No matter where you come from or where you live, on January 22nd, we can all feel a little bit Southern because it’s National Southern Food Day.
Southern cuisine is rich with history and reflects the influences of many different cultures. Southern food is made up of the dishes we all know and love, food that’s simple, comforting, and indulgent. Full breakfasts, thick soups and stews, fried foods, grits, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, and greens. Let’s not forget all the sweet dessert pies and cobblers either.
If you think eating a plant-based diet means you can’t enjoy Southern cuisine, think again. All the delicious and comforting foods that make up Southern food can be made without any meat, dairy or eggs. Read How to Make All Your Favorite Southern Comfort Foods Meatless and Dairy-Free and 5 Tips to Make Delicious, Traditional Southern Foods Vegan Style. Learn How to Cook Okra So It’s Not Slimy and All Flavor and Soak Up the Goodness of These 15 Recipes for Biscuits and Gravy.
If you need recipes, we’ve got them. Learn How to Veganize Your Favorite Familiar Dishes and get the recipe for a full Southern meal of “Chicken-Fried” Tofu Steaks with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and White Gravy. See how a Deep South Breakfast Goes Vegan and then scroll through these 20 Classic Southern Dishes Made Without Meat or Dairy. Have some napkins ready because your mouth is going to start watering! Finally, get ready to celebrate the day with these 30 Southern dishes made vegan, y’all!
1. Vegan Fried ‘Chicken’
Fried chicken is a Southern food staple. This Vegan Fried “Chicken” is made with slices of TVP (texturized vegetable protein) wrapped in rice paper. The rice paper makes each piece crispy and golden brown. Serve this with mashed potatoes and gravy for the ultimate Southern meal.
2. Easy Cajun Jambalaya
Loaded with tomatoes, celery, onion, Cajun seasoning, paprika, thyme, sweet peppers, and jalapeños, this Cajun Jambalaya is a perfect one pot meal. Instead of meat, this jambalaya has vegan sausages which add a little heartiness and umami to the dish.
3. Cauliflower Etouffée With Andouille
Etouffée is a Cajun/Creole dish from New Orleans that traditionally consists of seafood (usually crawfish) “smothered” in a rich, spicy gravy thickened with a butter-based roux. This Cauliflower Etouffée with Andouille is a delicious vegan version made with cauliflower, seitan sausages and of course, hot sauce.
4. Sweet Potato Biscuits
These Sweet Potato Biscuits have a slightly sweet taste and beautiful color from the sweet potatoes. Light, tender, and doughy, you’ll be tempted to eat these straight out of the oven. We understand completely.
5. ‘Chicken-Fried’ Seitan Steak With Buffalo Vinaigrette
This “Chicken-Fried” Seitan Steak with Buffalo Vinaigrette is like a cross between fried chicken and Buffalo wings – two favorites in one vegan dish. Served with a carrot and celery salad in a spicy vinaigrette, this is one indulgent and delicious meal.
6. Black Eyed Pea Chili With Corn Fritters
Black-eyed peas, corn fritters, and chili – it just doesn’t get more Southern than that. This Black-Eyed Pea Chili is filled with veggies and lots of bold spices. Then it’s topped with halfway homemade corn fritters for a crispy and delicious topping.
7. Breakfast Andouille Sausage With Biscuits
Breakfast is a big deal in the south, and this Breakfast Andouille Sausage with Biscuits is heaven on a plate. The vegan sausages are spiced up with Cajun seasoning and then topped with cheese before landing on some fresh homemade biscuits. A little vegan butter and raspberry jam and Southern breakfast is served.
8. Lentil Chili Pot Pie with Pumpkin Cornbread Topping
These Lentil Chili Pot Pies are Southern comfort food in a bowl. They have a hearty veggie-filled lentil spicy chili topped with a slightly sweet and fluffy pumpkin cornbread. Vegan and gluten-free so everyone can enjoy them.
9. Perfect Mini Pecan Pies
Why are these Mini Pecan Pies perfect? Well, they’re mini so you can eat the whole pie and not feel guilty. Instead of the traditional corn syrup and brown sugar that goes into the sugary-sweet filling, a mixture of coconut oil and pecan butter is used instead, for a healthier alternative.
10. Creole-Style Eggplant and Tofu Étouffée
A classic Creole dish goes vegan with this Creole-Style Eggplant and Tofu Etouffée. Tofu and eggplant are simmered in a flavorful stew that’s filled with southern flair. Served with brown rice, this main dish is sure to satisfy any of your Cajun cravings.
11. Rosemary “Buttermilk” Biscuits
The recipe for these Rosemary ‘Buttermilk’ Biscuits comes from Blossom Du Jour in NYC. Made with vegan buttermilk, these biscuits are light, fluffy and perfect for dunking into chili, soup, and of course, gravy.
12. Creole Okra Corn Soup
Not only is this Creole Okra Corn Soup delicious, but it’s easy because you can make it in the slow cooker. Okra, corn, and tomatoes are cooked with bold Creole spices for a warm and comforting dish.
13. Peach and Raspberry Crumble
This Peach and Raspberry Crumble falls somewhere between a dessert and a breakfast. The combination of peach with raspberries is sweet, acidic, fresh … simply perfect. You can use any combination or fruit that you like. The nut mixture and oat combination would be perfect with just about anything.
14. Sweet Potato Pie Tartlets
On a sweet pecan crust sits a smooth sweet potato filling that tastes just like caramel. Sweet molasses brings a rich depth-of-flavor to these little Sweet Potato Pie Tartlets. Topped with cool coconut whipped cream and freshly grated lemon zest, these are the perfect treat to enjoy on a cold day while wrapped in a fluffy blanket with a hot cup of tea.
15. Homemade Andouille Sausages
Andouille sausages are an immortal culinary staple down in good old Louisiana, right next to the likes of beignets and crawfish boils. You should definitely try your hand at making these plant-based, gluten-free Homemade Andouille Sausages before you set out to make some jambalaya or gumbo … or just eat them on their own!
16. Pecan Pear Crumble
This Pecan Pear Crumble is a great dessert to put together when you’re craving something homey and comforting. Crumble-making is so much more relaxed than pie-making, so you can have juicy spiced pears topped with a nutty oat crumble in no time at all! Topping your serving with a couple of generous scoops of vegan vanilla ice cream is highly recommended and encouraged.
17. Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Jambalaya
Pulled pork is a Southern favorite but let the piggies be and make this Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Jambalaya instead. Jackfruit may be a fruit, but it’s a savory meat replacement too. This dish is so delicious and easy because it’s prepared in a slow cooker.
18. Calcium-Packed Navy Bean Biscuits and Roasted Garlic Gravy
Navy beans make an appearance in both components of this Calcium-Packed Navy Bean Biscuits and Roasted Garlic Gravy dish. This savory gravy is made with tempeh and lots of herbs and spices – and the sweet taste of the roasted garlic is pure Southern heaven.
19. Jackfruit Pot Pie
Pot pies are so comforting and delicious. This Jackfruit Pot Pie is the plant-based pot pie of your dreams! If you’re craving a creamy, warm jackfruit and veggie filling encased in a delicate puff pastry crust, you must make this recipe. Your stomach will be so incredibly happy.
20. Buttery Skillet Cornbread
It doesn’t get much more Southern than cornbread cooked in a cast iron skillet. This Buttery Skillet Cornbread doesn’t get its namesake from vegan butter or oil. All the rich, buttery taste comes from a magic secret ingredient: pecans! These amazing nuts are ground into a flour and mixed with cornmeal to make a supremely moist, nutty, and luscious cornbread – without any added oils
21. Mashed Cauliflower
This Mashed Cauliflower is a healthier and lighter take on the Southern classic of mashed potatoes. It has healthy mashed cauliflower cooked with garlic, leeks, and chives. It’s packed with flavor, and because it’s so much lighter, you can have extra gravy!
22. Crispy Spiced Cauliflower and Okra
If you think you aren’t a fan of okra, this Crispy Spiced Cauliflower and Okra will change your mind. Wonderful with a side of basmati rice, this is a fast and very healthy dish that can be prepared easily on a weeknight. Spice liberally!
23. Spicy Andouille Sausage
The backbone of many Cajun dishes is andouille; a smoked pork sausage seasoned with cayenne and other Louisiana spices. These vegan Spicy Andouille Sausages are flavor packed and toothsome, with just the right amount of heat. These little guys are delicious on their own, or in a big steaming pot of etouffée.
24. Smoky Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese
Mac and cheese is a Southern favorite. This Smoky Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese is a healthier take because it uses butternut squash to create a creamy, cheesy sauce. A bit of smokiness added to the sauce takes this dish to the next level.
25. Vegan Biscuits and “Sausage” Gravy
When you need a little Southern comfort, turn to these Vegan Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. The biscuits are light and fluffy with a hint of pumpkin pie spice. The thick, white gravy has vegan sausage running through it. If this doesn’t bring you comfort, we don’t know what will.
26. Southern Stew
This Southern Stew has tons of Southern flavor with a creamy sweet potato broth base. Packed with black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, and collard greens, this is the South in a warm bowl of delicious soul food!
27. Raw Vegan Chia Caramel Pecan Pie
Can Southern food be totally healthy? Totally! This Raw Vegan Chia Caramel Pecan Pie is a “healthified” version of the classic Southern dessert. It’s filled with all healthy ingredients including superfood chia seeds. Totally delicious.
28. Easy Weeknight Rustic Peach Berry Crumble
Crumbles are perfect for people who don’t like baking because they’re so easy. All you have to do is make a fruit filling and top it with a crumble mix. This Rustic Peach Berry Crumble is made with peaches and raspberries but works great with any combination of stone fruits and berries you like.
29. Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato steals the spotlight from pumpkin in this wonderful Sweet Potato Pie. Top it with pecans and coconut whipped cream to really wow your guests. This is the perfect ending to any Southern meal.
30. Southwestern Style Grits
You can’t have a Southern celebration and not have some grits. These Southwestern Style Grits are made creamy with vegan cheese and sour cream. A little jalapeno adds a spicy kick.
No matter where you come from, when you try any of these delicious recipes, we guarantee you’ll feel a little bit Southern.
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Lead image source: Easy Cajun Jambalaya