Gallery: The Vegan Experience: 85 Great Vegan Recipes

  • Vegan Sweet Potato and Two Bean Chili With Hominy

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Who needs beef when you've got sweet potatoes and hominy bringing the flavor and texture? They're both natural additions to this chili that has three different kinds of peppers and both kidney and black beans.

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    Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup With Crispy Shiitake Chips

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    We eased into The Vegan Experience by starting off with a dairy-free version of one of our favorites, creamy mushroom soup. The crunchy and flavor-packed shiitake chips that finish it off were so addictive that we had to revisit them later in the month.

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    Triple Garlic Pasta With Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Bread Crumbs

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Building up a strong vegan pasta dish isn't all that different from building a non-vegan pasta dish. What it comes down to, regardless of whether or not it contains meat or dairy, is getting the balance of flavors and textures just right. This dish is a mix of tender, chewy, and crunchy, with intense and complex flavors all coming through distinctly.

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    Vegan Spinach and Hominy Enchiladas With Spicy Cashew Cream

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    The tortillas for these enchiladas are dipped in tangy salsa verde before being stuffed with juicy sautéed greens and chewy bits of hominy and topped with queso-esque cashew cream. Served with some rice and a batch of Spicy Vegan Refried Beans, it's a meal every bit as satisfyingly rich and balanced in flavor as any meat and dairy-based one would be.

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    Carrot and Rye Berry Salad with Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    With all the excitement surrounding our vegan-cheesy junk foods, we momentarily forgot to eat our vegetables and whole grains. Luckily, this hearty salad got us back on track.

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    Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad With Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    This hearty salad just might break the conception that vegetables can't be a main. Plenty of fresh and flavorful herbs make sure that it stays the center of attention.

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    Roasted Carrot Salad With Peanut-Sesame Mole

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Warm carrots meet warm spices in this salad that balances sweet, savory, spicy, tart, and nutty flavors. Radishes and greens also add a bit of crunch while a simple mole poblano ties it all together.

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    Pasta With Rich and Hearty Mushroom Bolognese

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    One of the great things about a slow-cooked meaty bolognese is the aroma that builds up as it braises. We set out to do the same with mushrooms and the results were lip-smackingly delicious.

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    Vegan Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Panini With Sun-Dried Tomato Mayonnaise

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Great sandwiches need to be moist in order to be delicious, and this one has three ingredients that do the trick: sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and sun-dried tomato mayo. When crisped on the panini press, the combo takes on a certain pizza-like quality that will satiate any cravings for a box of Totino's.

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    Crispy Kung Pao Tofu

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    With celery, peanuts, and coated tofu, this dish is all crisp-on-crisp-on-crisp, with a heat that doesn't knock you out but slowly smolders.

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    Vegan Crispy Stir-Fried Tofu With Broccoli

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Tender-crisp crowns of broccoli and crunchy bites of tofu get tossed and coated in a sauce packed with sweet and savory seasonings in this major upgrade from run-of-the-mill Chinese takeout.

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    Fried Green Plantains (Patacones) With Guacamole

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    The best patacones (tostones if you're from Puerto Rico) are slightly thick with a crisp exterior and moist, fluffy center. They're often served with a creamy dipping sauce, but we keep things vegan with a nice and chunky guacamole instead.

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    The Best Baba Ganoush

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    A really good baba ganoush can convert even the most staunch of eggplant haters. This version is light, creamy, and intense, with a savory, smoky aroma, bright acidity, a hint of garlicky heat, and plenty of good olive oil flavor.

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    Korean Fried Cauliflower

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Cauliflower under an ultra-crisp cornstarch crust tossed in a sweet-and-spicy Korean-style chili sauce.

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    Vegan Mayonnaise

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    This eggless mayo relies on silken tofu for its creamy, spreadable texture.

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    Vegan Nacho Sauce That's as Good as the Real Thing

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    If this picture doesn't send you into a state of queso-craving reverie, chances are you simply just don't understand the joys of gooey cheese smothered over, well, just about anything. We couldn't bear the thought of going a whole month without the satisfaction of licking the stuff off our fingers. Luckily, we figured out the secret for making a vegan cheese that blows the highly processed versions you'll find in stores out of the water.

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    Vegan Cheesy Baked Potatoes With Broccoli

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    While we wouldn't have any difficulty eating our Vegan Nacho Sauce straight from the blender, it does make a great condiment for drizzling dousing. Tender baked potatoes are one solid option, but the fun doesn't stop there...

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    The Ultimate Fully Loaded Vegan Nachos

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Vegan Nacho Sauce also cries out to be ladled onto, well, a gloriously messy pile nachos. Why not go all out with our boundary-pushing ultimate nachos, which call for a whopping 13 toppings?

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    Vegan Stovetop-Style Macaroni and Cheese

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    With a few tweaks, our vegan nacho sauce also can be made into a winning, dairy-free base for mac 'n cheese. It's just as comfortingly gooey as anything that's ever come out of a blue box.

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    Crispy Smoked Mushroom "Bacon"

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    We tackled vegan cheese, so naturally we also had to try our hand at a vegan bacon. While calling what are clearly mushrooms bacon might garner you a few sideways looks, the smoke, salt, and grease are all there in these addictive chips.

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    Vegan "B.L.A.T."s: Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, and Crispy Smoked Mushroom Sandwiches

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    While you probably won't be making any tofu sausage stuffed bacon mats with your new mushroom "bacon", you can certainly give this vegan take on the B.L.T. (and A.) a try.

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    Crispy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Fried Cauliflower, buffalo style! Crisply fried in a cornstarch crust and tossed in traditional buffalo sauce, it's every bit as satisfying as a real wing.

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    Udon with Mushroom-Soy Broth with Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Cabbage

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Dried Asian and western mushrooms along with sea kelp form the base for this ultra-savory and deeply satisfying broth, the perfect start to a complex and satisfying bowl of Japanese-style noodles.

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    Mapo Tofu

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    I use my patent-pending, copyrighted Minced Mushroom Mix (A.K.A. M3) to replace the ground meat in this vegan mapo tofu, giving it a chewy texture and a rich flavor all its own. I like it even better than the original.

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    Pasta with Snap Peas, Garlic, Lemon Zest, and Black Pepper

    J. Kenji López-Alt

    Although olive oil won't emulsify into a pasta-coating sauce like butter will, by adding a little cornstarch to the base, you create a sauce that clings to the pasta as well as any butter-based sauce, and with all the bright, vibrant, complex flavor of olive oil.

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    Grilled Hearts of Palm Tacos

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Once grilled, hearts of palm take on a deeply nutty, sweet flavor that's almost like charred corn; marinate them beforehand and you add an herbaceous flavor note to the filling. Alongside a crunchy, spicy cabbage slaw and salsa verde, this is a dish that will satisfy whenever the taco craving strikes.

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    Sopes with Refried Beans and Salsa Verde

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Crispy fried sope shells, followed by a rich and creamy layer of refried beans, a drizzle of hot and tangy salsa verde, crunchy toasted pepitas, and a fresh sprinkle of onions, jalapeños, and cilantro make for a filling meal with a whole slew of textures.

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    Chickpea Cakes with Mashed Avocados

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Made with coarsely pureed chickpeas and a ton of fresh herbs, these falafel-esque chickpea cakes are breaded on the outside with panko to give them the ultimate crunchy exterior.

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    Zucchini and Squash Pan Pizza with Red Onion and Pistachios

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Zucchini and squash cover the surface of this pan pizza, while red onions crisp and caramelize as it bakes. Pistachios and olive oil add richness and complexity.

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    Easy Pan Pizza With Potato, Onion, and Rosemary

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Maybe it's not the best everyday fare, but there's no denying that the carb-on-carb deliciousness of layered sliced potatoes and mashed potatoes on top of a great pizza crust is irresistible.

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    Easy Pan Pizza With Sun-dried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Olives, and Breadcrumbs

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    With an olive salad, caramelized onions, and breadcrumbs, this square pie pizza is so rich and intensely flavored that you'll never even realize it has no cheese.

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    Mexican Fried Eggplant Sandwiches (the Torta and the Pambazo)

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Fried eggplants and roasted poblanos are the base of this sandwich stuffed with chipotle-molasses refried beans, lettuce, pickled red onions, and avocado. For the ultimate indulgence, coat the whole thing in enchilada sauce and griddle it.

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    Mexican Mushroom and Spinach Sandwich

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Sauteed spinach and mushrooms stuffed into grilled Mexican-style sandwiches.

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    Sweet Potato Banh Mi

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Crisp, tender, crunchy, rich, creamy, sweet, sour, spicy, this sandwich has got it all (and with no meat, to boot!).

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    Hearty Vegetable Stock

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    A great vegan stick should be complex and rich—the perfect base for a soup or stew. The good news? It can be done, and in less than half the time of a meat-based stock.

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    Hearty Vegetable Soup

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Good, homemade stock is the backbone to many a soup, and this one is no exception. With a ton of veggies and potatoes and a touch of cornstarch to give it body, this is a soup to get you through the rest of winter.

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    Lentil Soup

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Lentil soup is one bowl of brown sludge that I can really get behind. It hits that sweet spot of being not so unappetizing that you wouldn't even try it, but being just unappetizing enough that the mental shock of how good it tastes compared to how it looks is enough to send an endorphin jolt running through your system.

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    White Bean and Spinach Soup with Rosemary and Garlic

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    This hearty white bean soup with spinach flavored with garlic and rosemary is a great winter warmer, perfect for those evenings when you've just come home from a day on the slopes or from romping with the dogs in the park or taking photos of majestic snowy owls, or whatever it is that active winter folks do in this day and age. The real magic of the recipe is the way the starch released from the beans helps the extra-virgin olive oil (and do use your best extra virgin for this) to emulsify with the liquid, creating a rich, spoon-coating texture in no time at all.

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    Creamy Fingerling Potato Salad

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    The problem with potato salads is, most of them rely on mayonnaise for richness, an ingredient that unfortunately vegans can't consume. With this recipe, you get all the delicious creaminess of a traditional potato salad, without all the trouble of making a vegan mayonnasie.

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    Jicama and Pomelo Salad with Spicy Thai Dressing

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Hearty make-ahead salads have become a staple for me, ready to be pulled out and consumed at moments notice, whether as a hearty dish at dinner, a quick midnight snack, or a full-on lunch. This one is designed to take advantage of the awesome pomelos I've been seeing around this season. It combines the bittersweet pomelo with crunchy jicama and bean sprouts, along with cilantro, peanuts, fried shallots, and a sweet-and-hot Thai-style lime-based fat-free dressing.

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    Toast With Refried Beans and Avocado

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    This has become my go-to breakfast as a vegan. Refried beans spread on toast with some sliced avocado, coarse sea salt, and a few slivers of onion.

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    Steamed Buns with Tempura King Oyster Mushrooms

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Fried-things-in-sandwiches has been a recurring theme throughout Vegan Month, and for good reason; they're delicious! Here is sandwich #3: tempura-battered oyster mushrooms with simmered daikon root. The two play off each other to make a crunchy, savory, chewy filling, and are perfectly complemented by a miso-agave mayonnaise.

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    Steamed Buns with Simmered Daikon and Shiitake, Pickled Bean Sprouts, and Spicy Mayonnaise

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Steamed buns stuffed with spicy vegan mayo, braised daikon radish and shiitake mushroom, and pickled mung bean sprouts.

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    Spicy Cabbage Slaw

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    A quick-pickled cabbage slaw flavored with allspice and habanero. Great as a side dish or as a condiment in tacos or sandwiches.

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    Miso-Marinated Portobello Carpaccio

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    These 'shrooms are marinated in a miso-based sauce that adds a rich, meaty flavor to the already umami-filled mushroom. They're then roasted and sliced thin, served carpaccio-style: sprinkled with coarse salt, black pepper, lemon zest, greens, and really good olive oil. Crushed pistachios add their nutty sweetness.

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    Real Deal Dan Dan Noodles

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Dan Dan noodles are an ultra-simple dish of cold or warm noodles placed in a bowl with a ladleful of highly seasoned sauce poured on top. In this vegan version, starch-laden noodle water is used in place of chicken stock to bind the sauce to the noodles, and dry-fried mushrooms are used to give the meatiness and texture usually imparted by pork. It's finished off with fermented chili bean paste, black vinegar, pickled mustard root, and plenty of hot chili oil. Gentlemen, start your slurpring.

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    Spicy Vegan Refried Beans

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Spicy, rich, and creamy refried beans flavored with a touch of chipotle.

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    Miso-Agave Mayonnaise

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    A sweet-and-savory condiment that goes perfectly in sandwiches or for dipping tempura-fried vegetables.

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    Charred Corn, Radish, Jicama, and Green Bean Salad with Lime Dressing

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

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    Easy Gazpacho

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Great gazpacho doesn't have to be complicated. All it really needs is the freshest, ripest produce you can find and a healthy glug of good olive oil.

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    Catalan-Style Ash-Roasted Vegetables (Escalivada)

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    The flavors provided here by eggplant, bell pepper, and onion make this dish almost ratatouille-esque, though the texture is far creamier and more luxurious than any ratatouille I've ever had.

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    Maduros with Mint Mojo

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Maduros call for plantains so dark and shriveled you'll think they've kicked the bucket, but this just means that they're delectably sweet. Serve it with a mint and garlic mojo for a savory pairing.

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    Green Risotto with Mushrooms

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Risotto is an ideal dish for vegans because the starch released by the grains creates that hard to get creaminess. It's especially greg with the fresh flavors of spinach and herbs and topped with deeply browned mushrooms.

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    Sweet Potato and Mushroom Cannelloni with Braised Escarole and Butter Beans

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Sweet potatoes mingle with intensely savory wild mushrooms in these cannelloni, which sit in a saucy mix of braised escarole and fava beans.

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    Ultra-Crispy New Potatoes With Garlic, Herbs, and Lemon

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    We're not lying—these potatoes have skins that are actually crispy (and not just dry and papery). They're also coated in extra-virgin olive oil, chopped herbs, lemon zest, and garlic for plenty of flavor.

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    Classic Pico de Gallo

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Since tomatoes shine front and center in pico de gallo, we recommend using the freshest, ripest one you can find. In the off season, this means smaller varieties, like plum, cherry, or grape tomatoes.

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    Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

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    Roasted Cauliflower With Pine Nut, Raisin, and Caper Vinaigrette

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Roasted cauliflower is great on its own with just a drizzle of really good olive oil or lemon, but I like to turn mine into a warm salad with a more elaborate vinaigrette.

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    Toasted Oatmeal with Maple Syrup, Cranberries, and Raspberries

    J. Kenji López-Alt

    Toasted steel-cut oats cooked with berries and drizzled with maple syrup makes a killer breakfast, even for non-vegans.

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    Breakfast Garlic Toast

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Toast drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with parsley, garlic, and red pepper flakes? As long as you don't mind the effects it might have on your breath, it makes for a fine start to the day.

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    Crispy Potato, Onion, and Mushroom Rösti

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Potatoes, onions, and mushrooms are crispy and golden brown on the outside, creamy and tender in the middle.

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    Lentil and Coconut Soup with Cilantro-Habañero Gremolata

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    This recipe is a true hybrid. It starts with a traditional French mirepoix base of onions, carrots, and celery cooked down in extra virgin olive oil, but then gets a bare hint of flavors with a curry bent—ginger, garlic, hot chili, a touch of coriander and cumin and a jar of coconut milk. An unconventional gremolata topping turns a run-of-the-mill wacky lentil soup into something downright fancy tasting.

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    Smoky Charred Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Kale

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    The Portuguese soup of caldo verde (literally "green broth") is about as simple as it gets when it comes to vegetable soups, yet its simplicity is the key to its comforting success. At its most basic, starchy potatoes are simply simmered with onions and kale until the kale is tender and flavorful, the onions have melted into the broth, and the potatoes completely disintegrate, thickening the soup into a rich, thick stew. Some really good olive oil drizzled over the top, and you've got a great, filling lunch or dinner. Here, the cauliflower gets charred, taking on a meaty taste, and the addition of chipotle chiles echoes that smokiness.

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    15-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Making excellent tomato soup from scratch at home is almost as easy as opening a can, and the return on your minor time investment is significant. This version is sort of like a hot gazpacho, in that it's emulsified with bread and olive oil.

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    Roasted Squash and Raw Carrot Soup

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Squash and carrots go very well together. They're both orange (duh), both have a great sweet-and-savory flavor profile, and both take well to conversion into creamy soup form. This soup, which calls for roasting the squash and juicing the raw carrot, is a little deeper, a little more complex.

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    Garbanzos con Espinacas y Jengibre (Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew with Ginger)

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Garbanzos con espinacas, the Spanish stew upon which this stew is based, usually relies on smoky chorizo or rich morcilla (blood sausage) for its flavor. This vegan version keeps those bold flavors by simmering the chickpeas and their liquid with aromatics like garlic, onion, bay leaf, ginger, and smoked paprika.

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    The Best Vegetarian Bean Chili

    All of the deep chili flavor, textural contrast, and rib-sticking richness you'd ever want in a chili.

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    Beet and Citrus Salad with Pinenut Vinaigrette

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Beets and citrus are a classic combination. This salad combines grapefruit, orange, roasted beets, and bit of arugula for some peppery kick. Nuts, in this case pine, go great with beets, and a vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar, shallots, walnut oil, and a touch of agave nectar sweetens the whole thing.

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    Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    If you've never tried a marinated kale salad, it might just rock your world. Here's how it works. Take your raw kale, dress it with a standard vinaigrette, let it sit overnight in the fridge, and boom—what was once a tough, leafy green is now tender and crisp. The greatest part about it is that after marinating, the salad will last for days and days without losing its crispness. This salad also calls for chickpeas and onions, making it a hearty side or light lunch.

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    Braised Kale and Chickpea Sandwich with Sumac Onions

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Braised greens are one of my favorite sandwich fillings. A messy sandwich of braised kale and chickpeas topped with sumac onions is a hearty, filling, and delicious combo.

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    Fried Eggplant Sandwich with Eggplant Mayo

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    An eggplant parmesan sandwich without the cheese, this recipe uses (vegan!) eggplant mayonnaise to contribute the richness that mozzarella ordinarily would.

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    Broccoli Rabe and Antipasti Panini with Olive Salad

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Juicy, garlicky broccoli rabe braised in a dry white wine provide moisture and texture; roasted peppers add a bit of fruity tartness and smoky depth; marinated artichoke hearts are herbal and funky; and sun-dried tomatoes have that dried fruit thing going. Stick'em together, and—hey!—you got something that works just as well as the original muffuletta and for all the same reasons, while simultaneously being brand new.

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    Vegan Frito Pie

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Tailgating staple, vegan-style, with Vegetarian Bean Chili served on top of fritos with Pickled Red Onions, jalapeños, and avocado. A sprinkle of fresh cilantro, a scattering of sliced scallions, and a squeeze of lime all add freshness.

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    Chilaquiles with Pepitas, Charred Corn, and Black Beans

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Chilaquiles are a classic Mexican breakfast dish that can be pretty aptly described as a fried tortilla casserole. Crisp chips are soaked in salsa (in this case a bright and tangy salsa verde made from tomatillos) until just barely softened but still mildly crunchy. This recipe combines black beans with charred corn, along with a few slices of avocado and a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds for a meal that's not only balanced in carbs, protein, and high in good green vegetables, but is crazy delicious to boot.

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    Brussels Sprout Fried Rice with Crispy Cauliflower

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Two hearty crucifers team up with rice in this filling vegan main dish.

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    Pasta with Braised Broccoli and Tomato Sauce

    J. Kenji López-Alt

    Broccoli is great fresh, but I love the way it intensifies in flavor and becomes rich and tender when you braise it for a long time. Here I cook it down in a rich tomato sauce.

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    Bok Choy with Chives, Black Bean Sauce, and Chow Fun

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Want to make your pasta and stir-fried healthier? Just reverse the ratios, packing in more vegetables and sauce, using noodles and grain-based foods as a garnish. This version uses bok choy and chives in a fermented black bean sauce with just a few chow fun noodles.

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    Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, and Basil

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    A little spicy, a little sweet, a little salty, chewy Chinese noodles with cucumbers, peppers, and scallions coated in a chunky peanut sauce is a tasty, filling meal that's hard to get tired of. This version is made with far fewer noodles and many more vegetables. Indeed, it's now more of a vegetable salad with a few noodles added in for textural contrast.

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    Braised Eggplant with Tofu in Garlic Sauce

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Braised eggplant with garlic sauce is a classic Sichuan dish that combines soft simmered eggplant, fermented soy beans, and a sweet, garlicky sauce. This version adds a few tablespoons of preserved mustard root and incorporates the garlic in a couple of ways. You can go with 100% eggplant if you'd like, or you can add cubes of firm silken tofu to transform this into a one-pot-meal.

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    Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi with Cilantro Chutney

    J. Kenji López-Alt

    It's not as popular with the U.S. audience as it is with the British (yet), but it seems that as palates are shifting and folks are becoming more and more accustomed to spicier foods, jalfrezi is getting primed to win over this side of the pond as well. With its origins in China, jalfrezi is more similar in its cooking method to dry-fried Chinese dishes rather than the typical wet Indian curry. This one incorporates chickpeas, potatoes and spinach, and a simple chutney of cilantro, garlic, chile, and lime juice finishes it off.

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    Bean-Stuffed Deep Fried Jalapeños with Salsa Roja

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Yes, these are derivative of jalapeño poppers, but jalapeños are great, refried beans are great, and golden brown and crunchy is great, so why not stick them all together? Crisp on the outside and creamy in the middle, they come out of the fryer super hot, so make sure you've got plenty of cold beer on-hand.

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    Crispy Bánh Mì Spring Rolls With Creamy Chili Mayo

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Spring rolls are great, as are the flavors of bánh mì, so why not stick 'em together? These rolls are stuffed with pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro. The sauce is made with a mixture of homemade vegan mayonnaise and spicy chili-garlic sauce. Creamy, spicy, crispy, tangy, and a little greasy, they hit all the notes you want in a game time snack.

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    Fried Plantains with Black Beans, Roasted Poblanos, Avocado, and Pickled Red Onion

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Patacones are the Colombian equivalent of Caribbean tostones—double-fried green plantains. Just like cooking a french fry, you start with a starchy chunk of green plantain, cook it once at a low temperature, then cook it a second time at a higher temperature to crisp it up. The difference is that with patacones, you smash them into a flat disk in between. This shape makes them ideal for loading up with toppings. This version calls for black beans (canned are fine), roasted poblano peppers, slices of creamy avocado, and a few pickled red onions.

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    Smoky Potato and Caper Empanadas with Cilantro Sauce

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    Who doesn't love empanadas, particularly when they're deep fried to a perfectly crisp, flaky finish? These pastry pockets are stuffed with a mixture of cooked potatoes and capers flavored with a touch of chipotle and a dash of madras curry powder. The flavor combo is perhaps a bit unusual, but it's pretty fantastic, especially drizzled with a spicy cilantro chutney.

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    Kimchi

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

    This version is totally vegan-friendly, and so authentic-tasting that even a Korean grandmother would approve.

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