Things are pretty weird right now with the COVID-19 illness making its way across the globe. It seems as though people everywhere are frantically stockpiling their groceries in anticipation of what’s to come. Though it’s not necessary to follow suit and “stockpile”, taking the appropriate precautions and getting ready for self-isolation is certainly a wise decision.

You might be wondering why pantry & freezer meals vegan meals are necessary. Without being dramatic, the reality is that there would be nothing worse than being forced into quarantine at home and not being prepared. Additionally, it is so important to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and decrease human interaction. We should all be self-isolating, which means frequent trips to the grocery store is off the table.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed as you navigate your kitchen and decide what to have on hand, take a breath and calm yourself. The situation is already stressful enough, so I wanted to make your grocery shop easier and develop a list of items for you so you can easily make pantry and freezer only vegan meals. 

You may be surprised how many dishes you can create using pantry and freezer items only. The list below is designed for you to be able to make multiple meals out of these items. Bulk versions of these items would be the most cost effective. I want to emphasize that this list is simply for reference and I’m not suggesting that you go out and buy EVERY item. The list is just to get you thinking about what kinds of pantry & freezer only vegan meals you could make easily.

Pantry Items:

Beans & Legumes

– Dried or canned chickpeas

– Dried or canned black beans

– Dried or canned kidney beans

– Dried or canned brown lentils

– Dried or canned red lentils

– Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)

Grains

– Rolled oats

– Basmati Rice

-Brown Rice

-Quinoa

-Pasta 

-Rice noodles

Oils

-Coconut oil

-Olive oil

-Avocado oil

Baking Essentials

– Flour of your choice

– Sugar of your choice

-Baking powder

-Baking Soda

-Apple Cider Vinegar

-Cinnamon

-Vanilla extract

-Flax seeds

-Peanut butter

-Yeast

Nuts & Seeds

– Cashews

– Peanuts

– Sesame Seeds

– Sunflower seeds

– Almonds

– Hemp Hearts

-Chia Seeds

Pantry Safe Veg & Starch

– Potatoes

– Sweet potatoes

– Onions

– Garlic

-Jackfruit

-Canned corn

-Canned jalapeños

Sauces/ Liquids

-Tahini

– Salsa

– Tomato Paste

– Diced Tomatoes

– Pasta Sauce (tomato)

-Soy Sauce

-BBQ Sauce

– Vegetable broth/ Vegetable bouillon cubes

– Canned coconut milk

Herbs & Spices

– Curry powder

-Cumin

– Chili powder-

-Powdered Ginger

-Garam Masala

– Paprika

-Garlic powder

-Onion Powder

-Himalayan Salt

-Black pepper

-Taco Seasoning

-Turmeric

-Nutritional Yeast

– Taco spices

Other

-Coffee Beans

-Tortillas

-Taco Shells

-Protein powder

-Tea 

Freezer Items:

-Frozen Fruit

– Bread

– Sandwich Buns

-Store Bought Frozen Mix veg

-Frozen Broccoli 

-Spinach

– Freeze your own veggies (peppers, onion, zucchini, carrots, celery etc.)

Easy Pantry & Freezer Friendly Meal Ideas:

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese is SO easy to make. Not only is it nutritious, but it’s packed with tons of protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • Spaghetti
  • Tomato sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • Nutritional yeast*

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Prepare 1 cup of brown lentils (or use 1 can)
  2. Boil spaghetti
  3. While spaghetti is cooking, dice up onion and mince garlic
  4. Put a skillet on medium heat and sauté veggies until translucent
  5. Add cooked lentils and your choice of tomato sauce to skillet and lower heat
  6. Drain and rinse cooked spaghetti
  7. Remove sauce from heat when sauce warmed thoroughly
  8. Plate cooked pasta + add your lentil sauce and enjoy!
  9. **OPTIONAL** Sprinkle nutritional yeast over your pasta for a slightly cheesey taste

Chickpea Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Basmati Rice
  • Frozen Spinach

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Cook Basmati rice
  2. Dice onion and mince garlic
  3. Put a large pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onion, and garlic
  4. Sauté veg until translucent
  5. Add diced tomatoes and spices to pot. Stir thoroughly
  6. Let tomatoes come to a boil
  7. Add chickpeas and simmer for 10 mins stirring often
  8. Add in coconut milk and frozen spinach. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve curry over rice

Fried Rice

Fried rice is seriously one of the easiest dishes you can make and it is so tasty.

Ingredients:

  • Left over rice
  • Frozen vegetables (I like using a corn, peas, and carrot mix)
  • 1/2 a small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Left over rice from night before works best for this recipe.
  2. Cook frozen veg according to package instructions
  3. Dice onion and mince garlic, add olive oil and sauté in wok until translucent
  4. Add vegetables, soy sauce, and fried rice
  5. Once thoroughly fried, drizzle with sesame oil

Chili

If you have a slow cooker or pressure cooker, it’s a great idea to make a huge batch of this chili to freeze. What’s great about this chili is how jam packed it is with protein, carbs, and healthy fat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Fool-Proof Instructions (Slow Cooker):

  1. Dice onion and mince garlic
  2. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and the rest of ingredients to slow cooker
  3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
  4. Freeze left overs and enjoy your already prepared meals

Burrito Bowls

Burrito bowls are hands down my favourite lazy man’s dinner!

Ingredients:

  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Beans of your choice (I prefer black beans)
  • Canned corn
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion (red or yellow)
  • Bell pepper if you have it in the fridge (not necessary for this pantry only recipe)
  • Salsa
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Vegan mayo and Sriracha**

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Cook rice
  2. While rice is cooking chop onion into strips (and pepper if you have it)
  3. Add olive oil and onion to skillet on medium heat
  4. Saute for 2 minutes
  5. Add beans, soy sauce, and spices. Cook for 3 minutes
  6. Assemble bowl with rice, beans & onions mix, corn, and salsa
  7. Create a make-shift burrito sauce with vegan mayo and sriracha if you have it!

Pulled-Jackfruit Sammy’s

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Jackfruit
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce of your choice (add more if needed)
  • Water
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 bun (from freezer)

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium heat
  2. Drain jackfruit and rinse
  3. Add olive oil and jackfruit to a skillet
  4. Use 2 forks to separate jackfruit into “pulled pieces”
  5. Add paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin to skillet
  6. After 2 minutes add bbq sauce and water to thin sauce
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. Toast a sandwich bun & voila!

TVP Tacos

As an avid backpacker, I’ve learned to love TVP so much because you can easily add it to hot water and create instant protein. TVP Tacos are an easy pantry meal that taste so freaking good!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of TVP
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 red onion
  • Salsa
  • canned jalapenos
  • taco shells

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Add equal parts water and TVP to a skillet over medium heat
  2. Cook until TVP absorbs water (about 2 minutes)
  3. Add in olive oil, soy sauce & taco seasoning
  4. Cook for roughly 5 minutes
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Chop onion
  7. Drain and rinse corn
  8. Assemble tacos with TVP mixture, onion, jalapenos, corn, and salsa!

Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups frozen veg of your choice (I like celery, carrots, and onion)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups dried pasta shells
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fool-Proof Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat
  2. Add in veggies and thaw
  3. Once thawed, add garlic and saute for 3 minutes
  4. Add diced tomatoes, pasta shells, broth, and herbs
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Cook for 30 minutes
  7. Serve in your favourite soup bowl, snuggle up, and watch a movie 🙂

Closing Thoughts

I hope that these recipes/ shopping lists can help in any way as you and your family navigate this difficult time! Stay safe out there xx