7 Vegan Versions of Your Favorite Dishes

Just because you’re cooking with a vegan crowd in mind doesn’t mean that you have to leave all your favorite dishes behind. With some simple substitutions and a bit of creativity, you can create killer vegan versions of classic bites. Support the vegan revolution with these choice picks.

Vegan Chili

Just as filling as traditional chili but firmly meat-free, vegan chili has a spice that’s comforting and rewarding all at once. As you’d expect, most vegan chilis start with a base of tomatoes, black beans, and kidney beans before pumping up the flavor with carrots, peppers, and garlic. Don’t be afraid to go a little heavy handed on the spices either; ample amounts of chili powder and cumin bring the heat. 

Vegan Burrito Bowls

While there are a few different routes you can take while crafting vegan burrito bowls, we like to use hip ingredients like avocado and kale to keep our bowls nutritious and aesthetically pleasing. If you really want to take things to the next level, consider topping your bowl with fresh salsa verde. It’s important to note that this dish can easily be made gluten free too; simply use quinoa or brown rice in place of any flour products. 

Chili Mac N’ Cheese

As a culture, we may be in the midst of a mac n’ cheese resurgence. Long gone are the days of adding cheddar powder to macaroni noodles and calling it good. Eaters are calling for vegan versions with unique flavor profiles. To start, we’d recommend creating a cashew “cheese” and tossing in diced green jalapeños with the macaroni. Throw in some fresh cilantro for garnish and serve to your heart’s content.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger

A twist on the popular quinoa and black bean burger, this dish adds in mashed sweet potatoes to give the patty a tenderer texture while maintaining that heartiness we’ve come to expect from a great burger. Luckily, most popular burger topping are already vegan, so you can experiment with different flavor profiles without having to search far and wide.

  • Pro Tip: Similar to a traditional burger, be sure to generally season your patty with salt, pepper, and other spices for a greater depth of flavor.

Avocado Pasta

While pasta on its own is vegan, it’s extremely difficult to find a creamy sauce that doesn’t use dairy. Well, until now. Blend avocados in a food processor with classic Italian ingredients like basil, citrus, and garlic to create a sauce that’s creamy and 100% vegan. You can even make the dish gluten-free if you so desire; simply make some zucchini “noodles” using a spiralizer  and swap them out for standard pasta. 

Vegan Lasagna

For a dish that’s mostly meat and cheese, lasagna has a pretty fantastic vegan counterpart. The trick here is to use multiple types of vegan “cheeses.” We’ve found that cashew cheese and spinach ricotta cheese make a particularly tasty pair. For the meat portion, consider using meaty shiitake mushrooms and zucchini for a unique texture that maintains a savory flavor. It’s important to evenly distribute your ingredients in each layer to prevent a portion of your lasagna from becoming overly dense and soggy. Sprinkle extra cheese on top for a dish that’ll make converts out of vegan skeptics. 

Cauliflower Banh Mi

Like ramen and poke before it, banh mi is having a moment and naturally, there’s a decent demand for vegan takes on the classic Vietnamese sandwich. Instead of sticking with tofu, we’d recommend using cauliflower as your meat substitute because it’s hearty, filling, and plays nice with standard banh mi veggies. It’s important to stay away from fish sauce however; try using ample amounts of sriracha and chili garlic sauce to bring strong, albeit different, flavors.