PHOTOGRAPHY BY NEAL SANTOS
Recipes

Our Favorite Vegan Recipes to Showcase the Power of Eating Green

Live your best (plant-based) life.

By SAVEUR Editors


Updated on January 7, 2022

Heads up, veggie-vores. Whether you’ve given up meat, dairy, and eggs for health or for ethical reasons, (or maybe you’re just curious about the other side) we’re here to make sure you’re eating well. None of these vegan recipes rely on not-quite-there protein substitutes or fake meat for flavor. In fact, there’s a world full of international plant-based ingredients to explore. Take the many textures of tofu, the meaty umami kick of mushroom, or the creaminess of eggplant and let them take the spotlight. And you can let your food safety fears subside—preparing these vegetarian ingredients is often far easier than poking and prodding, wondering if that poultry is cooked through. 

Let’s not forget about vegan dessert: Forget fruit salads and dry and disappointing, baked goods. With an explosion of dairy-free ingredients on the market, egg- and dairy-free sweets are easier to make than ever.

From the best vegetable soups and Asian noodles to fried eggplant and wood-fired maitake mushrooms to creamy ice creams, here are our best vegan and vegetarian recipes to make going plant-based easy breezy.

We love this quick braised side dish with Swiss chard, but any hearty green will work. Try it with bok choy, kale, or even green or purple cabbage. Get the recipe >

This recipe calls specifically for gyokuro, a premium Japanese tea that, unlike other green varieties, retains plenty of their flavor after repeated steepings. We recommend the Kanro gyokuro from Ippodo for this salad, which uses the tea leaves left over from one serving of tea and flavors them with soy sauce and sesame oil. Get the recipe >

Dolmakadia, the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most iconic recipes of Greek cuisine and, although there are many varieties, the meatless version is the most common. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types. Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute (we prefer the Orlando brand). Get the recipe >

The earthy, nutty quality of Jerusalem artichokes works beautifully with tahini and lemon in this appetizer. Get the recipe >

Whole cauliflower is quartered and roasted with paprika, turmeric, and jalapeño in this wintry side dish. Get the recipe >

This light and delicious salad from chef Dan Kluger makes wonderful use of winter produce. Crisp, raw celery root (a.k.a. celeriac) mingles with tart, julienned apples, crunchy croutons, and a tarragon-infused, mayonnaise-based dressing. Get the recipe >

This kind of luscious puréed bean soup is made all over Italy with either white or fava beans. Prepare the soup several days in advance, but sauté the broccoli rabe just before serving. Get the recipe >

This twist on a classic Israeli salad, in which Asian pear stands in for tomatoes, is a refreshing counterpart to warm, spice-roasted meats like chicken or kebabs. Get the recipe >

Freekeh—sun-dried and roasted unripe wheat berries—is a popular grain in Mediterranean cuisines, and has a mildly smoky flavor and pleasant chew. Here, chef Mehmet Gürs of Istanbul's Mikla cooks it pilaf-style and spices it with sumac, a bright red spice that lends color and a lemony zing to anything it hits. Get the recipe >

The dressing for this cumin-spiced salad is made from the carrots' cooking liquid, which concentrates into a sweet syrup when reduced. Get the recipe >

This refreshing salad of soba noodles tossed with winter greens and mixed vegetables is brought together by a tart dressing of miso, ginger juice, and lemon. Get the recipe >

Charred until nearly burnt, then mashed with earthy paprika and sour sherry vinegar, we love this dish as a condiment on roast lamb or served as a dip with pita chips. Get the recipe >

Tofu adds creaminess to this spare salad of spinach dressed with peanut butter and red miso paste. Get the recipe >

This eggplant dish from Michael Solomonov's Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia highlights classic Middle Eastern ingredients: carob molasses, tahini, and pomegranate. Get the recipe >

Distantly related to Mexican salsa, pebre is an emulsified blend of tomatoes, peppers, and vinegar traditionally served with bread rolls in Santiago. This recipe, from chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó in Santiago, Chile, uses native green ajè cristal chiles, but you can substitute banana peppers to mimic their very mild, floral heat. Get the recipe >

"Filipinos love anything with adobo sauce, and kangkong is one of my favorite vegetables to eat." – Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao. Get the recipe >

This gluten-free grain, a type of millet, provides a wonderfully nutty backbone to a salad of sweet dates and carrots, and crunchy roasted peanuts. Get the recipe >

Fragrant with star anise, chiles de árbol, and cilantro, these mushrooms brown to a crisp on the outside while remaining tender inside. Get the recipe >

A variety mushrooms gives nuance to this hearty vegetarian soup. Any assortment of fresh mushrooms will work and you can change those flavorful notes by switching up the combination each time you make it. Get the recipe >

This vegan ice cream from Brooklyn's Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream takes a classic flavor combination, peanut butter and chocolate, and uses cashew milk to make for an extra rich ice cream. Get the recipe >

Tossing bitter charred escarole with sweet-tart grilled apples gives new dimension to backyard cookout side dishes. Get the recipe >

Carrots are roasted before being topped with crunchy pistachios and a sweet fig vinaigrette in a simple salad from Eli and Max Sussman's Classic Recipes for Modern People. Get the recipe >

With a little fernet, vanilla, and crystalized ginger, pears are the centerpiece of this simple Passover dessert. Get the recipe >

Mustard seeds transform into tender, caviarlike pearls and impart a subtle nutty perfume to this simple spring root vegetable dish from Chef Corey Lee. Get the recipe >

Tender artichoke hearts and fava beans pair beautifully in this simple Greek side dish. Get the recipe >

Though it is typically made with root vegetables, come spring, Heena Patel likes to put a bright seasonal spin on the vegan, southern Gujarati vegetable dish undhiyu. Get the recipe >

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