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Think Eating Vegan and Soy-Free is Impossible? These 15 Meaty, Cheesy Recipes Will Change Your Mind


If you happen to peruse the pre-packaged, frozen food aisle of the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed that many plant-based meats include soy protein, especially if you’re eating a soy-free diet. On the home cooking front, soy-based ingredients that are often used to flavor plant-based meats and cheeses, like soy sauce, tamari, miso, and vegan Worcestershire sauce all include soy. This is because they add the umami factor — a complex, savory taste that makes food taste great. Because of this, cooking vegan and soy-free versions of your favorite dishes might seem like a bit of a challenge. But, don’t worry, because it’s easy to make all things meaty and cheesy without the use of soy products!

It’s all about finding the right balance of seasoning and that’s why we’re here to help. It can be done! Even with all their meaty, cheesy flavors, each and every one of these 15 recipes is completely soy-free and vegan.

1. Quesadillas With Cashew Mozzarella and Chipotle Cream

quesadillas with cashew mozzarella

These Quesadillas With Cashew Mozzarella and Chipotle Cream are made with homemade cashew cheese and chipotle cream. They’re melty, gooey, stretchy, spicy, and best of all? They take just 20 minutes to prepare, including the made from scratch cashew mozzarella! Feel like celebrating yet? You will when you taste these!

2. Spicy Veggie Dogs

spicy veggie dogs

Looking for a delicious way to sneak some veggies into your diet? These soy-free Spicy Veggie Dogs are made from beet, carrot, green chilis, potatoes, and peas, then are seasoned with an assortment of spices, and eventually are brushed with a bit of oil and pan seared. The result? A crispy sausage that is perfect for barbecues when served in a fluffy hot dog bun with a generous drizzle of vegan mayo and ketchup.

3. Lentil Loaf With Carrots, Onions, and Portobello Mushrooms

lentil loaf with carrots onions and mushrooms

This savory Lentil Loaf With Carrots, Onions, and Portobello Mushrooms doesn’t need any soy to be meaty and delicious! Fire-roasted tomatoes make it tender and moist while a wide variety of veggies adds depth of flavor. This is an entrée that will satisfy everyone.

4. Creamy Chia Cheddar Sauce

creamy chia cheddar sauce

The recipe for Creamy Chia Cheddar Sauce is proof that you don’t need soy to make a yummy vegan cheese sauce — all you need is plants. It’s made from a combination of potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, cashews, nutritional yeast, and spices. Chia seeds help give it a smooth, velvety texture that’s perfect for serving over broccoli, use it as a nacho cheese, or pour it over noodles to make the best mac and cheese you’ve ever had.

5. Jackfruit Carnitas

jackfruit carnitas

Nobody will believe that these Jackfruit Carnitas are actually made from a tropical fruit. Jackfruit is sautéed with garlic and then simmered in a spicy sauce, allowing it to absorb all of the flavors. This recipe uses canned jackfruit in syrup, so it ends up sweet and spicy at the same time and then it’s topped with tangy quick-pickled red onions. Just remember to let the jackfruit sit overnight — the flavor payoff is worth it.

6. Cheesy Lentil Lasagna

cheesy lentil lasagna

This Cheesy Lentil Lasagna has layers of hearty lentil Bolognese, creamy cashew cheese, and pasta. And if you make a few key ingredients ahead of time, like the lentils and the nut cheese, you can assemble this dish in mere minutes. Yum!

7. Margherita Pizza With Fresh Basil Pesto and Mozzarella

margherita pizza with cashew mozzarella

This Margherita Pizza With Fresh Basil Pesto and Mozzarella tastes like Italian summer in your mouth! Or at least what we imagine Italian summer tastes like. The crunchy yet chewy crust is topped with tomato sauce, thinly sliced tomatoes, homemade vegan mozzarella and fresh from the garden basil pesto. It is creamy, chewy, fresh, and most of all …. delicious and soy-free! You won’t get it until you try it.

8. Ranch BLT With Portobello Mushroom Bacon

ranch blt

This Ranch BLT With Portobello Mushroom Bacon takes a classic sandwich to the max but don’t forget to toast the bread so it doesn’t become soggy. Or you can even put the dressing between the veggie layers instead of next to the bread. The ranch isn’t an exact replica, rather it tastes slightly like gravy. The bacon is super, ultra sweet but it is also wonderfully smoky and salty.

9. Fettuccine Alfredo

fettuccine alfredo

Creamy sauces in vegan cooking tend to be made with nuts or soy, so if you have a nut allergy, you might think that means you have to miss out on your favorite meals. Cauliflower takes the place of cashews in this Fettuccine Alfredo to make a rich and creamy alfredo sauce that you can make in big batches and freeze for later use. Serve it with asparagus, peas, or whatever green vegetables you have readily available.

10. Breaded Seitan Patties With Shiitake Sauce

breaded seitan patties

These Breaded Seitan Patties With Shiitake Sauce probably will remind you of those crispy patties you can find in the frozen food aisle — they’re crunchy, savory, and best of all, addictively meaty. You can serve them with the Shiitake mushroom sauce, but they’ll go well with anything, from salsa to just plain ketchup. Serve them on buns like burgers and add all of your favorite toppings.

11. Beanball Sub Sandwich With Marinara and Greens

beanball sub sandwich

Are you looking for a hearty filling sandwich that’s meaty without the soy meat? Look no further that this Beanball Sub Sandwich With Marinara and Greens. Reminiscent of the true Italian classic, this much healthier version will not disappoint.

12. Chickpea Chorizo Tacos

chickpea chorizo tacos

These hot and spicy Chickpea Chorizo Tacos have a filling like soyrizo, minus the soy! The chickpeas get their meaty “chorizo” flavor by crumbling them in a food processor with savory sun-dried tomato and being cooked in a skillet with a hot and spicy sauce. Load up your tacos with plenty of crisp lettuce, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, and some guac to balance the heat.

13. Lentil Burgers With Mustard Sauce

lentil burger with mustard sauce

These Lentil Burgers With Mustard Sauce are super tasty and the patties require only four ingredients! The combination of earthy flavor from the lentils, the touch of sweetness from the raisins, and the nutty walnuts, make this a unique veggie burger you will fall in love with instantly. The zesty mustard sauce makes this burger even better!

14. Caprese Sandwich With Cashew Mozzarella

caprese sandwich

There is nothing quite like this Caprese Sandwich With Cashew Mozzarella. Gooey, melty cashew mozzarella is sandwiched between two buttery slices of Italian bread with an easy balsamic vinaigrette dressing, fresh lettuce, and thick slices of tomato. Behold, the vegan Caprese sandwich! Because everything is better when you put it on bread.

15. Fooled Pork Sandwich With Fries

fooled pork sandwich

This Fooled Pork Sandwich With Fries is an experience that needs to be had. Young jackfruit is simmered until tender and then broiled in sticky barbecue sauce, allowing it to absorb the flavor. This sandwich is topped with a creamy, crunchy coleslaw that’s a nice contract to the tender barbecue sauce-covered jackfruit. It all comes with a side of crispy oven-baked fries — why not try piling those on the sandwich, too?

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Check out all our vegan soy-free recipes for more ideas!

 Lead image source: Lentil Burgers With Mustard Sauce

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70 comments on “Think Eating Vegan and Soy-Free is Impossible? These 15 Meaty, Cheesy Recipes Will Change Your Mind”

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Mike Schriever
1 Years Ago


Ines Di Lelio
1 Years Ago


With reference to your article I have the pleasure to tell you the history of my grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “Fettuccine all’Alfredo” (“Fettuccine Alfredo”) in 1908 in the “trattoria” run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). This “trattoria” of Piazza Rosa has become the “birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
More specifically, as is well known to many people who love the “fettuccine all’Alfredo", this famous dish in the world was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio concerned about the lack of appetite of his wife Ines, who was pregnant with my father Armando (born February 26, 1908).
Alfredo di Lelio opened his restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome and in 1943, during the war, he sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 "Il Vero Alfredo" (“Alfredo di Roma”), whose fame in the world has been strengthened by his nephew Alfredo and that now managed by me, with the famous “gold cutlery” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
See also the website of “Il Vero Alfredo” .
I must clarify that other restaurants "Alfredo" in Rome do not belong and are out of my brand "Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma".
I inform you that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo –Alfredo di Roma” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
Best regards Ines Di Lelio



Con riferimento al Vostro articolo ho il piacere di raccontarVi la storia di mio nonno Alfredo Di Lelio, inventore delle note "fettuccine all\'Alfredo" (“Fettuccine Alfredo”).
Alfredo Di Lelio, nato nel settembre del 1883 a Roma in Vicolo di Santa Maria in Trastevere, cominciò a lavorare fin da ragazzo nella piccola trattoria aperta da sua madre Angelina in Piazza Rosa, un piccolo slargo (scomparso intorno al 1910) che esisteva prima della costruzione della Galleria Colonna (ora Galleria Sordi).
Il 1908 fu un anno indimenticabile per Alfredo Di Lelio: nacque, infatti, suo figlio Armando e videro contemporaneamente la luce in tale trattoria di Piazza Rosa le sue “fettuccine”, divenute poi famose in tutto il mondo. Questa trattoria è “the birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
Alfredo Di Lelio inventò le sue “fettuccine” per dare un ricostituente naturale, a base di burro e parmigiano, a sua moglie (e mia nonna) Ines, prostrata in seguito al parto del suo primogenito (mio padre Armando). Il piatto delle “fettuccine” fu un successo familiare prima ancora di diventare il piatto che rese noto e popolare Alfredo Di Lelio, personaggio con “i baffi all’Umberto” ed i calli alle mani a forza di mischiare le sue “fettuccine” davanti ai clienti sempre più numerosi.
Nel 1914, a seguito della chiusura di detta trattoria per la scomparsa di Piazza Rosa dovuta alla costruzione della Galleria Colonna, Alfredo Di Lelio decise di trasferirsi in un locale in una via del centro di Roma, ove aprì il suo primo ristorante che gestì fino al 1943, per poi cedere l’attività a terzi estranei alla sua famiglia.
Ma l’assenza dalla scena gastronomica di Alfredo Di Lelio fu del tutto transitoria. Infatti nel 1950 riprese il controllo della sua tradizione familiare ed aprì, insieme al figlio Armando, il ristorante “Il Vero Alfredo” (noto all’estero anche come “Alfredo di Roma”) in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 (cfr. il sito web di Il Vero Alfredo).
Con l’avvio del nuovo ristorante Alfredo Di Lelio ottenne un forte successo di pubblico e di clienti negli anni della “dolce vita”. Successo, che, tuttora, richiama nel ristorante un flusso continuo di turisti da ogni parte del mondo per assaggiare le famose “fettuccine all’Alfredo” al doppio burro da me servite, con l’impegno di continuare nel tempo la tradizione familiare dei miei cari maestri, nonno Alfredo, mio padre Armando e mio fratello Alfredo. In particolare le fettuccine sono servite ai clienti con 2 “posate d’oro”: una forchetta ed un cucchiaio d’oro regalati nel 1927 ad Alfredo dai due noti attori americani M. Pickford e D. Fairbanks (in segno di gratitudine per l’ospitalità).
Un aneddoto della vita di mio nonno. Alfredo fu un grande amico di Ettore Petrolini, che conobbe nei primi anni del 1900 in un incontro tra ragazzi del quartiere Trastevere (tra cui mio nonno) e ragazzi del Quartiere Monti (tra cui Petrolini). Fu proprio Petrolini che un giorno, già attore famoso, andando a trovare l’amico Alfredo, gli disse che lui era un “attore” della cucina romana nel mondo e gli consigliò di attaccare alle pareti del ristorante le sue foto con i noti personaggi soprattutto dello spettacolo, del cinema e della cultura in genere che erano ospiti di “Alfredo”. Anche ciò fa parte del cuore della bella tradizione di famiglia che continuo a rendere sempre viva con affetto ed entusiasmo.
Desidero precisare che altri ristoranti “Alfredo” a Roma non appartengono e sono fuori dal mio brand di famiglia.
Vi informo che il Ristorante “Il Vero Alfredo” è presente nell’Albo dei “Negozi Storici di Eccellenza – sezione Attività Storiche di Eccellenza” del Comune di Roma Capitale.
Grata per la Vostra attenzione ed ospitalità nel Vostro interessante blog, cordiali saluti
Ines Di Lelio

Ana Maria Gabriel
1 Years Ago


Liz Laskovics Marcy
1 Years Ago

Alisha Valdez

Rob Kane
1 Years Ago

I think fruits and leaves are easy

Rob Kane
1 Years Ago

I think fruits and leaves are easy

Inge-Mo Haraldh
1 Years Ago


Inge-Mo Haraldh
1 Years Ago


Cesar Gabriel Gaona Bejarano
1 Years Ago

In what place in Toronto buy this?

Rachelle Tchiprout
1 Years Ago

Sean Sade these look amazing


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