Contrary to popular belief, not every Easter table needs to have a traditional honey-glazed ham at its center to be deemed festive. If you're skeptical about serving a meat-free holiday meal, allow us to present a curated collection of crazy-delicious vegetarian and vegan Easter recipes, courtesy of some of our favorite foodies. From appetizers to desserts, these plant-based dishes are so good that even staunch carnivores will be asking for seconds (yes, really).
Spanning a saucy mushroom gravy pie topped with garlic mashed potatoes and a decadent make-ahead chocolate chia mousse garnished with dried rose petals, these recipes make the most of the season's fresh ingredients—think tangy citrus, fresh greens, and edible florals. Ahead are 15 meatless, dairy-free Easter recipes that prove vegans do it best.
Vegan Caesar Salad
Made with tahini, almond milk, and nutritional yeast, this vegan Caesar salad created by Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest retains the creaminess of traditional dressing without compromising on flavor. Boasting slices of bright orange cantaloupe and creamy avocado, this salad looks as good as it tastes, too.
Pro Tip: Top with Marcona almonds (they're from Spain and are often creamier than other almonds) for extra crunch.
Lentil Salad with Roasted Baby Carrots and Red Onion
This flavorful lentil salad with Argentinian-style chimichurri sauce by Quite Good Food only takes 15 minutes of prep time. "Other than scrubbing the baby carrots and making the chimichurri sauce, it's all hands off cooking time," Quite Good Food writes. Gather up lentils, baby carrots, baby kale, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and red onion for the salad. And you'll need parsley, oregano, red wine vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste for the chimichurri.
Pro Tip: This protein-packed salad (thanks to the lentils) is delicious served hot or cold.
Creamy Broccoli Soup and Semolina Dumplings
Sugar Salted recreates her Slovenian family's recipe for vegetable soup and dumplings with this version of creamy broccoli soup and semolina dumplings. Broccoli and cauliflower are simmered with vegetable stock, garlic, parsley, paprika, thyme, and marjoram.
Pro Tip: While the dumplings are definitely not vegan (it calls for eggs and butter), omit to go vegan, or if you're opting for a vegetarian soup, the dumpling recipe also calls for semolina, nutmeg, and a pinch of pepper.
Citrus Brussels Sprout Slaw
There's something about the combination of citrus and brussels sprouts that is just so heavenly, and this recipe by The First Mess balances these flavors to perfection. Serve this slaw as an appetizer for a light alternative to the typically heavy dishes served on Easter.
Pro Tip: For added flavor, this recipe includes directions for "bacon" bits and almond "parm."
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is an incredibly easy vegetable to prepare, and makes for a delicious, vegan-friendly alternative to pasta. To put a spring twist on this autumnal staple, bookmark this recipe for stuffed spaghetti squash by Laura of The First Mess. Complete with garbanzo beans and a creamy arugula sauce—made with cashew butter—it can be served as an appetizer or main course.
Pro Tip: For a nut-free version, The First Mess says to replace the cashew butter in the sauce with tahini, "and add a bit of maple syrup or other sweetener to the sauce."
Mushroom Gravy Pie
This mushroom gravy pie recipe is proof that meatless meals can be defined as comfort food. A combination of stewed lentils and saucy mushrooms are topped with garlic mashed potatoes in this bowl-licking-good recipe created by Laura of The First Mess. Even your non-vegan guests will be asking you for this recipe.
Pro Tip: "To make this soy-free," writes Laura, "use coconut aminos instead of the tamari soy sauce."
One-Hour Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Nothing says comfort like the fluffy, creamy texture of shepherd's pie. Minimalist Baker's vegan take on the recipe replaces the traditional ground beef with lentils. With only nine ingredients, this is a vegetable-packed recipe that's complete in only an hour, including prep time.
Pro Tip: This recipe isn't freezer friendly, writes Minimalist Baker, but it will keep for several days in the fridge.
Spicy Vegan White Pizza
Let's be honest: Pizza is a surefire crowd-pleaser. It's filling, easy to share, and customizable to your guests' tastes (and dietary restrictions.) The First Mess's spicy vegan white pizza features a tasty sauce made with white beans, truffle oil, yeast, and, of course, plenty of garlic.
Pro Tip: Top with the vegetables of your choosing and serve while it's hot. For example, choose broccoli rabe, mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes like The First Mess.
Zucchini Lasagna with Vegan Ricotta
This vegan lasagna recipe, courtesy of Camille Styles and Jeanine Donofrio, is made with brown-rice lasagna noodles, zucchini strips, and vegan ricotta. The ricotta (which is actually tofu, walnuts, and zucchini) lends the Italian dish a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, sans dairy.
Pro Tip: Let this lasagna rest for ten minutes before serving, and don't forget to season with freshly ground pepper.
Blueberry Overnight Oats
Serve these easy-to-prep and oh-so-cute overnight oats by Feed Me Phoebe at your next Easter brunch. They only take 15 minutes to make total and can be prepped the night before for no-fuss brunching.
Pro Tip: "It’s fairly low on sugar compared to a lot of sweet breakfasts, so be mindful of that if you’re used to whatever cinnamon-apple concoction comes out of the pre-made packets," Phoebe says.
In this vegan quiche recipe from Sweet Potato Soul, tofu is used in place of eggs, and nutritional yeast subs for cheese. Then, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, onion, sun dried tomatoes, and spices like fennel seeds and chili flakes will join the tofu as filling. Bake for 40 minutes and serve for Easter brunch (or dinner, because we're all about breakfast for dinner, too.)
Pro Tip: Allow quiche to cool for 10–15 minutes before serving.
Vegan Chocolate Chia Mousse
No holiday meal is complete without dessert, and this light and airy vegan chocolate chia mousse by Half Baked Harvest makes for a palate-pleasing endnote to your Easter menu. Arguably, the best part about this recipe, created by Half Baked Harvest, is that it can be prepped ahead of time, meaning you can actually sit down and enjoy it with your guests.
Pro Tip: While topping with coconut cream (coconut cream, maple syrup/honey, vanilla extract; whip till combined) is optional, give your mousse a good dollop of it for the full decadent, dairy-free experience.
No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Mocha Fudge and Coconut Tarts
Ah, yes, the three most beautiful words in the culinary vocabulary: No-bake dessert. Half Baked Harvest's recipe for these vegan chocolate mocha fudge and coconut tarts is as simple as it is divine. The coconut crust is made with cashews, Medjool dates, and shredded coconut. The filling combines instant coffee, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. These will go fast, so be sure to set aside a couple for yourself before serving.
Pro Tip: With no added sugar, butter, or gluten, serve these to your non-vegan friends first and watch their reaction when you tell them there's absolutely no dairy in it!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
For a springtime dessert that's just the right amount of sweet, make this strawberry rhubarb crisp by A Couple Cooks. Strawberries and rhubarb create the filling for an oat or almond flour "crisp," and sweetened with either maple syrup or sugar. Add a touch of cinnamon and salt to round out flavor.
Pro Tip: To add complexity, A Couple Cooks recommends adding orange or lemon zest, or finely minced ginger to filling, as well as a bit of ground cardamom in the crumble.
Vegan Almond Butter Brownies
End your meal with sweet treat thanks to Joyful Healthy Eats' Vegan Almond Butter Brownies. They only take 35 minutes to make and have a supremely fudge-y consistency thanks to the applesauce and almond butter used in the recipe.
Pro Tip: "I loved them fresh out of the oven because the chocolate chips are still gooey," Krista says. "Top them with a scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream for an extra punch of deliciousness."