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Looking for a vegetarian grocery list to make shopping easier? If you’re new to a vegetarian diet, it can be hard to imagine what you’ll eat for every meal. But stocking your kitchen with fresh, delicious, plant-based ingredients can be a great motivator. Use this list as a guide to help you stock your kitchen and get excited about your next meal.

What’s Included In A Vegetarian Diet?

A vegetarian diet eliminates meat, fish, and poultry and instead focuses on foods derived from plants. You’ll eat fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

A standard vegetarian diet excludes the following foods:

  • Red meat, like steak
  • Poultry, like chicken
  • Fish, like red snapper

Some vegetarian diets may vary in what they include. Here are a few popular variations:

  • Lacto-vegetarian. This excludes meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and foods that contain them. Dairy products, like milk and cheese, are included.
  • Ovo-vegetarian. This excludes meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products but includes eggs.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian. This excludes meat, fish, and poultry. It includes dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarian. This diet excludes meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs but includes fish.
  • Vegan. A vegan diet excludes all animal products and by-products including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, honey, and gelatin.1

Nutrition For Vegetarians

vegetarian grocery list | Unify Health

Without putting thought into it, a vegetarian diet isn’t inherently good for you. After all, a meal of soda, nachos, and skittles is technically vegetarian. To ensure you’re eating in a way that’s going to support your overall health, it’s important to eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Here are a few tips for healthy vegetarian eating:

  • Mix up the colors you eat. Eat a variety of foods to make sure you’re getting a range of nutrients. A good rule of thumb is to make your plate colorful during every meal. For example, most leafy greens will give you vitamins A, C, E, and K.2 Certain orange foods, like yams and carrots, are excellent sources of beta-carotene.3 Many red-colored fruits and veggies will give you lycopene, which supports heart health.4 Keep it colorful and enjoy the health benefits.5
  • Try to include protein in most of your meals. Higher-protein diets can make you feel full, and support weight loss and muscle growth. There are a ton of plant-based protein options out there. Seitan, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas, and green peas are a few examples, and the list goes on.6
  • Go for whole grains over refined grains. Whole grains, like brown rice and quinoa, have nutrients like fiber, iron, and B vitamins that may be stripped out of refined grains like white pasta.7
  • Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B-12. Since B-12 is mainly found in meat, eggs, and dairy products, vegetarians are at a risk for deficiency. Consuming dairy products, eggs, fortified cereals, and nutritional yeast can help.8

It’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor and make sure you’re getting enough of the essential nutrients. If you have any deficiencies, they can help you come up with a plan that aligns with your diet.

Ideas For A Vegetarian Grocery List

With those general guidelines in mind, here are some ingredients to add to your grocery list.


vegetarian shopping list | Unify Health

When you follow a plant-based diet, vegetables are the main event. Fill up your grocery basket with a mix of veggies that you’ll prepare in different ways so you can create an exciting meal plan.

For example, grab some kale to chop up for a salad. Pick up some asparagus to throw on the grill. Stock up on sweet potatoes that you can roast, load up with goodies, and eat as a main course. With different types of vegetable ingredients on hand, you’ll never feel like you don’t have anything good to eat at your next meal.

Here are some ideas for your grocery list:

Leafy Greens

  • leafy greens | Unify HealthArugula
  • Beet greens
  • Bok choy
  • Cabbage
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • ​Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Watercress

Other Vegetables

  • ​Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • artichoke broccoli eggplant | Unify HealthBrussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Parsnip
  • ​Peas
  • sweet potatoes | Unify HealthPotatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Radicchio
  • Shallots
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip
  • Zucchini


vegetarian grocery list | Unify Health

When you make your vegetarian shopping list, include some fruits you can snack on and others that you’ll cut up for salads. Dried fruits can be a great vegetarian snack. Just be sure to avoid those with added sugar. If you enjoy smoothies, bags of frozen fruit can be a convenient thing to pick up at the store too.

Here are some ideas:

Fruits To Snack On

  • cherries | Unify HealthApples
  • Apricots
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Nectarines
  • ​Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Plums

Fruits To Pile On Your Cereal Or Oatmeal

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwis
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Fruits To Cut Up For Salads

  • avocado seed | Unify HealthAvocado
  • Green apples
  • Pears
  • Pomegranate
  • Tomatoes

Frozen Fruits To Add To Smoothies

  • Bags of frozen mixed berries, peaches, or pitted grapes

Dried Fruits To Snack On

  • Dried mango
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried apples
  • Dried figs
  • Dried coconut pieces
  • Dried bananas

Whole Grains, Cereals, And Starches

whole grains | Unify Health

Whole grains are a staple of most healthy vegetarian diets. Grains can give you essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also give you complex carbohydrates that provide you with long-lasting energy.9,10

Some grains, like quinoa, teff, and farro, are good sources of protein. Legumes like beans, lentils, and chickpeas can also give you protein, fiber, and nutrients.11,12

Whole Grains

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • various whole grains | Unify HealthCorn, cornflakes
  • ​Farro
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Rice cakes
  • Rye
  • ​Spelt
  • Steel-cut oats
  • Wheat
  • Whole grain bread/rolls
  • Whole grain flour
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Wild rice

Refined Grains

  • ​Anything made from white flour
  • Couscous
  • Pasta
  • Seitan
  • Tortillas
  • White bread
  • White rice


  • Bean sprouts
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • legumes | Unify HealthCannellini beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • ​Fava beans
  • Green beans
  • Hummus
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Red beans
  • Snow peas
  • Split peas
  • Sugar snap peas
  • White beans

Dairy Products

dairy products | Unify Health

If you’re a vegetarian who chooses to eat dairy products, you may find this list useful when stocking up at the grocery store. Some dairy products, like milk, contain high levels of calcium, vitamin D, and B-12, which are all nutrients you’ll want to seek out if you’re on a vegetarian diet.13

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • String cheese
  • Butter

According to your preferences, you may also choose to include some dairy substitutes like:

  • vegan milk | Unify HealthAlmond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Cashew cheese
  • Vegan ice cream (almond)
  • Vegan sour cream

Healthy Fats And Oils

olive oil consumption | Unify Health

Contrary to popular opinion, fats are not something to fear or avoid. Your body needs dietary fat to produce energy, absorb vitamins, and support a healthy heart and brain. To stay healthy, you’ll want to consume monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.14

You’ll use fats and oils to cook meals with, add as flavor boosters, or (in the case of nuts or seeds) eat alone as a snack. Here are some healthy fats to add to your grocery list:


  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame Oil

assorted nuts | Unify Health


  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts


  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • ​Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • ​Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

nut butters | Unify Health

Butters From Nuts And Seeds

  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • ​Macadamia nut butter
  • Peanut butter
  • ​Sunflower seed butter
  • Tahini

Herbs And Spices

Herbs and spices can change the flavor profile of any meal. Consider a meal prepared with garlic, basil, salt, and pepper versus a meal prepared with lemongrass and lime – totally different. Try experimenting with different combinations in your recipes.

Here are some ideas to add to your shopping list:

  • Basil
  • Bay leaf
  • Chili powder
  • Chives
  • herbs and spices | Unify HealthCilantro
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • ​Dill
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Lemongrass
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Peppermint
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Salt
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

Condiments, Sweeteners, And Flavor Boosters


  • BBQ sauce
  • Curry paste
  • condiments | Unify HealthHarissa
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Lemon juice
  • Miso paste
  • ​Mustard
  • Relish
  • Salsa
  • Coconut aminos
  • Vegan mayo
  • Vinegar (Rice, Balsamic, Apple Cider Vinegar, etc.)
  • Wasabi


  • Agave syrup
  • Coconut sugar
  • Date syrup
  • ​Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Stevia

Meat Substitutes

beyond meat | Unify Health

If you’re new to a vegetarian diet or you prefer to have a meat-like main ingredient in your dishes, you may choose to pick up some meat substitutes. Meat substitutes are typically made with wheat gluten or textured vegetable protein. They can make a great addition to your vegetarian grocery list.

The following foods can be found as vegetarian options:

  • Burgers
  • “Chicken” strips
  • Deli slices
  • ​Hot dogs
  • “Meat”balls
  • Nuggets
  • ​Sausages
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh bacon
  • Textured vegetable protein

Creating Your Own Grocery List And Meal Plan

If you’re new to a vegetarian diet, you may have the most success if you do some meal planning. Picking out exciting recipes and stocking your kitchen with the ingredients you’ll need can help you stay on track. Try a lot of different items, branch out and experiment with new things, and remember to treat yourself every now and then.

Learn More:
Feeling Tired And Sluggish After Lunch? Ways To Beat The Afternoon Energy Slump
What Craving Sugar And Salt May Mean: How Blood Sugar Levels Can Affect Junk Food Cravings
How Important Is Fasting? Are There Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting?