Are you looking for easy vegan food substitutes and easy vegan side dishes that taste like the real thing, if not better?
In this article we are talking about eating vegan for beginners and which vegan substitutes you should try out first.
All of these vegan substitutes are simple and delicious and closely mimic the real thing in taste and texture. They are just as good if not a little bit better!
Eating a vegan diet is all about find easy vegan foods to fall back on instead of animal-based products.
It all boils down to getting creative in the kitchen and finding ways to veganize your old favorites.
So, if you are interested in creating delicious vegan food that actually tastes like it could be the real thing. Then keep reading because here are some amazing vegan substitutes and replacements!
Easy Vegan Food Substitutes That are Just as Good
If you are new to eating a vegan diet for beginners it might seem a bit intimidating.
It may leave you wondering, how am I going to replace meat and dairy in my diet? How are my meals going to stay filling and satisfying?
Well, worry no more because these vegan substitutes will get you heading down the right path!
These easy vegan replacements will help you to get the hang of creating mouthwatering dishes in no time.
so here are 9 of my top picks for vegan substitutes that taste just like the real thing! And don’t forget to read till the end for more tips on eating a vegan diet for beginners.
Jackfruit is a special variety of fruit that has stringy, almost meaty flesh. This makes it an excellent chicken alternative!
It has taken off in popularity, so much so, that you might even be able to find it at your local grocery store.
This is a great way to replace chicken in your diet if you have a lot of favorite chick-based meals and recipes.
Though it is very mild tasting and contains more moisture than actual chicken. Jackfruit is a very good alternative with a bit of creativity.
With the right spices you could even fool yourself into thinking that you are eating your old favorite chicken dishes!
This was the only brand of canned jackfruit that seemed to be a popular option. I have never tried it for myself but it is an affordable option if you want to try it out.
Nutritional yeast is the inactive form of baker’s yeast that has a yellow color and a flavor that closely resembles cheese.
This amazing vegan ingredient is the secret to creating delicious and cheesy dishes without actual cheese.
I am not personally a fan of vegan cheese products and find most of them to be pretty unappetizing. Not to mention expensive and hard to find in normal grocery stores.
Nutritional yeast flakes are the perfect easy vegan food to recreate that cheese taste without using real cheese or fake cheese.
It is perfect for cheesy sauces, baked potatoes, mac and cheese, or anything in between. If you are a cheese lover who is struggling, try out nutritional yeast. You won’t regret it!
If you enjoyed drinking milk before going vegan then soy milk is your secret ingredient.
Soy milk is a plant-based milk that resembles cow milk the most. It has the richness and even has a similar flavor profile that is ever so slightly sweet.
It has a richness and consistency that is lacking in most other plant milks. Making it a great option, especially if you like to drink milk on its own.
Organic soy milk is also a good option for creating creamy and easy vegan side dishes, decadent mac and cheese, or rich sauces.
If you are looking for a plant-based milk that is the most like cow milk, then this is the one for you.
Earth Balance Butter
If you are a butter lover, and quite frankly, who isn’t? then you just might need to try out some Earth Balance butter.
This is the best vegan butter that I have tried, and it is the one that I use the most frequently. And I highly recommend it if you like butter!
If you have just started eating vegan for beginners you might be at a loss at how to replace butter.
There are of course many oil options that could be used instead of butter, but they’re not really butter, are they?
This brand of Earth Balance buttery spread tastes similar to real butter and has the same consistency. There are also several different kinds that you can choose from.
Just keep in mind that this brand is not entirely vegan so you will need to double check the ingredients list.
Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
What a wonderful day we live in where there is butter flavored coconut oil!
If you prefer not to buy vegan butter why not try out the next best option. Butter flavored coconut oil to satisfy your buttery cravings.
It is exactly what it sounds like, coconut oil that has been flavored to taste like butter.
It is a great substitute if you either want to avoid processed vegan butters or if you want a slightly healthier option.
This is a great alternative to make easy vegan food that still has that comforting flavor profile.
This butter flavored coconut oil is great in pasta, on popcorn, and anything else that you would use butter for. Though I would imagine that it might not be so good on toast.
Cashew cream is a vegan substitute made from blending together cashews and water or plant milk. This creates a thick and creamy ingredient that you can use in a number of ways.
You can use cashew cream to make vegan yogurt, sour cream, alfredo sauce, mac and cheese, and so much more.
This creates an amazing base to so many meals and easy vegan side dishes. Helping to add some of that rich creaminess that dairy would usually add.
If you were a honey lover before going vegan and have decided to give up honey altogether, agave nectar might be just what you are needing.
This easy vegan food substitute for honey is by far the best honey substitute in taste and appearance.
It has the same golden hue with a similar earthy and slightly tart flavor. Though it is slightly less thick in consistency.
If you are missing honey in your diet, you definitely should give this agave nectar a try!
Related: Best Vegan Honey Alternatives
Field Roast Sausages
I don’t often buy vegan meat substitutes because I find that I don’t need them in my meals. But when I do want a vegan meat I always go for Field Roast sausages!
These sausages are the best tasting mock meats that I have yet to find. They have an excellent meaty texture that leave me double checking the ingredients.
They also offer a few different flavors, all being down right delicious and easy to add into your meals. My favorite is the apple sage sausages because they make everything taste better!
I like to add these to soups, roasted veggies, or simply seared and eaten alongside a baked potato!
If you are looking for a high-quality vegan meat substitute then this is your best bet in my opinion.
Ben and Jerry’s Dairy Free Ice Cream
If you are missing your creamy ice creams then you should try Ben and Jerry’s dairy free line of ice creams.
These are arguably some of the best options as they still have that rich creaminess that an ice cream should have.
They have a range of delicious flavor options that they are consistently adding to and are one of the more affordable vegan ice cream brands.
If you are craving ice cream these just might be what you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Easy Vegan Side Dishes
When you first make the switch to a vegan diet, creating meals that are satisfying might seem difficult.
Once you have removed all meat and dairy you might have a bunch of blank spaces to fill on your dinner table. Which is where side dishes come in handy!
Easy vegan side dishes are a great way to spice up your meals. Adding a variety of foods that will help you to feel like you aren’t missing out on anything.
Here are a few great side dish options:
- Garlicky Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
- Vegan Pasta Salad
- Crispy Roasted Potato Wedges
- Balsamic Spinach and Mushrooms
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Vegan Cauliflower Buffalo Bites
Tips for Eating Vegan for Beginners
New to veganism and don’t know quite how to start? Here are some simple tips to help you start off on the right foot.
These are some bits of advice that I wish I had heard when first going vegan. So, I hope that they are helpful to you.
Make Easy Vegan Food
One of my top tips for eating vegan for beginners is to start out small and simple. Try to aim low when you first start eating vegan.
Vegan food is quite a change from a normal diet and will take some getting used to. So, try to lean more towards simple dishes that you know taste well.
Leave the difficult recipes for later once you have a taste for vegan food and have gotten better at cooking it.
This will help you to ease into a vegan diet much easier.
- Related: How to Eat Vegan at Any Restaurant
- Related: Tips About Going Vegan That I Wish I Had Known Sooner
Don’t Rely Completely on Vegan Products
Now I know that I mentioned several vegan products in this list but try not to rely too heavily on vegan product.
Try to make most of your foods at home and what you can’t make try to do without.
Most vegan products should be a treat, a food item that you splurge on ever so often. If you rely too heavily on them you might miss out on homemade vegan foods.
Not to mention that vegan products are expensive and can be hard to find. So, it is generally best not to rely on them too much.
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
Another tip for new vegans is to not limit yourself.
Get creative, experiment in the kitchen. You might discover something really delicious!
I wish I could go back and tell myself to experiment more with my food because once I started getting creative. My meals got so much better!
And now I love the food that I make.
I hope that this article has given you some new ideas and inspiration when creating your vegan meals.
These vegan substitutes are all great options to spice up your meals and make them feel extra special and indulgent.
Vegan cooking is all about experimentation and learning how to enjoy new foods. And I hope that these substitutes can help to make that just a bit easier.
Let me know in the comments what kinds of substitutes you find yourself reaching for the most?