5 Classic Vegan Comfort Food Recipes | Vegan Food & Living

5 Classic Vegan Comfort Food Recipes

Megan d’Ardenne shows us how to make vegan versions of our favourite classic British comfort food recipes

Regardless of whether it’s a childhood favourite or classic pub grub, numerous dishes we grew up eating and loving can seem inaccessible to those who are new to a vegan diet.

It’s easy for the herbivore at the table to feel left out, and unable to enjoy some of the nation’s notorious comfort food dinners. But not anymore. These recipes are perfect for when you’re craving something hearty, comforting, and delicious, and go to show that eating a healthy, plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to give up your comfort foods.

Not only do these dinners eliminate animal products, but they also introduce healthier alternatives and more nutritionally beneficial swaps for flavours that not only resemble but maybe even surpass the originals.

Jazzy Beans on Toast

Whilst this classic comfort dish can be easily veganised with vegan butter, this high protein version lowers the sugar and salt content as well as adding two of your five a day.

vegan comfort food

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 slices bread
  • Vegan butter
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and cook the onion for five minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and paprika and cook for a further minute.
  2. Add in the tomatoes and beans and bring to the boil.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the bread. Top each piece of toast with vegan butter and the bean mix. Garnish with the fresh coriander.

Bangers and Mash

Succulent sausages nestled on a bed of buttery mashed potatoes and drenched in a rich onion gravy; it’s no wonder that Bangers and Mash has been ranked as Great Britain’s #1 most popular comfort food.

This vegan take on the classic dish will make your taste buds sing!

vegan comfort food

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 8 vegan sausages (I used Richmond’s meat-free sausages)
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes (chopped into 3cm cubes)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely sliced
  • 6 closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Fry the sausages in a pan being careful not to burn them and turning them regularly. Cook until all sides are nicely browned and they have been properly cooked (about 20 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large saucepan or pot and cover with water by ~1 inch. Bring to a light boil over high heat and cook for 15 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the hot pot off the heat for 1 minute to evaporate any additional water. With a potato masher, mash until fluffy.
  4. Add in vegan butter, garlic, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, make the onion gravy. In a pan, gently fry onions in the oil until soft. Add the sugar and allow the onion to caramelize for a couple more minutes.
  6. Add in the mushrooms, dijon mustard, Worchester sauce and vegetable stock. Stir well and let the gravy simmer and thicken to the desired consistency. Season to taste.
  7. To assemble, place a heaped ladle of mash in a bowl, and top with sausages and lashings of gravy.

Carbonara

Easy, Italian-style pasta: sun-dried tomato and mushroom pasta in a creamy garlic sauce; the combination of flavours in this dish is so heavenly, it’s pure comfort food that you will be tempted to eat right out of the pan.

vegan comfort food

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250g dried spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 250ml plant-based cream (I used Oatly’s single cream)
  • 100g vegan parmesan-style cheese, grated
  • Fresh basil, to garnish

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, pan-fry the onion and garlic until soft (around 5 minutes)
  3. Add in the mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and continue to fry for a couple more minutes.
  4. Add in the cream and simmer for a couple more minutes.
  5. Drain the pasta and hold back some of the cooking water. Add the pasta and cheese to the cream sauce and mix to coat the pasta.
  6. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water to loosen.
  7. Serve and top with fresh basil

Sausage and Mushroom Pie

Hearty and warming, this delicious pie makes the perfect meat-free Sunday lunch.

vegan comfort food

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 8 vegan sausages (I used Richmond’s meat-free sausages)
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 12 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Steamed greens, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan 170°C, gas mark 5).
  2. Over a high heat, melt half of the coconut oil in a large pan. Add the sausages, and brown them all over. Remove.
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. When bubbling, add the onion, celery, carrot and mushrooms and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Drop in the thyme and bay leaf and continue to fry for another minute.
  4. Return the sausages to the pan and add in the tomato puree. Fry for 1 minute and pour in the Worcestershire sauce and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water and then add it into the pan with the parsley. Stir to combine. Tip the mixture into a baking dish and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, take the filo pastry out of the fridge, and crumple the individual sheets into loose balls and place straight on top of the sausage mixture so that it is entirely covered.
  7. Drizzle the pastry with olive oil and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is browned and crisp. Serve up with lots of steamed green veg.

Mac n Cheese

No comfort food roundup would be complete without vegan mac and cheese. It’s pretty magical what can happen when you warm up a soy-based cream, dairy-free cheese, garlic and nutritional yeast.

vegan comfort food

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250g dried pasta
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 200ml plant-based cream (I use Alpro’s soy-based single cream)
  • 100ml plant-based milk (I use oat)
  • 100g of vegan cheese, grated (I use a mix of vegan applewood and vegan cheddar)
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Fresh parsley, to garish
  • 175g vegan bacon, sliced
  • 1 floret of broccoli, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan 170°C, gas mark 5).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and transfer the contents to a large serving bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan, and once melted add in the flour. Mix to combine and form a roux. Continue mixing over a medium heat for a couple of minutes before adding in the cream and milk.
  4. Keep stirring as the mix comes to the boil – the flour should disappear and the sauce will begin to thicken.
  5. Stir in the cheese, garlic and paprika and allow the cheese to melt into the sauce
  6. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat each piece of pasta.
  7. Empty the mix into a baking dish and top with extra grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. As a side dish, pan-fry the bacon and broccoli over a medium heat until the bacon is crispy and the broccoli is soft.
  9. Garnish the mac n cheese with parsley and serve.

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