Back when I was a preteen and embarking on my new vegetarian lifestyle, I relied on cheese and milk products for protein and sustenance. Those cheesy, creamy vegetarian meals like mac n’ cheese and potato casserole became my all-time favorite dishes.
For any American, mostly anything with milk or cheese is considered a yummy comfort food. However, going vegan is the best choice for our bodies and the planet, so it’s best to say goodbye to all things dairy. I used to think that giving up dairy meant severely limiting my food choices. At first, ditching dairy can seem limiting, but with a little knowledge about cooking substitution, I’ve realized that I can enjoy that comforting creamy taste in a vegan dish, too.
Here are ten creamy vegan recipes for the die-hard dairy fan. These plant-based dishes will give you that comforting taste of home without the side of cruelty to go along with it.
When winter approaches, a hot bowl of soup or pot pie is often the trick to keeping cozy. This vegan take on a comforting classic uses Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, soy milk, and soy creamer to mimic the original dairy and meat-laden dish.
2. Cashew Cream
A vegan cook’s secret weapon, cashew cream is super easy to make and takes only one major ingredient: cashews! Soak cashews for four hours, then blend with water, and voila, you’ve got a vegan choice to use for recipes in place of real cream.
If you want a flavorful, creamy party dish to knock everyone’s socks off, try this garlic spread. It is similar in taste and texture to a garlic cheese spread that is great for dipping with crackers or veggies.
Latkes are traditionally eaten with sour cream and applesauce. This twist on the classic latke calls for sweet potatoes and a vegan sour cream alternative with chutney folded into it.
Packaged, vegan cheese alternatives are easy to eat when you’ve got a hankering for cheese, but they can be laden with fat and calories. Instead of using fake cheese, this recipe calls for shredded carrots, vegan miso, cashews, and pimentos to mimic a pimento cheese spread.
This is one of those “I can’t believe it’s vegan!” dishes. Moussaka around the world is made with meat and either eggplant or potato, then topped with bechamel cheese. Get that rich, decadent feel of moussaka in this meat-free, dairy-free burger version.
Try whipping up this pizza if you want to wow a regular meat and dairy eater. A mix of vegan mac n’ cheese, caramelized onions and BBQ seitan make this one delicious, ooey-gooey meal.
With vegan cream cheese and pumpkin pie filling, you’ll never guess this pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust is free of dairy products.
This is a fantastic crowd-pleaser dish for your next potluck or holiday party. Since butternut squash is naturally creamy and sweet, a dairy fan may be surprised that this recipe is made with neither milk nor butter.
Soy milk and soy yogurt give this dish its creamy texture. The creator of this recipe suggests making the sauce a little richer by adding vegan margarine or coconut oil, and perhaps using soy cream in addition to the yogurt.