12 Must-Have Vegan Pantry Staples for Lent

What do I cook for lent? What vegan items do I need in my pantry?! Look no further, we got your covered! These must-have 12 vegan pantry staples are your arsenal to pull a vegan meal together that feeds a hungry crowd in no more than 30 minutes of active cooking time. Bonus: In this post, find links to no-fail recipes to use our recommended staples. 

What is Lent

In Christian faith, Lent is the period that precedes Easter. The tradition of lent differs among Christian congregations. In orthodox faith in general, and in my coptic church,  Christian Egyptian in specific, lent means abstaining from animal products and observing a strict vegan diet, which could be challenging to some.

What to shop and Cook during Lent 

To carnivores, lent is a radical lifestyle change that is not always easy to adjust to. The absence of animal protein for 55 days, triggers a nagging sense of hunger, which requires creativity from home-cooks to overcome it.

It wasn’t long ago when I too was struggling with meal plans during the 55 days of lent or orthodox fasting, yet this list of vegan pantry staples, which I put together here, is a sanity saver and always comes in handy.

Print out this list of vegan pantry staples, or save it on your home screen. It will come in handy when you are totally out of ideas what to buy or what to cook today for your fasting crowd?!


  • Shop online Vegan Pantry Staples

To spare you the toggling time among websites, each listed vegan pantry staple here is linked to Amazon Online shop so you can immediately add the desired items to your cart. We take a commission of qualified purchases at no additional cost to you.

  • No-Fail Vegan Recipes Are One Click Away Here👇

To save you time looking for recipes to use those vegan pantry staples, each vegan pantry staple on this list, is linked to no-fail, easy and quick recipes.

List of Ingredients & Recipes 

  • Pasta

Pasta in all shapes and forms can save the day, when you need to prepare a filling meatless meal in 20 minutes flat.

If you opt for more vitamins and probably less carb, I suggest that you try gluten free pasta or natural noodles made from carrot, beet, and spinach to make this delicious recipe of Mushrooms Fettuccini.

Beet Pasta in Mushroom Cognac Sauce
Mushrooms Fettuccini. Photo Credit: Chez Nermine
  •  lentils

Lentils are packed with nutrients such as fibre, folate and potassium. They are also a filling option and a great substitute for animal protein.

Orange lentils that are GMO free is my go-to to make scrumptious and quick Egyptian lentil soup.

Spicy Lentil Soup Topped with Toasted Bread
Photo Credit: Chez Nermine

Black lentils are excellent to whip up a nutritious Black Lentil Salad or to make Egyptian Kushari (aka Koshari, koshary), the iconic Egyptian street food, that has heaps of rice, vermicelli, pasta, and black lentils, topped with fried onions, fiery tomato sauce and a garlic vinegar sauce. 

PS: Lentils must be soaked in hot water for at least one hour.

Egyptian Kushari (rice, lentils, pasta, fried onions and tomato sauce)
Egyptian Koshari. Photo Credit: Chez Nermine
  • Tomato Cans, Tomato juice & Tomato paste

Whether it is tomato juice, whole tomato in cans or tomato paste, all of them are fundamental cooking assets for vegan cooking. They add a much needed acid kick to plain veggies, carbs and legumes. They also make an excellent base of delicious sauces and soups such as a scrumptious vegan tomato basil soup.

Basil Tomato Soup
Photo Credit: Canva
  • Mushrooms cans

Mushrooms in cans is a legit substitute for fresh mushrooms that have a short fridge life. Sauté them with some crushed garlic and chopped onions, sprinkle some dry herbs, such as thyme or oregano, and then use them as topping for pizza, focaccia or pasta.

  • Beans Cans

Being an excellent source of fiber and protein, Bean cans save your time. No need for overnight soaking and cooking. Opt for a good quality of bean cans, preferably organic. My go-to are kidney beans, and cannellini beans. Rinse them well under tap water, add a can of corn and make this delicious trio bean salad. Another easy breakfast, or dinner could be a fava beans salsa, all you need is a can of Egyptian Fava beans.

  • Dry chickpeas

Dry chickpeas are a significant asset in your pantry. Soak them overnight and then use them the second day in making falafel vegan patties, hummus or Halabesa, the delicious, spicy, vegan and easy Egyptian soup.

Vegan Chickpeas Soup
Photo Credit: Chez Nermine
  • Split Fava Beans

Split Fava Beans are soaked overnight and then turned into a luscious Egyptian Green Dip known as Bissara or Bosara or blended with herbs and fried to make Egyptian Falafel (Ta’ameya).

  • Corn Flour

Corn flour is an excellent gluten-free thickening agent, and a vegan and dairy-free substitute for cream to make vegan sauces and desserts. I use it all the time during lent to make desserts, such as Faux Coconut-Apricot Pannacotta or Vegan Triple Chocolate pudding.

  • Tahini Paste

Tahini paste is a superfood as it  acts as an antioxidant and helps lower inflammation in the body. It is also a one versatile vegan ingredient that will jazz up many of your sour and sweet recipes. Try Beet Baba Ghanouj, by my blog guest Samar, who said she created an interesting twist on the classic Egyptian dip.

Tahini Paste
Photo Credit: Canva
  • Zaatar blend

Zaatar Blend is a mix of dry thyme, marjoram, oregano. Some Za’atar variations include spices such as cumin, coriander and sumac. Given the enzymes of the dry herbs,  it is widely believed, that it sharpens human focus, boosts the immune system and mood.

Za’atar could be a dry rub for vegetables, or a topping for a flatbread “manakeesh”. Try this healthy, low calorie, low carb Za’atar Manakeesh.

  • Non Dairy Milk

Non Dairy milk such as cashew milk, oat milk, almond milk or coconut milk  has a much longer shelf life. Use these no dairy options as a substitute for regular milk in smoothies and desserts such as our  Triple Chocolate Vegan Pudding or Vegan Kunafa Tarts (also known as Kataifi or Kunafeh).

Kunafa mini tarts filled with coconut pudding and filled with mango slices.
Vegan Mini Kunafeh Tart Filled with Coconut Pudding
  • Cocoa Powder

We all need that kick of cocoa! Opt for the best cocoa powder you can put your hands on. My personal favorite is Hershey’s and I have been using it for years in baking, smoothies, desserts, just name it!

Mix it with some non dairy milk and corn flour in a blender and then whisk over low heat until it becomes a pudding.  Adding some dark chocolate chips and a dash of cinnamon won’t hurt.

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Comment, Like and Share

Now, it is your turn to tell us, what is your go-to Vegan pantry Staples?!  Would love to read your comments.

Please share this article with your friends who are interested in vegan food.

For More Vegan Meals Inspiration Check:

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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