Looking for some Meatless Monday inspiration at the start of Veganuary?
For those teetering on the verge of veganism — or those who are simply intrigued about a veggie-focused eating plan — occasionally swapping in a dish or two that's free of meat, dairy and any animal byproducts every few days is a good way to start.
Luckily, when it comes to prepping a vegan-friendly meal at home, there are plenty of superstar cooks — like Samah Dada, Chloe Coscarelli, Joanne Molinaro (aka The Korean Vegan) and Jenné Claiborne — to guide the way.
Cacio e pepe is one of those dishes that many people love because of its simplicity, but it's not easy to replicate the complex flavor of traditional Italian cheeses. Dada's take on the Italian staple uses nutritional yeast and cashews to create a luscious, umami-packed sauce.
Coconut milk is a traditional ingredient in many Thai-style curries — it gives them their signature creaminess without actual dairy cream. A variety of vegetables and firm tofu make this dish filling while keeping it light enough for a summer supper.
Hearty lentils and meaty mushroom take the place of animal protein in this rich chili. This healthy swap makes the dish so much better for you without leaving out any of the satisfying flavor or comforting texture from this cold weather classic.
"I came up with this Spicy and Crunchy Garlic Tofu recipe because it needed to happen," says Molinaro bout her TikTok-famous recipe. "Like, there was a gaping maw in the universe that could only be filled once this recipe was created."
This salad made with hearty and nutritious wild rice can be enjoyed as a side dish or a main during lunch or dinner. It's great served on its own or over a bed of leafy greens for extra bulk and fiber.
Chickpeas and other legumes are packed with fiber and plant-based protein and therefore deeply satisfying and healthy. In fact, their regular consumption is associated with enhanced health and longevity! The spices in this recipe are not just belly-warming and flavor-enhancing but also help the digestibility of the legumes, which can be challenging for some. This dish improves over time so make extras and freeze for a quick and delicious weeknight dinner.
The spicy coconut syrup in this dish transports you to the islands while the Romesco sauce is reminiscent of classic European cuisine. It's a truly globally inspired dish that will keep you going back for more.
This beautiful Lebanese dish has been passed down from generations of women within Khoury's family, nourishing them with nutrient rich lentils, vibrant seasonal vegetables and warm spices. You can make this dish in one large soup pot, enjoy it over several days for lunch or dinner and create large batches and freeze it for future family dinners to come. It is filled with layers of wholesome, bright and delicious flavors and is enjoyed best with a slice of warm toast, family and friends!
This vegan main by New York City-based vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli is hearty with a capital H! It’s kind of like a cross between tacos and mac and cheese — so definitely make it for your hungriest of friends and family members and just dare them to say vegan food isn’t filling.
You're going to love this versatile rice medley. It's perfect for a weeknight meal because everything is conveniently mixed together, dumped right onto a sheet pan and ready to eat in 30 minutes. Once you pull this pan from the oven, the onions will be caramelized, the raisins will be plump, the veggies will be tender and the room will fill with the smell of what Jerrelle Guy likes to call "sheet pan potpourri."
This delicious sandwich is so easy to make and perfectly filling — for either lunch or dinner. "Even my toddler loves it!" says Claiborne.
This "chorizo" crafted by Beyoncé's nutrition coach, Marco Borges, is created with umami-filled mushrooms. He usually makes an extra batch and stores it in the freezer to make more tacos later. It is, after all, a family favorite in the Borges house, too.
Summer in Taiwan is only bearable with this: a caramelly, sweet, custardy, cold sweet potato. That's right: The sweet potatoes here are exactly as it sounds — baked then frozen. In Taiwan, these are so commonplace, you'll find them packaged in plastic bags at convenience stores. But oddly enough, they are some of the best sweet potatoes you've ever had.
Samah Dada's avocado cream sauce is both light and refreshing — qualities rarely found in creamy anything. This sauce also maintains an amazing brightness with the addition of fresh basil and lemon. You can add it over pasta or smother your favorite vegan protein in it.
This vegan-friendly pizza is a perfect weeknight fix and is quite the crowd-pleaser. It's an easy base to add to, as well, in case you're one of those people who eat pineapple on pizza and want to see how it goes with veggie meatballs. And don't get saucy, that's cashew cheese … not real mozzarella!
Aloo gobi — potatoes and cauliflower sautéed in spices — was a staple of Priya Krishna's upbringing. It’s simple to put together, pretty hands off, and its flavor to ease ratio is off the charts. Also, potatoes and cauliflower are truly exceptional at absorbing and enhancing seasonings.
Every bite of this meal is bursting with flavor — it has the perfect combination of sweetness and savoriness from the sweet potatoes, and sautéed black beans and kale. Plus, the cashew dressing adds lots of creaminess.
When you know that you have a recipe for a pantry-staple friendly, simple to prepare pasta in your back pocket, there are few things that can go wrong. This Lentil Bolognese is one of our favorites. It's fun to use lentils in a Bolognese in the same way that you would meat, while keeping traditional elements like carrots and onions along for the ride. The result adds a plant-based twist to a traditional and iconic pasta dish.
These fries are our healthier version of the classic In-N-Out animal style fries. The usual ones are covered in cheese, mayo and onions, while this recipe is a vegan and healthier spin on the original. The fries get extra crispy in the oven (or you can air fry them!) and drizzled with the secret sauce on top with some caramelized onions and cashew cheese.
"I've always loved pepperoni pizza since I was a little kiddo and I have been itching to develop a simple plant-based pepperoni substitute for years!" says Gabrielle Reyes aka One Great Vegan. "The meaty mushrooms really soak in the full, robust flavor, and since it is hard to find a fierce plant-based and gluten-free bread these days, I am obsessed with these beautiful bagels."
A stew so good they named it twice. This stew of black-eyed peas cooked in a gently spiced tomato sauce is a great vegan dish eaten all day long in Ghana — an alternative to baked beans for breakfast or as a bean casserole for lunch or dinner. Usually eaten with fried plantains, this is tasty, nourishing comfort food that's super easy to make.
"Like the cuisine of many cultures, Korean dishes are designed to make use of every scrap of food before it goes bad," says Molinaro. "Kimchi fried rice is, like bibimbap, a 'recipe' that was born of need, when grocery stores weren't around every corner and folks had to make do with whatever they had in the refrigerator. Well, I have never seen a Korean kitchen without kimchi or rice!"
"These are sweet enough to make you remember what a mess you’d make with the icing from a cinnamon roll as a little kid," Clairborne says about her vegan rolls. "They're also delicious enough to put your 'healthy diet' rules on suspension for a few minutes, and then reject any bit of regret."
Classic Italian pesto gets a healthy makeover with a big serving of spinach. This recipe is customizable and tastes great with blistered tomatoes, almond milk ricotta, more olive oil and something crunchy like walnuts or pine nuts. Using chick pea pasta will also add a little extra protein to the dish.
What's a Meatless Monday without a solid burger substitute sitting at the table? Sunny Anderson's black bean burgers are so hearty and satisfying, it's easy to forget they're not made out of beef. Oatmeal helps bind the burger and also adds bulk to the patties. Bean appetit!
"Chickpea blondies are one of my all-time most popular recipes, so a chickpea brownie seemed like the next obvious choice," says Dada. "This brownies are fudgy and super easy to make because the batter comes together in a blender."
We love this recipe because it's so flavorful and hearty. This is a home run for people who are worried about walking away from the table unsatisfied. It's great for large groups and serves up well, year-round.
"I will never forget how my father waited patiently on the living room sofa as my mother frantically fried dozens and dozens of egg rolls for his work holiday party," says Molinaro. "It was around midnight because my dad worked the night shift. It was the one time of the year that my father, who was probably the most introverted and socially awkward employee at the United States Postal Service, became the most popular man at the office. The holiday party wasn't complete without my mom's egg rolls. I've used my mother's egg rolls to win over grumpy teachers and colleagues alike, and even my own mother-in-law declared them to be worthy of attempted bribery."
Love a bowl of comforting mac but also want to get your greens? This dish has got you covered. Simple, creamy and craveable, it's 100% plant-based so it's good for you and the earth.
When a craving for something like popcorn chicken strikes, instead of opting for takeout, whip up a quick batch of these vegetarian-friendly poppers made with cauliflower. Dredged in egg, breaded in gluten-free almond meal and tossed in warm, flavorful spices, these bite-sized florets are irresistible when they come sizzling out of the oven.
"I remember I made these and I left them sitting on the counter. My son, who is averse to trying new things, started eating them — many of them," says Jessica Seinfeld. "That's the ultimate sign of success in our house: Eating something with no raised eyebrows or complaints."