Here are 10 delicious recipes for vegetarian comfort food for when a craving strikes: like french fries, queso, pizza, tacos, nachos, and more!
What is comfort food? Let’s consult a dictionary, shall we? One definition is “food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.” Ha! Alex and I have found that after starting to eat mostly home-cooked plant based foods, we still have a craving for comfort foods now and then. But making them at home, and mostly vegetarian, they can also have healthy-ish spins and be even more satisfying than the real thing. Here are our top recipes for 10 vegetarian comfort food.
Our approach to comfort food
Our basic approach to comfort food can be found in Michael’s Pollan’s short book Food Rules, Rule 39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself. Pollan goes on to explain that there’s nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, and pastries every once in a while. These type of treats used to be expensive and hard to make, but manufacturers have made them so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often because they’re so much work to put together.
We agree with this approach, and have found it to absolutely work in our lives. Those fries above are the bomb, but you have to spend about an hour to work for them! In that vein, our recipes for vegetarian comfort foods either have healthy-ish spins, or are meant to be consumed occasionally.
And now, our top recipes for vegetarian comfort food!
This gouda mac and cheese might be the best mac and cheese you’ve eaten, starring smoked gouda cheese and crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs. It’s vegetarian comfort food at its finest!
Next up in our vegetarian comfort foods list: french fries! These oven-roasted fries are just as good as in the restaurant! Just olive oil, salt and a hot oven.
What’s more comforting than a pot pie? This vegetarian pot pie is crazy delicious, with a flaky pot pie crust and a savory filling of veggies and Parmesan. Or try our vegan pot pie, which has a delicious crust and sweet potato and mushroom filling. Vegetarian comfort food at its finest.
Next up in vegetarian comfort food: nachos! These loaded vegan nachos are the best because they’re plant based, healthy nachos that are so flavorful no one will miss the meat! They’re topped with meaty lentils and rice and dolloped with our vegan nacho cheese. You’ll never buy store-bought nacho cheese again!
Love tater tots but not processed foods? Try these homemade tater tots, made simply with potatoes and olive oil and baked until crispy. What’s more quintessential comfort food than tots? If you’d like, turn them into “totchos” (tater tot nachos) with this recipe: Tater Tot Nachos — Totchos!
Tacos are perfect vegetarian comfort food: so why not crispy cauliflower tacos? The crispy cauliflower texture is reminiscent of fish tacos, and the silky Yum Yum sauce is out of this world good.
What’s more comfort food than queso dip? This healthy vegan queso dip features real, whole ingredients to keep it gluten free and plant based: you’ll find yourself addicted.
Here’s a healthy take on the classic vegetarian comfort food! Here we’ve used Greek yogurt to make a creamy sauce, and stirred in spinach for some added nutrients.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.