During this period of social distancing, it’s normal to miss social events and honestly, going outside in general. One of the most iconic symbols of social enjoyment is a carnival-the lights, the rides, and of course, the food. While you can’t get a social distancing Ferris wheel, these 15 carnival-inspired recipes will help get you in a festive mood! There’s everything from funnel cake to fried pickles to caramel corn. Make a bunch of these recipes, put on some fun music, and feel like your back at your fave summer carnival for a night!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! 

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1. Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Source: Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

Simple to make and equally as delicious, these gluten-free and vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes by Kat Condon are better than any donut shop! How can you go wrong with a fluffy donut rolled in cinnamon and sugar?! Donut holes are way more fun than your average donut. I mean you literally just pop them straight into your mouth! So try making these vegan Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes––they’re absolutely amazing

2. Candied Jalapeño Hushpuppies with Sweet Butter

Candied Jalapeno Hushpuppies with Sweet Butter

Source: Candied Jalapeño Hushpuppies with Sweet Butter

These Candied Jalapeño Hushpuppies with Sweet Butter by Lauren Hartmann are the best of the best. They are moist on the inside, super crispy on the outside, and they’re sweet with just a little spice. These are without a doubt the hushpuppies you will want to eat forever.   Reprinted with permission from Southern Vegan by Lauren Hartmann, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Lauren Hartmann and Julie Grace

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3. Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Vegan Caramel Popcorn [Gluten-Free]

Source: Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Most caramel corn you buy isn’t vegan because it usually contains butter in the caramel, but this Vegan Caramel Popcorn by Rhea Parsons uses vegan butter.

4. Air-Fried Pickles with Dairy-Free Ranch

Source: Air-Fried Pickles with Dairy-Free Ranch

These air fried pickles are dipped in a whole wheat flour/ground flaxseed breading and air-fried to golden perfection. Then for optimal enjoyment, we recommend dipping them in the bomb dairy-free ranch dip. You will love these Air-Fried Pickles with Dairy-Free Ranch by Natalie Martin MS, RD and Lexie Staten MS, RD!

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5.  Spanish Churros

churros dipped in chocolate

Source: Spanish Churros

Want to make the most delicious Spanish churros at home? Try this recipe for Spanish Churros by Mireille Aikman! Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Best vegan churros ever! They are great for dessert or breakfast. Your family will love the sweet addition to your breakfast spread. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and dipped in chocolate sauce, these vegan churros will win over your heart (and your stomach). Have fun!

6. Sweet Potato-Potato Fritters

sweet potato fritter

Source: Sweet Potato-Potato Fritters

These Sweet Potato-Potato Fritters by HeeJee Lee only have two main ingredients: sweet potatoes & potatoes. So easy! Sliced sweet potatoes are bound by potato starch instead of flour and then simply seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, and salt. It’s easy and quick. A great way to clean out your pantry. It’s like eating sweet potato fries and french fries at once. Asian sweet potatoes with dark purple skin and white flesh give the fritters a sweet and chestnut-like flavor, but you can use any kind of sweet potato you like. Try out these sweet potato fritters––you are going to love them!

7. Blueberry Hand Pies With a Flaky Crust

Blueberry Hand Pies With a Flaky Crust

Source: Blueberry Hand Pies With a Flaky Crust

In this recipe for Blueberry Hand Pies With a Flaky Crust by Caitlin and Riley Gladney-Hatcher sweet, gooey blueberries fill a deliciously flaky and slightly sweet hand pie crust. They’re an amazing breakfast when warmed just a little bit, or even for dessert, with a drizzle of cashew frosting. These portable pillows of joy and plump, juicy blueberries are so good, you’ll want to make them daily.

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8. Fried Mac and ‘Cheese’ Balls

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Source: Fried Mac and ‘Cheese’ Balls

These decadent Fried Mac and ‘Cheese’ Balls by Ashley Hankins are comfort food personified. The creamy, fiery jalapeño mac and cheese shaped into balls, coated in a flour and panko crust, and then fried until the balls become golden-brown orbs of deliciousness. Oh, and they are served with a zesty cheese sauce on the side.

9. Red Velvet Funnel Cakes

Red Velvet Funnel Cakes

Source: Red Velvet Funnel Cakes

These crispy, sweet Red Velvet Funnel Cakes by Lauren Hartmann are something you don’t want to miss out on. They take no time at all, and soon you’ll be living in a perfect world—one where there is a year-round fair in your home, and that fair inexplicably serves vegan red velvet funnel cakes. Yup, this can be your life.   Reprinted with permission from Southern Vegan by Lauren Hartmann, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Lauren Hartmann and Julie Grace

10. Pretzel Wrapped ‘Cheese’ Dogs

Pretzel Wrapped Cheese Dogs

Source: Pretzel Wrapped ‘Cheese’ Dogs

These Pretzel Wrapped ‘Cheese’ Dogs by Gabrielle St. Claire will bring you right back to your childhood summers. They are wrapped in a perfectly textured homemade dough, sprinkled with cheese inside and out, and then served with a zesty and spicy mustard.

11. Healthy Creamy Nacho Cheese Sauce and Nachos

vegan Healthy Creamy Nacho Cheese Sauce and Nachos

Source: Healthy Creamy Nacho Cheese Sauce and Nachos

This is such an easy, affordable, and delicious way to make a creamy vegan cheese sauce, mainly using cashews and oat milk. You have to try Natasa Christofidou‘s Healthy Creamy Nacho Cheese Sauce and Nachos!

12. Blueberry Glazed Doughnuts

Blueberry Glazed Doughnuts

Source: Blueberry Glazed Doughnuts

These Blueberry Glazed Doughnuts by The Rose and Bean have got everything a doughnut connoisseur could ask for in a pastry. The light, fluffy dough is fried until golden brown and then dipped in a blueberry glaze, topped with a warm blueberry compote, and marbled with some of the concentrated juices from the blueberries. You should make these doughnuts for a special occasion with friends – otherwise, you’ll eat them all yourself!

13. Beer Battered Onion Rings

Beer Battered Onion Rings

Source: Beer Battered Onion Rings

Honestly, these vegan Beer Battered Onion Rings by Ashley Hankins are so delicious, you don’t even need a sauce, but who doesn’t want some ranch? These vegan beer-battered onion rings are paired with a vegan jalapeño ranch dressing that is perfectly spicy and tangy.

14. Chocolate Chip Banana Nice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Banana Nice Cream Sandwiches

Source: Chocolate Chip Banana Nice Cream Sandwiches

These Chocolate Chip Banana Nice Cream Sandwiches by Desiree Rodriguez make the perfect treat!

15. Sourdough Pretzels

Sourdough Pretzels

Source: Sourdough Pretzels

Pretzels may or may not make you thirsty, but the idea of a twisted, chubby, salty cloud of dough baked to golden perfection is enough to make just about anyone hungry. You have to try these Sourdough Pretzels by Vaishali Honawar!

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

vegan healthy caramel peanut butter apples

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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