This January I decided to eat a little more healthful by going mostly vegan. So for the first time ever, I picked up nutritional yeast from Trader Joe's—I was promised a cheesy flavor reminiscent of Parmesan—to sprinkle into a creamy vegan pasta. Also, I swapped out the butter in a batch of tahini chocolate chip cookies with non-dairy butter (this one). It turns out, nutritional yeast is funky like the best cheeses are (bonus: it's also a fraction of the cost of Parmesan!), and the cookies disappeared the moment they came out of the oven.
Although I don't intend to jump on the plant-based bandwagon forever, I'm delighted by how approachable and delicious vegan food can be. At the root of it, vegan food is just food—arguably what we know best here at Simply Recipes. So we gathered recipes, tips, product picks, and stories that align with where you are on the spectrum of vegan-ness—from indifferent and suspicious to curious and devoted. No matter why you're eating a vegan diet, when you approach it as either food to nourish and comfort your body, to share with your friends and family, or to explore, it becomes less rigid and more fun.
- For the Non-Vegan Hosts: Just what you need to know—no more no less—to feed your vegan dinner guest, play-date friend, and overnight guests.
- For the Wanna-Be Vegans: Learn about the best plant-based products and the smartest vegan cooking tips that may (or may not) transform you into a vegan devotee.
- For the Full-Time Vegans: Inspirational stories and recipes that you'll want to share with your loved ones.
— Myo Quinn, Senior Editor
Do you not eat a vegan diet but want to host someone who does for dinner? We got you. We gathered easy, approachable, and accessible vegan recipes and the best-tasting plant-based products you can reach for quickly. (Writer Molly Adams is a sometimes-vegan that often hosts always-vegans—that's why she knows the best Trader Joe's vegan products to stock up on.)
Easy & Approachable Vegan Recipes
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Vegan Brownies
- Vegan Chicken Nuggets
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Sloppy Joes
- Vegan Cincinnati Chili
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Cacio e Pepe
Vegan chicken nuggets have tough competition: childhood nostalgia. You and I both know exactly what our favorite chicken nuggets taste like and how it makes us feel (me: crunchy and giddy). Is there a plant-based chicken nugget that's actually good enough? Writer Nick Evans taste tested eight brands and his kids had clear favorites.
How did writer Meghan Splawn decide which non-dairy vanilla ice cream tastes the best? She bought seven brands and served them to her family and neighbors. The clear winner went fast as both the kids and adults kept coming back for more scoops.
Would you roast a chicken or grill a beefy burger for your vegan dinner guest? Of course not! What about serving them a warm cup of tea with honey or a delicious cocktail? We wouldn't recommend it either because they contain ingredients that—surprise!—aren't actually vegan. Here's a list of non-vegan ingredients that you should know about.
Whether you're dipping your toes into plant-based eating, cooking vegan only during the month of January, or just poking around to gauge if you could potentially give up on animal products, come learn with us. We reached out to some of our favorite vegan pros to share their favorite plant-based products—it turns out Whole Foods is a gold mine for non-dairy foods—and gathered smart vegan cooking tips to up your game.
- Vegan Banana Bread
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Vegan Cashew Cheese Sauce
- Black Bean Smash Burgers
- Spinach Tofu Scramble
- Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry
- Tempeh Bacon
Writer Stephanie Ganz reached out to the who's who of the plant-based world to gather this impressive list of the best vegan products you can buy. From the tastiest butter to the meltiest cheese for sandwiches and pizza, we are pretty confident it's the only list you'll need.
Here are four practical vegan cookbooks that will inspire your budding plant-based journey (they are great for those that follow a strict plant-based diet too).
BONUS: Our favorite vegan cookbook author and chef, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, has a new cookbook! Senior Editor, Sara Bir, got the scoop.
Smart Vegan Cooking Tips
A plant-based diet doesn't mean eating only bland food. Simply Recipes' Editor, Laurel Randolph, who loves cheese, shares her secret to "a healthy, no-fuss way to add a punch of cheesy flavor to a dish." And part-time vegan, Grace Elkus, has a magical trick to help us love vegetables in the winter when options for fresh produce are limited.
Have you already tried every non-dairy yogurt at Whole Foods? Is your conviction for climate-friendly eating set in stone? We're simply here to inspire you in your epic plant-based eating journey with delicious recipes and smart, cool, and beautiful stories about veganism.
Inspired Vegan Recipes
- Vegan Queso
- Vegan Nachos
- Creamy Vegan Pasta
- Silken Tofu with Sesame Soy Sauce
- Vegan Patty Melt
- BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Tacos
- Brownie Baked Oatmeal
- Copycat Sofritas
“It seemed to me that we all became quieter during those vegan meals. We let ourselves sink into our thoughts, no longer as concerned with pushing them outside our minds.” Writer Thao Thai tells the story of when she once lived with her great-aunt Cô Út, a Buddhist nun.
We think you'd agree that writer Grace Elkus has the best job. For the sake of research, she watched Lizzo make vegan pastas on TikTok, tested them all, and is here to report on her top five. There's vegan mac and cheese, pasta tossed in an avocado sauce, and of course, the pasta with roasted feta and tomatoes.
Cookbook author Hannah Che thought that becoming vegan would disconnect her from her Chinese heritage. She was pleasantly surprised to discover the truth: the Chinese kitchen is rooted in plant-based eating and the traditions go back centuries. Her new cookbook tells the stories and shares the recipes.