Whether you love to travel or just love to taste food from all over the world, right now you probably feel like you’re missing out on those flavours. Lots of people often wrongly imagine that a plant-based diet is difficult to follow when abroad. However, while vegan options are often limited and people have to go out of their way to look for food, there are lots of vegan recipes being made all over the world.
From Asia to the Mediterranean, many of the world’s cuisines have lots of food that is plant-based and use animal products only sparingly. For this reason, many vegans find that their diet actually becomes more varied when they travel, leading them to discover whole new cultures and dishes. Here are our picks of the best vegan recipes from around the world that you can make on your own to try out some delicious vegan cuisines.
Also read: Is the vegan lifestyle completely ethical?
Here Are 12 Easy Vegan Recipes From Around The World
Sarson Ka Saag – Mixed Greens Curry From India
This traditional Punjabi dish is made from a delicious combination of mixed greens (especially mustard greens and spinach) and spices like chilli, garlic, onion, and ginger, creating a curry packed with flavour. It’s perfect when accompanied with rice or chapati (flatbread). Find this easy vegan recipe here.
Sambar – A Lentil-based South Indian Staple
Sambar is a tamarind-spiced lentil and vegetable stew that’s a household staple throughout various states in south India. There are tons of regional varieties made with different combinations of spices and vegetables, such as pumpkin, bottle gourd, drumstick, eggplant, sweet potato, okra, and more. Here’s a basic recipe that lets you mix-and-match the veggies used.
Dìsānxiān – Chinese Stir-Fried Veggies
Dìsānxiān roughly translates to “three flavours of the earth”, and is a speciality of northern China. The dish consists of a mix of stir-fried eggplant, potato and bell pepper seasoned and cooked in soy sauce. It’s typically eaten with rice, and you can find the recipe here.
Chow Mein – A Cantonese Favourite From China
Another dish I thoroughly enjoyed eating whilst in Hong Kong was noodles. Unlike the thick, sticky noodles we’re used to when ordering ‘Chinese’ food here in India, these were thin, and sometimes crispy and came accompanied by garlic sauteed veggies. Although this recipe calls for egg noodles, which aren’t vegan for obvious reasons, you can find some really simple recipes for cooking vegan versions, so you don’t have to miss out. (You could even try rice noodles, but the consistency won’t be the same). Follow this simple vegan recipe here.
Gemista – Stuffed Veggies From Greece
Greek cuisine has so many vegan options to choose from. One simple dish that is both filling and easy to recreate is genista. It’s made by stuffing either tomatoes or red bell peppers with a mixture of rice and herbs, roasting them in the oven and then serving it with thickly cut French fries. Find out how to make it here.
Falafel – A Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Classic
If you’re looking for more vegan recipe ideas, you can’t go wrong with falafel. Often eaten as a street food across the Middle East and the Mediterranean, these fried patties are made with chickpeas and served with pita bread. Find a recipe here. Mediterranean cuisine has tons of plant-based dishes, so you can even go all out and re-create a mezze platter of roasted peppers, charred eggplant, creamy hummus, briny olives, refreshing tabouli, cucumber salad, and warm, fluffy pita bread. Find the recipe here.
Som Tam – Green Papaya Salad From Thailand
A lot of Thai food is vegan-friendly. But if you want something that tastes unique, why not whip up this crunchy and refreshing salad. The main ingredient is unripe green papaya, which is tossed with carrots, red chilli, vegan fish sauce (or soy sauce) and tamarind paste. Get the recipe here.
Loubyeh B’zeit – Lebanese Bean Stew
Another excellent choice for a vegan recipe is loubyeh b’zeit. If you’re struggling to pronounce this dish, don’t worry—it’s actually very simple to make. This delicious dish is a green bean stew cooked in a base of tomato sauce. You can enjoy it as a side dish with pita bread, or as a main with rice. See how to make it yourself here.
Patatas Bravas – Fried White Potatoes From Spain
Patatas bravas, also known as patatas a la brava or papas bravas, is a delicious vegan recipe from Spain that’s often served at tapas bars. It’s made with white potatoes cut into irregular cubes, then fried in oil and served warm with a spicy sauce. Find the recipe here.
Atakilt Wat – A Veggie Filled Side Dish From Ethiopia
This traditional Ethiopian side dish is full of amazing flavour. It’s a cabbage-based dish that’s infused with whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, fenugreek, cloves, ginger, and garlic cooked on a low heat for hours. Find the recipe here. There are lots of other Ethiopian vegan recipes that you can make, such as Misir Wot (lentil stew) and Fasolia (green beans), all served up over the huge Injera (soft, spongy flatbread)
Chilaquiles – A Mexican Breakfast Dish Made With Fried Tortilla Strips
This comforting vegan recipe is made with corn tortilla pieces that are fried, cooked in salsa, and sprinkled with cheese (or vegan cheese in this case), onion, and avocado. Traditionally, chilaquiles are eaten for breakfast or brunch, using leftover tortillas and salsa. Find this vegan breakfast recipe here.
Caponata – Sautéed Veggies From Italy
Originally from Sicily, caponata (also known as caponata di verdure or caponata alla siciliana)is a ratatouille-like dish of aubergine, tomato, raisins, capers, and pine nuts dressed in a tomato sauce and served with toasted bread. The dish was once made with cappone (a common Sicilian fish), which was eventually substituted for a less expensive ingredient, aubergine. See the recipe here.
So, Which Of These Vegan Dishes Are You Going To Make?
Hungry after this whirlwind food tour? Why not try making one of these easy vegan recipes? This was just a small sampling of the incredible vegan dishes that the world has to offer. These countries have plenty more in store for the vegan traveller, but you might have to wait to try those out for yourself.