20 Vegan Recipes That Will Wow Non-Vegans!

20 Vegan Recipes That Will Wow Non-Vegans!

I receive a lot of messages and questions and I think, by far, one of the most popular requests I receive is this, "Give me your best recipe to wow some non-vegan guests!" I hear it all the time. People have family members, friends or guests that they want to wow and prove how delicious vegan food truly is and that's it's not some weird alien food, haha! OR, they want something they can fix that nobody will KNOW it's vegan, hahaha. You guys are sneaky. Well, that inspired me to compile a list so that instead of answering that question with multiple links each time, I will now have this handy post ready!

Each of these recipes I share today are ones that have repeatedly gotten rave reviews from readers saying..."nobody could believe this was vegan!" or "my meat-eating husband devoured this!" While I have many, many more recipes that are hits, I have chosen 20 that I feel anybody and everybody loves.

Nobody has to eat salads or live on lettuce to be vegan and this list will prove that. Honestly, I rarely ever eat salads. I like them, but I'm just more of a hearty eater. Stews, chilis, pasta, tacos, etc. FEED ME. I'm a Texas girl, I like food, haha.

VEGAN RECIPES TO WOW NON-VEGANS

So, here you have it. My top 20 vegan recipes that all of my non-vegan family, friends and guests happily stuff down their faces and as well, many readers report these same results! Bonus that they are all oil-free and gluten-free. Not to mention, 8 ingredients or less. The Mexican Chili is my oldest recipe in the list, 5 years old, so it is from my old blog and is not 8 ingredients. However, since all my meat-eating family and relatives LOVE IT, it deserved a spot.

#1 No surprise. VEGAN GARLIC ALFREDO. Most people have tried this so far that have visited my blog, it's the most made recipe every single week and the highest rated recipe. It is one of my oldest recipes and sadly, one of the most copied. However, the original comes from my blog. I originally posted it in 2013. It was the one featured in the movie Eating You Alive that I cook and after seeing that movie, it got a high praise from actress Mayim Malik. She talked about how amazing it was to her and her kids on her IG page and it pretty much made my whole year, lol.

1. VEGAN GARLIC ALFREDO  ....or the time-saver version that I equally love, 20 Minute Alfredo. Both consistently get rave reviews.

2. CHEESY MEXICAN TORTILLA BAKE....only posted 2 months ago and is already had an enormous amount of remakes and stellar reviews. It's sooo cheesy, hearty and comforting. Meat-eaters, hubbies, kids, teenagers are all loving it. Also, super fast to make.

3. VEGAN LAZY DAY TOMATO BISQUE...when readers and dairy-eaters are all telling me it's the best tomato bisque they've ever had and way better than La Madeleine's signature soup, then I know that they feel the same way I did the day I created it. It seriously is the creamiest most delicious tomato soup. It feels guilty, yet it's so good for  you.

4. SWEET POTATO, CHICKPEA AND SPINACH COCONUT CURRY...now this is the only recipe I'm sharing in this list that is not mine. I shared this recipe last year for Oh She Glows 2nd cookbook tour. Well, I had no idea this would happen, but my pin freaking exploded and it has over 100k pins now! So many people have made this recipe and loved it and I'm just so grateful to Angela for allowing me to share it here on my blog! It is truly delicious, so give it a try!

5. SMOKY WHITE BEAN POTATO STEW WITH BROILED POBLANO PEPPERS...this isn't as known as some of my other recipes, but it is one of MY favorite recipes. It is one of the most delicious recipes I've ever created and it is FULL of flavor. Many reviews from readers who have made it and say it is reminiscent of a bean & bacon type of soup. It does require to soak the beans overnight, but it is WORTH it. These reader reviews should convince you to make it. There are many more at the link.

"My parents who are meateaters couldn't stop eating it."

"That was the best soup I have ever ever made. Ever. My husband just caught me licking the ladle while I was doing the dishes!"

6. 1 POT MEXICAN CHILI...I make this every single year for the holidays and it is a tradition in my family. None of my relatives are vegan and yet everybody absolutely loves it. It's super easy and fast to make and is full of flavor. All rave reviews from readers as well.

7. ROSEMARY SMOKY WHITE BEANS...this is my creation after the popular Zoe's Kitchen "Braised White Beans". Not only does my version contain zero oil, it tastes even better in my humble opinion, lol. These are so creamy, nobody will believe they are dairy-free.

8. EASY SKILLET BBQ BAKED BEANS....full of flavor and so much better than the canned version we grew up on!

9. HEARTY VEGGIE POTATO STEW....rated by many readers as the best stew they've ever had! Promise you won't miss the meat on this one.

10. RICE, BLACK BEAN AND AVOCADO RICE BOWLS WITH FAT-FREE CHILI MUSTARD SAUCE.....one of my most popular recipes for the past 2 years. This recipe is ridiculously simple to make and that sauce...well, you might just want to drink it!

11. MEXICAN BLACK BEAN BURGERS....my all-time favorite plant-based burger. This baby is loaded with flavor and topped with my Mexican Tahini Sauce. It's a flavor explosion and has countless rave reviews. I am particularly fond of this one I just recently received.

"These turned out amazing! I have eaten many veggie burgers at expensive restaurants..and this is truly the BEST!!! On the bottom of the burger I put a slice of tomato and a leaf of lettuce; on the top I put tahini sauce, sliced leek, feta, and some bruschetta. So SO good!"

12. SMOKY SWEET POTATO BLACK-EYED PEA SOUP 

13. BIG TIME VEGAN MEXICAN BOWL

14. CLASSIC VEGAN NOODLE SOUP...many readers have told me this is their favorite soup and they love it more than the traditional chicken noodle soup. It has so much flavor and sure makes you feel good.

15. BUFFALO HUMMUS...I really can't say much more than you need to make this now.

Now, for a few desserts to wow your friends.

16. DOUBLE CHOCOLATE SUNFLOWER BROWNIES....my all-time favorite brownie. These have a super rich chocolate taste, really fudgy and dense and a delicious crust on top! So many awesome reviews.

17. 4 INGREDIENT CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM...amazing, that is all I can say. I can't even tell you how many reviews have said this is the best ice cream they've ever had, vegan or not! The fact it's so easy and requires NO ice cream maker just makes it that much better.

18. BEST VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES....gluten-free, oil-free and yet, incredible.

19. VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE FUNFETTI BIRTHDAY CAKE...I have many cake recipes on my blog that are huge hits, but this one really takes the cake...hahaha. This one has become my most popular with reviews coming in weekly on social media! Kids, adults, everybody loves it.

20. 4 INGREDIENT PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

41 Comments

  1. Hey, Brandi! I've been meaning to ask you this forever! Would you consider figuring out how to add a link at the top of all your recipes to JUMP TO THE RECIPE? My Internet can be slow here, and scrolling down and down and down past a bazillion pictures drives me nuts when I'm in the kitchen and trying to quickly get to the recipe. A link at the top would be SO awesome. I can't be the only one who would love this! Thanks and you rock!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Laurie! You are the first person to ever ask that, lol! But I will see how to look into getting that added, because I have no idea currently, but will find out. Sometimes I do mention important things in the post regarding info on the recipe, so I do hope that people will actually read my post as well ;)
      • I DO read your posts ... but I go back to the recipes over and over, and scrolling down to the recipe is seriously making me crazy. Sometimes I search the page for the word "ingredients," but you had that word about 5 times above the recipe in the one I just tried to look at. Also, I do wonder if others feel similarly about another issue - I would DEARLY love it if your photos were smaller, so that a full photo could be viewed at once on a standard 13-14-1-17-inch laptop screen. It's actually disorienting and hard to look at the photos so large ... you may not believe this, but I have actually copy/pasted several of your recipes into email and resized each and every picture before sending them to my friends. Definitely not expecting you to do extra work for me! Just letting you know these two things that bum me out every time I visit your site, which is often!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      And of course this particular post there is no recipe, just links to each recipe on the pics since this is a roundup :) But for the regular posts, I will find out!
      • Yes, of course! I just finally took the time to mention this - hug!
        • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
          Thank you so much! I figured it out and am adding it to the recipes now :)
  2. Am so happy to see this list and will be making one or two of these every week to test and then make for non-vegan guests and family. You are totally unbelievable and so are your recipes! I just made a different baked beans recipe last week and had to throw it all away as neither my husband or myself would eat it! Now this picky person is going to do YOURS! Big thank you for all that you do and please KNOW that you are so0ooo appreciated! I am putting you on my prayer list so that I pray for you and your family daily. God bless you in abundance Mary Jean
    • MARY JEAN . . . I'm just wondering if you are the same Mary Jean from the vegan coach on-line cooking classes?? If so, HI THERE!!!.....Nice to see you again! (And if not, well, "how do you do, Mary Jean #2?!!...haha!)........Daryl
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Mary Jean! I can't wait to hear what you think after you make the baked beans! If you are on Instagram, be sure to tag me #thevegan8, I would love to see the pic! Thank you very much for your kind words, they are very appreciated! Can't wait to hear about the brownies as well...saw your comment on those earlier :)
  3. Hi Brandy . . . (and Laurie) . . . just a word of support, Brandy, for your LARGE photos.....I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THEM THAT LARGE.....I use a laptop for all my computer needs, and yeah, it takes time to scroll down, but looking at your GORGEOUS photos is, for me, a LARGE part of the joy of your site. So, I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I hope you won't change a THING.....your site, in my opinion, is absolutely BRILLIANT, and those great big, beautiful photos are, at least for me, so special, unique and, well, simply WONDERFULLY BEAUTIFUL and SOOOOOO artistically executed!....(I do understand your point too, Laurie, but, well, everybody's opinion is different, and mine is that I ADORE those large photos, and I don't give a poopie-doopie HOW long it takes for me to navigate the pages, because I'm just DROOOOOLING through every spectacularly magnificent photo.....And personally, I think we, as a human race, have become WAAAY too "hurry, hurry, hurry-it-up", and don't spend ENOUGH time, time, TIME, just LINGERING and RELISHING the beauty.....but that's just my personal opinion, as I said!).....Thanks again Brandy, for all your incredible artistry, both in the recipes AND in your site and those fantastic GIGOOONDA photos!!..hahaha!.....Love to you and Laurie, and EVERYBODY!!......Daryl Grant Lindsay
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      You are always so kind Daryl, thank you! I appreciate your sweet words and appreciate both you and Laurie's comments. I'm so grateful to each and every one of you readers who follow and support my blog, so thank you!
      • OOOOPS!!!!.....Sorry Brandi, that I misspelled your name in my comment up above....I must've been thirsty or something...hahaha. (Not really....I don't even drink....but I DO love using brandy in cooking sometimes! ) By the way, I fully intended to congratulate you on your cookbook LONG before now (you know what they say about "the road to . . ."!), but, well, better late than never, so CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I know how conscientious you are about your recipes, and how much work and diligence that entails, above and beyond the call of duty. And I also know how much GENUINE LOVE you put into each of your "babies", and in this site, so, in my opinion, nobody deserves this publishing deal more than you! I feel confident that I can speak for everybody here when I say that we are all sooooo proud of you and excited!!! I KNOW this success will mean even MORE people than ever will be touched, positively and healthfully, by your revolutionary and healthy recipes, and I have a very strong feeling that you are probably more excited about THAT than anything else. I don't, necessarily, believe in REAL angels, but I DO believe this dark, sad world is full of HUMAN "angels", and YOU, dear Brandi, are ABSOLUTELY one of the brightest shining among them! Keep up the good work (I know you will!) . . . and I hope you know, and believe (speaking of believing!) that we are ALL better off because of your life! THANK YOU HONEY LAMB!!!!! You continue to amaze and inspire us and make the world a healthier place!! Love, Daryl
  4. What is your recipe for the Feta that you put on the Mexican burger?
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Hi Robin! I don't have a recipe for that, it is just what the reader noted she added to her burger so I'm not sure if it was a vegan feta or regular :)
  5. These recipes sound amazingly delicious; I can't wait to try them!! Thank you Brandy!!!
  6. Dear Brandi, My family went full vegan about two months ago and can't believe the difference in our health, between the weight we've all lost and the way we feel it's simply amazing. With that said, I was hoping you could come up with a hard italian bread for my husband who loves his bread and peppers. Thanks Maryann P.s. all of your recipes are amazing!🤗
    • Hello there MARYANN: I just happened to read your post up above regarding the an Italian bread recipe . . . I don't know for sure whether or not Brandi has a recipe (I haven't searched her recipes for it yet), but I did a quick "Google Search" for "Vegan Italian Bread Recipe", and came up with the following recipe. I have not tested the recipe, but it surely does LOOK delicious from the photos, and sounds like it's pretty healthy, and definitely VEGAN!!! It looks fairly easy as well. I'm not sure what you meant by "hard" Italian bread, but this recipe says that it is "crusty", and that's the kind of Italian bread I love, and the only type I've had in the past. This recipe doesn't use 100% whole grain flour, it uses a ratio of about 1 to 5 (1 cup whole wheat flour, 5 cups all-purpose flour), which is a little healthier than most Italian bread recipes I've seen in the past.....and there's only minimum amount of oil (extra virgin olive) in the recipe (1T.) and the recipe makes 2 loaves, so I'd say that's pretty good. I've made pizza dough in the past without using ANY oil, and it turned out pretty well, but with bread, especially Italian bread, I think it may help a lot with the "authentic" texture and flavor, especially since MOST Italian bread does not use ANY whole wheat flour). Anyway, maybe this recipe will help you and your family, especially your husband's love of REAL Italian bread and peppers, etc. (I TOTALLY understand that, by the way, as I love that too....but we vegans TRY to be openminded about making substitutions which are "almost" as good as the real thing, but are also MUCH HEALTHIER than "the real thing"!) Anyway Maryann, I hope this helps, just in case Brandi doesn't have this recipe in her wonderful arsenal of healthier vegan recipes! Here's the link to the site, and to that specific recipe: https://holycowvegan.net/crusty-italian-bread/ (You MAY need to "copy & paste" the above link into your browser in order to get to that recipe . . . I've never included a "link" on Brandi's blog, so I'm not sure.....but anyway, I hope it helps you and your family, especially your husband who is CRAVING his good ol' Italian bread and peppers, as you mentioned!...by the way, let me know if you're interested, as I have a GREAT link to a 100% vegan "Spicy Italian Sausage" recipe which I make frequently, and LOVE it (makes GREAT vegan "Sausage & Peppers"!!!.....if you need to be gluten-free, it wouldn't work for you, as it's made from primarily Vital Wheat Gluten flour (which is pure gluten!).....I don't have the problem and I LOVE that recipe, so let me know if you want it!) Good luck!!!...........Sincerely, Daryl PS: By the way, TREMENDOUS CONGRATULATIONS on you and your family going "FULL vegan". I did the same thing and this Jan. 1st it will be 9 years, and the health benefits, the weight loss, and just the sense of well-being are ALL worth it. I am FAR healthier than I've EVER been in my entire life (I'm 67!!), and it is ALL due to going 100% vegan and STICKING TO IT!!!!.....yeah, I will ALWAYS miss some of the good ol' "Standard American Diet" foods with animal products, but that's why, for me, Brandi's recipes and my own recipes have been SOOOO INCREDIBLY HELPFUL on this "vegan journey"! (By the way, I'm writing a cookbook of vegan "comfort foods" which are "ALMOST like the real thing".....I'm hoping to have it finished and "out there" by October, 2018......In the meantime, just keep sticking to this way of eating. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!.....whatever the "sacrifices", the benefits FAR outweigh them ALL, as you and your family have been discovering!! And Brandi's wonderful blog, her SPECTACULAR recipes are ALWAYS gonna help you, not only with being healthier, but with the sheer DELICIOUSNESS of her recipes!!! (And don't forget she's got an UP-COMING COOKBOOK also coming out VERY SOON!!!)
      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
        Daryl, you go down in history as my longest commenter ever, hahaha! Thank you for your kind words!!
        • Oh, Brandi, I KNOW!!!....I'm just TOOOO MUCH!!! (Literally!!) I apologize for always being so long-winded. I can't seem to stop myself. Well, I'm a SINGER, so I always tell people THAT is the reason I have such long comments---because I'm just so "full of HOT AIR"!!!....hahaha! I never set out INTENDING to write so much, but I just get going (and I'm an EXTREMELY fast typist too, so I type nearly as fast as I think.....my brain gets going and my fingers just type away, and before I know it, BOOM!! I have a 5,000-word dissertation!.....anyway, I PROMISE I'll try harder to keep 'em shorter!!.....(It's really YOUR fault, though, because your unbelievably AMAZING recipes excite and inspire me SOOOO much......then my "motormouth" goes on AUTOPILOT!!!) . . . . Daryl
          • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
            Don't apologize, I appreciate you so much Daryl, thank you!! Haha!
          • Well, OK honey lamb, I withdraw my apology (well, sort of.....not really...hee-hee), but I DO recognize that you have FAR MORE IMPORTANT and EXCITING things to do than sit around reading my LOOOOOONG, mildly "entertaining" comments! ("Entertaining"??...hmm...THAT'S debatable!....however, I AM an entertainer, by profession!) . . . . And, actually, truth-be-told, I, TOO, have other things I NEED and WANT to do than to put so much time into my comments. (Yeah, such as getting my cookbook---which I've been working on since 1990!!!...not kidding!---FINALLY finished & published, as well as REHEARSING & SONGWRITING, as I'm a prof. singer-songwriter-pianist and still ACTIVELY performing, EVEN at MY advanced old-fartdom!)....therefore, my dear, adorable, talented, generous, thoughtful and kindhearted Brandi, esteemed Vegan-Comfort-Food-Guru-to-the-"STARS" (yeah, "stars", that's ME...haha..yeah, right!), I PROMISE I'll try to keep my comment-length at least a LITTLE BIT more "in control".....hahaha! (Don't quote me on that though...heh-heh-heh!) . . . speaking of "stars".......YOU are the REAL star, darlin' (I'm SERIOUS!!!!!), and we ALL absolutely ADORE you!!!!!!! Motor-Mouth Grant Lindsay PS: Notice this comment is a TEEENSY-WEEEENSY little TINY bit shorter??? (Perhaps ALL of our "prayers" are being answered after all!!...hahahahahaaaaaaa!)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much for your kind words Maryann! So very happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes and your family are having such success, that is amazing news! I will add the bread to my list! Thank you!
  7. Even though I have made every single one of these recipes I realize it's been a while and I love having them all in one post like this. I've already decided on several oldie but goodies to make. Thanks so much!!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      You're the best, thank you Estee! I always love seeing your remakes on IG and Facebook!
  8. Somehow before even reading this post I just knew there was not going to be a single salad on the list lol! Not just because they are way too expected when people hear the word vegan, but also because I know that's just not your style. Healthy but totally hearty and totally crave-worthy too is pretty much your specialty. I have a feeling many of these could even give their non-vegan counterparts a run for their money! And I see alfredo is still holding it's top spot here haha, but I must say the end of the list is my favorite :) I can vividly imagine the delicious vegan feast(s) that could come from this post already, and it would be epic!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Haha! Yes, salads are yummy but they aren't really all that exciting....especially to somebody who needs convincing to non-vegans that we eat MORE than just salads, lol! Yes, you know me well, the end of the list is my favorite too....hey, chocolate and dessert...that is the most exciting to me, haha!
  9. Wow Not only are your Recipes awesome but your Photography is as well . Keep them coming, please😀
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      So very sweet of you to say that Kandy, thank you so much!
  10. It's interesting to read the comments re large vs small photos:) I love them as they are, but if someone has a slow internet speed I can understand the frustration of wanting to get to the recipes! I guess a good compromise might be smaller, tempting, photos at the top of the blog, then the recipe, then bigger photos below. I'm sure you'll do whatever is right for you:) Thank you for your wonderful recipes and imaginative answers to vegan food conversions
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you Christine! Yes, it's not a super easy fix. I have a blog theme and if I simply change the size of the photo, then it will alter the way it appears along with the text. I have tried this before and it was more complicated than just easily fixing. Themes require more advanced changing and coding, I wish it was easier!
  11. No comment...just hoping you are okay where you are
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Diane for checking in. It has been a very tough week over here in Houston. I will give an update on my next post. Thank you so much for your thoughts.
  12. 😋😋😋😋😋😋😋🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗😍😍
  13. I am looking to make the switch and this site looks perfect. Would you ever consider doing a blog post on how you stock your pantry? Right now, I'll just shop for the exact ingredients for a few recipes but it would be so helpful to know what are the things you just always keep stocked and come up over and over again. The recipes here are such a head start and I'm very excited to get started.
    • Oops, could you tell me what are you using as the bread with the burgers?
      • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
        For the bread, this was awhile back, but I think I just bought ciabatta rolls and cut them in half but you can use any buns you like! Whole Foods has some whole wheat ones that aren't full of junk that I like :)
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      Thank you so much Allie! So glad it's helpful. I will try to in the future to add a pantry tab to my menu or something like that to be helpful. I do have this page here where at least lists the flours I use, but other basics I can think of off the top of my head that I use consistently are cashews, low-sodium broth, onions, garlic, bell peppers, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian dried herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc. I also use tomato sauce in some recipes. Cans of all types of beans, jasmine white rice, jasmine brown rice, red potatoes, yukon gold potatoes. Canned "lite" coconut milk. Those are ones I use often. Here is the list of flours I use. Hope this is somewhat helpful. My recipes are very easy and minimal ingredients, so you've come to the right place! :) http://thevegan8.com/about-the-vegan8/
      • Thank you, Brandi. That's so helpful. I know I will get more familiar with this as I go along too. :D
  14. SUE
    So many amazing recipes and I've only made 4 or 5 so far. Thanks for helping me plan this week's menu!!
    • brandi.doming@yahoo.com
      That is so wonderful to hear Sue, thank you so much for making so many already and I'm so happy to hear they've all been amazing! Thank you for letting me know!

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