We’ve said our goodbyes to summer and now it’s time to embrace fall and everything that we love about it — changing leaves, sweater weather, warm beverages, and (drumroll, please) the richest, most delicious comfort food. Now that the cold is starting to settle in, it’s time to start thinking about hot and hearty meals that will keep us full and warm is up. Typically, we look to carb-y meals packed with meat or dairy, but it’s totally not necessary. These vegan mac and cheese recipes, this Mushroom Stroganoff, and this Scalloped Butternut Squash are proof that you don’t need meat or dairy to make killer comfort food. We even have an entire page dedicated to all your favorite vegan comfort food recipes, where there’s always something new to try.
If you’re ready to get cozy, then we have some recipes that you should start with. Try these 15 comforting, filling, and meat-free vegan meals!
1. Hot and Hearty Mushroom Curry
This Hot and Hearty Mushroom Curry is a little sweet, nicely spicy, and packed with meaty mushrooms. The all-veggie sauce is packed with carrots, spinach, and onions, plus it’s easy to make and brimming with authentic Indian flavor. Serve with plenty of rice and this is guaranteed to keep you feeling full, warm, and cozy.
2. Mexican Cornbread Pizza Cake
The only thing better than pizza is pizza cake and the only thing better than pizza cake is this Mexican Cornbread Pizza Cake! That’s right – three layers of sun-dried tomato jalapeño cornbread plus refried beans, nacho cheese, guacamole, pizza sauce, and veggies galore. This cake is nothing short of epic.
3. Moroccan Chickpea Bake
This Moroccan Chickpea Bake combines the flavors of Moroccan cuisine in a whole new way. The three layers are inspired by three classics — tagine, hummus, and falafel. Together, they create something modern and unique. This comforting dish is a fantastic way to spice up your weeknight meal rotation.
4. Fiery Garlic Tofu
Do you like your food spicy? This Fiery Garlic Tofu isn’t the kind of dish where the spiciness builds gradually, like a slow burn — this one starts off strong, thanks to the addition of red chili peppers. Of course, there’s more to this dish than just heat; it’s seasoned with garlic, pepper, ginger, sesame oil, and a brown sugar glaze, to round it all out. If spiciness isn’t your thing, then leave the chilis peppers whole while you cook them. But if you want to find out why this is called “fiery garlic tofu,” then slice them just before you add them to the pan.
5. Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Sauce
A good veggie burger is only as good as its ingredients. Black bean burgers would be terribly bland if you just smashed up some beans and made it into a patty. It needs to be treated like any entrée, like in these Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Sauce. The varieties of flavors you can add are endless. These spicy burgers are made from a base of hearty black beans and oats and packed with lots of onion, bell pepper, and a good amount of seasoning. The super simple cilantro-lime sauce provides the perfect cool and tangy contrast to the heat.
6. Barbecue ‘Ribs’
These Barbecue “Ribs” are a work of genius. A combination of textured vegetable protein and vital wheat gluten, they nail the flavor and texture perfectly. They’re meaty, savory, and absolutely amazing when coated in the homemade barbecue sauce. One bite and they’ll become one of your barbecue essentials.
7. Colombian Black Bean Stew
Not only is this Colombian Black Bean Stew super easy to make and utterly delicious, but it’s also extremely healthy, full of plant-based protein and fiber. It’s proof that healthy plant-based food does not need to be complicated or expensive. It uses inexpensive foods like black beans, onion, and garlic to make a hearty meal, especially when served with a side of grains and topped with sliced avocado.
8. Coconut Curry Linguini
Why is this dish called Coconut Curry Linguini? It has the texture and creaminess of a fettuccini Alfredo, but with Thai ingredients and flavors like rice noodles, coconut milk, red curry paste, and lime. It’ll quickly become one of your favorite dishes to whip up last minute when you want something easy that packs big flavor.
9. Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
As far as fall comfort food goes, stuffed squash is among the best of the best — especially when you bring some fusion flavors to the table. This Curried Chickpea and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash is made with bold and vibrant Indian flavors, balanced with some fresh herbs. Saving the squash shells for serving is entirely optional, but it definitely helps capture the mood of fall.
10. 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 — and no, you won’t be hungry after you eat it.
11. Iranian Eggplant and Chickpeas Stew
This Iranian Eggplant and Chickpeas Stew is the perfect festive dinner. It is absolutely AMAZING. The texture of the eggplant and chickpeas go so well together, and the sweetness of the dates and apricots blend perfectly with the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric. Chickpeas, dates, and a creamy almond-coconut sauce will keep you nice and full, especially if you serve it with grains.
12. Potato Kofta in Butter ‘Chicken’ Sauce
Soft, crispy Potato Kofta are served in a creamy sauce inspired by the Indian dish, butter chicken. The spiced sauce is completely dairy-free and gets its rich, creamy texture from coconut milk. Not only is this dish easy to make, it’s also super affordable and filling!
13. Charred Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato
Forget pizza and take-out, baked stuffed sweet potatoes are now the ultimate feel-good dish! These Charred Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a meal to cure any heartache! The beans give it a certain rich and earthy meatiness which pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the potato and the corn. Together with the velvety tahini sauce, you’ve got something that is completely addictive and absolutely good for you!
14. Cast Iron Skillet Bibimbap
Bibimbap is traditional Korean dish which consists of cooked rice and varied toppings, traditionally served in a hot stone pot called a dolsot. This Cast Iron Skillet Bibimbap is made with carrots, red cabbage, mung bean sprouts, cucumbers, pan-fried mushrooms, and spicy tofu. A cast-iron skillet is used in place of a dolsot, making the rice crispy.
15. Maple-Glazed Mushroom and Lentil Loaf
This hearty Maple-Glazed Mushroom and Lentil Loaf will remind you of that Sunday evening meatloaf so many of us grew up with. Made from mushrooms and lentils, it’s dense and meaty, with a delicious maple ketchup glaze that sinks in as it bakes. This loaf is tender, moist, and full of these beautiful savory flavors that paired so perfectly with the sweet bite of the ketchup glaze.
If you’re ready for more comfort food, then we’ve got you covered. Check out our vegan comfort food recipes for more ideas to keep you warm and cozy.
Lead image source: Hot and Hearty Mushroom Curry
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