Ultimate Dairy Free Fridge and Freezer Guide
Looking to stock your kitchen with dairy free staples? Check out our comprehensive guide for filling your fridge and freezer with all the basics. Because having plenty of safe items on hand helps make mealtime SO much easier!
Whether you’re newly dairy free or have been dairy free for years, keeping a well-stocked fridge and freezer makes life SO much easier.
When you have plenty of safe options on hand for easy grabbing, everything seems to go a little bit smoother.
Dinnertime. Hangry after-school snack time. Busy mornings. You name it.
Which brings us to this ultimate dairy free fridge and freezer guide.
Or basically everything I have stocked in my dairy free kitchen on a regular basis.
Where appropriate, I’ve also included my favorite brands. Please just keep in mind that personal tastes vary – what I love, you may not. But in case it’s helpful, I’m still including that information here.
I’d also encourage you to use this guide as a starting point – adjust to your own unique needs.
Disclaimer: As always, please be sure to carefully read all ingredient labels to confirm that something is dairy free and safe for your family (such as if cross contamination is a concern). Products can change unexpectedly – it’s always your responsibility to check when purchasing.
Dairy Free Fridge Staples
Dairy Free Milk – I like to keep a variety of options on hand for different uses:
- Oat Milk // I use this in my coffee / tea as well as in many recipes (especially for baking and desserts).
- Unsweetened Almond Milk // A great all-purpose option, I use this in smoothies, cereal / granola and many recipes.
- Unsweetened Cashew Milk // I use this interchangeably with almond milk (see above).
Dairy Free Butter – While I like to use coconut oil as a whole food substitute as often as I can, sometimes you just need good old-fashioned butter. These are my favorites for different uses:
- Miyoko’s Creamery Butter // For spreading on toast, smearing on a baked potato, topping pancakes, etc.
- Country Crock Plant Butter Sticks // This is my go-to for baking and making dairy free buttercream frosting. I specifically like the one with avocado oil.
Dairy Free Yogurt – Here are my favorite brands:
- Cocojune Yogurt // This is hands down my favorite yogurt for snacking or enjoying on its own. It’s coconut-y but not over the top. I like the pure coconut and unsweetened vanilla flavors.
- Kite Hill Greek Style Yogurt // While not my favorite flavor wise, this one is awesome for baking – it’s nice and thick like regular greek yogurt.
- Siggi’s Plant Based Yogurt // I personally only like the vanilla flavor but this is a solid runner-up at our house.
Dairy Free Sour Cream – Here are my favorite options:
- Homemade Dairy Free Sour Cream // Made from raw cashews and a few simple ingredients, this is my go-to for using as a topping (like with tacos, fajitas, etc.). I like the flavor way better than any of the store-bought options.
- Kite Hill Sour Cream // I personally don’t love the taste but the consistency is smooth, thick and creamy. I use this one mostly in recipes or for baking (i.e. not on its own).
Dairy Free Cream Cheese – Here are my favorite brands:
- Violife Cream Cheese // This is my go-to option for flavor – I personally think it’s the closest in taste to the real thing.
- Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese // I also enjoy the flavor of this cream cheese. The only downside is the consistency can be a bit hard. It tastes pretty similar to the Violife brand.
- Kite Hill Cream Cheese // Their plain flavor is not my favorite taste wise but the consistency is super soft and creamy. I really enjoy the chive flavor though – it’s fantastic on breakfast sandwiches.
Dairy Free Cheese – This is a tough category and one where I think you need to have realistic expectations (i.e. while there are some solid options out there, nothing really tastes quite like the real thing!).
- Miyoko’s Liquid Plant Milk Mozzarella // This is the one dairy free option that really impresses me. It sounds completely crazy since it’s liquid but it bakes up awesome on pizza. I’ve served this to family members who eat regular dairy and even they thought it was delicious.
- Kite Hill Ricotta // A great dairy free alternative to traditional ricotta cheese. It works well in recipes.
- Violife Cheese Shreds // As far as shredded dairy free cheese, this is my favorite brand – I personally think it tastes the best but again, expectations. It’s definitely not the same as real cheese.
Condiments and Flavor Boosters – These are all items I love to have on hand to add extra oomph and flavor to any meal. Many of these are also included in my ultimate dairy free pantry guide (if they are purchased shelf stable).
Not all brands of some of these condiments are dairy free – so please, please be sure to always read ingredient labels!
- Salsa / Guacamole
- Mayonnaise / Ketchup / Mustard
- Pickles / Sauerkraut / Olives
- Soy sauce (or tamari) / Miso paste
- Salad dressing
- Hot sauce
- BBQ sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Nut and seed butters
- Jams and preserves
- Maple syrup
- Chia seeds / Ground flaxseeds
Fresh Fruits, Veggies and Herbs – There are so many different options in this category so what’s listed below is definitely not all-inclusive. But here are a few favorites at our house:
- Citrus fruits
- Apples / Pears
- Garlic / Ginger
- Basil / Cilantro / Parsley / Chives
- Potatoes (of all varieties)
- Greens (spinach, kale, arugula, romaine, etc.)
- Brussels sprouts / Broccoli / Cauliflower
- Bell pepper
- Zucchini / Yellow squash
- Green beans / Asparagus
- Bok choy
- Cucumbers / Carrots / Tomatoes
Proteins – While there are many different sources of protein, these are a few that are regularly in my fridge:
- Seafood (like salmon, shrimp, cod, etc.)
- Meat (such as beef and pork)
- Poultry (like chicken and turkey)
- Bone broth or stock
- Tofu / Tempeh
Dairy Free Freezer Staples
Frozen Fruits and Veggies – As with the fresh produce listed above, there are so many different options in this category. But here are a few staples in my freezer that I find help with quick meals:
- Riced cauliflower (and cauliflower florets)
- Broccoli florets
- Peas / Sweet corn
- Carrot rounds
- Chopped spinach
- Cubed butternut squash
Proteins – We have a separate deep freezer in our garage so I love to stock up on protein when on sale. A few favorites:
- Ground meats (beef, pork, turkey, etc.)
- Pork butt
- Chuck roast
- Salmon and other fish filets
- Chicken thighs and breasts
- Chicken sausage
- Chicken nuggets
Other – These are the random items I usually have in my freezer that don’t neatly fit into one category:
- Pancakes and waffles // I like to make my own and freeze for quick breakfasts during the week.
- Dairy free whipped topping // So Delicious Cocowhip is my absolute favorite brand.
- Dairy free ice cream // I go back and forth between homemade recipes and store-bought options.
- Dairy free pesto
- Dairy free cookie dough balls // Whenever I make cookies, I bake off what I need and then freeze the rest for another time. You can find my favorite recipes here.
- Tortillas and sandwich bread
And that’s a wrap.
Have a favorite item that I didn’t include? Please share in the comments below!