Our 14 Best Vegan Comfort Food Recipes

Brussels-Sprout Tacos
Photo: Lennart Weibull

When you're in the mood for a dish that's hearty and comforting but still vegan, these are the recipes to try: From creamy but dairy-free soups and stews to cauliflower steaks, umami-packed tacos, and more, these are recipes you'll turn to again and again.

01 of 14
vegan sweet potato chili
Bryan Gardner

Every bit as satisfying as traditional comfort food, these vegan dishes also happen to be hearty, healthy, and brimming with vegetables. Luscious pastas, rich curries, and even casseroles are perfect vegan meals to enjoy when a craving for something warming hits. And while comfort foods typically lean heavily on dairy to create the creamy textures that are so essential to this category of dishes, there's no need to hit the faux dairy aisle to make our recipes. We develop this same richness in many of our vegan comfort foods by whisking up sauces using tahini paste, which we drizzle over dishes like a filling Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce, or by pairing pasta with a velvety sauce made by blending cannellini beans, as we do in our Whole-Wheat Tagliatelle with Creamy White-Bean and Kale Sauce. You can also reach for canned coconut milk, another powerful ingredient that lends silky texture and comfort to vegan dishes, when you want that luxurious texture; it stars in our Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Ginger and our Cauliflower-Sweet Potato Curry.

In lieu of animal protein, vegan diets lean heavily on protein and fiber rich hearty legumes to hit the spot. Black beans star in the Vegan Sweet Potato Chili that's pictured here, but that's not the only way to enjoy them: They also play nicely as a sauce for Vegetarian Chow Mein. If you enjoy lentils, try them with turmeric to build a sunny, warming bowl of Golden Dal with Gingered Tomatoes. And if you want something like Vegetarian Gumbo, try black-eyed peas in place of the usual sausage and seafood, which also relies on a few other plant-based alternatives.

Another option is to take a vegetable you love and make that the center of a dish. The key here is adding highlights that bring out the richer qualities of the vegetable; we like to roast sweet potatoes with chili powder before layering them into a bowl for Taco Salad with Sweet Potatoes, simmering Ma Belle Mere's Ratatouille until the eggplant and squash are super rich, and pairing Brussels sprouts with chipotle and sprinkling them with nutty peanuts before wrapping them into Brussels-Sprout Tacos.

02 of 14

Whole-Wheat Tagliatelle with Creamy White-Bean and Kale Sauce

whole-wheat tagliatelle with creamy white-bean and kale sauce
Ryan Liebe

To create a rich, creamy yet dairy-free sauce, we rely on whole ingredients—in this case cannellini beans—rather than vegan cheese. We blend them with kale, garlic, and lemon juice, then paired that luxurious sauce with perfectly al dente whole-grain noodles. The gist? This is a bowl of pasta you can feel good about indulging in. Note: The almond topping calls for Parmesan, but trust us, you won't miss it at all—omit the cheese but be sure to make the topping.

03 of 14

Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce

rice and bean salad bowl
Johnny Miller

This bowl is sure to become one of your go-to plant-based meals. A trio of beans—chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans—ensures you'll get the protein you need to fuel your body. It can be prepared up to three days in advance, which makes it a great meal prep candidate.

04 of 14

Golden Dal with Gingered Tomatoes

golden dal gingered tomatoes
Sidney Bensimon

Build flavor in this Indian-inspired bowl of lentils by combining toasted cumin seeds and turmeric, with fresh aromatics like ginger and shallot. Topped with a tomato, mint, and yogurt (make sure to get your favorite vegan yogurt like coconut or cashew), it's a delightfully bright and warming bowl to enjoy even on the coldest of winter days.

05 of 14

Taco Salad with Sweet-Potatoes

sweet potato taco salad served in pink bowl
Lennart Weibull

Typical Tex Mex cuisine often uses meat and cream for flavor, but to make this hearty salad, we use chili-roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and a zesty lime dressing instead. Easy to shop and to cook, this dish will reliable be on the dinner table in about 30 minutes. Just be sure to skip the goat cheese topping to keep it vegan.

06 of 14

Vegetarian Chow Mein

vegetarian chow mein on white plate with fork
Justin Walker

Target Chinese takeout cravings by making this broccoli, carrot, and baby corn filled take on chow mein. Stock up on flavorful black bean sauce and chow mein noodles for your pantry so it's possible to enjoy this dish any evening—all you'll need to do is stir fry up some fresh vegetables.

07 of 14

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Ginger

vegan butternut squash soup topped with seeds
Bryan Gardner

Coconut milk lends a creamy quality to this warming bowl of butternut squash and ginger soup. Don't throw out those squash seeds when you're prepping; instead, roast them and serve them scattered over the soup with an extra drizzle of coconut milk for a stunning presentation and added crunch!

08 of 14

Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest

Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest
Johnny Miller

Bring some balance to a plate of carbs by pairing little cradles of orecchiette with delightfully golden roasted cauliflower. Capers and lemon zest enliven the sauce, providing a decadent quality to this vegetable rich pasta dish.

09 of 14

Vegetarian Gumbo

vegetarian gumbo
Sidney Bensimon

Tuck into a warming bowl of gumbo brimming with hunks of yellow squash, okra, black-eyed peas, and plenty of rich Louisiana Creole flavor. An oil-based roux, rather than butter, keeps this gumbo in vegan territory without giving up an inkling of the rich flavor.

10 of 14

Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce

Marcus Nilsson

Our vegan steak night features cauliflower at the forefront of the plate; it's paired with a trusty Spanish almond-pepper sauce, Romesco. The silky texture of the sauce comes from blending the blanched nuts with roasted bell peppers.

11 of 14

Brussels-Sprout Tacos

Brussels-Sprout Tacos
Lennart Weibull

When you need a quick, cozy vegan dinner turn to this recipe: It's uncomplicated and ready in just 30 minutes. Chipotle sauce and roasted peanuts lend a meaty quality to the Brussels sprouts stuffing in tonight's tacos. If the honey in the chipotle glaze isn't part of your vegan diet, swap it out with agave.

12 of 14

Ma Belle Mere's Ratatouille


Ratatouille, a chunky summer vegetable stew, can be made all year long thanks to the abundance of zucchini and eggplant that can be found in the produce aisle. The dish builds flavor and intensity by simmering zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper in a tomato-based sauce. While it takes some time to prepare, ratatouille is also an excellent make-ahead option for weeknight meals and also special enough to serve at a dinner party.

13 of 14

Cauliflower-Sweet Potato Curry

cauliflower-sweet potato curry served with cilantro and lime
Con Poulos

Curry paste adds rich, fiery flavor to this vegetable curry that teams vitamin-rich sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Finished with generous handfuls of greens, edamame, and a burst of freshness from lime and cilantro, this is a very satisfying meal.

14 of 14


Bryan Gardner

The umami-rich combination of toasted sesame oil and soy is a winning note in our take on the beloved Korean noodle dish that features shiitakes, carrots, and spinach. The sweet potato noodles used in this dish are worth seeking out; they can be found at Asian groceries or online and are a delightfully al dente gluten free noodle and defining in this dish.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles