Whether you’ve hopped aboard the Meatless Monday train or have gone fully vegan, finding your go-to vegan comfort foods is an ongoing quest. Because let’s be honest: Most of the eats we file into this rainy day, just-went-through-a-breakup category involves meat or cheese. Spaghetti and meatballs? Not vegan. Mac and cheese? Definitely not vegan.
Here’s the thing, though, friends: There isn’t any rule or clear-cut criteria that defines comfort food—other than the fact that it makes you feel euphoric or nostalgic when you eat it, says nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table. So yeah, vegan eats can tooootally fit the bill.
Of course, comfort food that just so happens to be vegan isn’t necessarily any better for you. After all, most comforting eats are as delicious as they are because of sugar, salt, and fat, Taub-Dix says.
Still, if you choose to hack your favorite dishes with healthy vegan ingredients, you can do their nutritional content a solid. If you make chocolate pudding with pureed avocado instead of heavy cream, for example, you’ll still enjoy that rich, creamy texture while cutting down on saturated fat and gaining fiber and other nutrients.
Whether you want to add some plant power to your go-to dessert or just indulge animal-free, these vegan comfort food recipes are guaranteed to bliss you out from the first bite.