WFPB Kitchen Staples

By: Jane Birch

Below is a list of possible whole food, plant-based (WFPB) kitchen staples and useful tools. This should give you a good idea of the types of ingredients people use when cooking WFPB. You do not need a fully stocked kitchen to go WFPB. Start simply with the recipes and ingredients you like!

When buying products, look for 100% plant-based, with very little or no oil, sugar, salt or chemicals.


  • Various fresh, frozen and canned fruits
  • Lemon/lime juice (for cooking)


  • Various fresh, frozen and canned vegetables
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Tomato paste, tomato puree, and/or tomato sauce


  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn meal / polenta
  • Millet
  • Oats (old-fashioned rolled or steel cut)
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt berries (farro)
  • Wheat
  • Whole grain flours, such as whole wheat, whole spelt, or brown rice flour
  • Whole grain pasta, such as whole wheat, brown rice or soba [buckwheat] noodles
  • Whole grain foods, such as bread, tortillas, pita or flatbreads

LEGUMES (dry or canned)

  • Beans
    • Adzuki
    • Black
    • Cannellini (white kidney)
    • Chickpeas (garbanzo)
    • Kidney
    • Mung
    • Navy
    • Pinto
    • Soy
    • White
    • Refried beans (no fat added)
  • Lentils (red, brown, French, etc.)
  • Peas (black-eyed peas, split, etc.)

NUTS AND SEEDS (Use in small quantities. Best kept in fridge if not used quickly.)

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Chia
  • Flax (must be ground before eating to get the nutrients; always keep ground seeds in refrigerator)
  • Pecans
  • Poppy
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame
  • Walnuts


  • Basil
  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander seed
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Dill seeds/weed
  • Dried chilies
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger (ground)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Red pepper (crushed flakes)
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Smoked paprika
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric (ground)


  • BBQ sauce (vegan)
  • Hot sauce (Sriracha, Tabasco, chipotle)
  • Mustard (different varieties)
  • Jelly (with no added sugar)
  • Ketchup (with natural ingredients)
  • Salsa (fresh or cooked)
  • Soy Sauce (low sodium soy sauce or Tamari and/or Bragg Liquid Aminos)
  • Sweetners (use in small quantities, less than 5% of total calories a day, then it doesn’t matter much which you choose): agave, brown rice syrup, date syrup, honey, maple syrup, blackstrap molasses , raw sugar, stevia, table sugar


  • Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • Arrowroot powder or corn starch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa or carob powder
  • Dried fruits (raisins, dates, apricots, apples, prunes, etc.). Can keep in fridge.
  • Non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, oat). Look for whole ingredients and no oil or chemicals added). You can also make yourself.
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Pasta sauce
  • Soy foods (traditional soy foods, no highly processed soy products): tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso paste
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vegetable stock (liquid, cubes, or powder—no added oil, preferably low sodium or no salt added).
  • Vinegar (apple cider vinegar, balsamic, rice, etc.)

Useful Cooking Tools

The starred (*) items are the essentials. To save money, start with what you have until you figure out what will be useful in the long-term.

  • *Cutting board (plastic and/or wood)
  • *Knives (good quality)
  • *Measuring cups, cooking utensils
  • *Non-stick pots and pans (see suggestions here)
  • Blender
  • Citrus press/juicer
  • Food processor
  • Grater
  • Immersion blender
  • Non-dairy milk maker
  • Parchment paper (non-stick paper for baking)
  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot
  • Rice cooker
  • Scissors
  • Spatulas
  • Tongs
  • Vegetable steamer
  • Vegetable peeler

More advice on cooking tools

More WFPB Food Resources

Last updated April 7, 2017