Categories: Food & Health

These 23 Vegan Southern Food Recipes Bring the Comfort


Chicken and waffles. Cornbread. Mac and cheese. Biscuits and gravy. You can rarely go wrong with soul food and these vegan Southern food recipes are proof of that.

Although these dishes can be found in restaurants across the country, they have strong ties to the antebellum American South. Many soul food recipes can be traced back to enslaved West Africans living on plantations, award-winning author and food scholar Adrian Miller explained to First We Feast.

Enslaved people were allotted limited amounts of food daily, so they supplemented using farming knowledge passed down from West Africa, newly learned from European slavers, and from Native Americans living in the area. This cuisine set the tone for what would become soul food as we know it today.

These 23 Vegan Southern Food Recipes Bring the Comfort

Chicken and waffles are the ultimate comfort food. | Sweet Potato Soul

1. Vegan Chicken and Waffles

It’s always a good time for vegan chicken and waffles. This sweet and savory recipe combines dairy-free buttermilk fried chicken made from oyster mushrooms with fluffy whole wheat waffles.

Check it out here.

This dairy-free mac is nut-free. | From My Bowl

2. Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Many vegan mac and cheese recipes use cashews for the sauce, but this nut-free recipe uses carrots, potatoes, and nutritional yeast instead. Sprinkle on some extra nutritional yeast and some bread crumbs before baking for a crunchy top.

Check it out here.

Flaky, dairy-free biscuits, and country-style gravy. | Simple Veganista

3. Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy

This classic breakfast food is ready in just 35 minutes. Use dairy-free milk like cashew, soy, or oat for the flakiest dairy-free biscuits.

Check it out here.

Meaty, smoky, and super sticky. | Brand New Vegan

4. Vegan BBQ Ribs

These meat-free ribs are made by smoking tempeh over hickory wood chips, then slathering them in barbecue sauce, and cooking them until they’re crispy around the edges.

Check it out here.

Top this sweet corn pudding with vegan parmesan. | Try Veg

5. Vegan Corn Pudding

A classic Southern side, made vegan thanks to dairy-free milk. This vegan corn pudding gets crispy around the edges when it bakes, just like good corn pudding should.

Check it out here.

Creamy jalapeño grits topped with Cajun-spiced soy curls. | The Curious Chickpea

6. Cajun Soy Curls and Grits

These grits are creamy and spicy thanks to cashew cream and jalapeño. They’re topped off with Cajun-spiced vegan chicken made from soy curls.

Check it out here.

This breakfast casserole is packed with tater tots. | Veggies Save the Day

7. Vegan Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast casseroles are actually for any time of day. This tofu scramble breakfast casserole is packed with tater tots (you could also use hash browns) and vegan cheese.

Check it out here.

This recipe is also gluten-free. | Radiant Rachels

8. Vegan Buttermilk Cornbread

Cornbread is the perfect companion to any Southern meal. This gluten-free cornbread is fluffy thanks to dairy-free buttermilk, which you can make by combining apple cider vinegar with vegan milk.

Check it out here.

Use pre-made vegan chicken or seitan for this recipe. | Connoisseurus Veg

9. Vegan Chicken and Dumplings

Tender, rosemary-infused dumplings meets plant-based chicken and savory gravy in this hearty Southern stew.

Check it out here.

Jackfruit has a pulled pork-like texture. | Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

10. Vegan Pulled Pork

If you love (or loved) pulled pork, then jackfruit is your new best friend. This subtropical fruit has a neutral flavor and meaty texture that pulls apart when cooked in sauces.

Check it out here.

Always serve potato salad with barbecue. | Nora Cooks

11. Vegan Potato Salad

Every Southern barbecue needs a good potato salad. This dish includes a recipe for homemade oil-free vegan mayonnaise.

Check it out here.

You’ll never miss the meat. | Spicy Southern Kitchen

12. Vegan Gumbo

This smoky meat-free gumbo is packed with flavor thanks to vegan Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and plenty of spices.

Check it out here.

This dairy-free pimento is made from just eight ingredients. | The Vegan 8

13. Vegan Pimento

Traditional pimento spread is made from cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos. This dairy-free version is made from raw cashews.

Check it out here.

Pantry recipes FTW. | Cilantro and Citronella

14. Vegan Jambalaya

Popular in Cajun cooking, jambalaya is a dish of multicultural origin, drawing influence from West African, French, Spanish, and Native American cuisine. This dish consists of tomato-y rice mixed with white beans and the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking—celery, bell peppers, and onions.

Check it out here.

Top your sweet potato waffles however you like. | Rachel Ama

15. Vegan Sweet Potato Waffles

Pro-tip for these vegan sweet potato waffles: make a few extra to reheat the next day. Try these with plant-based fried chicken, a pat of dairy-free butter, with maple syrup, or all of the aforementioned.

Check it out here.

Country-fried steak is on the menu at practically all Southern diners. | Astro Eater

16. Vegan Country-Fried Steak

This meatless country-fried steak is made from seitan, a plant-based meat made from vital wheat gluten. Don’t forget to serve it with mashed potatoes.

Check it out here.

Salty, fatty, crispy, and perfect. | Cilantro and Citronella

17. Vegan Fried Okra

You don’t need eggs or buttermilk to make crispy fried okra. The best part is, it’s ready in 15 minutes.

Check it out here.

This vegan hash brown casserole is kid-friendly. | Holy Cow Vegan

18. Vegan Hash Brown Casserole

This easy-to-make vegan hash brown casserole is crisp, creamy, and will please all the family.

Get the recipe here.

Serve your red beans and rice with vegan sausage. | Healthier Steps

19. Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is a classic Southern dish where kidney beans simmer in a medley of the Cajun holy trinity. It’s traditionally served with meat, but you can swap it with vegan sausage or seitan.

Check it out here.

You’ll never need another vegan fried chicken recipe. | School Night Vegan

20. Vegan Fried Chicken

This crispy vegan Southern-fried chicken is made from chickpeas, tofu, and seitan, giving it a unique texture that mimics the real thing.

Get the recipe here.

Cooking collard greens is a lengthy, but rewarding process. | Real and Vibrant

21. Vegan Collard Greens

Collard greens take a little longer to cook than other greens, but they’re well worth the wait. These greens are tender and perfect for serving with meat-free barbecue ribs and mashed potatoes.

Check it out here.

Peach cobbler is iconic. | The Roasted Root

22. Vegan Peach Cobbler

This vegan peach cobbler features gooey, maple-sweetened peaches topped with a gluten-free crumble. Serve with dairy-free ice cream or coconut cream.

Check it out here.

This vegan key lime pie is topped with egg-free meringue. | Ela Vegan

23. Vegan Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is an iconic dessert that originated in the Florida Keys. This light and tangy dessert features an oat-based crust, a silken tofu-based filling, and is topped with aquafaba meringue.

Check it out here.

This post was last modified on June 5, 2020 10:33 pm

Kat Smith

Senior Editor | New York City, NY | Contactable via:

Kat has been writing about veganism, environment, and sustainability for five years. Their interests include over-analyzing the various socioeconomic forms of oppression, how that overlaps with veganism, and how the media in all of its forms reflects the current culture.

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Kat Smith

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