How to cook for a vegan

If you’re here, you’ve likely got a vegan friend, family member or colleague, and you’re trying to figure out the first thing about the vegan world. 

No need to worry, those who follow a vegan diet don’t just eat salad. There are plenty things you can make for your vegan friend, you just got to know what. 

This post is about how to cook for a vegan; what foods vegans eat and like the most, and what ingredients to avoid when prepping a meal for a vegan loved one. 

Do vegans only eat tofu?

No, not all vegans eat tofu. Many are in fact dead set on avoiding soy at all costs, as well as many other types of vegans, including raw vegans, who don’t eat tofu at all. 

I know when I first went vegan I didn’t even like tofu, and I’m not a fussy eater, so I can imagine others who don’t warm up to it at all. 

What meals can you cook for vegans?

Vegans love a good burger, just be sure to get a vegan patty and milk/egg free bun. You could make falafel wraps, tacos with vegan mince or even some type of curry with a lentil or chickpea base. 

If you’re from the UK, I’m sure we all love a good bangers and mash, or cottage pie, spag bol? All of these can easily be veganised with the range of vegan meat substitutes available. 

I know what you’re thinking: “how do you know which fake meat tastes better?”, with the examples above, you’d go for a vegan sausage brand, and some vegan mince. The only extra pointers you’d need is to also ensure the rest of the ingredients used are vegan, too. 

That means no dairy, eggs, honey, etc; Be sure to read the ingredients list, it’s an everyday thing for vegans, and it shows you really did your research!

Pasta sometimes has egg in it, so be sure to get the egg-free option!

Pro tip: Some sausages marked as veggie are sometimes accidentally vegan. Don’t be discouraged if it’s not explicitly stated, just ensure the ingredients list doesn’t contain any egg or milk-based ingredients (including whey), typically found in veggie sausages. 

What do vegans like the most?

That will depend on the type of vegan of course. If you’ve got a friend who’s eating whole foods and more on the healthy side, you may want to make something more hearty, like a brown lentil stew or feijoada

If you’ve got a vegan friend coming to a bbq, find some burgers, sausages and vegan-friendly buns, and make ‘em some banging burgers. 

vegan burger and southern potato salad

What ingredients to avoid when cooking for a vegan

When shopping for ingredients, just remember to avoid these key ingredients:

Milk (can be whey, cheese, cream)



Meat & fish

Typically some pasta and pesto sauces sneak in cheese or milk, and everyday sauces like mayonnaise and some mustards also sneak in egg or milk, respectively. 

I’ve even some frozen chip brands sneak in milk, such as the likes of Mccain French fries, even those being fries have sold packs where beef fat on the ingredients list. 

If you’re a vegan, that’s crazy. If not, it may not be; however it would also affect muslims as you can’t guarantee that beef fat in those fries is halal. In general, it’s always good to check the ingredients prior to buying whatever food. 

Don’t overthink it (no really!)

For those wandering what your vegan friend would eat, don’t overthink it; More time you’d only need to replace 1 or 2 ingredients to essentially “veganise” the dish. 

If you want to know more about what vegans can eat be sure to check out our posts accidentally vegan snacks, as well as accidentally vegan staple foods, for the days you’re doing up host.

If you liked this post feel free to send it to your vegan friend to see if this fits their standards too. We appreciate you stopping by and considering us for your vegan-friendly advice. 

We’re out here just trying to keep everyone happy and eat good, thanks for the read. Stay well and stay blessed.