10 Vegan Comfort Food Recipes You Need to Make This Winter

From Ikea meatball knockoffs to garlic mac and "cheese."

vegan comfort food lead
A friend once told me that when she orders a cocktail, she wants to be taken care of by it. I know, it sounds weird, but I get what she was saying because that’s exactly how I feel about food: I want my meal — any meal of the day, really — to comfort me like a warm blanket.

So, being the comfort-food lover I am, when people find out that I’m vegan and ask what I miss most, they’re often shocked when I don’t say cheese. But the thing is, I still eat creamy and “cheesy” comfort foods all the time, just made from 100-percent plant-based ingredients. So, if you’ve recently vowed to go animal product-free, but are missing your favorite cozy comfort foods like mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to go without: Below, 10 vegan comfort food recipes that will satisfy all your cozy food cravings — sans animal anything.

Ooey-Gooey Baked Ziti
Via One Green Planet

I have made this recipe many a time, and let me tell you: It never disappoints. It’s totally worth the time it takes because by the end you have a beautiful homemade, gooey creation to dive into.

Swedish Meatballs
Via Cruelty Free Family 

These Ikea-inspired Swedish meatballs, made with chickpeas and mushrooms, are a true joy. Creamy, hearty, savory and 100 percent worth making.

Garlic Mac and Cheese
Via Minimalist Baker

Are there any words sweeter than garlic mac and cheese? I think not. This recipe calls for only 10 ingredients (three of which are seasonings and oil) and is ready to dig into in a mere 30 minutes.  And, for the visual learners of the group, Minimalist Baker provides a handy video to show you the ropes.

Pot Roasted Tempeh
Via House Vegan

Tempeh is the shining star in this savory vegan recipe (and in my heart). Served over your favorite starch (mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, rice, noodles — you name it), this recipe is great to make for dinner on Sundays, because it’s likely that you will have a good bit of leftovers for the week. Say it with me: YAY. 

Cauliflower Stuffed Portobellos
Via The Local Vegan

This recipe is reminiscent of the meat-and-potatoes diet many of us grew up on, but veganized and a bit healthier. You get creaminess from the cauliflower mash and savory umami from the roasted portobellos. Ready in about 30 minutes, this recipe is perfect for when you want a quick but comforting dinner.

Vegetable Dumpling Soup
Via Vegan Sandra

Some days you just need a warm bowl of dumpling soup, am I right? This recipe is the perfect example of light comfort food for gnarly winter days. You get a whole bunch of veggies and a few soft and satisfying dumplings tied together by an herby broth.

Butternut Squash Soup
Via Cook with Manali 

After the butternut squash is roasted, this soup will land in your bowl in no time. Bonus: The richness of the blended butternut squash and a touch of coconut milk will have you thinking this is a full-fledged bisque.

Black Bean Loaf with Creamy Avocado Verde Sauce
Via Ambitious Kitchen

This jazzed-up bean loaf makes its meaty counterpart look basic. The bright colors of carrots, peppers and corn contrasted with the black beans and topped with the creamy avocado sauce creates a true vision on your plate.

Mushroom and Leek Risotto
Via Minimalist Baker 

Yes: Good vegan risotto is possible. This classic comfort food dish — perfect for a main course or a side dish — made vegan is proof that vegan dishes hold major stake in the comfort food game.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Via Euphoric Vegan 

Don’t let your fear of making pasta deter you from making this recipe: It’s surprisingly easy, and delicious to boot.

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