There is a lot to love about classic southern dishes and soul food. It’s greasy, flavorful, meaty, hearty, spicy and comforting. Overall, Southern dishes have lots of flair and a whole lot of heavy yumminess. Sit down to a bowl of mac & cheese or freshly baked potpie and you’re guaranteed to fill stuffed and comforted ASAP. Many southern dishes get their comforting and filling appeal from the use of meat and dairy products. But even an animal product-ridden cuisine like Southern fare can be made over into delicious vegan counterparts. Here are 10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style.

1. Fried Green Tomatoes with Red Pepper Aoili

Fried Green tomatoes are the quintessential southern side dish. For this recipe, use a combination of fine cornmeal and chickpea flour, and instead of eggs, opt for flaxseed. This recipe also includes a “buttermilk” made from almond and vinegar.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

2. Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

When it comes to making mashed potatoes, Southerners do not shy away from the butter and milk; ask your average southern grandmother, and she will tell you not to skimp on the butter and milk in favor of making ultra creamy and rich mashed potatoes. Sorry, grandma, but the dairy milk and butter is not necessary to make tasty mashed potatoes. To make a vegan version that is just as comforting, use a quality olive oil and soymilk.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

3. Vegan Cornbread 

For this cornbread, opt for organic cornmeal, organic coconut oil, organic grade B maple syrup, and homemade almond milk. The end result is a moist cake sans dairy that will go great alongside some chili or a vegan chicken dish.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

4. Easy Veggie Pot Pie

Potpies are warm, creamy, and bursting with flavor from delicious fresh veggies. This recipe is a fairly simple meal to throw together. Among the ingredients for the crust, use amaranth flour, white rice flour, potato starch and arrowroot.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

5. Baked Vegan Macaroni and Cheeze

Opt for whole-wheat pasta to make your vegan mac & cheese into a healthier meal. With this baked, healthy rendition, use chickpea flour, nondairy milk, and regular or gluten-free breadcrumbs.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

6. Best Ever Vegan ‘Steak’ Sandwich on the Planet

Southerners love their heavy, hearty and meaty fare, with steak being no exception. To make this steak sandwich, use tofu and vegan mince/ground crumbles for heartiness and protein.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

7. Fried Green Beer Tomatoes

Here is another fried Green tomato recipe, but this version calls for dark vegan beer to act as a binder to make the batter stick.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

8. Smoky Pumpkin Grits with Shitake Mushrooms in Kale Pesto Cream Sauce

These grits get a bit of an upgrade thanks to shiitake mushrooms, coconut milk, dry white wine, and smoky kale pesto. This dish is pretty simple to make, since to prepare the grits, you make everything in one cast iron skillet over the stove.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Sherry-Maple Vinaigrette

Brussels sprouts are an incredibly healthy side dish, since they are high in vitamin C and folic acid. You don’t have to serve these drenched in butter to make them taste good; try this recipe, which calls for extra-virgin olive oil, shallots, garlic, aged Sherry vinegar, time, Dijon mustard, agave nectar and black pepper.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style

10. Strawberry Shortcake with a Coconut Whipped Cream Topping

These strawberry shortcakes are quick to make and messy to eat. This recipe features a strawberry layer made with evaporated cane sugar, lemon juice and vanilla, as well as a shortcake and coconut whipped cream on top. This is a great dessert to have after your Southern-inspired dinner night.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made Over, Vegan Style
 

11. Grilled Buffalo Tofu Po’ Boy with Apple Slaw

The traditional Buffalo sandwich is breaded, deep-fried, and smothered in buffalo sauce. This healthier version features grilled, marinated tofu with creamy slaw, apples and cabbage.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

12. Flaky Vegan White Bean Biscuits with Rosemary Butter

These unique, savory biscuits are perfect for mopping up all that gravy.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

13. Extra Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese

Here’s another creamy, cheesy mac n’ cheese recipe, but this one calls for using potatoes and onions in the sauce.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

14. Seitan Pot Roast

Who needs cow’s meat to make a bangin’ pot roast with a plant-based meat? Give seitan a try for this comforting dish.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

15. Sweet Potato Fritters

These fritters have a bit of a kick to them from the jalapeno, cilantro and pepper. Serve them alongside your main course.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

16. Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

This biscuit recipe calls for curdled soy milk and vinegar to make a tasty buttermilk.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

17. Vegan Thanksgiving Gravy

This recipe may have Thanksgiving in the title, but you can certainly serve this gravy any time of the year with some pot roast, chicken or biscuits.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

18. Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Burgers with Mississippi Comeback Sauce

These black-eyed pea burgers are not very spicy, so layer them with toppings and sauces galore – tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, mustard, mayo, salsa, ketchup, you name it!

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

19. Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs

This indulgent rib recipe comes complete with a spice rub and a balsamic BBQ sauce.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!

20. Vegan Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Use meatless breakfast links, almond milk, whole wheat white flour and liquid smoke for these baked biscuits.

10 Classic Southern Dishes Made With Meat or Dairy. What?!
 

Lead image source: Fried Green Beer Tomatoes