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5 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes

5 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes

It’s been cold and rainy around here, which means one thing: comfort food! There’s nothing like a hearty meal to warm your belly on a chilly spring evening. While you might think that it would be hard to whip up a stick-to-the-ribs vegan dish, it’s actually as easy as shepherd’s pie to create all sorts of delicious vegan comfort foods without a trace of animal products!
Vegan Shepherds Pie

Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe

1. Shepherd’s Pie

The great thing about shepherd’s pie is that it’s super versatile. Here’s a skeleton recipe that you can use to whip up a shepherd’s pie with ingredients that you might already have on hand:

Ingredients:

  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 pound of tofu, tempeh, seitan, or mushrooms. A can of white beans or black eyed peas is nice, too!
  • 2c hardy leafy greens, like kale (double or even triple this if you’re using something that reduces when you cook it, like spinach)
  • 1 1/2c frozen or canned peas, carrots, corn, or a mixture of these veggies
  • 1/4c veggie broth or water + 1T soy sauce
  • a quadruple batch of simple mashed potatoes

Directions:
In a Dutch oven or other stove-to-oven cooking pot, heat the oil and saute the tofu (or whatever you chose) for a couple of minutes, then toss in the greens for a couple minutes more.

Add the frozen or canned veggies and the broth, cover, and simmer on medium for 5-10 minutes, or until the greens wilt and the veggies are defrosted.

Top with the mashed potatoes, then bake uncovered at 375F until the top browns slightly.
cream of broccoli soup

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Sebastian Mary

2. Cream of Broccoli Soup

Wait, what? How can cream of anything be vegan? The trick with this soup is that the creaminess comes from a mashed potato, not from any dairy. This soup is quick and easy to make! Perfect for a busy evening.

Ingredients:

  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, mince
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 2c broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2c veggie broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium high heat and cook the onions and garlic until the onions turn translucent.

Add the broth and cubed potatoes, boiling until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and simmer for 5 more minutes, then either transfer to your blender in batches or use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s smooth.
apple pie

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by suzettesuzette

3. Apple Pie

What list of comfort food would be complete without pie? You can go the easy route and pick up a vegan pie crust at the store, or whip up your own vegan pie crust from scratch! For the sake of simplicity, I’m going with a pre-made crust here.

Ingredients:

  • 8 apples, cored, peeled, and diced
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 3T flour
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 2 vegan pie crusts

Directions:
In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Let this sit until the apples get nice and soft, at least 10 minutes.

Pour your apple filling into one of the pie crusts.

Use the second crust to top the pie. Either slice into strips to create a lattice top, or just layer it right on. If you go for the latter, make sure you cut a few small holes in the center of the crust to let steam escape.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, or until the apples are soft.

 

vegan pot pie

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by wonderyort

4. Tofu Pot Pie

Isn’t it funny that so many comfort foods are different takes on pie? What is it about hearty filling in a pastry or potato crust that warms our souls? This tofu pot pie is a cruelty-free take on the more conventional chicken pot pie, and it’s sure to please! This is another situation where you can go with a pre-made vegan crust or make one from scratch.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 1 pound tofu, cubed
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2t herbes de Provence
  • 3/4c mushrooms, sliced (I used button, but you could try other sorts, too!)
    4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/3c flour
  • 2c water or veggie broth (or half water or broth and half white wine)
  • 2 vegan pie crusts

Directions:
In a soup pot, heat the oil on medium high and sauté the tofu, carrots, and spices until the carrots are a little soft, then add the mushrooms and scallions. Cook for a few minutes more, until the mushrooms get nice and soft.

Add the flour, turning the heat down to medium, and stir the mixture for about a minute, then add the liquid. Let the mixture boil and thicken for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and set aside.

Pour the filling into one of the pie crusts, then top with the second crust, making sure to pierce the top crust so steam can escape.

Stick the pot pie in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes at 350F or until the top is nice and brown.

Let it settle for about 5 minutes before serving.
macaroni and peas

4. Macaroni and Peas

Nothing says comfort food like a big bowl of mac, but you don’t need a lick of dairy to whip up something just as satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box macaroni of your choice (I like whole wheat or quinoa, but whatever you want will work just fine)
  • 1c water or almond milk
  • 3/4c cashews
  • 1T tahini
  • 1c green olives
  • 1/2c nutritional yeast
  • onion powder, garlic, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 c frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
  • a few handfuls of sunflower seeds
  • shredded vegan cheese of your choice (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, put the water/almond milk, cashews, tahini, olives, nutritional yeast, and spices into your blender or food processor. Puree until it’s smooth.

Drain the pasta and mix with the peas and carrots and sauce. Top with sunflower seeds and shredded cheese (if you’re using it). Bake for 20 minutes.

Do you have a favorite comfort food, vegan or otherwise? Share away in the comments!

Related:
Comfort Food for Your Brain
10 Vegetarian Soups & Stews
Vegan Finger Food Recipes

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jules:stonesoup

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

271 comments

+ add your own
11:02AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Thanks for the Recipes :)

2:42AM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

Thank you very much Becky :)

2:42AM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

Thanks

2:21AM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

YUMMMMMY!!!! ThankX and Healthy Eating to All:):):)

12:26PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

I just made 'Macaroni and Peas', with tri-colour vegetable pasta -penne rigate - the taste is good, just remember to cover it before baking, it dried up on top. Ok. with green salad to add moisture. Plenty lefover. I will have to add water before reheating.
My favorate is Lingwine with garlic and/or broccoli. I like the motion of rolling arond the fork.

10:57PM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

Another good list, Becky. And I agree with Laura M's comments that 'Vegan' food can stand on its own without having to imitate meat-filled recipes. Go Vegan, Go Vegan! For your body and the world...

2:46PM PST on Jan 27, 2013

Ι am not a vegan, but I will definitely try the cream broccoli soup, as I love soups, potatoes and broccoli! Thanks for sharing.

6:16PM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Potatoes are wonderful for thickening soups and sauces. Thanks

7:50AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Some of these look pretty good.
Thanks Care2

5:53AM PST on Jan 22, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

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