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19 of the best vegan comfort food recipes

by Jessica Lockyer-Palmer

published on 6 January 2022

From warming winter stews to hearty pies, our collection of vegan comfort food recipes promises the plant-based pick-me-up you’re searching for.

Pies

Ainsley Harriott’s Mushroom, Kale and Chestnut Pies

There are few dishes more comforting than a good pie. Ainsley’s vegan version uses mushrooms for maximum flavour, alongside winter produce favourites chestnut and kale.

Vegan Comfort Pie

Vegan Comfort Pie

by Gemma Ogston

This is precisely the kind of dish you crave on dark winter evenings: warmly spiced chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans with a fluffy potato topping. It’s substantial, flavourful, and as comforting as a roaring fire on a blustery day. 

Takeaway favourites

Meera Sodha’s Peanut Butter and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pad Thai

Meera Sodha’s Peanut Butter and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pad Thai

from EAST

If noodles are your go-to comfort food, you’ll love this vegan version of the takeaway classic pad Thai, as featured in Meera Sodha’s East. Thick rice noodles covered in a delicious peanut and lime sauce make for a satisfying base, while purple sprouting broccoli adds a moreish crunch.

EAST
From the book

EAST

Southern Fried Cauliflower

Southern Fried Cauliflower

by Lauren Toyota

This crisp, aromatic Southern fried cauliflower is the vegan cousin of the ultimate American comfort food. It has the same irresistible crunch, the tender meaty centre, hit of salt and spice, and, unsurprisingly, once you start eating it it’s impossible to stop.

From the book

Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich

by Lauren Toyota

With panko-coated cauliflower steaks so succulent it’s impossible to miss chicken, it’s not hard to see why this buffalo burger went viral.

From the book

Sweet and Sour Jackfruit Fakeaway

Sweet and Sour Jackfruit Fakeaway

by Roxy Pope & Ben Pook

Why not try One Pot Vegan‘s plant-based take on the classic Chinese takeaway dish, sweet and sour? This fakeaway is made with chunks of meaty jackfruit in a tangy sauce.

Pasta

Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Aubergine and Puy Lentil Bolognese

Jessie and Lennie Ware’s Aubergine and Puy Lentil Bolognese

by Jessie Ware, Lennie Ware

As far as we’re concerned, comfort food and pasta are inextricably linked. This vegan alternative to spaghetti bolognese is as good as the real thing with lentils, sticky Medjool dates, red wine and earthy spices. Blending half the lentils at the end gives a perfect texture, too. Serve with vegan cheese.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ultimate Traybake Ragù

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ultimate Traybake Ragù

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Ixta Belfrage

If rich, umami flavours are your comfort food bag, run don’t walk to this recipe from Ottolenghi FLAVOUR . With generous quantities, it’s ideal for a batch cooking session or as a crowd-feeder.

Vegan Juna Pasta

Vegan Juna Pasta

by Rachel Ama

Tuna pasta is a staple of student kitchens everywhere, and with very good reason: it’s tasty, comforting, and won’t break the bank. In this recipe from Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats, Rachel Ama creates a clever, plant-based version of the dish using jackfruit in place of the tuna for a meal that’s just a enjoyable and budget-friendly as the original. 

Vegan Lasagne

Vegan Lasagne

A plant-based take on the classic family favourite, this vegan lasagne from The World of The Happy Pear manages to be both comforting and nutritious. It’s a great option for feeding a crowd, and the moreish basil cashew cream béchamel will have everyone asking for seconds.  

Rainbow Lentil Meatballs with Arrabbiata Sauce

Rainbow Lentil Meatballs with Arrabbiata Sauce

by DK Publishing

Made using lentils, these vegan meatballs are a fitting alternative to the original, with a robust but tender texture and a rich and spicy tomato sauce. And if you find yourself with any leftovers, why not turn them into a vegan meatball sub for lunch the following day.

Bacon Mac and Cheese

Bacon Mac and Cheese

by Lauren Toyota

Made with shiitake mushroom ‘bacon’ and a velvety vegan cheese sauce, this is not just any mac and cheese but its ultimate form.

Stews

Tuscan Vegan Sausage and Bean Stew

Tuscan Vegan Sausage and Bean Stew

When only a soul soothing stew will do, try The Happy Pear’s vegan twist on a Tuscan classic, with meat-free sausages and chunky butter beans.

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

by Rachel Ama

Rachel Ama’s soothing West African stew brings warmth, sustenance and plenty of flavour.

Vegetable Chilli

Vegetable Chilli

by Rachel Ama

If you’re feeding a crowd, this warmly spiced veg and bean chilli is a fail-safe for colder nights. Serve with fluffy rice or flatbreads.

Curries and dals

Beetroot, Chickpea and Coconut Curry

Beetroot, Chickpea and Coconut Curry

If a curry is your ultimate comfort food, plump for Rukmini Iyer’s creamy coconut-based beetroot and chickpea number. This simple, one-tin recipe is finished in the oven for maximum ease.

Meera Sodha’s Pumpkin Malai Curry

Meera Sodha’s Pumpkin Malai Curry

from EAST

Meera’s pumpkin malai is spiced with a warming blend of cumin, cinnamon and ginger. It can’t fail to lift the spirits.

EAST
From the book

EAST

Creamy Cauliflower Korma

Creamy Cauliflower Korma

by Roxy Pope & Ben Pook

A cuali-based twist on your favourite creamy curry, complete with plump raisins, lashings of vegan cream and a scattering of flaked almonds. Serve with vegan naan.

Dal: Pe Hin

Dal: Pe Hin

This hearty Burmese dal is the kind of recipe you want on speed dial after a tough day (speed dal, if you will). With that in mind, make up a big batch when you come to cook it and store it away for whenever it’s needed most.

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