Easy Recipes

20 Enchanting European Vegan Recipes

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By Lora O’Brien

I love being European. We really do have the best food, and traditional fare is making way for European vegan recipes that are way healthier. Plus, all the nations are all close enough so that you can visit most of them within 2 hours on a plane or train.

But let’s face it: not everyone is lucky enough to come to Europe to do so. And that’s why I’ve decided to find some European vegan recipes that will take you on a tour of the continent – through your tastebuds, of course.

I should stress that though things are changing in the kitchen, Europeans can still be pretty uptight about their traditional foods. Pineapple on a pizza? Ha! An Italian will laugh you out of the room. Soya milk substitute for cream in a French mushroom soup? Mais, sacre bleu!  

While I get that classic recipes are prepared over the generations for a reason (i.e. they’re delicious!), the reality is that perceptions of health are changing thanks to our knowledge about food and its relationship to our bodies. Sure, the French may be thinner than Americans, but did you know their cancer rates are higher than those living in polluted China? Italians in the south live longer than those in the north – because their diets are lighter on the meat and dairy, higher on the healthy Med foods and olive oil.

Indeed, a bit of veganism never hurt anyone – or any recipe! So it’s with great pride I present some great vegan recipes that are twists on classic European dishes.

20 Enchanting European Vegan Recipes

France

It’s not easy to do French cuisine as a vegan. Cheese, meat, cream and milk are everywhere, even salads and veggie soups. And don’t even get me started on all kinds of nastiness like frog’s legs, foie gras, goose fat, and even horse meat. Aaggh! No wonder so many vegans find themselves eating nothing but bread when on holiday in France. But there are some variations of traditional French dishes you can make, like these below.

1. Mediterranean Terrine

This updated version of a classic French terrine brings back the flavors of summer in a way that doesn’t feel out of place on a harvest table. Agar powder, a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, can be bought online, or is available at natural-food stores and Asian markets.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

2. French Lentils and Kale

This dish actually is pretty traditionally French in the sense that like most French dishes, this looks simple but actually has a load of ingredients. Most of them are spices, so prep time is pretty low – but vitally, this is bursting with not only flavour, but healthy protein, vitamins, zinc and selenium.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

3. Avocat Tartine

The open-faced sandwich or ‘tartine’ is sooo French. Mainly because it involves French bread, preferably a bit stale. You toast it, and then add a delicious topping, like avocat. Ok, ok, I’ll admit it – basically, this is avocado on toast. But nothing wrong with that!

Get the recipe here.

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Italy

This is the Hollywood of cuisines; the Starbucks. The one that is truly found all over the world. Problem is, it has dairy in it. Like, everywhere. Think about it: pizza – mozzarella. Pasta – parmesan and cream. Eggplant – parmesan.  It’s hard to escape. But Italian food is so beloved, there have been plenty of vegan spins on it – which would, of course, make any proper nonna roll her eyes and make loads of gestures with her hands, but hey, such is the price of saving the animals…

4. The Best Vegan Pizza

The first food I think of when Italian food is mentioned is pizza – and who doesn’t love that? The doughy base, the tomato base and the layers of hot, melted ingredients. But you may have thought that since ditching the dairy, you’ll never enjoy a decent pizza ever again. Well, think again! This pizza not only looks delicious, it also has vegan parmesan, a garlic-herb crust, tomato sauce and layers of divine sauteed veggies – yum!

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

5. ‘Creamy’ Carbonara Pasta

Traditional carbonara  pasta is a favored dish by many, but it’s one that contains eggs, cheese and bacon –  three foods you should definitely try to avoid eating if looking to clean up your health. And when you can enjoy the same dish in a vegan friendly way, why wouldn’t you?

This much loved European vegan recipe has all of the ingredients that make a carbonara great; ‘bacon’ pieces created from shiitake mushrooms, creamy sauce made with almond milk, nutritional yeast and lots of veggies and it even has parmesan cheese made from hemp hearts and nutritional yeast.

Get the recipe here.

6. Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese

Spag bol is another family favourite. Due to its usual beef mince, it’s definitely not vegan-friendly. So I’m so happy to present this spaghetti bolognese that’s loaded with veggies.

Most spaghetti bolognese is kind of boring; just tomato sauce over spaghetti, not exactly a flavour explosion, huh? Well this dish certainly is. There’s onion, garlic, carrot and chunks of mushroom which work as a great meat sub due to their texture. And you can keep this fully vegan by taking the time to make your own parmesan cheese.

Get the recipe here.

7. Classic Minestrone

This ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ soup is packed with hearty, healthy ingredients. Admittedly, it’s usually pretty vegan friendly except for the parmesan cheese, which is, of course, optional.

Get the recipe here.

Spain

Spain already has quite a few European vegan recipes in its repertoire: think oven roasted potatoes, gazpacho or simply gorgeous black olives, for example. And let’s not forget about adding some (vegan) red wine to make the experience complete!

8. Vegan Paella

This popular Spanish dish usually features seafood and sometimes chunks of chorizo, but this vegan paella is only full of good things such as peas, red peppers, and onion. And that gorgeous yellow tone of the rice? Turmeric!

Get the recipe here.

9. Patatas Bravas

This most famous of the Spanish tapas is a pretty simple dish to make, and it’s pretty vegan-friendly, too. You could serve up this up as a spicy side dish, or as part of a group of tapas with friends.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

10. Spanish Potato Tortilla

When we think of tortilla, we automatically think of those crunchy corn snacks we’ve been eating for years. But in Spain, a tortilla is  a savoury omelette made with potatoes and eggs. Which is a pretty tasty option for veggies, but what about vegans?  Well, this is a vegan replica of that classic recipe and I can’t wait to get my pan out and try this.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

11. Spanish Croquettes

Of all the Spanish tapas, this is my fave: hot, gooey, crunchy and creamy, these croquettes may look like they’re made with the traditional dairy, but plant-based milk saves the day!

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

12. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is another popular Spanish dish – especially in summer. It’s basically a cold soup made up of tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables. It’s really refreshing, and it’s super simple to make. Oh, and did I mention it’s packed full of tangy, spicy flavours?

Get the recipe here.

Greece

Greece is a undoubtedly a stunning location, and the food is just as gorgeous as the country. But let’s face it: there’s a lot of  meat, seafood and cheese in those dishes. If you’d like to explore the Greek cuisine in a healthy, vegan style, I’ve found vegan versions of five popular Greek dishes to satisfy your tastebuds.

13. Vegan Tzatziki

Tzatziki sauce is a famous dipping sauce, and I absolutely lived off of it when I visited Greece. It’s cooling and refreshing, thanks to the cucumber and mint. Dip strips of toasted pitta bread, crudites or gluten free crackers into it, or use it as a sandwich or salad dressing.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

14. Vegan Kolokythoketdes (Zucchini Fritters)

This Greek dish uses comes serves as little balls, but occasionally they’re flat patties. They’re a lightly fried starter that is made up of grated or pureed courgette which is then blended with dill and mint, and paired with a side of vegan sour cream tzatziki for a gorgeous cooling combination.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

15. Grilled Veggie Gyros

If you’ve been to Greece you’ve probably heard of – or tried – a gyros, typically a flatbread or pita that is filled with rotisserie meat, chips, tomato, onion and tzatziki or a creamy  sauce. It oozes juices and sauces and they’re a fairly cheap go-to meal when on holiday. Unless, of course, you’re vegan. So why not make your own healthier, and animal-friendly version? The creamy cucumber and dill sauce in this recipe is insanely good! You’ll be wanting to drizzle it on everything you eat, trust me.

Get the recipe here.

16. Vegetable Souvlaki Wraps

Typically meat dish on skewers with vegetables and sometimes halloumi cheese, souvlaki sounds like it’d be hard to make vegan, but duh – just take out the meat and add lots more veggies! Or even better: sub in seitan for the meat. This wrap is packed with healthy stuff, and loads of flavour.

Get the recipe here.

European vegan recipes

17. Vegan Greek Salad

A basic Greek salad will normally consist of tomatoes, olives and lots of feta cheese. But this Greek salad is oh so easy to recreate in a vegan way. It’s got kale, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and kalamata olives with pine nuts tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. And it even has feta cheese! Well, kinda. By ‘feta cheese’, I actually mean cauliflower that’s been marinated and then crumbled over this salad, but hey, Greek salads have never looked so enticing!

Get the recipe here.

England

Ok, England’s traditional cuisine may not be as famous (or as tasty) as it’s southern neighbours’. But you know what? Add a vegan twist, and it suddenly becomes much, much more attractive…

18. Vegan ‘Egg’ Salad Sandwich

Never thought of the sarnie as being a contender in a list of vegan European recipes? Well, why not? The sandwich may be England’s greatest culinary gift to the world. I mean, who doesn’t love a good sandwich? This egg salad has been given a cruelty-free makeover by subbing in tofu for egg – but believe me, it’s even tastier than the ‘real’ thing!

Get the recipe here.

19. Vegan Full English Breakfast

Maybe because boozing is still very much a British tradition, so is the full English breakfast, which many believe is the perfect hangover cure. It normally involves loads of sausage and egg, but this version features vegan bangers, of course!

Get the recipe here.

20. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

This dish basically defined the ‘meat and potatoes’ diet – until now. It’s still topped by creamy mashed potatoes, but healthier, rich lentils replace lamb (who would eat a sweet little lamb?? I mean, really??!) in this super-traditional English staple.

Get the recipe here.

Which country’s cuisine is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!

Lora O'Brien

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