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10 ESSENTIAL Comfort Food Plant-Based Recipes

Sharon Palmer

As the cool weather approaches, it’s time to put more warm, comforting classics on the table, such as soups, stews, baked goods, fall and winter vegetable side dishes, casseroles, pasta, and bean dishes. I put together some of my favorite 100% plant-based (vegan) comfort food recipes into a collection to inspire your cooking this week. These are tried and true recipes I cook in my kitchen this time of year. From my kitchen to yours!

10 ESSENTIAL Comfort Food Plant-Based Recipes

Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup (Vegan)

Turn to your Instant Pot to make an easy, healthy soup in 30 minutes. This recipe calls upon the flavors of mirepoix—the classic French trifecta of onions, carrots, and celery. Pair it with a sandwich or salad for an easy meal. You can also make this soup over the stove or in a crockpot.

Almond Buckwheat Pancakes with Gingered Peaches (Vegan)

Buckwheat has a wild, nutty flavor that accents baked goods, such as hearty pancakes, so well. In this whole grain pancake recipe, applesauce adds its fruity, natural sweetness to the mix, along with the crunch and nutrition power of almonds. It’s a perfect start for a relaxed Saturday morning breakfast, or a school day for your busy child. 

Farmers Market Tempeh Hash (Vegan)

This zesty potato hash is filled with farm-fresh produce, including zucchini, bell peppers, red onions, and parsley. It also calls upon tempeh—the plant-protein superstar made out of fermented soy and grains. This hash is perfect for a weekend brunch, or easy meal on a busy weeknight.

Chickpea Curry with Sorghum (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

This dish pays tribute to the vibrantly flavored, Indian classic comfort food, Chana Masala. And it’s easy to make this classic, protein-packed dish at home, too with a few simple ingredients—chickpeas, canned tomatoes, spices, and cooked sorghum.

Herbed Lentil Patties with Mushroom Sauce (Vegan)

I love these easy lentil patties for a comfort food meal any day of the week. You can whip them up in no time. The creamy, savory mushroom sauce is an excellent topping. Serve this with whipped potatoes and a side salad for a hearty meal that will satisfy the mind, body and soul.

Veggie Shepherd Pie (Vegan)

If you’re looking for an easy, vegan comfort meal-in-one, try out this classic vegan Shepherd’s pie, which is fashioned into easy, individual potato-topped pies. Sure, you can make this recipe in a casserole dish, too. Filled with veggies—zucchini, peas, carrots, peppers, onions, and seitan, these savory mini pots of stew are topped with whipped potatoes and browned in the oven. The next time you’re making mashed potatoes, save the leftovers for this recipe and you can make it no time!

Grits Smothered with Mustard Greens (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I am partial to Southern comfort foods thanks to my Arkansas-born mother, who prepared her trademark savory grits and greens on a regular basis. This dish marries these two Southern staples into one easy, nutrient-packed casserole. The bitter greens and caramelized onions partner with the creamy grits beautifully. Add a side of stewed black-eyed peas and you’ve got a plant-powered match made in heaven. The hefty dose of greens puts this meal off the charts with bone-loving nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin C. 

Broccoli Walnut Au Gratin (Vegan)

If you’re looking for a comfort food, holiday side-dish, or potluck contribution, look no further than this yummy, easy casserole. I adapted this 100% plant-based recipe from a California Walnut recipe, which I featured on a recent Hallmark TV Channel Home & Family show. Try substituting cauliflower for broccoli for a quick alternative.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Dates, Figs and Pistachios (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Of the many delicious winter squash varieties, butternut squash is one of my favorites. Not only do they make the perfect winter arrangement for your table, they are packed with powerful health benefits. The nutrient profile of squash—rich in carotenoids—makes them particular powerful health defenders.  Studies show that these colorful squash have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent chronic disease. The best part is that they are delicious and so easy to prepare! All you have to do is slice the squash open, scoop out the seeds, season it, and place it in the oven.

Pistachio Cherry Coconut Crisp (Vegan)

Here’s a comfort food dessert recipe heavy on flavor, and light on calories. Calling upon the rich flavors of cherries, pistachios, coconut and oats, it’s sure to be a hit with the whole family!

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