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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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