Gallery: The Vegan Experience, a Retrospective: All 28 of Kenji's Vegan Recipes

  • 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-fries more vegetable-foward? 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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    Vegan Mayonnaise

    J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

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

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