Need a tried-and-true vegan side dish? You'll love these comfort food favorites like Scalloped Potatoes, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Kale Chips, and more!
Here at VeganCoach.com the focus is on how to take your favorite ingredient and magically transform them into a dish you can be proud of -- visit the Vegan Cooking Guide to learn how easy it can be.
But if you're in a rush, and not feeling very creative, then turn to these vegan side dish recipes -- and cooking lessons! I'm extremely picky -- if my dish doesn't get at LEAST 4 out of 5 stars from my hubby Jeff, clients and friends, I go back to the drawing board.
The dishes below have been perfected over the years so they've received a thumbs-up from all those I love and cherish. I hope you'll find one or more that you can call your own.
p.s. If there's a side dish you'd like to see, please drop me a request through the VeganCoach.com Contact Page. Thanks!
More Side Dish Ideas: For even more ideas -- which include more detailed information about ingredient selection, cooking-on-the-fly tips and more -- hop over to take some Vegan Recipe Lessons.
This is a beautiful side dish with flavors that meld perfectly together. Simple yet perfect. Recipe can easily be halved.
1. Boil green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, 5-10 minutes. (You can also steam them.) Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain well. Set aside.
2. Heat 1/4 cup vegetable broth in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You can also use a swipe of olive oil.) Add bell peppers and onion and sauté until peppers are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in marjoram.
3. While the mixture heats, chop almonds.
4. Melt 1-2 Tablespoons non-dairy butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle almonds over the bottom of the pan, and cover with green bean/bell pepper mixture. Let sit for 3-5 minutes or until almonds begin to brown. Stir mixture until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
The flavors of this slaw are simply impossible to capture with words. The pungent flavor of the red onion combined with the sweetness of raisins and the zing of pickled jalapeno.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and white pepper. Mix thoroughly and season with salt and pepper.
Serves 8 -- recipe can be doubled.
This dish is tasty and quick.
1. In large pot of boiling water, blanch green beans for 1 to 3 minutes - or until bright green. In large bowl of ice water, submerge green beans to seal color and stop cooking process. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In large bowl, combine green beans, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Toss to coat well.
3. Over medium heat, add veggie broth (or oil) and garlic to a large skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add green bean mixture. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes - or until beans begin to blister. Add more veg broth (or water) as needed.
4. Optional: Garnish with toasted almond slices & toasted sesame seeds. (To toast seeds, add to a hot pan over medium-high heat and stir frequently until toasty. Takes just a few minutes -- watch carefully!)
Always a big hit, these beans are mouth watering. This comes together in a snap.
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cook bacon in a swipe of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Let cool.
3. Place olive oil in a bowl. Crumble crisped "bacon" into bowl. Add onion, BBQ sauce, beer, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and Tamari and whisk to blend. Add 2-4 teaspoons chipotles, depending on the spiciness desired. Stir in beans.
4. Transfer bean mixture to a lightly oiled 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake uncovered until liquid bubbles and thickens slightly, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serve.
A couple of notes: Because dairy tames the heat of spices, you have to be very careful with the chipotles because without the dairy that you may have used before, spices such as chipotle may seem stronger than before. Start small - you can always add more. If you overdo it by accident, try adding some sugar or maple syrup, or even a bit of lemon juice.
Also, the veggie bacon adds a smoky flavor. You can substitute a few drops of Liquid Smoke instead, if you prefer.
Caramelizing shallots adds a wonderful sweetness that combines beautifully with tender broccoli and toasted nuts.
1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. (You can also bake these in a 400 degree F oven for 5-10 minutes.)
2. Add veggie broth to pan and heat over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, to a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture gets too dry.) Season with salt and pepper; set aside in the skillet.
3. Meanwhile, steam broccoli until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli and walnuts to the shallots in the skillet and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
As with many recipes, this one came about by accident and is now one of our favorite ways to enjoy cauliflower. The cinnamon and nutmeg combine with the pecans and add a crunchy contrast to the cooked cauliflower.
1. In a large pan with a lid, sauté cauliflower in vegetable broth, covered, until tender (8-10 minutes). Remove cauliflower from pan and place into a medium bowl.
2. While cauliflower is still hot, toss with butter, if desired. Plate.
3. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Be careful with the nutmeg because you do not need much - just a teeny tiny amount (you can always add more later).
4. Crumble the pecan mixture over the cauliflower. Enjoy!
Rice and coconut milk makes such a delicious combination. This dish gets added flavor from the curry powder.
1. Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion and cook until softened. Add rice and curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
2. Add coconut milk and veggie broth, and boil uncovered about 5 minutes, until liquid is just above rice and you see air holes forming. Cover immediately, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes without lifting lid.
3. Let stand for 10 minutes, then mix in cashews.
Hold it! Hold everything! You simply MUST make this rich and comforting dish. I promise you'll love it forever more.
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the sliced leeks and cook over low heat, stirring, until they are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, 15 minutes. Add the stock, coconut milk, bay leaves and tarragon and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Remove bay leaves.
2. Put the frozen edamames in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour the hot cream mixture over the edamames. Bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until the cream sauce thickens.
3. Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the nutritional yeast (or parmesan) and remaining 2 Tablespoons butter, melted. Sprinkle the crumbs over the edamames and broil for about 1 minute, rotating the dish for even browning. Let the gratin stand for 15 minutes before serving. Gratin will thicken considerably after sitting in the fridge overnight. ;O)
This is deceiving -- it looks so basic, but yields a very flavorful finished dish.
1. Heat veggie broth in large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, bell pepper and scallions, and stir-fry until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add a little more veg broth or water as needed.
2. Add Tamari, defrosted edamames and cooked rice, and stir-fry until combined and heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve.
A super easy, totally delicious, and completely addicting vegan quinoa dish you can whip up at any time. Did I mention it's addicting? :)
1. Heat a pan and toss in the pine nuts. Stir often until browned -- be careful not to burn them! When browned, remove to a plate and set aside.
2. Add quinoa to hot pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until quinoa is toasted and gives off a fragrant aroma.
3. Next, pour into the pan the veggie broth and the sun-dried tomatoes. You can use the oil-packed kind, or hydrate some dried in enough hot water to cover until softened (takes about 10 minutes). Turn the heat down and cover tightly with a lid. Simmer until the quinoa is tender, most of the little filaments have been opened, and much of the broth has been soaked up.
Feel free to drain off excess broth, or add more broth if needed. You should end with a fairly dry and fluffy quinoa. (By the way, you can also use fresh water if you don't have veggie broth on hand.)
4. Toss the toasted pine nuts into the quinoa along with the chopped green onions.
5. For the final touch, drizzle a touch of balsamic vinegar over the lot of it and stir thoroughly to combine.
Sure, there are more fancy ways of making mashed potatoes. But these are quick and easy and always turn out delicious.
1. Place potatoes in a large soup pot and cover with water. Add the salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15-30 minutes, depending on how big/small you have chopped your potatoes. The smaller the chop, the faster they will cook. The larger the chop, the longer they will take to cook. Drain and return to pot.
2. Mash to desired consistency, adding garlic and remaining ingredients to taste.
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These carrots are sweet and savory and so super easy to whip up. They will surely find a regular spot in your side dish rotation.
1. Steam carrot coins for 20 minutes or until softened.
2. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt Earth Balance. Turn off heat and add maple syrup, Tamari, dill weed and salt. Stir to combine. Add steamed carrots to the saucepan and stir to cover carrots with sauce. Place carrots in a baking dish and place in oven.
3. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until hot.
Perfect for the cooler months. Makes for a groovy presentation too.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice whole squash into rings about 1/2 - 3/4 " thick. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, remove the seeds from the center of each ring. Set rings flat-side down, in a single layer, on lightly oiled baking sheets.
2. Melt butter and maple syrup together briefly, then brush evenly over top sides of squash rings, giving each a double coat if possible. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, until rings are very tender, basting once or twice during cooking with additional syrup.
3. Serve rings whole. Be sure to eat the peel - yummy!
Roasting shallots caramelizes them and makes them very sweet and delectable, a great contrast to the green beans.
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the shallots with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, until shallots are well coated with the oil. Pour onto a large piece of aluminum foil. Fold and seal the foil to create a pouch. Set on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, until tender, browned, and caramelized.
3. While the shallots are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook for 5-7 minutes, until al dente. Transfer to a colander to drain, and rinse under cold water. (Can also cook beans in a steamer). Place in a large bowl.
4. When the shallots are cooked, remove from the oven, carefully open the foil, and add to the bowl of cooked green beans. Mix well. Season to taste w/ salt and pepper and serve.
Have you made kale chips before? No? OMG! You will LOVE these crispy little bites of healthy yum.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wash kale and dry thoroughly. Remove kale leaves from the thick stems and tear into a little larger than bite-sized pieces.
3. Stir olive oil and Liquid Smoke in a small bowl and pour over top of kale leaves -- massage into leaves to cover each leaf.
4. In a dry small bowl, mix together salt, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and paprika -- crush down any lumps with fingers. Sprinkle topping over kale and massage into all leaves.
5. Spread kale pieces on to 1 or 2 baking sheets in a single layer -- do not overlap. Place into oven.
6. Cook for 10 minutes, or until crispy. Cool slightly, plate, and devour.
Per Serving: 26 Calories; 2g Fat (76.0% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 267mg Sodium.
Note: The nutrition info is based on two servings because Jeff and I like to scarf the whole thing down together. But this recipe can work for more people -- the calories/fat/protein/etc will simply be less. One person can also easily eat the whole bowl, but calories/etc will double.
This kale side dish makes a pretty presentation - and it's SO good for you, chock-full of calcium! I prefer Lacinto (or Dinosaur) kale versus curly kale, but use the one you like best.
Be sure to de-stem the kale as completely as possible because you only want the tender leaves for this recipe. To de-stem, hold the bottom of the kale stem with one hand, gently grasp the leaves on either side at the base of the stem with the other hand, and pull the leaves up and away from the stem.
Eat your kale, Peeps! :)
1. Heat a large frying pan with a cover. Add 1/4 cup veggie broth (or swipe a bit of extra-virgin olive oil in the pan).
2. Add red peppers to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Feel free to add more veggie broth (or water) to the pan as needed during this recipe.
3. Add kale and cook for 3-5 minutes without the cover -- do not stir, you want to slightly brown (which adds flavor). Add 1/3 cup veggie broth, cover, and cook on med-low heat for 10 minutes, or until tender but still a rich dark green (never let your greens turn to "gray" territory or they're overcooked).
5. Remove cover, add remaining ingredients, and stir. Serve.
Festive and pretty.
1. Heat veggie broth in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion in broth until tender, adding more veg broth or water as needed so things don't stick. Stir in zucchini. Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up the tomatoes, heat to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
A perfect treat in the warmer months. I like the hearty flavor russets impart, but red potatoes are fabulous too.
1. Add cubed potatoes to a large pot of salted water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are al dente (firm, but tender). Do not overcook! Drain and cool.
2. Add potatoes and the rest of the veggies to a large bowl. Combine mayo, mustard and spices to make dressing and gently fold dressing into vegetables. Chill and serve.
Flavorful and comforting.
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add pre-soaked and rinsed quinoa with 1/2 cup veggie broth (or more as needed). Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and filaments appear.
2. Add spinach, cover, and let wilt in the residual steam (3-4 minutes).
3. Place tahini in a small bowl. Stir in minced garlic, lemon juice and salt. Gradually stir in 2-3 Tablespoons (or more if necessary) hot water until you achieve a creamy sauce (not runny).
4. To serve, divide quinoa/spinach mix into four mounds on individual plates for a side dish. Top w/tahini sauce. (Divide in two portions for an entree.)
Many thanks to Chef Abra Bennett for sharing this delicious recipe. It's a favorite.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F and place pine nuts on a baking sheet. Bake until browned (5-10 minutes). Watch carefully so they don't burn. Remove from oven to let cool. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat a large skillet with a lid. Drain and rinse pre-soaked quinoa (in a mesh strainer), and add to pan. Add tomatoes and 1/2 cup veggie broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, until quinoa is tender and split open. Add additional broth if necessary to complete cooking, but ending up with a reasonably dry and fluffy grain. Stir in pine nuts, green onions, vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Grate cheese and slice chiles in half, opening them out into flat pieces. Lightly oil a medium-sized casserole dish. Spread half of the quinoa mixture in the dish, top with sliced chiles, then remaining quinoa, then grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375F for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Note: I've noticed Follow Your Heart cheese doesn't always melt perfectly when it is placed on top of the dish, but melts beautifully when combined with other foods. If using this cheese, add to the dish when adding the chiles, then cover with quinoa.
If you love asparagus, you'll love this asparagus dish created by Chef Kevin Thull. (Thanks, Kevin!)
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and place in single layer in a large oven-proof baking dish. Roast until asparagus begins to soften and brown, turning once during cooking, about 12-14 minutes.
3. Combine shallot, parsley and capers in small bowl. Add vinegar and oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve over asparagus.
Roasted corn and black beans are scrumptious!! This recipe makes A LOT. Feel free to cut this recipe in half or fourths.
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine corn and oil, toss to coat. Spread corn in ungreased oven-proof baking dish. Bake in oven 18-22 minutes or until corn begins to turn light golden brown, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small jar with tight fitting lid and shake well until blended -- or simply whisk very well in a small bowl.
4. In a large bowl, combine corn, onion, jalapenos, bell pepper, garlic, beans and tomatoes. Mix well. Add dressing and mix again. Add avocados. Toss gently to combine.
5. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours. (If not serving immediately, add avocado just before serving.) May be served over a bed of red leaf lettuce or just as is.
Yield: 8 cups
Another winner from my mother-in-law's kitchen, only slightly tweaked to use less oil. These sweet potatoes simply melt in your mouth. Amazing flavor.
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Toss first 6 ingredients (all but the almonds) in a medium-sized shallow baking dish - be sure all veggies get covered in oil.
3. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
4. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
I love, Love, LOVE scalloped potatoes, don't you? These are super delish. Stay away from russet potatoes for this recipe which can make the finished dish too thick and cloying -- the delicate golden potato works best.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the garlic around the inside of an 8x8x2-inch casserole dish and let it dry. Reserve the remaining garlic. Spray the olive oil (or other cooking spray) around the inside of the dish.
2. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes (about 1/8-inch thick slices). In a large saucepan, combine the garlic, Earth Balance, potatoes, onions, non-dairy creamer, salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring until the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. Shake the pan so the potatoes are distributed evenly. Top with the cheese.
3. Bake the potatoes until lightly browned and bubbly, and the potatoes are tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: I've found that Follow Your Heart cheese doesn't melt if it's the TOP layer, but melts beautifully when tucked inside other ingredients. If using this cheese, be sure to have a layer of potatoes over this cheese layer. Most other non-dairy cheeses can be sprinkled right on top.
Click here for more pics of the process plus more of my jib-jabbering. ;)
Do you love stuffing too? Here's an easy version.
1. Place bread cubes in large bowl.
2. Sauté Earth Balance, onions, celery and mushrooms until onions are transparent. During last few minutes of sauté, add remaining ingredients and toss well.
3. Put in baking dish and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
I LOVE PF Chang's Szechuan Asparagus, so my goal was to make something similar with my green beans. They didn't turn out exactly how I had them pictured, but they're yummy nonetheless.
1. After steaming green beans for 10 minutes, heat a pan or wok with sesame oil. Add steamed beans to the pan (be careful of getting splattered with hot oil!). Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until beans start to brown.
2. Push beans to the side of the pan. Add green onions, garlic, ginger and Worcestershire sauce to pan. Let cook for 2 minutes. Stir into green beans.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients. Taste test. Tweak flavors.
I served our green beans with a mound of couscous flavored with veggie broth, Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Plus, a green leafy salad with avocado, red peppers, cukes, and a delectable topping made with a mix of ground seeds.
Who doesn't love a hot stuffed baked potato? Use russets because they cook up nice and fluffy.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. With a fork, poke holes all over the potato and bake for 1 hour, or until it gives when squeezed (be careful -- it will be hot, Hot, HOT!).
3. While potatoes are baking, sauté onions in veggie broth until translucent. Add garlic, sunflower seeds, and mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes. Add broccoli, cover and steam 1 minute.
4. When potatoes are done, remove to a cooling rack and lower oven heat to 350 degrees F.
5. When potatoes are still warm yet cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out inner flesh, leaving skins empty, to be stuffed.
6. In a large mixing bowl, mash potatoes with a fork. Add non-dairy milk, Tamari, Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powders, and salt and pepper, all to taste. Stir until "butter" is melted and the mashed potatoes are tender and flavored to your liking. Do not over mix or your potatoes will be gluey. Stir in sautéed vegetables, and basil. Adjust seasonings to taste, if needed.
7. Spoon filling into potato skins, and pack firmly to form a rounded top.
8. Serve topped with scallions and dash of paprika.
Fun twist on twice-baked potatoes.
1. Cook potatoes in a 400 degree F oven until it gives when squeezed, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Do not overcook -- you want your potatoes tender, but not mushy. Turn down oven heat to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out flesh and place in a medium bowl, being careful not to tear the skin. Reserve skins.
3. Add pineapple, ginger, coconut, sugar, zest, and salt to the potato flesh. Mash until slightly fluffy.
4. Place potato skins on a baking sheet. Fill with potato mixture. Bake 15 minutes.
Easy and delicious.
In a large skillet sauté onions, bok choy, carrots and garlic in veggie broth until vegetables are tender. Feel free to add more veggie broth (or water) to the pan as needed to fully cook these ingredients. Add spinach and continue to sauté until spinach is wilted (2-3 minutes). Add cooked brown rice to the mixture. Add seasonings and peanuts.
Note: An asterisk (*) indicates a "fun food" and should be used sparingly. Not recommended as part of a healthy everyday vegan diet.