This staple grocery list shows you 10 items to add to your shopping list each week to create healthy and nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
One of my goals here at SQ is to simplify healthy living for you. I want to share the things that I've learned over the years so that I can make your life a little bit easier. I do that through recipes of course, but also articles like this. Where I bring you behind the scenes into my life and get the hacks I use to make this life maintainable (and sustainable).
I know that grocery shopping can be pretty overwhelming at times. But it doesn't have to be!
Today I'm sharing my staple grocery list with you and walk you through the 10 things that you'll find in my grocery cart every single week. These items are healthy, they're budget-friendly and they can be used a bunch of different ways!
My Staple Grocery List
Okay, let's get to do it. What do I buy every single week? Initially, it was hard to narrow down, but once I really thought about it I realized that the 1o items I have below are in constant rotation in my house. I'm able to build healthy balanced meals with them (plus a few items from my pantry) and I can use them in a lot of different ways.
I'm breaking down the list by ingredient (or category) and will also share how I like to use them. So let's dive in!
The one item I probably go through the most is spinach. I buy a 1lb box of spinach at least once per week to fuel me for my morning smoothie bowls. Spinach is my favorite because it has the most mellow taste, it's easy on my system, it blends super well and it's packed with amazing nutrients. I usually add about 3 cups of greens into my morning smoothies, but will also use spinach in other ways like omelets/scrambles, salads, sauteed as a side, with pasta, etc.
My favorite spinach recipes:
- Mango Matcha Green Smoothie
- Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- One Pot Lentils + Quinoa with Spinach
- Warm Lentil Salad with Spinach & Quinoa
- Spinach & Artichoke Quinoa Pizza
Since I'm more of the spinach hoarder in our house, I also always pick up a few bunches of kale each week. Matt doesn't eat a ton of greens, so I like to make sure that we have some greens at dinner. Our favorite way to make them is as a side. We quickly steam the kale leaves, then toss them with lemon, garlic, salt and pepper flakes. It's so easy, but it's delicious! And just like spinach, you can use kale a million different ways. Any of the ways I mentioned above totally work.
My favorite kale recipes:
- Asian Kale Quinoa Salad
- Creamy Kale Salad with Smoky Tempeh Croutons
- Sweet Potato + Kale Spring Rolls
- Loaded Winter Kale Salad with Lentils
- Tuscan Kale & White Bean Stew
- Quinoa Breakfast Tacos with Kale & Butternut Squash
In addition to greens at our meals, I also always add other veggies. I'm a firm believer that our plates should be made up of mostly vegetables, with the addition of protein, healthy fats and carbs. This is definitely a category in my staple grocery list that rotates, but if I had to narrow my list down to just one veggie, it would be broccoli. I love it and always have and it's something you can get year round. My favorite way to prepare it is roasted with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. So simple, but absolutely delicious. Broccoli is also delicious steamed with lemon and nutritional yeast, as well as incorporated into other meals like salads, pasta, pizza, etc.
My favorite broccoli recipes:
- Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad
- Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Burgers
- Roasted Broccoli Chowder
- Vegan Quinoa Broccoli Tots
- Roasted Leek & Broccoli Quinoa Salad
- Broccoli Quinoa Mac and Cheese
- Almond Butter Thai Quinoa Salad
4. Sweet Potato
My love for sweet potatoes runs deep. They're probably one of my all-time favorite foods and one we absolutely eat weekly (even in the summer). Sweet potatoes are incredibly good for you; they're high in vitamin A, fiber, they're low on the glycemic index and they're a complex carbohydrate which means they take longer to digest. They also taste amazing! I usually just roast sweet potatoes and serve them as a side dish, but they're incredibly versatile. You can add them into soups and chili, into salads, serve them as a main course, and more.
My favorite sweet potato recipes:
- Life Changing Sweet Potato Pizza Crust
- 5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Fritters
- Vegan Sweet Potato Tots
- Healthy Omega-3 Sweet Potato Waffles
- Chili Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Nachos
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Chili
- Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
I think pretty much the whole world is obsessed with avocado at this point and I'm not different. I've actually loved avocado ever since I was a baby; it was one of the first foods my parents gave me and I've loved it ever since. At this point, I probably eat at least 2 – 3 avocados each week! I love it on top of toast, in my salads, in my smoothies, as a snack. You really can't go wrong! Plus, avocado is super good for you. It's high in fiber, it's full of healthy fats, it's amazing for your skin and it's great for brain health. Doesn't hurt that it tastes delicious too! ????
My favorite avocado recipes:
- Avocado Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles
- Chilled Avocado & Zucchini Soup
- Cucumber Avocado Quinoa Salad
- Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles
- Spicy Mango Guacamole
- Healthy Avocado Mousse (3 Ways)
6. Plant-Based Protein
So far we've covered greens, veggies, carbs, and healthy fats. Now it's time for the protein! This is a category that I actually switch out every single week. Sometimes I'll pick up tempeh, other times it will be tofu or beans. I like to rotate my proteins so that we can keep things interesting and not focus too heavily on one specific ingredient. While I don't eat soy a ton, the soy that I do buy needs to be organic, non-GMO and preferably sprouted/fermented. Beans are also organic, non-GMO and in BPA-free cans.
My favorite high protein vegan dinners:
- Balsamic Tempeh & Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls
- Vegan “Chicken” Salad Bowls
- Barbecue Grilled Pineapple & Tofu Kebabs
- Crispy Tofu Tacos with Lime Crema
- Sesame Tofu Quinoa Bowls
- Vegan White Bean Mushroom Soup
- Black Bean Quinoa Fajita Bowls
For flavoring my food, I love to have lemons on hand. We use them as a garnish to our vegetables, but I also often use them in my salad dressings or in the morning with some warm water. I think lemons are one of those things that really help to enhance flavors without being overpowering. It almost gives it a little pop!
My favorite recipes using lemon:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes
- Lemon Garlic Wild Rice Soup
- Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Cream Sauce
- Lemon Turmeric Quinoa
- Lemon Herb Quinoa Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
- Wild Rice Salad with Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette
- Vegan Lemon Blueberry Baked Donuts
For a little sweetness, apples are my go-to. I usually just have apples as a snack, but I do also love to bake with them. My favorite way to enjoy apples is to slice them up and put them on top of a piece of peanut butter toast. It's like my favorite snack ever. And if I'm not feeling the bread, I'll just cut the apple up, drizzle it with peanut (or almond) butter and sprinkle it with cinnamon. So simple and so delicious!
My favorite apple recipes:
- Healthy Apple Crumble Bars
- Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa
- Grain-Free Apple Crisp
- Green Apple Smoothie
- Healthy Apple Pie Breakfast Parfaits
- Maple, Cinnamon & Apple Quinoa Granola
- Fall Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash & Apples
9. Nut Butter
This is another category that I rotate through, but something I always have on hand. I eat some form of nut butter every day, whether it's on my smoothie bowls, in my smoothies, on my toast, as a snack, in dressing, a dipping sauce, etc. I think they're incredibly versatile and delicious! These are the four that I rotate through: peanut, almond, cashew, and tahini. With those four, I feel like I can make anything! I love Once Again, as well as the ones from Thrive Market!
Want to try making nut butter at home? Check out our ultimate guide to homemade nut butter!
My favorite recipes using nut butter:
- Honey Peanut Butter Cookies
- Almond Butter Thai Quinoa Salad
- Healthy Soba Noodle Salad with Almond Butter Dressing
- Healthy Peanut Butter Milkshake
- Gluten-Free Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- Quinoa Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce
- Chopped Quinoa Salad with Chive-Tahini Dressing
10. Smoothie Ingredients
And last but certainly not least, my smoothie ingredients! This is being constantly changed in and out, but I always have a freezer stocked full of frozen cauliflower, frozen zucchini, and frozen fruit. Some of my staple fruits include all the berries (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry), as well as frozen cherries, frozen peaches, and frozen mango. I love a good smoothie and really enjoy changing up my ingredients every day. They're easy to make, packed with nutrients and taste amazing!
My favorite smoothie recipes:
- Triple Berry Smoothie Bowl
- Refreshing Raspberry Smoothie
- Hidden Veggie Pineapple Smoothie
- Healthy Carrot Cake Smoothie
- Alyssa's Favorite Green Smoothie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie
- Energizing Almond Joy Smoothie
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
What's on YOUR Staple Grocery List?
Let us know what you think in the comments! We'd love to hear what your top items are each week. Do you have your own staple grocery list? If so, share it below!