One of the best things about going vegan has been experimenting with new recipes. Even before switching to a vegan diet, my husband and I often ate meatless meals, but it's been a fun challenge to find meals that taste amazing without cheese and eggs, too. For quick weekday meals we often keep it simple with a grain, vegetables, and tofu, or a simple pasta dish. And we're never short of inspiration. We've found so many vegan recipes online that have become staples for us. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Garlic & White Wine Pasta with Brussels Sprouts from Minimalist Baker
The sauce in this recipe is so rich and creamy I would swear it was dairy if I didn't know better. I like to make it with rotini noodles because it's easier for my toddler to handle. It's super fast to throw together, so it's a great weeknight meal when we are short on time, energy, or both.
2. Roasted Poblano & Jackfruit Tacos with Adobo Cream Sauce from Hot for Food
Jackfruit is my go-to party food because its texture is close enough to meat that omnivores like it, people are always curious to try it, and it travels really well! I used to stick to BBQ Jackfruit sandwiches, but I recently found this killer taco recipe to switch things up. It makes for a great build-your-own taco station, and the adobo cream sauce is incredible (and super spicy!).
3. Crowd-Pleasing Vegan Caesar Salad from Oh She Glows
I rarely crave salads, but a couple months in, all I could think about was the kale Caesar salad from a restaurant down the street! Luckily, it turns out a great Caesar salad doesn't need anchovies or cheese.
4. Smoky Tempeh Sandwich with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto from My New Roots
Sandwiches are my all-time favorite food, but it took me a while to find a vegan sandwich I love. The sun-dried tomato pesto here is absolutely essential, but changing out the toppings (different greens, roasted red peppers, ciabatta bread instead of sourdough, etc.) make this recipe really versatile and never boring.
5. Lentil Loaf with a Maple Sweetened Glaze from Eating Bird Food
I put off trying any form of vegan loaf for a long time, because meatloaf used to be one of my favorite foods. But after seeing this recipe recommended about a thousand times on Instagram, I decided to give it a shot. The texture and flavor remind me so much of the meatloaf my mom made when I was a kid — vegan comfort food at its best. I serve it with mashed potatoes, obviously.
6. Vegan Butternut Squash "Carbonara" with Coconut Bacon & Crispy Sage from Top with Cinnamon
Butternut squash is often used in vegan cheese sauces, but what really puts this recipe over the top is the coconut bacon. I couldn't help but eat the leftover "bacon" by the handful! This is definitely going to become a regular meal in our household.
7. Vegan Chilaquiles with Pepitas, Charred Corn & Black Beans from Serious Eats
My husband and I both love chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican breakfast dish made from stale tortilla chips and salsa. In this recipe avocados take the place of the more traditionally used eggs — and I have to say, it's even better than the non-vegan one I used to make. Since tomatillos aren't in season right now, we use store-bought salsa verde, so the meal comes together in under 30 minutes.
8. Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers from Cookie and Kate
This recipe was one of my favorites even before I went vegan. In fact, I would often double the recipe and freeze the burgers in bulk so I would have easy lunches on hand! Using millet makes them firmer and a little crunchy, but you can also use quinoa in a pinch.
9. Thyme & White Bean Pot Pies from Minimalist Baker
I am all about discovering vegan versions of comfort food, and these pot pies are perfect on cold winter nights. The crust is beautifully flaky, the filling is warm and creamy, and since they're baked in ramekins, they're adorable, too!
10. Easy Vegan Falafel from Minimalist Baker
I made these falafels for a party this summer and they were such a huge hit with my friends that I made them a second time for Christmas. Enjoy them on their own or stuffed into pitas with some veggies and hummus.
11. Homemade Vegan Fig Newtons from Sift & Whisk
I was devastated to find out that Fig Newtons, one of my absolute favorite store-bought cookies, aren't vegan. So I developed this vegan version made with coconut oil and aquafaba, which is a fancy word for the liquid in a can of chickpeas (it's a great egg substitute). I was supposed to save a few for a friend, but somehow they all magically disappeared.
12. Strawberry Vanilla Bean Raw Vegan Cheesecake from Sift & Whisk
Before I went vegan, I had crazy pregnancy cravings for raw vegan cheesecake. You'll be disappointed if you expect it to taste like "real" cheesecake, but it's a great dessert in its own right. The topping can be replaced with any fruit you like, so it's versatile, too!
13. Buttery Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sift & Whisk
I used to make my chocolate chip cookies with brown butter, which imparts a really nutty flavor. Since that's off the table now, I found that macadamia nut oil is a handy substitute. Now these are my new favorite chocolate chip cookies!
14. Vegan Meyer Lemon Bars from Sift & Whisk
I was never a huge fan of lemon bars because they always tasted eggy to me. So a few years ago I developed this super-lemony recipe, which uses silken tofu in place of eggs. I recently tweaked the recipe to make them even better.
15. No-Bake Chocolate Tart with Almond Crust & Toasted Coconut from Sift & Whisk
I love this tart because it requires zero oven time and is also gluten-free, which makes it great for a dinner party or potluck. You can take it one step further and make a nut-free variation with a cookie crumb crust and go ahead and play around with the ganache flavor. You can also use all sorts of different extracts and liqueurs.
What are your favorite vegan recipes?