

several muffins with banana in background.

Quick & Easy Vegan Banana Muffins

vegan banana bread from side

Easy Vegan Banana Bread

vegan blueberry muffin cut in half to show insides

1 Bowl Vegan Blueberry Muffins – Use frozen blueberries, or even non-dairy chocolate chips

close up of vegan donuts with blue towel in background

Cinnamon Sugar Vegan Donuts

tofu scramble on a plate with avocado, tomato and toast

The Best Tofu Scramble

Simple Dessert Recipes

3 stacked vegan brownies recipe

Best Ever Vegan Brownies

vegan peanut butter swirl brownies in a row

Vegan Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

tall stack ofOil Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate cookie broken in half on top of whole cookies

Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Cookies

chocolate vegan mug cake with a spoonful taken out

Chocolate Vegan Mug Cake

stack of vegan raspberry bars

Vegan Raspberry Bars – You can use any jam you have: strawberry or apricot are good choices

stack of chocolate chip cookies, a few broken in half showing melted chocolate.

Perfect Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies 

showing a close up bite of chocolate peanut butter bar

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

slice of vegan chocolate cake on a plate

The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake

fork taking a bite of vegan coffee cake and blue towel

Vegan Coffee Cake




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  1. Made the baked ziti tonight. Loved the cashew cheese sauce! A recipe the whole family enjoyed! Thank you for keeping your recipes simple enough and oh so good!

  2. For the Alfredo sauce, can cashews or cauliflower be substitute with white beans? What is the difference between silken tofu and regular one with water? Can you use silken tofu in curry?

    1. You probably could sub white beans for the cashews, but the sauce will taste quite different. Silken tofu tend to be less firm and soft, but you can use it in curry.

  3. Thank you for this list. Several of these recipes are already in my regular rotation, so it’s great to know what substitutions I can make if needed.
    Wishes of health to all & I hope everyone stays safe out there!

    1. Thanks Hayley! Yes, it’s good to get a little crafty right now and make substitutions when needed. 🙂

  4. Thank you so much Nora for all of these amazing recipes and grocery pantry list. It is helpful having a food list with recipes for quick easy meal planning. I will be using this as part of my every day meal planning regardless of what is happening around us. The recipes look fabulous, can’t wait to try them. Be safe and stay well!

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