Everyone Will Love These Creamy Plant-Based Recipes
Dairy products, like milk, cream, and butter, play an important role in cooking, often providing texture, richness, and fat; but it’s easy to find dairy-free alternatives that contribute the same elements to a dish. And many times, plant-based dairy can make the food taste even better.
Using ingredients like coconut milk, almond milk, cashew cream, silken tofu, white beans, tahini, and even cauliflower can make to ordinary recipes more complex and satisfying, while still delivering all the creamy goodness synonymous with traditional dairy. And while a lot of these dairy-alternatives can be found at your local grocery store, you can also make many of your favorite plant-based dairy products at home.
This Monday, start exploring what you can do with dairy-free alternatives. The recipes below will spark your imagination and set you up for a lot of creative cooking. Whether it’s pancakes, creamy pasta, Caesar dressing, or caramel apple pie, there’s always an opportunity to add more plants to your favorite creamy recipes.
Classic Caesar dressing is salty, satisfying, and loaded with umami, but recreating its flavor and texture using only plant-based ingredients is surprisingly simple. This recipe from Loving It Vegan captures that creamy brininess by using a combination of capers, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and Dijon mustard—all ingredients that make anything taste delicious.
For the 5-Minute Vegan Caesar Dressing recipe, click here.
Using starchy tubers and vegetables like sweet potato and butternut squash is a great way to add creaminess to a dish without using dairy. This recipe from Goya also calls for a can of coconut milk, which helps give the soup a velvety texture.
For the Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk recipe, click here.
When the cold weather hits, there’s nothing better than a hearty noodle soup. This recipe from the Meatless Monday Family Cookbook gets its creaminess from a flavorful roux that uses olive oil instead of the traditional butter.
For the Creamy Vegetable Noodle Soup recipe, click here.
This smoothie concept from USA Pulses is basically a meal in itself. It has bananas, blueberries, spinach, nut milk, ginger, avocado, as well as a secret ingredient—cooked lentils! Yes, it might sound a little strange, but when it’s all blended together, the result is just yummy.
For the Green Monster Smoothie recipe, click here.
Because it tastes so darn good, hot chocolate is the perfect way to introduce kids to plant-based beverages. This hot cocoa recipe from Ambitious Kitchen uses both almond milk and coconut milk for a light sweetness and amazing flavor.
For the Healthier Hot Chocolate recipe, click here.
Indian food uses a lot of butter to achieve a rich, decadent sauce. Blondelish skips the butter and instead makes a sauce of crushed tomato, garlic, onion, curry powder, garam masala, and coconut cream. Using cauliflower instead of chicken or lamb is another way to boost your plant intake for the day.
For the Indian Butter Cauliflower recipe, click here.
Roasted red peppers, tons of garlic, and white wine make up the foundation of this recipe from @lesliedurso. Tapioca starch (you can also use corn starch) gives the sauce its smooth, silky consistency.
For the Pasta with Creamy Red Bell Pepper Sauce recipe, click here.
The secret ingredient in these pancakes is vegan buttermilk, which you can easily make at home. I Can You Can Vegan also recommends letting the batter rest a good 6-7 minutes after it’s mixed, a crucial step to achieving super fluffy pancakes.
For the Super Fluffy Pancakes recipe, click here.
This festive recipe from Make It Dairy Free is everything you could want from a holiday dessert. It has a creamy vegan caramel, a crispy crust, and a warm cinnamon-maple apple filling. And, yes, it’s all plant-based.
For the Vegan Caramel Apple Pie recipe, click here.
Ranch and vegetables are the perfect marriage, so why not take your ranch dressing to the next level by making it totally plant-based? This recipe from Detoxinista is made with a base of cashew cream that’s generously seasoned with spices, dried herbs, citrus, and spicy mustard.
For the Vegan Ranch Dressing recipe, click here.
Want to know which ingredients to buy for amazing plant-based meals? Check out our list of Inexpensive Plant-Based Ingredients That Won’t Go Bad.