21 Vegan Soul Food Recipes You Need Try Today – Taste of Home

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By Christabel Lobo
Taste of Home's Editorial Process
Updated: Jan. 11, 2024
Our favorite vegan soul food recipes feature everything from hearty bowls of Hoppin' John to slices of gooey pecan pie.
Southern soul food is all about comfort. This collection of dishes includes favorites like crispy fried chicken, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, hearty pots of okra and beans and decadent servings of pecan and sweet potato pies.
A few creative tweaks and plant-based substitutes are all you need to enjoy the essence of soul food while still maintaining a vegan diet. These delicious recipes from Taste of Home recipe creators and bloggers show that the spirit of soul food lies in how it’s cooked, regardless of the ingredients used.

Comfort in a bowl is one way to describe this wholesome recipe by blogger Shaunda Necole of The Soul Food Pot. This version uses an Instant Pot, taking the hassle out of prep. Keep things vegan with vegetable stock and some homemade Creole seasoning.
Can’t find collards? Shaunda recommends substituting with either spinach, kale or turnip greens for equally mouthwatering results.
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First time using tempeh as an ingredient? Here are five easy ways to cook tempeh.

Best for breakfast and weekend brunch, this vegan soul food recipe makes use of dairy-free butter and nutritional yeast to achieve the creamy, cheesy consistency of classic grits. Recipe developer Jhanelle Golding of From the Comfort of My Bowl recommends adding vegan cheese and topping it with cajun-spiced crispy tofu for extra protein and crunch.
Whether you’re a vegan or simply trying to eat more plant-based foods, we have these vegan main dishes for you!
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These vegan candied yams by blogger Desirée Daniels of I Can You Can Vegan are easy enough to get in the oven during your next holiday potluck or weekend family cookout. Made with sweet potatoes, vegan butter, brown sugar, vanilla and a fragrant mix of seasonings, this is a tasty vegan take on a soul food classic. Topping the dish with vegan marshmallows really takes it to the next level.
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Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes offers a recipe for southern butter beans that become vegan-friendly with a few simple substitutions: veggie broth cubes, vegan butter, and liquid smoke for the smoky punch. The key here is to let the lima beans simmer in a bold broth infused with liquid smoke.
Also, check if there is a difference between butter beans vs lima beans and make grocery shopping a little less confusing.
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Liquid smoke is I Can You Can Vegan blogger Desirée Daniels’ secret ingredient to getting this vegan soul food recipe smoky and delicious—minus the meat! If you’re short on prep time, Desirée recommends buying pre-washed and cut greens to make this recipe as easy as possible.
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This vegan version of grits, a popular southern soul food staple by blogger Cassidy Reeser of Cozy Peach Kitchen, needs just five minutes of prep time—your pressure cooker does the rest! The key to deepening the grits’ flavor is to toast them in hot oil or vegan butter for a couple of minutes until they turn light brown.
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This recipe for fried chicken created by Nora Taylor of Nora Cooks is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It’s also surprisingly meaty thanks to seitan, a healthy plant-based meat substitute. One half-cup serving offers 46 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Need a gluten-free option? Nora recommends using oyster mushrooms or extra-firm tofu instead.
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Talk about the perfect side—these baked beans by blogger Shaunda Necole of The Soul Food Pot are the epitome of a sweet and savory dish. While traditional baked beans get their flavor by slowly cooking over the stovetop, this version achieves the same effect in under an hour, all thanks to the Instant Pot.
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Synonymous with vegan comfort food, this mac and cheese recipe by blogger Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul transforms the quintessential classic into a plant-based version that’s sure to become a weeknight favorite. Made with butternut squash, plenty of garlic, and nutritional yeast, this is a healthy take on an ultimate classic.
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Blogger Rebecca Pytell of Strength and Sunshine uses gluten-free flour and non-dairy buttermilk to make these southern savory deep-fried balls vegan-friendly. Pop them in an air fryer, and you’ll have a plate of almost two dozen hush puppies ready in just 15 minutes.
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Regardless of your pronunciation (“PEE-kan” or “puh-KAHN”) it’s an undisputed fact that pecans hold a central place in southern soul food cuisine. This boozy version by blogger Shanika Graham-White of Orchids + Sweet Tea is decadent, gooey and, best of all, vegan!
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Seven simple ingredients are all you need to make blogger Desirée Daniels of I Can You Can Vegan‘s recipe for this essential soul food side. If you prefer to turn these into muffins, Desirée suggests transferring the batter to a muffin pan and baking at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
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Originally Published: September 11, 2023
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