Comfort food doesn’t have to be carnivorous. Check out these hearty and wholesome vegan suppers.

When we think of foods that comfort, so often it is to hearty, meaty fare that we look. Shepherd’s Pie, bangers and mash and roasts are all national favourites for devouring in a country pub or by the fireside, ideally washed down with a glass of good red wine.

But, as vegans well know, eschewing animal products is not just for summer, and nor is veganism in any way prohibitive to those cosy suppers at home – the only place that any of us are currently taking our suppers, after all.

To inspire you to keep warm, comforted and nourished through lockdown and beyond, we’ve scoured the web to bring you our very favourite plant-based homely dinners – all without a scrap of meat or dairy to be seen.

Picture credits: Lazy Cat Kitchen

Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese


Olive Magazine


The invitingly indulgent creamy cheesiness of mac ‘n’ cheese is hard to beat when it comes to filling, warming fare in winter – plus it has the added benefit of being pleasing to all members of the family, from the tiniest upward. There are a couple of easy swap-outs here: the oat-milk makes for a wonderfully creamy white sauce, while the mozzarella and parmesan will need to be the vegan versions which, these days, are happily easily available. We love the added crunch of the hazelnuts, too, for some added texture. One to make too much of and eat for a couple of days running.


Miso Roast Squash & Potatoes With Almonds And Kale


Anna Jones


Squashes really are the stars of the autumn/ winter season, their earthy sweetness filling, nutritious and a perfect foil to zingier flavours. Anna Jones is the reigning queen of vegetarian cooking; the recipient of the coveted Observer Food Monthly Best Cookbook Award in 2018, her dishes are unfailingly inventive and stunningly good to eat, as well as broadly being simple. We adore this beautiful, healthy and massively comforting recipe, which is easy to throw together for a delicious dinner.


Coconut And Lentil Dhal


Deliciously Ella


Is Indian food the ultimate in comfort? The answer is a big resounding yes in our house. And what’s not to salivate over? The health-giving properties of the lentils make this dish nutritious; for the requisite soothing flavours, look no further than the coconut milk; and for a kick of much-needed warmth, there is chilli powder, as well as optional chilli flakes. As the brilliant Ella Woodward suggests, serving this with avocado and coconut yogurt is a winner – and, as the per the pictures, a couple of roasty potatoes will tip it into perfect winter warmer territory.


Roasted Parsnip, Cauliflower And Garlic Soup


Olives For Dinner


We love Boston-based ‘ethical vegan’ Erin’s blog. As she writes, her trajectory towards the eschewal of animal products in all forms was a circuitous but instinctive one; and having started life as a vegan, it felt like a weight had been lifted, so she began writing about her choices – and, crucially for us, sharing her recipes. That her husband is a photographer makes Olives For Dinner a dream blog, as beautiful to look at as it is to read, plus we like her honesty about the fact that she by no means eats like this all week round, but enjoys dreaming up creative recipes when she has the time. This one, for roasted parsnip, cauliflower and garlic soup, is such a winter winner; velvety, earthy, soothing and filling, it’s just a great recipe to have on standby for weeknight dinners. We recommend some good sourdough to scoop up the remains. Do note, you will need vegan butter and vegan bacon for this recipe.


Vegan Mushroom Bolognese With Smoked Tofu


Lazy Cat Kitchen


The uncompromisingly carnivorous Spag Bol is a staple on the roster of traditional comfort suppers. And yet it is surprisingly easy to recreate with a plant-based twist – for evidence of which, we need look no further than Lazy Cat Kitchen’s vegan mushroom Bolognese with smoked tofu. The medley of mushrooms – including porcini, chestnut and shiitake – give it a wonderfully rich flavour, as well as supplying their own meaty texture, while the tofu and the optional vegan parmesan for the topping are really the only meat substitutes you’ll have to make (do make sure, however, that your red wine is vegan). We could eat this on repeat and probably will.


Vegan Rainbow Lasagne


Rainbow Nourishments


Canberra-dweller Anthea, the woman behind the superb Rainbow Nourishments blog, is an advocate for food that brings people together. As she writes, ‘Rainbow Nourishments is not just about the kitchen but nourishing people on a deeper level. I believe that food should encourage people to connect with loved ones, positive memories and be a way to practice kindness to yourself, others and the environment. All the recipes I create for Rainbow Nourishments are vegan as I believe it’s more sustainable for the world and minimises harm to animals.’ We love lasagne, and we love the literalism of the titular rainbow here, in this dish achieved thanks to the inclusion of both the vivid pumpkin and beetroot layers. The cheeriest and most comforting of dishes – and who couldn’t do with some extra helpings of cheer or comfort right now?


Parsnip And Porcini Wellington


Delicious Magazine


Delicious Magazine lists this showstopping recipe as one of its vegan Christmas suggestions. We may still be a few weeks away from the big day, but we say there’s no reason not to give this a whirl ahead of time – not least to practice your hand. If you’re locked down with a big family, it’s ideal. If not, it’s a great one to eat over a couple of days. There are quite a lot of stages, so you will need time; the recipe writer, Maria Elia, suggests that you can make a number of the elements in advance. If then, you are home with time on your hands, it is the perfect match – both for lockdown and the weather.

By Nancy Alsop
November 2020

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Nancy Alsop

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Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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