Top 10 Vegan Soul Food Recipes

Last updated on October 14, 2022
PAUL TURNERPAUL TURNER

Everybody needs some good comfort food now and again, but what if you made the choice to go plant-based? Are you going to miss out on all that yummy good food because many classic recipes are not vegan-friendly? Absolutely not! The internet is flooded with great vegan recipes for hush puppies, hoppin’ John, pot pie, and many other vegan desserts. We’ve put together some of the best vegan soul food recipes just for you. If you love soul food, then you’ll love these delicious recipes that will make you feel good in both body and soul.

By the way, for more information on veganism, check out FFL.org for more information. Now, let’s get to the good stuff… food!

Vegan Gumbo

Vegan gumbo has a rich, spicy flavor and a hearty texture that will make you forget it’s vegan. This recipe is loaded with veggies, so it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Vegan gumbo with rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 (28-ounce) can vegan gumbo soup base
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed*
  • 1 cup sliced okra
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (1/3 cup)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

*If you can’t find a vegan gumbo soup base, you can substitute a 15-ounce can of tomato sauce. 1. Heat the soup base in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it is hot and bubbling.

2. Add the okra, celery, and onion

3. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

4. Add black-eyed peas and season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve warm with cooked rice or cornbread.

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy.

Biscuits and gravy are a staple of southern cooking and also a breakfast favorite, but it can be hard to find a vegan version at restaurants. Luckily, you can make your own vegan biscuits at home with this simple recipe.

Vegan biscuits and gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil-free margarine or coconut oil

Melted Vegan Mushroom Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 10 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Salt and pepper  to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Stir in salt. Add margarine, and use your fingers to rub it into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Pour in 1 cup of water in the middle. Stir well to combine everything until a dough forms. If it’s too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together (up to another half cup). Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead five times to work out any air bubbles.

4. Shape dough into a rectangle and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut dough. Transfer pieces onto a prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

5. While your biscuits are baking, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in water and stir until the mixture is smooth and lump-free. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook for about 5 more minutes or until gravy has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Remove from heat and serve immediately over buttered vegan biscuits. Garnish with green onions.

Fried “Chicken.”

It tastes like chicken! But this is much healthier than the traditional recipe.

Fried tofu vegan fried chicken with chili sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup vegan buttermilk

For seasoning blend:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch (optional)
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

1. Put the lemon juice into a cup and add the non-dairy milk. Stir to combine, then set aside for 10 minutes or so to allow it to curdle. It should be thickened by this point and slightly sour. Add salt as required.

2. Place the tofu pieces in a large bowl and cover with buttermilk. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in 1 cup of flour (and cornstarch), then add more to thicken the sauce as needed—it should be about as thick as pancake batter when ready to fry.

4. Heat a few inches of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Meanwhile, remove tofu from the buttermilk and coat it in the spiced flour mixture.

5. If you want to add a little extra flavor to your tofu, try dredging it in cornstarch first before frying. This will help the crispiness last longer and give your tofu a nice golden finish.

6. Cook tofu in batches, turning once or twice, for 4 to 6 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, with some mashed potatoes on the side.

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese is one of the most popular vegan meals on the internet. This recipe is quick and easy to make, making it a great option for busy weeknights.

Vegan mac and cheese with mushroom

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter or oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (shitake, portabella, and/or white button mushrooms)
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 8 oz vegan cheese, shredded (preferably Miyoko’s Kitchen cashew mozzarella)

Directions:

1. Melt butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat.

2. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add onions and sauté for another 5 minutes or until tender but not browned.

4. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

5. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

6. Pour into a pot on the stove, bring it to a simmer, then stir in the mushroom mixture.

7. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes or until it thickens.

8. Serve over pasta with a side of cornbread and baked beans.

Buffalo Cauliflower Po’ Boy

A po’ boy is a sandwich that’s usually filled with fried seafood, but this vegan version uses buffalo cauliflower instead.

Vegan Buffalo cauliflower po'boy sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened coconut yogurt
  • buffalo sauce
  • bread
  • vegan bacon, lettuce leaves, and anything else you’d like to add as a topping
  • cooking spray

Directions:

1. Cook cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling water until tender–about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of warm water and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch until smooth. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to thicken (this will be your vegan mayo).

3. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, then spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the unsweetened coconut yogurt with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside for at least 5 minutes to thicken (this will be your vegan ranch dressing).

4. Toss cauliflower with buffalo sauce until evenly coated. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake until crispy on the outside but still tender on the inside or about 20–25 minutes. *The longer you roast them, the better they will taste! Remove from oven when done roasting and let cool slightly before making sandwiches.

5. Now comes the fun part: Assembly!!! Spread a generous amount of vegan mayo over one side of each piece of bread. Top each side with one slice of vegan tofu or vegan bacon, lettuce leaves, or any other topping you like. Place two slices of buffalo cauliflower on top. Top off sandwich by placing a second slice of bread on top.

Vegan Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a traditional southern dish, but this vegan version is made with vegetables and tofu. It’s a delicious, full meal in one bowl that’s perfect for any family gathering!

Vegan jambalaya

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced thin
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped finely
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves dry or fresh to taste (*1 bay leaf, optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • *2 Tbsp olive oil for sautéing (you can also use veggie broth instead)

Directions:

1. Heat oil in the stockpot over medium heat, then add onion, celery, and bell pepper, and cook this mixture until vegetables are tender (about 5 minutes). Stir frequently so vegetables don’t burn.

2. Add garlic, herbs, and spices and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Pour in vegetable broth (or water) along with potatoes and carrots then cover and bring to a boil over high heat (10-15 minutes).

4. Reduce heat to medium-low then cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

5. Remove from heat, stir in basil. Serve hot.

Vegan Chili

Turn a “chilly” day into a “chili” day with this great recipe. Feel free to get creative and add mushrooms, bell peppers, or anything else your heart desires for this feel-good vegan soul food dish.

Vegan chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 medium to large tomatoes, chopped (or one 28-ounce can of chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 cup red wine or water (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (hot or mild)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked or canned kidney beans or red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Directions:

1. Start by sautéing the onion in olive oil. Once it is translucent, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

2. Add all of your spices and stir until they become aromatic, about 5 minutes.

3. Add water if necessary so that there is just enough liquid to cover the beans.

4. After adding salt, pepper and oregano, add the beans and tomatoes to the pot. Allow this mixture to cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

5. Once the beans are tender, add your corn and allow everything to simmer together for another 20 minutes or so.

6. Remove from heat and serve with rice!

Collard Greens.

Collard Greens is a classic southern tradition, and luckily, it is already naturally vegan. This recipe for collard greens is simple, but still very flavorful. It’s sure to become one of your favorite dishes!

Vegan collard greens

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound collard greens, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Hot sauce and lemon juice, to taste

Directions

1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil or butter. When it’s hot, add the onion, garlic, salt, and paprika. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

2. Add the collard greens and stir to coat them in oil.

3. Add the vegetable broth (or water) and sugar. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving. Top each bowl with hot sauce and lemon juice for added flavor. You may even throw some roasted garlic on top for extra flavor. Serve immediately over rice or quinoa with baked beans on the side.

Sweet Potato Casserole

So you like a good sweet potato pie, but wait! This vegan sweet potato casserole is another favorite recipe. With its delicious flavor, this is a great dish for any potluck or get-together.

Vegan sweet potato casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (or vegan cane sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons melted buttery stick or other vegan substitute.

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth.

2. Pour into an 8×8 baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

4. Serve warm with vegan butter on top and a side of veggies.

Southern Pecan Pie.

This is a southern classic dessert! It’s easy to make and can be made with or without a crust. The filling can also be made with or without butter and milk. The options are endless for this delicious, sweet dessert!

Vegan pecan pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (or margarine)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.

2. Pour batter into 9-inch pie shell and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

3. Let cool before serving! You can even top it with vegan coconut whipped cream or vegan ice cream for a sweet, dairy-free touch.

Vegan food can be soul food!

If you’re a vegan, or thinking of becoming one, these recipes are for you. Here are just some benefits of eating vegan:

Good for the environment

  • Vegan food is good for the environment because it doesn’t require any animal products and therefore does not contribute to methane gas emissions that come from factory farms.

Good for rainforests

  • Veganism also helps save water and protects rainforests from destruction by meat production.

Good for animals

  • Vegan food is good for animals because it doesn’t involve killing any at all.

Good for your wallet

  • Vegan food can help save money! Steak, seafood, and cheese are all eliminated expenses when you choose lower-cost, organic ingredients.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoy these delicious vegan soul food recipes! The rich flavor of these dishes will delight your taste buds and the fact that they are completely vegan will be, well… food for your soul. Check out FFL.org for more vegan tips and… bon appetit!

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