When people think of comfort food, they usually picture meat-based dishes. We tend to assume that vegetarian dishes can’t be hearty and comforting because they don’t contain meat, but that isn’t the case at all. If you’re looking for delicious, indulgent food that is packed with flavor, there are plenty of great vegetarian recipes you can try. These are three ideas of the best vegetarian comfort food recipes:
Chili is a classic comfort food and a nice big bowl served with some steamed rice always hits the spot. Although it’s typically made using ground beef, it’s so easy to make a delicious veggie version. The classic chili flavor comes from the blend of spices and the beans, so as long as you still have that, it’s just as comforting as the meat version. A crockpot veggie chili is one of the easiest meals you can make too, and you can use whatever canned vegetables and beans you have on hand. It’s ideal if you want to whip up a big batch of comfort food without buying lots of expensive ingredients, and it’s easy to keep the leftovers too.
Potatoes are a staple of most people’s diet but they don’t always get the treatment they deserve. They’re usually served mashed or boiled as a side or made into fries. A big plate of fries isn’t too bad as far as comfort food goes, but if you want something really hearty, you should try some creamed potatoes instead. Potato cubes covered in delicious bechamel sauce make the perfect side for most dishes and they are much more interesting than a simple mashed or boiled potato. This is one of those amazing recipes that brings back memories of real traditional home cooking with simple, hearty flavors. It’s guaranteed to be a big hit with everybody that tries it.
Lasagna is another one of those classic comfort foods and just like chili, it doesn’t rely on the ground beef to make it delicious. If you swap out the beef for some vegetables or lentils, you can get your five a day but you still have the delicious tomato sauce with the decadent cheese sauce running through it. You can make the bolognese sauce with a meat substitute if you want it to be closer to a traditional lasagna but often it’s best to let the vegetables do the talking. Pack the sauce full of onions, carrots, zucchini and eggplant and you’ve got a great healthy alternative to a meat lasagna that is just as comforting. You can even make a vegan lasagna if you swap out the cheese sauce for cashew cream. It still has the same creaminess that you expect from the cheese sauce, so you don’t lose the heartiness of the dish by making the switch.
If anybody ever tells you that vegetarian food can’t be hearty and comforting, these recipes will change their mind as soon as they taste them. They’re just as good as their meat counterparts but they’re also healthier.