12 Classic Comfort Foods Made Vegan

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Comfort food soothes the soul, wrapping you in a warm, reassuring blanket letting you everything is going to be A-OK. Unfortunately for most of us, comfort food usually means high in sugar, carbs or fat by way of pizza, ice cream, mac and cheese and more. Here are our healthier takes on 12 of the most soothing comfort foods and they're free of dairy, eggs, or meat, (i.e. vegan-friendly) because plant-based eaters need comforting too. These recipes are complex in flavor, yet incredibly simple to make. Because let's face it: When we crave comfort, we'd rather spend time on the couch than in the kitchen.

Comfort food soothes the soul, wrapping you in a warm, reassuring blanket letting you everything is going to be A-OK. Unfortunately for most of us, comfort food usually means high in sugar, carbs or fat by way of pizza, ice cream, mac and cheese and more. Here are our healthier takes on 12 of the most soothing comfort foods and they're free of dairy, eggs, or meat, (i.e. vegan-friendly) because plant-based eaters need comforting too. These recipes are complex in flavor, yet incredibly simple to make. Because let's face it: When we crave comfort, we'd rather spend time on the couch than in the kitchen.

1. Mac and Cheese and Peas

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This mac and cheese strays a little bit from a traditional flavor of the boxed version, but the texture and creaminess will have you satisfied in the exact same way. And there are peas in there for good measure, so you won't face the guilt-monster after you devour the entire bowl. CALORIES: 362

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

This mac and cheese strays a little bit from a traditional flavor of the boxed version, but the texture and creaminess will have you satisfied in the exact same way. And there are peas in there for good measure, so you won't face the guilt-monster after you devour the entire bowl. CALORIES: 362

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

2. Veggie Fried Rice

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This dish is an uber-quick, Chinese-food fix that you can make at home and it's loaded up with tons of veggies. If you don't have these veggies on hand -- peas, carrots, corn -- dice up whatever vegetables you do have from mushrooms to kale, it all works here. If your rice is made ahead of time, this comes together in just minutes. CALORIES: 268

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

This dish is an uber-quick, Chinese-food fix that you can make at home and it's loaded up with tons of veggies. If you don't have these veggies on hand -- peas, carrots, corn -- dice up whatever vegetables you do have from mushrooms to kale, it all works here. If your rice is made ahead of time, this comes together in just minutes. CALORIES: 268

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

3. Baked Ziti With Spinach and Herbed Ricotta

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Mmmmm. Pasta. These noodles are laced with spinach and herbed ricotta made from seasoned tofu, baked to crispy, bubbly perfection. Eat this warm. Freeze the rest, and pop it back in the oven on a grey and rainy day. CALORIES: 319

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

Mmmmm. Pasta. These noodles are laced with spinach and herbed ricotta made from seasoned tofu, baked to crispy, bubbly perfection. Eat this warm. Freeze the rest, and pop it back in the oven on a grey and rainy day. CALORIES: 319

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

4. Loaded Fries With Sprouts and Green Goddess Sauce

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Thanks to their crispy, fatty, salty notes, french fries are one of the most beloved comfort foods. Making your own fries at home isn't nearly as hard as you'd think. Smother it with this green goddess tahini sauce and you'll be addicted forever. CALORIES: 318

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

Thanks to their crispy, fatty, salty notes, french fries are one of the most beloved comfort foods. Making your own fries at home isn't nearly as hard as you'd think. Smother it with this green goddess tahini sauce and you'll be addicted forever. CALORIES: 318

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

5. Savory Lentil Chili With Cumin Cream

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Have you ever used dark chocolate in a savory dish? If you haven't, start with this recipe. This savory lentil chili has all the flavors of a traditional chili recipe, but the dark chocolate brings in depth, and the cumin cream balances it all out. This is so good that you'll forget all about that cheese and sour cream. CALORIES: 377

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

Have you ever used dark chocolate in a savory dish? If you haven't, start with this recipe. This savory lentil chili has all the flavors of a traditional chili recipe, but the dark chocolate brings in depth, and the cumin cream balances it all out. This is so good that you'll forget all about that cheese and sour cream. CALORIES: 377

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

6. Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

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There's something special about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This childhood favorite comfort food transports you back to a time when life was simple and carefree. There's something extra special about a grilled, gooey PB and J. It's kind of next level. CALORIES: 340

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

There's something special about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This childhood favorite comfort food transports you back to a time when life was simple and carefree. There's something extra special about a grilled, gooey PB and J. It's kind of next level. CALORIES: 340

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

7. Smashed Garlic Pizza With Olives, Onions and Oregano Parm

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Pizza soothes the soul. And when you top it with roasted, creamy, caramelized garlic cloves, you'll forget that cheese is even a thing. CALORIES: 413

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

Pizza soothes the soul. And when you top it with roasted, creamy, caramelized garlic cloves, you'll forget that cheese is even a thing. CALORIES: 413

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

8. Peanut Butter and Chocolate Milkshake

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Ice cream is sweet and rich and creamy – is this milkshake, except it's totally dairy-free. That's right: No ice cream was involved in making this smoothie, but you wouldn't know it. The texture holds really well, and this can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. CALORIES: 510

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

Ice cream is sweet and rich and creamy – is this milkshake, except it's totally dairy-free. That's right: No ice cream was involved in making this smoothie, but you wouldn't know it. The texture holds really well, and this can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. CALORIES: 510

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

9. Beans and Greens Tacos

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You will not miss meat with the texture of these beans and greens tacos. The classic flavors, yield together with fresh toppings of onion, cilantro, avocado and your favorite hot sauce. CALORIES: 433

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

You will not miss meat with the texture of these beans and greens tacos. The classic flavors, yield together with fresh toppings of onion, cilantro, avocado and your favorite hot sauce. CALORIES: 433

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

10. Pot Pie Soup

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A steaming serving of the classic comfort food dish includes pie crusts and loads of butter but this lightened up version will leave you feeling better without weighing you down. The base of this soup is made with cashews, which provides a rich and creamy broth without any dairy or gluten. It's also loaded with naturally antioxidant-rich herbs and spices – onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves – in addition to corn, peas, mushrooms and carrots. CALORIES: 457

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

A steaming serving of the classic comfort food dish includes pie crusts and loads of butter but this lightened up version will leave you feeling better without weighing you down. The base of this soup is made with cashews, which provides a rich and creamy broth without any dairy or gluten. It's also loaded with naturally antioxidant-rich herbs and spices – onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves – in addition to corn, peas, mushrooms and carrots. CALORIES: 457

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

11. Mushroom Thyme Gravy

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What is more comforting than a bowl of warm mashed potatoes topped with a salty, savory gravy? Seriously. This aromatic gravy combines the perfect mix of depth and umami, minus the butter, cream and animal drippings. Pour it over mashed potatoes or biscuits, or just spoon it out of the pan – it's that good. CALORIES: 49

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

What is more comforting than a bowl of warm mashed potatoes topped with a salty, savory gravy? Seriously. This aromatic gravy combines the perfect mix of depth and umami, minus the butter, cream and animal drippings. Pour it over mashed potatoes or biscuits, or just spoon it out of the pan – it's that good. CALORIES: 49

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

12. Cheesy Garlicky Popcorn

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What could be better than curling up on the couch for some Netflix and cheesy popcorn? There are a lot of vegan cheesy-popcorn recipes on the Internet, but this one is the best. The mixture and ratio of coconut oil and nutritional yeast and garlic coats those kernels just right. CALORIES: 76

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

What could be better than curling up on the couch for some Netflix and cheesy popcorn? There are a lot of vegan cheesy-popcorn recipes on the Internet, but this one is the best. The mixture and ratio of coconut oil and nutritional yeast and garlic coats those kernels just right. CALORIES: 76

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM's Calorie Tracker

What Do YOU Think?

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What are your favorite comfort foods? Which of these vegan dishes are you going to make first? Share your thoughts and comments with us in the below.

Related: Gluten-Free Paleo Pancakes

What are your favorite comfort foods? Which of these vegan dishes are you going to make first? Share your thoughts and comments with us in the below.

Related: Gluten-Free Paleo Pancakes

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