How to Make Vegan Food Taste Good

Aug 10,
How to Make Vegan Food Taste Good

Following a vegan diet is good for you and the environment, but it doesn't always taste great. Here are some tips and recipes to make vegan food so tasty you'll almost forget it's a special diet!

Who says vegan food must be bland and tasteless? There's a widespread misconception that eating vegan means leaving behind flavour. But this doesn't have to be the case!

Following a vegan diet is like any other lifestyle choice you make, meaning that it will be what you make it. And that's why we're here to share some tips and recipes for tasty vegan food.


How to Make Vegan Food Taste Good


What makes anything tasty or bland? Making delicious vegan food comes down to a few principles. First, dishes deemed to be bland may have the same base ingredients as those people find tasty. The meals you're bound to find tastier have better seasonings and contain vegan fillers.

But how do you season effectively? And what are vegan fillers? Let's take a look at some ways you can turn a vegan meal from lame to delicious.


Seasonings to Choose for Tasty Vegan Meals


The right dressing or sprinkling of spices can go a long way to making vegan food tastier. But with the diet's limitations, how do you find which ones are best?

Certain herbs and spices may add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins to your dishes. These are great because they do more than make your food taste good. Try a variety of spices and play with flavour combinations to get more benefits.

Here are some ways you can include herbs and spices in your vegan food:

  • Infuse herbs and spices into dishes with whole food fats like nuts, seeds, and avocadoes.
  • Include them in a puree of beans or starchy vegetables like squash.
  • Choose whole spices such as cumin seeds or a cinnamon stick for adding to the bases of soups or water used to boil food.
  • Try dry toasting your spices before using them, both whole and ground.

A good rule of thumb is to start with light seasonings, taste, and add more as needed. This way, you don't overpower your meal!

You can also pre-make your own seasonings and dressings to use later. Here are two combinations you can try:

  • Mix toasted sesame oil and ginger with soy sauce. You can add this to broccoli, mushrooms, and dark green leafy vegetables like kale or Bok choy.
  • Combine dill, onion powder, and nutritional yeast with fresh garlic. You can use this to top brown rice or steamed vegetables.


Vegan Food Fillers

Herbs and spices go a long way to improving the taste of your food. But, if seasonings don't quite cut it, a filler might. A filling meal is often tastier and keeps you full for longer.

So, how do you make your meal more filling? You can include filling foods. These tend to be high in protein, fibre, and volume. They're also usually low in energy density, which means they are low in calories for their weight.

Filling vegan foods include:

  • Quinoa – good source of protein and all essential amino acids and is high in fibre.
  • Oatmeal – low in calories and high in fibre. The soluble fibre beta-glucan in oats helps you feel full and satisfied.
  • Boiled potatoes – source of several vitamins and minerals. High in water and carbs with moderate amounts of fibre and protein.
  • Vegetables – high-volume, low-calorie foods with fibre and water that fill you up. Most also take time to chew, which helps satisfy you.
  • Legumes – good source of fibre and plant-based protein with low energy density to fill you up.
  • Fruit – low energy density and high in fibre which makes you feel full longer. Whole fruit is much more filling than fruit juice.
  • Nuts – energy-dense, nutrient-rich, and high in healthy fats and protein making them very filling.

One tip is to use ingredients that make you chew more. Doing this may trick your brain into thinking you've eaten more.


Missing Meat?

Are you eating a clean vegan diet without meat but miss the taste? A common question is how to make vegan food taste like meat. One of the first steps is to find meat substitutes that mimic the texture of whatever you're replacing. For example, you can make vegan steaks using seitan (wheat gluten).

Vegan meat substitutes include:

  • Tofu – made from soy milk. It can replace chicken and even eggs or cheese.
  • Seitan – made from wheat flour and can replace beef or chicken. It contains a lot of protein and iron but is unsuitable if you're gluten-free.
  • Mushrooms – contain natural umami (savoury, meaty taste) and are a versatile substitute. They're a good whole food choice but are lower in protein. See here for more information on mushroom nutrition.
  • Jackfruit – tropical fruit whose flesh has a chewy texture. Often a substitute for pulled pork. Because it's low in protein, you'll need to eat it with other protein-rich foods.


You should also use seasonings with these meat substitutes. This adds a meaty flavour without needing any meat!

Here's what you need to make your own blends:

  • Poultry seasoning: sage, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, celery seed, allspice, and black pepper.
  • Steak rub: chilli powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, coriander, mustard powder, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

A great tip for adding meat flavour to your dishes is to make your own vegan chicken or beef broth. You can do this by getting your favourite vegetable broth and adding the seasonings.

Combine the broth with the poultry seasoning above for vegan chicken broth. Add tamari, soy sauce, Bragg liquid aminos or vegan Worcestershire sauce, red wine, or red wine vinegar, and black pepper for beef broth.


Tasty Vegan Recipes

Here are some recipes to get you on your way to making tasty vegan food using the tips above. We're sure you'll find a favourite in one of these. We sure did!

Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi with Cilantro Chutney from Serious Eats. This dish is full of flavour as you cook down onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and red peppers into a base.

Vegan B.L.A.T.'s, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, and Crispy Smoked Mushroom Sandwiches from Serious Eats. This sandwich recipe will make you forget it's vegan and doesn't have real bacon!

Braised Seitan Short Ribs in Spicy Chili Sauce by One Green Planet. These vegan ribs are steeped in flavour and will be so tender they fall apart.


Final Thoughts

You shouldn't resign yourself to flavourless meals just because you follow a vegan diet. You can make vegan food tasty by combining herbs and spices with meat substitutes. Using vegan fillers to make yourself feel full may also improve your experience.

What are your favourite meat substitutes? Let us know if the comments below!


  1. Go Ahead, Spice Up Your Diet – It's Good for Your Heart. Healthline. Retrieved from:
  2. 15 Foods That Are Incredibly Filling. Healthline. Retrieved from:
  3. Vegan Meat Substitutes: The Ultimate Guide. Healthline. Retrieved from:
  4. 5 Tips to Make Meatless Food Taste Meaty. One Green Planet. Retrieved from:

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