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What is Vegan Food?

What is Vegan Food?

Find out which foods are part of a vegan diet

A vegan diet relies on fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Vegan food is growing in popularity; a number of restaurants, bakeries, and other eating establishments are now devoted solely to vegan fare. But what exactly is vegan food, and how is it different from vegetarian fare? Vegan food is different from vegetarian food because it does not include any animal products — unlike vegetarians, vegans don’t eat foods like eggs, milk, or cheese. Some vegan food even abstains from the use of honey.

Thus, vegan food is plant-based food; a vegan diet relies on fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Vegan food often includes meat alternatives or substitutes like tofu and tempeh (made from soybeans) and seitan (made from wheat gluten), milk and cheese alternatives made from coconut, soy, or nuts, and egg alternatives made from flax seeds.

Though vegan food will often mimic other types of well-known food (like sushi, pizza, or burgers) each ingredient that goes into making vegan food is plant based; vegan food is free of anything derived from animals.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.


Halo brand offers both a dry and a canned Garden of Vegan recipe packed with plant protein from nutrient-rich chickpeas and peas.

Note: Please remember to introduce dogs to a new food gradually. This means replacing a portion of the current food with the new food and increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food over a period of 10 days or so. After switching dogs to a vegan diet, monitor them closely to make sure that their new diet agrees with them, especially if they are still puppies. Watch for chronic gastrointestinal and skin problems, and note any new health problems. Most dogs’ health improves on a balanced vegan diet, but occasionally an animal may not thrive, so use common sense if this occurs.


3 recipes for vegan comfort food you need to try

When we think of comfort food, it’s always warm, wholesome and home-made. Visions of steaming bowls of creamy tomato soup, gooey toasted cheese sandwiches or roast dinners may spring to mind as well as a thousand and one other things before the thought of a vegan dish even occurs to you.

This is because of the misconception that the vegan diet is about eating like a rabbit – cold, raw vegetables.

However, in 2021 vegan food options are limitless. Whether it’s the cropping up of plant-based restaurants, an influx of social media posts or a story in the news, veganism has grown in popularity over the past few years.

We’ve seen it displayed in the form of artsy snaps on Instagram, of green bowls packed with quinoa and roasted vegetables, and being punted by celebrities and health fanatics.

Cookbooks, blogs and Instagram pages are also being dedicated to the art of cooking delicious vegan food that closely resembles their non-vegan counterparts.

With that, a broader community of people are learning the art of making plant-based food.

For instance, people are making their own home-made nut milk by soaking, blending and straining nuts in a cloth for a frothy alternative to cow’s milk. They’re also grinding nuts into a fine flour that’s used in pie crusts, cookies and cakes for a gluten-free and low-carb alternative to wheat flour.

Altogether, the deliciously healthy ingredients combine to make rich, decadent desserts and dishes that have flavour and impact.

3 vegan comfort foods to warm up your winter:

Creamy vegan mushroom soup

Soup is the definition of comfort food. Served hot with farm-style bread, lashings of vegan butter and a sprinkling of course salt and pepper and you have an instant mood booster. The mushrooms used in this dish offer it a meaty, earthy flavour while the coconut milk is creamy yet light. You’ll want to mop up every last bit.

INGREDIENTS

250ml soy cuisine or coconut milk

Rinse the dried mushrooms with cold water and soak in 500ml warm water for about 30 minutes. Then pour over a sieve and collect the broth.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Then add the mushrooms and soaked mushrooms, stir and fry for 5 to 8 minutes.

Pour the vegetable stock and the collected mushroom stock into the pot, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Carefully purée with a hand blender or in a blender until creamy. Return to the saucepan, stir in Soy Cuisine and season with salt and plenty of pepper.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Fry the mushrooms in a pan with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.

Put the warm noodles in a soup bowl, add the mushroom soup and add the fried mushrooms to the soup. Serve with fresh parsley.

Cauliflower buffalo wings

Chicken wings and dip can be eaten by the dozen, this cauliflower vegan version has all the same elements to satisfy your bar food cravings. The tender morsels are coated in a crispy batter that is packed with flavour and because it’s baked, it’s light and perfect for dipping in some ranch dressing.

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower (medium sized)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the almond milk and ACV to make buttermilk. Set aside.

In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the flour, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Add the buttermilk and whisk to combine.

Dip the cauliflower florets, one by one, into the batter, and roll to coat, using a spoon to scoop the batter into the nooks and crannies. Place the florets onto the baking tray, spreading out so they are not crowded.

Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the florets over to bake the other side for an even bake. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Prepare the buffalo sauce: In a large mixing bowl combine the melted coconut oil and buffalo sauce. Mix until smooth and silky. Set aside.

Prepare the ranch dip: In a small bowl, combine the coconut yoghurt, ACV, dill, onion powder, sea salt, paprika and pepper. Mix to combine.

Once the cauliflower florets are crispy and baked, transfer them to the mixing bowl and toss gently to cover in the sauce. Transfer to a serving platter along with the home-made ranch for dipping.


70 Vegan Recipes so Good, You'll Forget About Meat and Cheese

From lasagna to nachos, these dishes sub dairy and meat in the smartest ways.

Whether you&rsquore trying to eat less meat, pack your meals with more produce, or go completely meat- and dairy-free, the idea of making vegan meals can be seriously daunting. Without meat, dairy, and other animal products, you're often left with a plate full of plants &mdash but most home cooks know what a wonderful opportunity that can be.

Want to kick-start your meatless journey? Try our member-exclusive 7-Day Meatless Meals Challenge ( sign up for GH+ to get full access!). Our step-by-step guide will teach you how to wean yourself off meat while enjoying delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes.

For new dieters or those who are practicing a flexitarian diet, vegan cuisine often gets a bad rep, as some may believe it's automatically boring and bland. But the truth is that vegan recipes rely heavily on healthier substitutes and a plethora of fragrant spices to create better-for-you versions of our favorite classics &mdash and unique plant-based meals all their own. We handpicked 70 of our favorite vegan recipes to prove that these dishes can be just as delicious and crowd-pleasing as their non-vegan counterparts. Here, you&rsquoll find a variety of hearty vegan meals made with protein-rich whole grains, beans, and nuts, and packed with fresh and colorful fruits and veggies.

With just a little creativity and these vegan recipes as your guide, you can pull together tasty plant-based breakfasts, soups, salads, mains, and entrées (even delicious vegan desserts) in no time. And we&rsquove got a mix of wholesome, healthy vegan recipes to feel good about, as well as indulgent picks (vegan pizza and ice cream!). Even your meat-loving friends will be impressed &mdash and asking for seconds.


Make Vegan Food Easy with These Three Delicious Meal Ideas

Here are three of our favorite vegan food (easy ones!) that’ll tantalize your taste buds and put a smile on your face. These easy vegan food ideas are full of flavor, quick to make, and uncomplicated to prepare with the staples you likely already have in your kitchen. Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Food Idea 1: Lentil Ragu


Most vegans have a can or two of lentils in their kitchen cupboards, which makes lentil ragu an obvious dish to try! Ragu is known for being a meaty dish, but like many classic Italian foods, it’s not difficult to make it plant-based with just a few tweaks. In most recipes, all you’ll need to do is replace beef with nutritionally superior lentils.

Lentils bring a fantastic, buttery taste to dishes, but they’re also very absorbent, meaning they soak up the flavors of the sauces and spices you cook with. With this staple ingredient, cooking great vegan food is easier than ever!

To enjoy this traditional Italian dish at home, all you’ll need to do is fry minced garlic and onions in a splash of oil. Add chopped carrots, a generous serving of lentils, and any other vegetables you like before adding passata (or chopped tomatoes) and seasoned vegetable stock. Serve with pasta and garnish with basil!

Serving suggestion: To mop up this rich tomato sauce, why not make your own garlic bread? Simply fry a clove of chopped garlic in vegan butter and spread on lightly toasted bread. Buon appetito!

Easy Vegan Food Idea 2: Tofu Satay


It’s a common misconception that tofu is difficult to cook with, but in fact, tofu is one of the easiest vegan foods to season and prepare! It’s particularly straightforward to cook with if you buy firm tofu, as you won’t need to press the block before cooking. Firm tofu is what we recommend for our easy vegan recipe idea number two – tofu satay!

Sticky, sweet, and nutty satay sauce is one of the tastiest coatings for crispy fried tofu, especially when paired with fresh veggies and wheat noodles. A bowl of satay tofu will leave you feeling completely nourished! It’s also a very cost-effective dish to make, as you need very few ingredients.

In fact, for a super-simple satay sauce, all you’ll need is peanut butter, a dash of coconut milk, and soy sauce. You can season as you wish with chili and lime, or leave as is to allow the nuttiness to shine through. Once you’ve pan-fried cubes of tofu, toss them in a bowl of your freshly prepared satay and tuck in!

Serving suggestion: We love savoring a serving of satay tofu with wheat noodles (which can be boiled in just a couple of minutes!) and a selection of fried vegetables. This peanut butter-infused stir fry is truly delectable.

Last Idea: Hummus Bowl


Did you know that chickpeas are packed full of dietary fiber and linked to heart health? That’s right – these small legumes are nutritional powerhouses! Incorporating them into your diet has many fantastic benefits, and what’s more, they’re spectacularly easy to cook with.

Chickpeas offer extra depth to curries, stews, tagines, rice salads, and much, much more, but there’s one dish they’re best-known for – hummus! This nutty and slightly buttery Middle Eastern dip can be made in just a few minutes by blitzing chickpeas, tahini, and a splash of lemon juice in a food processor. Once it’s creamy and seasoned to perfection, you can use your homemade hummus as the basis for the easiest vegan food recipe idea of all time – a classic hummus bowl.

There are plenty of fun ways to top a hummus bowl. Some of our favorite flavor combinations include:

  • Double up on chickpea with falafel balls, steamed spinach and avocado
  • Fry tofu and pair with roasted sweet potato and cherry tomatoes
  • Cook black beans in garlic and add to rice and plenty of leafy greens

Serving suggestion: Blend your chickpeas with a variety of spices and ingredients to make sure your hummus looks as good as it tastes! Turmeric will create a beautiful golden color whereas beetroot will create a vibrant prink.


Risks

A vegan diet is healthy overall, but avoiding animal protein can shortchange you on a few nutrients, like protein, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin B12. You need protein to power all the chemical reactions in your body. Calcium strengthens your bones and teeth. Omega-3 fatty acids keep your cells healthy and protect your heart by shielding against heart disease and stroke. These nutrients are especially important for children's growing bodies and for pregnant women.

You can find substitutes for most of these essential nutrients in plant-based foods like:

  • Protein: nuts, soy, beans, quinoa
  • Calcium: soy milk, fortified orange juice, tofu with calcium, broccoli, kale, almonds
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: flaxseeds, vegetable oils, plant-based supplements
  • Iron: tofu, soy nuts, spinach, peanut butter, fortified cereals

One nutrient that's impossible to get from plant sources alone is vitamin B12, which your body uses to make red blood cells and DNA. You'll only find B12 in animal products. If you go vegan, you may need a supplement to make up for what you don't get from your diet.

Keep in mind that a vegan diet is only as healthy as you make it. Products like "vegan" ice cream, cookies, and candy are tempting, but you don't want to overdo. If you eat high-fat and processed foods and supersize your portions, you'll gain weight and might end up with many of the same health problems you'd have on a meat-based diet.


Feeling burnt out on oatmeal? This apple pie quinoa porridge is a great way to start your morning. Get the recipe here.

Transforming a school lunch classic into a portable hiking snack, these peanut butter and jelly granola bars are the perfect way to refuel out on the trail. Get the recipe here.


Reader Interactions

Comments

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Oh wow, I’m hungry for all of these right now! Love the butternut squash sage pasta, that looks so delicious :)

Wow, look at all those eye popping veggies! My wife is starting to freak out because I don’t eat veggies all to often, in fact, I pushed the bok choy of my plate last night. But those carrot and snap peas, those look good! I’m sending her the link. Maybe you can have your cake and eat it too. I mean veggies.

Excited to check a bunch of these out! Great round up!

I would buy your cookbook, just sayin.

I’m not kidding – I need to try all of these! I’m especially curious about your Curried Coconut Quinoa and Greens with Roasted Cauliflower…I’m not a huge quinoa fan however, I feel like I could get behind it in this dish! And your pesto?! Beautiful! Pinned!

Thanks, Alexa! I don’t love quinoa in every application but I think it’s pretty great with that cauliflower!

yum yum yum yum YUM! Mouth-watering, must go make one of these for dinners – sensational!

Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers

What an excellent round up! I foresee some of these wonderful dishes gracing our table soon.

As past president of Calgary Vegetarian Society I would like to complement you on your fantastic effort to provide everyone with
the information you publish on line.
We have regular meetups, eat outs and potlucks to encourage vegetarian lifestyle.
Is it possible to obtain permission to print some of your material and distribute it to our members. We have a number of members that have not accepted computer technology.
Can’t wait for your next e-mail… John

Hi John, I prefer that my recipes remain exclusive to my website, but if you’d like to email me more details about which recipes and how you’d like to distribute them, I’ll consider it! Thank you.

Oh my gosh, THANK YOU. This is such a great, visually appealing bunch of recipes. We’re in too much of a rut over here and depending a lot on frozen meat substitutes : Pinning and devouring these meals as soon as possible!

Wow, what a great round-up – I want to make all of these! :)

Oh the pictures, and the recipes! They really inspire me to make every meal as tasty and beautiful as I can. And thank you for all the work that went into the index. It is appreciated. I just keep healthy ingredients onhand, and if I’m creatively stumped for ideas I check out the index. I try not to read your posts before meals, because they make me hungry! I’m very hungry!

Thank you, Sandy! I’m so glad you appreciate it. :)

OMG! This post is exactly what I needed! Meal Plan for this week: checked. Thanks Kate.

Thanks, Carolina! Hope your week is delicious!

I love these roundups! It’s always nice to bookmark sites that have healthy, weeknight dinners in one spot! I’ve already picked out a few that are on my to-make list in the upcoming weeks. That roasted cauliflower and freekah sounds amazing, not sure how I missed that one earlier!

Thanks, Alex! The cauliflower freekeh dish is one of my favorites.

Those pastas look fantastic! Especially with the butternut squash!

Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run

I need to make that hemp pesto again – it’s sooooo good!!

abby - little city adventures

Ah every single one looks so good! Pinning!

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

I’m drooling over all of these, Kate! Your kale salads are always the best and I’m going through a crazy roasted cauliflower craze right now so these are calling my name!

I’ve bookmarked this post – every single recipe looks so good! I’ve been indulging a bit too much over the past couple of weeks (so much for New Year’s resolutions), and I always feel a bit lighter after sticking to healthy vegan meals for a while – so I might have to give a few of these recipes a try!

What a great assortment of recipes, I needed something good to make for dinner tonight and it was difficult to decide. I fixed #13 as I had all the ingredients on hand (well, barley was the grain as I have never seen the one listed) and all of us would have liked bigger servings, it was so good. This makes two weeks in a row that I have brought home a big cauliflower from the farmer’s market to make a new soup recipe and before that can happen it is cooked up in something else that catches my eye. There is always next week to try again. I think #10 or #16 will be next. Thanks!

Barley sounds like a great substitute! Glad you all loved it, hope you enjoy the others just as much!

Such a great collection of recipes! I’m not vegan, but all of these look amazing. I have been eyeing that West African Peanut Soup for quite some time now and I think it is about time that I finally make it!

These look and sound amazing, yum! I am going to attempt a vegetarian diet for a month and these are definitely going to help, thanks!

Perfect! All of my recipes are meatless, so you are in the right place!

These recipe choices looks so delicious, tasty and healthy.

Yay yay yay! I love these round up posts with the user comments – so bright, delicious and perfect for sifting through on hot summer nights when I just want something fresh and healthy (like, uh, all the time right now!). I’ve tried the black bean burrito bowls a couple of times, with the green rice too – so yum!! Can’t wait to get stuck in to a couple more options. Thanks lovely, as always I’m leaving your site inspired xxx

So excited about all these recipes. Just discovered your blog and am already a fan.

What a wonderful line up of meals – they really look stunning – so healthy and so delicious – this makes meal planning SO much easier – thank you!
Mary

Kate, all of these recipes look amazing – can’t wait to try! My sister and I are both huge fans of your site. One thing I struggle with, though, is that I’m single and cooking for one and can’t quite finish a dish entirely on my own before it expires. Also, I like to change things up after a night or two, which means I’ve got a whole lot of wasted dishes by the end of the week! I’d love to hear any tips or strategies you have for cooking for one do you freeze the unfinished portions? Make smaller portions of a recipe? Thanks so much!

Hey Anna! So glad to hear you both enjoy my blog. I 100% know your frustration! I have a fridge overflowing with leftovers right now. I’m not perfect, but yes, I do often freeze extra portions. Soups and stews usually freeze well and it’s nice to have extra in the freezer. Sometimes I play with leftovers by turning, say, a bean salad into burrito or quesadilla filling, put it on some greens, etc. I really need to start having the foresight to halve recipes, too—that would solve a lot of problems! Hope these ideas help.

I just discovered your blog and all these recipes look absolutely amazing! My husband & I are both meat eaters, but I’m always tempted by a truly yummy-looking vegetarian/vegan recipe – a few have even earned a place on the coveted “when are you making this again?” list. Especially after a month full of celebrations, holidays, birthdays and the like, I’m so giving some of these a try pretty soon!
Only problem is, where I live (Greece) most of those ingredients which are crucial to vegan cooking are really expensive, not to mention hard to find. Quinoa has just recently been appearing in local supermarket stores but is still at 6 times the price of rice. Same goes for coconut milk, sweet potatoes, even avocados are quite expensive here. Flaxseed, chia seeds etc are only sold in bio product stores, in pretty high prices too. It’s like, if you wanna be healthy, pay up! Oh, and we don’t have kale at all, only spinach. :P Still, I’m going to find a way around this if something is as delicious as those above look!

Thanks for saying hello! I’m sorry some of my go-to ingredients are so pricy over there. You might have to sift through some recipes but I think you’ll find plenty that don’t call for obscure ingredients! I don’t use a ton of quinoa, flaxseed or chia. You can do it! :)

Great recipe overview, there are definately a couple I want to try although I am not per se vegan, I just simply love vegetables a lot!
I’m glad I just discovered your blog, it is very inspirational and I adore your photos as they really bring your dishes to life.

Thanks for the great list of veggie recipes. I’ve been trying to make one day a week meat-less and this really helps. They look so delicious!

Just discovered your site…will make something from your list today! I am salivating already.☺️

Welcome, Carol! Hope you love the recipes.

Just discovered your site and made the curried cauliflower soup. It’ very good! my husband even took some to share with his 103 year old mother. He rarely shares my vegan recipes with her, so that is a real endorsement.☺️I only used 1 tablespoon of the curry paste to cut down on the heat and salt. Still flavorful.

Thank you for saying hello, Carol! Glad you found my site and delighted to hear that you all enjoyed the soup!

I think I’m in love with that quinoa and cauliflower recipe! We’ve been trying to go more vegan in our household: food and skin care and I’m not even sure what else is unexpectedly not vegan.

Another great list! I’m not a great cook… but the crockpot I can totally handle! Very excited to try the Curried Coconut Quinoa and Greens with Roasted Cauliflower

Yoo, steak is the best. The juicy, mouthwatering, tast- oh wait… Sorry looooool lool

Oh yah man I love biting into that juicy freshly barbecued perfection

Thank You for sharing your recipes. I am a personal chef and am always looking for new delicious reipes!

Thank you, Christine! Glad to hear you’ve found inspiration here. :)

Have used a lot of your vegan recipes, love them. Want to try more!

You are killing me with all your recipes! Wanna try all NOW!

Wow! These all look so amazing, I’ve been told by the hospital recently I need to eat vegan recipes and what I just found looks like heaven. Thank you so much!

Oh, I’m so glad, Darcy! I hope you enjoy making these. Best of luck with your health.

These look amazing especially the recipes with roasted cauli! Love your blog!

YES the roasted cauliflower is one of my favorites. I hope you try some, Anna!

I like what I can see regarding the vegan recipes … but your Ads on your pages are SO intense that its locking up my browser just being on your site and I’ve tried rebooting and coming back. I would have liked to have read more but … …

Hi, Jim. Sorry about that! Can you tell me which browser you’re using?

OK Kate, great to see you are also a dog lover! I honestly want to eat ALL of these recipes. thank you for sharing them! some of them are a bit complicated for me lazy bum but they look really delicious!


Learn How to Cook Vegan German Recipes

New to cooking or veganism and don&rsquot know what to do? I recommend taking some cooking classes from the comfort of your own home. There are all vegan cooking classes waiting for you at Veecoco!

Veecoco offers all vegan cooking classes by trained chefs in various cuisines from all over the world. There&rsquos an online German cooking class where you&rsquoll be whisked away to Germany to learn how to make authentic German food. You&rsquoll learn from the renowned vegan chef Johannes Nicolay who shares his experiences from over 30 years of cooking German food.


The 37 Best Vegan Soul Food Recipes

As much as we love soul food, some of the classics of Southern cuisine can be heavy, fat-laden and really unhealthy. Luckily, there are amazing health-conscious food bloggers who can turn everything from fried veggies to beef stews and even comforting pasta dishes like mac and cheese into delicious and guilt-free meals!

Let&rsquos get to the soul food-inspired, easy and plant-based recipes!

Vegan Grits, Tempeh Sausage & Brussels Sprouts

Smoky flavors contrasted with creamy grifts, chewy tempeh and tender Brussels sprouts &ndash this is the culinary joy you&rsquoll find in this recipe! Instead of Brussels sprouts, you can use any leafy greens &ndash including collard greens, another traditional staple in vegan soul food land. This flavorful and healthy comfort meal is ready in about 30 minutes!

Spicy Vegan Gumbo

Let&rsquos get some meaty vegan goodness on your dinner plate! This spicy gumbo is a wonderful comfort dish and a vegan take on soul food that calls for store-bought meat alternatives. Together with lots of deep flavors like garlic, thyme, parsley and red pepper, the flour and oil mixture still allows you to get that deep dark gumbo roux.

Vegan Fried Chicken & Sourdough Biscuits

Have you ever made your own plant-based fried chicken? This recipe shows you how easy it can be, using accessible foods such as wheat gluten, chickpea flour, soy curls and a couple of spices. You can even make it oil-free by using an air fryer! Together with some sourdough biscuits, this is the perfect hearty and flavorful comfort food.

Oil-Free Oven-Fried Okra

We go to great lengths to make our own recipes on the blog completely oil-free &ndash which is why we get super excited when we find other healthy, tasty and easy oil-free recipes to share! This oven-fried okra is gluten-free, crunchy, golden and delicious. No oil needed! Okra can be found in a ton of soul food &ndash thank goodness, because it&rsquos a vegetable of which we definitely don&rsquot eat enough!

Cajun Black-Eyed Pea Burgers

Featuring corn, bell peppers, onion and garlic, these meatless black-eyed peas burgers are so scrumptious! Perfectly seasoned with zesty Cajun spices, they pack awesome vegan soul food flavor into a bun. The burgers are grillable and assembled with fresh veggies as well as a creamy vegan remoulade.

Muffins, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

In the mood for some traditional Southern comfort food? Here are some gluten-free Southern-style stuffing muffins with nutrient-packed healthy mashed potatoes and gravy made with creamy tahini. Secretly healthy, this scrumptious meal makes for a wonderful addition to a holiday feast or a delicious weekend dinner option.

Buffalo Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Pasta bakes won&rsquot get much healthier and cozier than this! This buffalo cauliflower mac and cheese is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and incredibly creamy thanks to cashew nuts. In combination with cauliflower and fresh spinach, it&rsquos a delicious way of eating more vegetables, all of which are seamlessly incorporated into this pasta dish.

Air Fryer Zucchini Chips

Let&rsquos make some more crispy &ldquofried&rdquo veggies that are flavorful and secretly healthy! Featuring whole wheat breadcrumbs, almond flour, flaxseeds plus a few seasonings, these crispy snacks are oil-free and a lovely addition to any colorful vegan soul food bowl!

Hearty Bean Chili

We don&rsquot know about you, but nothing quite says &ldquocomfort meal&rdquo to us than a warm bowl of bean chili! Using mainly budget-friendly pantry staples, this is an easily customizable and nutrient-rich everyday dinner option for anyone wanting to go meatless. For a traditional Southern touch, serve with some cornbread (recipe below!)

Flaky Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

Interested to see how Southern buttermilk biscuits can be made not just fully vegan but also whole food plant-based? You&rsquore in luck &ndash these biscuits turn out perfectly soft and flaky but without any oil or butter. You&rsquoll love the airy, flaky layers that are wholesomely achieved with two secret but totally accessible ingredients. Check the recipe for more!

Crispy Air Fried Pickles

These crispy Southern-style fried pickles can either be traditionally deep-fried or made oil-free with an air fryer! The authors say that this is one of the best vegan Southern appetizers they&rsquove come across and that it has become a family favorite (especially during football season!). Made with just a handful of pantry staples, this easy recipe requires only 10 minutes of cooking time!

Cajun Soy Curls & Creamy Jalapeño Grits

Ready for the creamiest grits you&rsquove ever had, topped with chewy, mouth-watering soy curls? The recipe is brunch goals and the ultimate pantry-friendly vegan soul food. You have tender grits made with cashew cream and spiced up with jalapeños, cooked into a thick porridge. The soy curls are a gluten-free and meatless protein source, which this recipe has you season to perfection.

Healthy Gluten-Free Cornbread

Remember that bean chili we just talked about? Serve it with this freshly baked cornbread! Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, it pairs wonderfully with a warm pot of veggies and beans. Both dishes are actually very meal-prep friendly and can be prepared in advance and frozen for an upcoming plant-based dinner!

Satisfying Vegan Jambalaya

With roots in African, Spanish and French cuisine, jambalaya is a filling rice-based dish that usually includes animal products such as sausage, shellfish, chicken or pork. This vegan soul food recipe adds a delicious twist by omitting the meat and going for satiating beans as well as some vegan sausage. It also pairs well with some freshly baked cornbread, and you can even find some wine recommendations in the article!

Veggie Pot Pies

Another great recipe made with pantry and freezer staples is vegetable pot pies. Using frozen vegetables, canned beans and a premade pie crust, they only require 10 minutes of hands-on time &ndash one of the easiest plant-based dinners imaginable! This is a really nutrient-rich and versatile recipe for which you can use pretty much any veggies you have on hand.

Vegan Chicken and Waffles

This recipe offers savory and gluten-free waffles topped with baked tofu chicken &ndash and everything&rsquos completely prepared from scratch. This decadent brunch or &ldquobrinner&rdquo is surprisingly wholesome and a truly family-friendly recipe! It does require some more time compared to other meals, but if the occasion ever calls for it, definitely give it a try.

Jackfruit Beef Stew

Loaded with veggies and tons of flavor, this hearty and filling stew gets its beefy bite from the added jackfruit chunks! Stews are kind of the epitome of vegan soul food, and this gluten-free plant-strong version is no exception. It&rsquos a warm, flavor-infused bowl of perfectly cooked vegetables in a thick brown sauce that tastes spicy and sweet at the same time.

Vegan Hoppin&rsquo John

Speaking of traditional Southern meals turned into completely vegan soul food, this beautiful plate has all the components you need! From homecooked black-eyed peas to long grain rice, collard greens, biscuits and fried cauliflower &ldquochicken,&rdquo this recipe is one huge flavorful and satisfying plant-based bowl of goodness.

Mashed Potato Cheese Waffles

If you&rsquore in need of some ninja-like cooking skills to hide vegetables in your family&rsquos meals, this recipe will greatly help you out! These sneaky waffles are cheesy, soft on the outside and crunchy on the inside &ndash not giving away at all that they are actually made with a medley of vegetables and buckwheat flour. Serve with some leafy greens, avocado and maple syrup!

Power Green Salad With Black-Eyed Peas

The opposite of hiding veggies is to be totally upfront about them &ndash just like in this rainbow salad. It features either collard or mustard greens, purple cabbage, black-eyed peas and shredded carrot, and you can even throw in some cooked quinoa for added protein and other nutrients!

Creole Okra Corn Soup

This soup is made for all you veggie-loving Southerners! The great thing is that it requires almost only shelf-stable ingredients like corn kernels, canned tomatoes and frozen sliced okra &ndash along with hefty pinches of different spices to give it its traditional flavor.

Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese

Yes, we already featured a baked mac and cheese &ndash but there&rsquos no such thing as too many pasta bakes in our books. This sweet potato version is free from gluten, oil and nuts while still managing to be incredibly creamy and comforting! We love the combination of sweet potato and tahini for the cheesy sauce.

Corn and Zucchini Fritters

One bowl, a grater, knife, pan and some measuring spoons &ndash that&rsquos all the equipment needed for these super easy and quick corn fritters! If you&rsquore looking for a healthier version of this Southern comfort food, this gluten-free and veggie-rich version is the way to go. Ready to eat in under 30 minutes, they also freeze well and can be used for meal prepping.

Southwestern Cornbread Veggie Bake

This healthy vegan soul food recipe combines the convenience of a quick and accessible meal with a huge amount of nutrients and a true comfort food experience. Using mostly plant-based staple foods, it&rsquos easily customizable and super flavorful &ndash this recipe can even be made into muffins or a casserole!

Hearty Vegan Potato Soup

This flavorful and creamy soup takes comfort food to the next level! Not just your average potato soup, it&rsquos made super creamy with lots of non-dairy milk, and on the flavor side, it&rsquos perfect &ndash onion, garlic, sage, smoked paprika and veggie stock are used to make this recipe extra cozy. Optional toppings include vegan bacon, vegan cheese and green onions!

Easy Southern Collard Greens

When you want to treat your taste buds to a totally rocking flavor-packed meal, this southern collard greens recipe is just the ticket! Packed with veggies and wholesome ingredients, this is healthy soul food that breaks away from traditional Southern recipes by being fully vegan and gluten-free.

Vegan Baked Oil-Free Hush Puppies

Something that was completely new to us were these fluffy little clouds called hush puppies. This whole food vegan version offers all the traditional comfort and flavor while being oil-free, gluten-free, baked and somehow really soft and moist at the same time! Brandi managed to turn these little grease balls into a good-for-you Southern snack.

Best Ever BBQ Baked Beans

If you&rsquore looking for an epic fully vegan BBQ spread, you definitely want to add these baked beans to your list! Together with some grilled corn and mac and cheese, they make for the perfect Southern soul food experience. Deep flavors and hearty add-ins won&rsquot let anyone recognize these baked beans are free from all animal products!

Vegan Sloppy Lentil Joes

This delicious 30-minute meal is the vegan version of a sloppy joe &ndash by replacing meat with lentils, this sandwich becomes a wonderfully smoky, tangy, messy, sweet dish able to please any meat-eater in your life. If you&rsquore looking for healthy soul food dishes, this sandwich is lower in fat and calories and higher in minerals and vitamins than its meaty counterpart!

Buttery Sweet Potato Biscuits

Is there such a thing as too many biscuits? This flaky and tender sweet potato variety certainly had to make our list of the best vegan soul foods. These biscuits are naturally sweet, easy and quick to make, have a warm orange color and work with both savory or sweet toppings. We really love this recipe!

Vegan Bourbon Pecan Pie

Let&rsquos move on to some sweet vegan soul food! This scrumptious pecan pie is free from eggs, butter and corn syrup, using a spritz of Bourbon for deeper flavors (totally optional!) &ndash it&rsquos the perfect vegan twist on a Southern classic. Rich, sweet and nutty, it is made with dates, maple syrup and lots of pecans.

Self-Saucing Vegan Banana Pudding

Truth be told, bI had never heard of this traditional Southern dessert before writing this article &ndash but my oh my, it sounds like it&rsquos just made for me. Banana, cinnamon and caramel sauce topped with vegan vanilla ice cream &ndash uhm, yes, please! There are no words to add here other than &ldquogo make it today.&rdquo

Baked Chocolate Chip Skillet Scones

Need something to share with your loved ones at a get-together or at home? These vegan baked chocolate chip scones are the way to go! Each bite of these mouth-watering scones delivers the taste of delicious dates, berries and chocolate chips. This gluten-free sweet vegan soul food will soon become a family favorite!

Blackberry + Blueberry Cobbler

Meet these gluten-free vegan cobblers that are both healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast and also sweet enough to be dessert! With their perfect crisp and gooey topping, this berrylicious Southern recipe offers all the different textures and flavors you could wish for in a comfort food.

Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Crumble

Yet another traditional recipe we just had to add to this list was this sweet potato casserole topped with a delicious pecan crumble. Cozy spices meet a creamy and starchy filling. It&rsquos perfectly sweetened and can be served either for dessert or as a scrumptious side.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

Let&rsquos just keep the sweet potato theme rolling with this wonderfully rich and flavorful pie &ndash trust us, it definitely deserves a spot on this list! Not only is it extremely simple to make, but it also slices beautifully and tastes like heaven. This epic vegan soul food is one of our favorites and is best served with some coconut whipped cream or dairy-free ice cream!

Delicious Vegan Chocolate Fudge

Is chocolate fudge a traditional Southern treat? We don&rsquot know, because to be honest, what could be more comforting and soul food-ish than some wonderfully sweet and delightfully gooey chocolate goodness? Made with vegan chocolate, dates, tahini, coconut milk and a few other add-ins, this is our new favorite dessert!