13 Easy Vegan Comfort Food Recipes to Make Right Now
It's one thing to love vegetarian comfort food: It's delicious, healthier than most non-veggie meals, and simply removes meat and or fish from your favorite, piping hot meal. But, it's another to love and appreciate vegan comfort food when dairy is also out of the equation.
Ingredients like heavy cream, eggs, cream cheese, butter, dairy cheese, condensed and regular milk are thought to make the risotto rich-tasting or the potato gratin indulgently greasy, and they do, but vegan substitutes can still provide the same flavor and texture in each one of these 13 vegan comfort food recipes.
And just as an extra bonus, vegan meals tend to lean healthier because dairy is considered an inflammatory food that may cause certain diseases, according to several studies.
So gather around the fire with your loved ones this holiday and enjoy a home-cooked vegan meal. We rounded up easy vegan comfort food recipes that make the dairy-free and meatless cut, including fluffy, steaming egg-less quiche or a cheesy, saucy artichoke dip that will keep you warm on brisk nights.
Want to make someone's day? We'll be the first to tell you that a homemade meal is surely one of the best. If you want to ring in the cheer this holiday to a neighbor, best friend, or significant other, these dairy-free comforting recipes are like a favorite cozy sweater in the form of food and make for a wonderful surprise. After their first bite, be sure to catch their reaction when you reveal your "beef" stew doesn't contain meat and that jackfruit makes for a wonderful substitute. It's not unlikely they'll say something like, "What on earth is jackfruit?"
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that grows on a tree and originated between the Western Ghats of southern India, all of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the rainforests of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. When cooked, the fruit has a thick consistency that mimics chewy, tender meat, and it has the ability to pull apart like pork. When jackfruit is pulled apart and seasoned with herbs, rub, and spices it's often mistaken for an actually pulled pork sandwich.
What Can I Use as a Meat Alternative?
There are plenty of vegan foods that taste and can appear like meat or fish depending on how you cook them, season them, and the type of dish. Tofu is a popular plant-based protein often used as a chicken replacement or even a fish replacement, like halibut.
Seitan is a vegan meat alternative made from gluten that's often used in replace of deli meats, pork, steak, and tempeh is a soy-based plant protein that mimics all the same foods. Mushrooms are also used as a meat alternative thanks to their rubbery, thick texture that can pass for tasting like a steak.
What Kind of Comfort Foods Are Vegan?
Comfort foods made without dairy, eggs, and meat products are just like the classic foods that are considered "comforting," but instead these recipes and vegan foods call for alternatives that taste and work just like the real thing.
Here we take ingredients like heavy cream and replace them with cashew cream, dairy milk for oat or almond milk, dairy cheese for cashew or any nut-based cheese, beef for jackfruit, chicken for tempeh, and the list goes on. These vegan replacements are easy to cook with, better for the environment, and healthier for you because they don't contain cholesterol or fat in animals that may cause inflammation in the body, which has been shown to cause diseases including certain cancers.
1. No-Waste Vegan Vegetable Quiche
This warming, hearty quiche has a simple flaky crust with an extremely creamy, luscious, and egg-like filling with a slightly cheesy flavor.
Recipe: No-Waste Vegan Vegetable Quiche
2. Full English Breakfast Made Vegan
Full English Breakfast is especially awesome for lazy weekend mornings. Serve it with hot tea and coffee, and freshly squeezed orange juice.
3. Easy Vegan Pumpkin Curry
Looking to switch up your go-to lunch or dinner with a dish seasonal, flavorful dish? Surprise your taste buds with this quick and easy Dairy-Free Pumpkin Curry made with Thai-inspired ingredients that's ready in just 15 minutes.
Recipe: Easy Vegan Pumpkin Curry
4. Easy Vegan Meatloaf
Make this hearty, savory, smoky Vegan Meatloaf packed with an array of vegetables and spices. The texture is soft and chewy on the inside with a crispy outer crust.
Recipe: Easy Vegan Meatloaf
5. One-Pot Vegan Chili
We have the perfect vegan chili recipe packed with chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, mushrooms, and more. Comfort food meets healthier-for-you eating in this easy recipe loaded with fiber and protein, helping you stay fuller longer and allowing your muscles to repair after a workout.
Recipe: One-Pot Vegan Chili
6. Vegan "Butter" Chickpeas
Your tastebuds will be in heaven with this rich, creamy, delicious butter chickpea recipe! Inspired by Northern India’s famous butter chicken dish, this recipe is completely meat and dairy-free.
Recipe: Vegan "Butter" Chickpeas
7. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
In 30 minutes or less, you can dip into the rich, creamy, cheesy flavors of a plant-based spinach artichoke dip. This simple recipe is an instant crowd-pleaser, making it the perfect appetizer for any party or family gathering.
Recipe: Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
8. One-Pot Vegan “Beef” Stew
Vegan Irish Beef Stew is comfort food at its finest. It’s hearty and meaty, with rich flavors. Tender jackfruit pieces look and taste just like beef chunks. It’s all cooked in the mix of a well-spiced broth and Guinness beer, which will give your stew an amazing depth of flavor.
Recipe: One-Pot Vegan “Beef” Stew
9. Healthy Moroccan-Style Vegan Lentil Stew
This stew is thick, hearty, warming, and comforting – perfect for colder days. It’s packed with protein-rich lentils, nutritious veggies, and flavorful, aromatic spices that make your kitchen smell wonderful.
10. Vegan Vegetable Thai Green Curry
Creamy, spicy, and full of authentic flavors and textures, this Thai vegetable green curry is delicious, healthy, and easy to make. Serve it with a side of jasmine rice, fresh chilies, and lime wedges for the perfect meal.
11. Vegan Potato Gratin
French-inspired potato gratin is the perfect comfort food for gloomy days. It’s cheesy, creamy, filling, satisfying, and super delicious.
Recipe: Vegan Potato Gratin
12. Vegan Vegetable Risotto
Add this creamy, comforting, flavorful vegetable risotto to your kitchen repertoire – It’s the perfect way to use up all those leftovers hanging out in your fridge for a romantic dish to serve.
Recipe: Vegan Vegetable Risotto
13. Vegan Chickpea Pot Pie
If comfort food is what you’re craving this holiday season, a chickpea pot pie is just the thing you need. It’s loaded with protein-rich chickpeas and mixed with hearty vegetables like carrots, celery, and green peas.
Recipe: Vegan Chickpea Pot Pie
For more great plant-based dishes, check out The Beet's recipe library.
For more lists of recipes, check out:
- 7 simple plant-based recipe ideas for under $1 a serving
- 7 popular plant-based soup recipes
- 7 easy plant-based breakfast recipe ideas
- 8 heart-healthy plant-based recipes to lower your lifetime risk
- 7 one-pot vegan recipes
- 10 vegan soups and salads recipe
- 10 vegan lentil recipes to make for a healthy lunch or dinner