Meatless meals have come a long way since the days of lifeless portobello mushroom burgers (you know the ones). As time goes on, vegetarian and vegan recipes just keep getting better and better. While I’m a no-holds-barred eater, I’m constantly looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into my diet without having to pencil them into my grocery list and calendar. And I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely not a fan of eating vegetables that feel like a chore. To combat veggie fatigue, we rounded up 16 vegan Indian recipes that are ready to transport your taste buds and pack in all the veggie-fueled nutrition.
As we know, vegan recipes are not only full of nourishment, but they’re great to make for gatherings so your guests with dietary restrictions/preferences will feel welcome, too. You’d never guess it, but most of the recipes in this list are actually super easy to make. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal time commitment, they’re accessible, practical, and ready to shake up your weeknight dinner routine. Plus, they’re vegan-friendly and full of varied and interesting flavors and textures. Read on for a few of our favorite vegan Indian recipes that will infuse a whole ‘lotta joy into weeknight dinner planning.
Featured image by Suruchi Avasthi.
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Aloo Tikki Sliders
Why We Love It: Aka spicy fried potato burgers, these meatless wonders are a gem. Translating literally to potato cutlet, aloo tikki is a staple in Indian cuisine—and it’s no mystery why. They satisfy all the burger cravings that none of us are strangers to, but without the meat. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more meatless meals into your diet or are hosting a gathering anytime soon, keep these spicy sliders in your sights.
Hero Ingredient: A drizzle of classic mint chutney sends these sliders into saucy heaven. To achieve a thicker sauce, blend it with a little avocado or Greek yogurt. But be warned, it’s addictive. Pro tip: make a double batch… you’ll see why below.
Why We Love It: Our food editor Suruchi claims that these might be better than fries, and I couldn’t agree more. These Vegetable Pakoras are so poppable and addictive to no end. The best part: they’re kinda healthy… let’s go with it. Onion, spinach, and red potatoes get dunked in a chickpea batter and fried until GBD. They’re literally perfect.
Hero Ingredient: A side of that aforementioned mint chutney gives you the perfect dipper for these lightly fried veggies.
Curried Roasted Winter Squash
Why We Love It: Busy weeknights are no match for this Curried Roasted Winter Squash Soup. It starts with Brooklyn Delhi Golden Coconut Curry Simmer Sauce, which lays the foundation for the caramelized roasted winter squash to shine like the supernova it is. It’s creamy, decadent, and full of delicious flavors you can sit back and savor. Plus, it makes delicious leftovers you can enjoy all week long.
Hero Ingredient: Serve it up with lots of crunchy seeds, fresh herbs, and achaar or chili crunch.
Toasted Tandoori Spice Chickpea Grain Bowl
Why We Love It: Shake up your grain bowl lineup with this toasted tandoori spice variety. Spiced chickpeas, farro, steamed kale, fresh herbs, and more come together in harmony for a loaded bowl that never fails to satisfy. To make this one vegan-friendly, sub in tofu or tempeh for the pan-fried halloumi, and be sure to use coconut oil instead of ghee. With those simple swaps, you’ve got a nourishing vegan bowl that’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
Hero Ingredient: Avocado, cucumber, pickled veg, and any dressing you have on hand make great finishing touches. As always, customize to your heart’s content.
Why We Love It: This is one of those recipes that’s literally been passed down for generations. Hence, it’s been perfected for generations… and it shows. Channa Masala is another Indian cuisine staple that’s just as delicious as it is comforting and nourishing. This version uses an instant pot or pressure cooker to save you both time and effort throughout the process. It’s almost a one-pot recipe that you can make in about an hour. You’re welcome.
Hero Ingredient: If you don’t have the bandwidth to make your own chaat masala, here’s a great store-bought alternative.
Sheet Pan Aloo Gobi
Why We Love It: It’s no secret that sheet pan dinners are one of life’s greatest gifts. This recipe is no exception. It features roasted cauliflower and Yukon gold potatoes coated in the most delicious mix of spices and tomato masala. It’s flavorful, punchy, and satisfying, and it couldn’t be easier to make. All you have to sacrifice is ten minutes of hands-on time and you’re set.
Hero Ingredient: Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to wake up all those vibrant flavors underneath.
Samosa Chaat Sweet Potato Fries
Why We Love It: Loaded sweet potato fries are having a moment, and it’s not hard to see why. In this version, they take on all the toppings you love in a samosa, but over sweet potato fries instead. They’re a little healthier than your typical deep-fried samosa shell, but definitely don’t sacrifice the crispy integrity of the snack. Bake up a big batch of these and watch them disappear before your eyes.
Hero Ingredient: Instead of yogurt, to keep these vegan-friendly, drizzle over a touch of coconut cream. It wakes up and unites all the delicious spice-driven flavors underneath.
Masala Corn Salad (Bhutta)
Why We Love It: Skip the corn on the cob and opt for corn salad instead. With charred kernels, red onion, avocado cubes, cilantro, and sliced jalapeños, the flavors are off the charts. And by off the charts, I mean full of spice and liveliness. And although its namesake is “bhutta,” be sure to sub in coconut oil for the butter to keep this one vegan.
Hero Ingredient: Garam masala, chaat masala, and red chili powder fuel this dish’s spice. If that sounds overwhelming to you, you can 86 the jalapeños.
Why We Love It: We’ve likened this pot of goodness to “a hug in a bowl” before, and it definitely still stands. It’s a one-pot recipe that never fails to lend a comforting dose of nourishment. Also, something to note is that Kitchari has Ayurvedic roots, which means it’s good for detoxifying—even though it looks (and is) totally indulgent.
Hero Ingredient: Instead of ghee, be sure to sub in a vegan ghee or coconut oil to keep things fully plant-based.
Rava Dosa (Indian Crepes) from Half Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: Indian crepes are exactly as delicious as they sound, and even a little easier than the French version. These Rava Dosa are filled with a delicious mix of zucchini, summer squash, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and so much more. Garlic and ginger lead the way on flavor, being complemented by garam masala, spicy curry powder, serrano pepper, and fresh cilantro to bind it all together. These things are so indulgent and fun to enjoy.
Hero Ingredient: Fresh ginger is absolutely essential. You just can’t beat the punch it introduces to the filling.
Vegan Naan from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Never settle for subpar store-bought naan again. Instead, you can make your own vegan variety at home with ease. With just seven ingredients and a handful of repetitive steps, you’re on your way to enjoying great vegan Indian recipes without the hassle. I’ve never known a dish that wasn’t made better by a side of bread, so you’ll be glad to have this on hand for endless sauce-dipping.
Hero Ingredient: I love the garlic “butter” twist in this recipe. If you like yours more plain, though, there’s a path for that too.
Chana Masala from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: More Chana Masala = more better. This variety uses green chilies, onion, garlic, spices, fresh cilantro, chickpeas, and tomatoes to amp up the coziness. The best part? All it takes is one pot and 30 minutes. It’s the simple variation you didn’t know you needed for a comforting dinner any night of the week—even the busiest. And yes, it’s nourishing in more ways than one.
Hero Ingredient: Homemade garam masala and lemon juice kicks this recipe up a notch.
Eggplant Curry from Eating Bird Food
Why We Love It: Fresh eggplant and zucchini come together under a decadent creamy tomato sauce. And not only is it vegan, but it’s gluten-free and ready to be enjoyed by all. It’s also a one-pot wonder that only asks you to throw everything in your slow cooker, stir it a few times here and there, and go about your business while dinner makes itself. Talk about the dream life.
Hero Ingredient: Lots of fresh cilantro over top finishes this off perfectly. Bonus points if you serve this one with the Vegan Naan from earlier.
Masala-Spiced Tofu Scramble from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Full of protein and flavor, this simple Tofu Scramble uses nine ingredients and 30 minutes to come to life. Sauteéd together with cauliflower, red onion, kalamata olives, kale, and more, masala-spiced tofu adopts the best flavor and texture. The scramble as a whole makes for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner for any weekday.
Hero Ingredient: The cauliflower soaks up all those tasty spices and becomes anything but bland.
Palak Paneer with Curried Tofu from Minimalist Baker
Why We Love It: Instead of paneer, this dish uses curried tofu in place of the salty cheese. As you may have noticed, however, the dish doesn’t lose any of its floating-marshmallow-esque look (score!). The entire dish is so flavorful with a gorgeous spinach-based sauce that’s full of vegetables. It’s a total powerhouse recipe that gives you that glowy feeling from the inside out.
Hero Ingredient: Full-fat coconut milk keeps things nice and creamy.
Tempeh Tikka Masala from Eating Bird Food
Why We Love It: All the indulgence without the heaviness, this Tempeh Tikka Masala is full of goodness. Rich tikka masala sauce lays the foundation for soft tempeh, vibrant peas, a whole slew of spices, and creamy coconut milk to steal the show. It’s totally balanced, a tad spicy, and full of heartiness to nourish your body and soul any night of the week.
Hero Ingredient: A touch of turmeric keeps this one gut-friendly and bright.
What are your favorite vegan Indian recipes? Spill the details in the comments!