15 Easy Vegan Pantry Recipes

When you can’t get to the grocery store, here are 15 Easy Vegan Pantry Recipes to try! But don’t think we’re just eating plain beans and rice. These easy vegan dinner ideas are exciting, fun, and packed with flavor!

When I ask “what kind of recipes do you want to see?”, one of the most popular responses is “recipes that can be made with everyday pantry ingredients.”

Especially, at a time like now, having recipes made with exclusively or mostly pantry recipes can be a godsend, so today I’m sharing 15 Vegan Pantry Recipes!

The full recipes are linked below: click the link or the corresponding photo to be taken to the recipe.

If the recipe requires some modifications to make it a pantry-only recipe, I’ve included the modifications down below.

15 Easy Vegan Pantry Recipes

1. Caramelized Onion Pasta

Vegan Caramelized Onion Pasta

This 9-Ingredient Vegan Caramelized Onion Pasta is bursting with umami from quick-caramelized onions, tomato paste, sundried tomatoes, and a handful of other pantry staples. Easy enough for weeknight dinners and loved by vegans and omnivores alike!
Check out this recipe
Vegan Caramelized Onion Pasta

2. Indian Spiced Beluga Lentils

Indian-Spiced Black Beluga Lentils

Give lentils an upgrade with Indian spices and aromatics! Just sauté onions, garlic, ginger, chile peppers and Indian spices before adding black Beluga lentils to the Instant Pot. The lentils remain somewhat firm but they’re cooked in a soft, gravy-like mixture so you get the best of both worlds.
Check out this recipe

Note: this is “recipe #2” in the blog post.

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Don’t have fresh ginger or green chilies? Omit them!

  • You can also swap the Beluga Lentils with French Green Lentils.

3. Instant Pot Tomato-Fennel Chickpeas with Brown Rice

Instant Pot Fennel, Chickpea, and Brown Rice Stew

This Instant Pot Chickpea and Brown Rice Stew is a complete, balanced meal and is so simple - just add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and dinner will be waiting for you! Healthy, vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free, and soy-free.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Fennel, Chickpea, and Brown Rice Stew

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Omit the fennel. It’s my favorite part, but if you’re quarantined to your apartment and can’t go out to get fennel, it’ll be fine. If you have fennel seeds, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of them.

  • Replace the fresh thyme with dried thyme (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons).

  • Omit the greens at the end. Sorry, the greens have to go!

4. 10 Ingredient Vegan Red Lentil Bolognese

10-Ingredient Lentil Bolognese

This 10-Ingredient Lentil Bolognese is hearty, meaty, and packed with umami but 100% wholesome, vegan, and gluten-free. And it’s made with just 10 main ingredients—all pantry staples!
Check out this recipe
red lentil bolognese twirling on a fork

5. Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowl

Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls

Gourmet but easy to make, these Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls are packed with fiber and protein and are great for weeknight dinners as well as meal prep.
Check out this recipe
Mediterranean Lentil and Grain Bowls

6. One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac

One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac

A protein-packed chili meets pasta in this One-Pot Vegan Chili Mac! Easy and quick and made with simple ingredients, this is a perfect hearty weeknight-friendly and budget-friendly dinner! Easy to make gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free.
Check out this recipe
close up shot of finished dish

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, substitute the tempeh and mushrooms with an additional can of beans.

7. Spiced Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

Instant Pot Spiced Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

A creamy Indian-spiced soup that’s naturally creamy from red lentils and sweet potatoes, and made super simple thanks to the Instant Pot. With warming spices like garam masala and turmeric, this is a healthy yet hearty meal that’ll give you all the cozy vibes.
Check out this recipe
Indian-spiced red lentil sweet potato soup with bread

Technically, sweet potatoes might not be a pantry staple for everyone, but they have a really long shelf life so I always keep them in pantry.

8. Instant Pot White Bean Stew

Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

A dump-and-go Instant Pot recipe that couldn’t be simpler! This Instant Pot White Bean Stew is healthy, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and has no added oil. And it comes together with zero hands-on cooking!
Check out this recipe
Vegan Instant Pot White Bean Stew

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Omit the celery

  • Replace the fresh parsley and thyme in the bouquet garni with dried thyme (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons). I think dried parsley has no flavor so I would use dried oregano instead (about 1 teaspoon)

  • Omit the gremolata topping, as it contains parsley. But I think it’s worth grating lemon zest and garlic on top of the stew. Definitely squeeze some fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil on top before serving (omit the latter if you’re oil-free, obvi).

9. Vegan Italian White Bean and Pasta Stew

Vegan Italian White Bean and Pasta Stew

This Vegan Italian White Bean and Pasta Stew is rustic Italian comfort food at its finest. Creamy and saucy and packed with flavor, but also easy and fuss-free. Made with all pantry ingredients, it’s budget-friendly and perfect for weeknight dinners.
Check out this recipe
Vegan Italian White Bean and Pasta Stew

10. Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans - a remake of a classic dish, veganized and made simple in the Instant Pot. Made with affordable ingredients and made in a flash with the Instant Pot, so it’s perfect for easy weeknight dinners and meal prep.
Check out this recipe
Vegan Instant Pot Mexican Rice and Beans

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Omit the green bell peppers.

  • Don’t have cilantro? Leave it out of the garnish.

11. Creamy White Beans with Kale and Wild Rice

Creamy White Beans with Kale and Wild Rice

Creamy White Beans with Kale and Wild Rice - a simple yet flavorful meal for those busy weeknight dinners. Made with wholesome everyday ingredients, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free but doesn't skimp on flavor.
Check out this recipe
ceramic bowl on pink backdrop with creamy white beans and kale served over wild rice

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Omit the kale (sad, I know). But if you have frozen greens in the fridge, you can try adding those!

  • Substitute the 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves with 1 teaspoon dried thyme.

12. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

This is the easiest and most delicious chickpea salad ever!
Check out this recipe
bowl of marinated chickpeas with parsley and lemon

Note: this is the second recipe in the blog post.

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Omit the parsley at the end.

15. Spicy Mexican Kidney Beans (“Frijoles”)

Spicy Mexican Kidney Beans

A spicy version of Frijoles that requires absolutely no hands-on cooking.
Check out this recipe
Mexican-spiced kidney beans or frijoles in a bowl with cilantro

Note: this is the first recipe in the blog post.

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, do the following:

  • Don’t have jalapeño peppers? Omit them. For heat, add a few pinches of cayenne pepper.

  • Don’t have cilantro? Omit it at the end.

14. 10 Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta

10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta

This 10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta is made with just a handful of everyday pantry staples and it’ll quickly become part of your regular easy weeknight dinner rotation. It’s creamy, cheesy, and smoky and indulgent yet healthy, and guaranteed to be a crowd pleasing meal.
Check out this recipe
10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta

15. Chana Masala

Vegan Chana Masala

5 from 1 vote
This vegan Instant Pot Chana Masala is packed with authentic Indian flavor and rivals any restaurant dish, but is easy and quick to make. Stovetop instructions included.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Diet Vegan
Keyword: chickpea, gluten-free, indian recipes, instant pot, nut-free, soy-free
Serving size: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 (15-ounce / 440g) cans of chickpeas OR 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) dried chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or neutral cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly minced or grated ginger
  • 1-2 serrano peppers*, minced
  • 3 bay leaves

Ground Spices

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Indian red chili powder (use less for a less spicy version)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (14.5-ounce / 410g) can diced or whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 mL) vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • For serving: Basmati rice and/or Indian flatbread

Instructions

  • If you are using dried chickpeas, place them in a large bowl and soak in cold water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain, rinse, and set aside. If you are using canned chickpeas, open the cans, drain and rinse.
  • On the Instant Pot, select the Sauté setting. Add the oil and once it is shimmering, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. They might sputter a bit so stand back. After 30 seconds, add the diced onion and cook, stirring frequently until the onion starts to brown, 6-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, Serrano peppers, and bay leaves and stir to combine until garlic is golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the Ground Spices and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to prevent the mixture from drying out and/or burning.
  • Stir in the salt, canned tomatoes, canned or soaked dried chickpeas, and vegetable broth or water. Stir well to combine. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the Pressure Release valve to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting on the Instant Pot and set to high pressure for 8 minutes (for canned chickpeas) or 35 minutes (for soaked, dried chickpeas).
  • Once the timer is up, allow the Instant Pot to come to a natural pressure release. It should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Open the pot and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro, and season to taste. Serve over Basmati rice and/or with Indian flatbread.

Notes

* For a mild version, omit the seeds and membranes and use just one pepper (or use a jalapeño pepper). For a moderately spicy version, use 2 peppers and omit the seeds and membranes. For a spicy version, use two peppers and keep half or most of the seeds intact.

Note: you’ll find links for cooking this dish via instant pot and via stovetop at the link.

To make this a fully pantry-only meal, follow the instructions for the Recipe Notes on the “strict pantry” version.

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4 comments on 15 Easy Vegan Pantry Recipes

  1. Jolie

    Thanks you for the variety of recipes…I do not know if it is common amongst vegans but I do not like chickpeas or lentils, so it is refreshing to have other options. :-)

  2. Tamara Styer

    You are a joy to me each day! I absolutely love you, your channel, your IG and your book! Thank you for today’s email, as it brightened my day, and I love these pantry ideas! I hope this can help brighten everyone’s day as it has mine! Even non-vegans can learn how to make pantry meals while stores are out of stock! Thank you, Nisha, you are a beautiful soul, and I’m going to write about you in my magazine! Love and health to you and yours! <3

  3. Stephanie Cavallaro

    How very thoughtful of you! Thank you so much!

  4. Dafna

    Fantastic choices.Thank you 🙏

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