Whether you’re a veteran vegan or new to filling your plate with plants, this primer will wet your plant-based appetite! We’ve rounded up the best bloggers, pantry staples, vegan-friendly brands, and easy recipes to support your veggie-loving journey—so let’s get started!
What Is Vegan?
Ask most vegans about their diet and they’ll tell you it’s a lifestyle. That’s because veganism asks you to closely examine not only the food you eat, but every product you buy from cosmetics to clothing to cleaning products.
Here are the main pillars of being vegan:
- Diet: Vegans don’t eat eggs, dairy, honey, gelatin, or any other animal products.
- Lifestyle: Vegans avoid wearing clothing derived from animals or insects, like leather, wool, and silk.
- Environment: Vegans take an active stance against testing on animals and animal welfare
Vegan Diet Basics
When you’re eating vegan, here are the main food buckets you’ll be focusing on, plus a partial list of the types of foods to fill your plate. And if it seems like there’s too much emphasis on what to avoid, take heart that there can still be pancakes, cupcakes, vegan bread, and more! We also promise you won’t go hungry. (Vegan protein sources are always among the the first questions people ask about when they hear about veganism, right?)
Fruits and Veggies
- Brussels Sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Sweet Potato
Vegan Protein Sources
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
- Protein Powder
- Sprouted Bread
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Brown Rice
Vegan Brands You’ll Love
These tried-and-true brands deserve space in your pantry!
For snack cravings, look no further than Vegan Rob’s for puffs made with everything from cauliflower to beets, and a little extra protein and fiber, too.
When it comes to protein, Garden of Life has your back. It’s certified vegan by the Vegan Awareness Foundation, so you can stock up on protein powders, vitamins, and supplements to support your health.
PK is known for its mayos (a vegan no-go), but also makes vegan-friendly sauces and marinades anchored by avocado oil, a healthy fat-powerhouse. Try the vegan ranch dressing for your next salad night!
This brand didn’t jerky around when launching in a home kitchen back in 2012. From savory to sweet, every batch is made with soy-based protein and flavors like maple syrup, olive oil, sriracha, and mustard, so you can sink your teeth into every (vegan) bite.
Vega is another vegan-friendly source of fuel, founded on the belief that you shouldn’t have to choose between plant-based nutrition and on-the-go convenience. With craveable flavors like chocolate, mocha, and berry, you can find your favorite smoothie add-in stat.
From coconut chips to sticky rice chips, Dang brings Thai-inspired snacking home with flavors reminiscent of a tropical vacation.
Products to Stock Your Vegan Pantry
Thrive Market makes it easy to shop for vegan products online—here’s everything you need!
Crunchy cravings have met their match! Organic Thai rice is steamed, soaked in watermelon juice, then cooked until perfectly toasted. The slightly sweet flavor comes from just a touch of sugar, and savory sesame seeds and salt balance every bite.
This top-rated bag might have Paleo in the title, but it’s vegan, too! A trio of banana chips, pecans, and cashews are coated in garlic powder, chives, and dill for a fresh flavor you’ll love.
This snack hits all the right notes thanks to a blend of spicy sriracha and sweet maple syrup. Perfect for gym bags, road trips, or afternoon nibbles.
This avocado oil-based dressing is perfect for tossing with your favorite salad, but that’s just the beginning! Marinate eggplant, zucchini, or other veggies before putting them on the grill, or use it as a dipping sauce for your favorite bread.
Power up morning smoothies with this organic and non-GMO powder that’s free from common allergens like gluten, grains, dairy, and soy. When you’re ready to try something new, pick up the chocolate and vanilla flavors, too.
Boil a pot of this pasta and you’ll not only end up with a satisfying meal (especially when paired with roasted garlic tomato sauce), but added protein to keep you full (each serving delivers 14g.)
No vegan pantry is complete without a tub of organic, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil. Ours is ethically sourced from small farmers in the Philippines and ready for all your cooking and baking needs.
Vegan Bloggers to Follow
Time to sip on a nut milk latte and bookmark some new vegan blogs! From top notch recipes filled with plants galore to product recs and lifestyle tips, these are the influencers to know.
Southern food fan? Then you’ll adore Jenné Claiborne for her inventive vegan take on typically non-vegan recipes. Start your week off right by meal planning straight from her beautiful blog, or head to Thrive Market to try a dish (Jackfruit Jambalaya) from her new cookbook.
Fashion, beauty, lifestyle, AND food? Kim’s got it all. Her website is a resource for all things natural and her YouTube channel has lots of ideas for everyday vegan cooking, like Trader Joe’s hacks, vegan snacks, and 15-minute dinner ideas.
Yovana Mendoza is the gal behind Rawvana, a destination to help you transform your life through self-love, gratitude, and of course, eating loads of fruits and veggies. Tips for no-cook meal prep (how easy does that sound?!) plus vegan salad dressings and recipes starring avocados, we’re hooked.
Meet Caitlin Shoemaker, creator of From My Bowl, a vegan paradise featuring healthy, budget-friendly recipes that’ll keep you full from breakfast to dinner. Many of the recipes are gluten-free, too. (Caitlin’s also shared vegan diet benefits with us in the past.) Catch her new YouTube videos every Monday and Friday.
Meet Mic, the vegan science writer who’s on a mission to share the environmental impact of eating animal products. His blog is home to informative articles, like how going vegan affects the body, but most of the content—from bread experiments to muscle-building tips—is over on YouTube.
Easy Vegan Recipes
If all this reading is making you hungry, here are some of our top vegan recipes to put on your menu!
Vegan Breakfast Recipes
From smoothies to French toast and yes, even donuts, make these recipes your morning go-to’s.
Eat like pro surfer Laird Hamilton with this satisfying smoothie! It starts with a a base of almond butter and almond milk, along with a pour of organic and cold-pressed cacao creamer. This comforting bowl of goodness is perfect for chilly mornings.
This French toast is made without eggs or butter, and is just as delicious as its classic counterpart. We top off our stack with coconut whipped cream and fresh berries. Perfect for brunch or lazy weekend mornings!
Feeling a little decadent? Donuts are the answer. This vegan and gluten-free batter is fall-inspired with comforting flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple cider. Apple sauce keeps every bite moist, and a scoop of protein powder makes every baked batch a touch more wholesome.
Pair this iced latte with your favorite breakfast for a bright boost with probiotics and turmeric. It only takes a few minutes to make, and you can use your favorite nut milk!
Vegan Lunch Recipes
Save these quick lunch recipes for midweek munchies. From mac and cheese (really!) to a Middle Eastern-inspired meze platter, there’s a lot to love.
Here’s a 30-minute meal that’ll hit the spot. Shell-shaped noodles made with chickpea flour pair perfectly with broccoli and a cashew-based sauce that brings the flavor with garlic, onion, and nutritional yeast.
For lunch on the go, pack a pita sandwich! Flavorful chickpea patties hold together with almond flour and are stuffed next to parsley, cucumbers, and cabbage. To finish it off, drizzle on homemade vegan ranch dressing.
If variety is the spice of life, this meze board keeps things interesting. With options like hummus, olives, artichoke hearts, breads, and peppers, this is a no-fuss way to make a meal. Perfect for making a week’s worth of lunches, or entertaining with friends.
This dish has a trick up its sleeve thanks to jackfruit, indigenous to India and Bangladesh. When cooked, the flesh is similar to pulled pork. Robust flavors like cumin, coriander, and garlic will satisfy vegans and carnivores alike.
It might look like a side dish, but turn it into a main by layering grilled tofu on top. Carrot ribbons hold up well to the sesame oil, ginger, and nut butter for just the right blend of sweet and savory flavors.
Vegan Dinner Recipes
What’s on your vegan dinner menu? We’re serving up mushroom bolognese, jambalaya, ravioli, and more!
Italian night is getting extra magical thanks to shirataki noodles (aka “wonder noodles). These strands soak up a rich sauce packed with meaty mushrooms, veggie stock, garlic, and fresh rosemary, while tomato paste gives the dish a simmered-all-day flavor. And don’t even get us started on our obsession with vegan Parmesan!
Southern cooks are known for jambalaya, a one-pot meal traditionally made with rice, veggies, and meat or sausage. Jenné Claiborne from Sweet Potato Soul makes it vegan by subbing in chickpeas and jackfruit and it’s guaranteed to be a hit for dinner!
Savor these soba noodles from chef Chloe Coscarelli, who’s been vegan since 2004 and written several plant-powered cookbooks. Since the sauce can be made in advance, count on this recipe for a simple weeknight supper.
For your next date night in, try this elegant beet ravioli stuffed with a creamy, dairy-free filling. With fresh asparagus on the side, you’ll fall in love with this Mediterranean-inspired meal.
Vegan Dessert Recipes
Have a vegan sweet tooth? You’re not alone! We’ve got the desserts you need to end any meal in style.
This stunner of a vegan cake can rival any dairy-based confection! It looks like an ordinary birthday cake, but the buttercream gets its creamy texture from avocados, not butter, and the cake relies on apple cider vinegar and baking soda to rise.
Not a chocoholic? Bake up a vegan cake filled with spices like nutmeg and cloves, then spread an irresistible cashew-based frosting on top that’s sweetened with maple syrup.
Here’s an upgraded version of the puffed rice chocolate candies that everyone loves during Halloween. By heating raw quinoa, the grains pop like popcorn, lending a similar texture but with extra protein. Fancy!
Vegan chefs have known this secret for decades—aquafaba, or the liquid from a can of chickpeas, whips up just like egg whites! It’s basically vegan magic, and this chocolate mousse is a perfect recipe to try it out.
Take a bite of this cookie and get transported straight to grandma’s kitchen! This batter uses coconut oil and maple syrup instead of butter and sugar, which makes them a touch more wholesome.
For hot afternoons, nothing beats a frozen treat. Dip bananas in a vegan chocolate coating made from coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder, and vanilla, then press it into your favorite toppings like dried coconut, sprinkles, or cacao nibs.
Be prepared for this treat to fly off the tray! Goji berries and cranberries bring the sweetness, while almonds and pecans add crunch. There’s even a fermented, superfood boost from maca powder that melts into a luscious cacao base. It’s made for sharing, but you have permission to keep it all for yourself!
Do desserts sap your energy? Here’s a zippy idea! We took the flavors of red velvet cake and turned them into snackable bites made with chocolate protein powder, sweet dates, and cashew butter. A dusting of beet powder is the finishing touch on these beautiful grab-and-go treats.