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It’s no secret that oil is not a health food. Yet the struggle to go totally oil-free when transitioning to a healthy whole-food, plant-based diet is real. Fortunately, with a little guidance, it’s not hard to deliver flavor, rich texture, and golden brown deliciousness minus the added fat. Check out our entire archive of whole-food vegan recipes that do just that. Below are our hand-picked favorites!

For sure, it takes a little culinary know-how to recreate traditionally oil-laden favorites like pesto, French fries, quesadillas, hash browns, fried rice, tacos, brownies, and salad dressings without the added fat. But don’t fret: These tantalizing recipes use easy cooking techniques such as baking, steaming, breading, roasting, pan-toasting, and sautéeing so you can skip the oil without skimping on flavor.

Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Replace greasy wings at a Super Bowl party with these spicy-crunchy cauliflower bites. Thanks to a clever combination of hot sauce, salt, and savory spices, these crispy nibbles are packed with flavor—and completely oil-free.

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Potato Pancakes

Who needs oil-fried potato pancakes that leave you feeling full and heavy? Just wait until you try this zesty, crunchy, whole-food version that is 100 percent oil-free.

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Ultimate Vegan Gravy

Low in fat and rich in flavor, this vegan gravy is ready in just 30 minutes.

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Roasted Veggie Pasta

In this easy recipe, pasta and a colorful medley of roasted veggies are tossed with herbs for a fresh, hearty meal.

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

You won’t miss the queso in these vegan quesadillas, which are stuffed with a succulent mixture of mashed sweet potato, salsa, rice, and refried beans.

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No-Fry Fried Rice

While most restaurants wouldn’t dream of doing fried rice without plenty of oil, we use a water-frying technique and a cornstarch-thickened teriyaki sauce to deliver flavorful, browned goodness without the grease.

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Chinese Noodles in Ginger Garlic Sauce

Noodles, bok choy, broccoli, button mushrooms, and carrots soak up the savory sauce in this healthful, nourishing dish.

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The Best Oil-Free Hummus

Store-bought hummus almost always contains added oil. If you’re looking for a healthier option, this 10-minute recipe from Rip Esselstyn is your new go-to.

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"No-Tuna" Salad Sandwich

Roughly mashed chickpeas and a tangy-creamy sauce made with tahini, mustard, pickles, and capers make a seriously delicious sandwich filling in this FOK fan-favorite recipe.

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Lentil, Chard & Sweet Potato Curry

You don’t need ghee or even oil to create a rich Indian curry dish. Let the heady aromas of Indian spices fill your whole house as it simmers, then thicken it up with vegan yogurt.

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Vegetable White Bean Hash

Loaded with potatoes, white beans, and veggies, this easy pan-sautéed recipe is primed to become a family favorite.

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Spicy Cilantro Pesto

Let jalapeño, silken tofu, and nutritional yeast do the heavy lifting that oil usually does to create this delicious cilantro pesto.

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2-Minute Oil-Free Balsamic Dressing

Thanks to the winning combo of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, and basil, you and your salad can skip the oil without skimping on flavor.

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Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

Rather than slathering potatoes in fat, consider simmering them in a flavorful, herb-infused broth. Your tastebuds won’t know the difference.

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Baked French Fries & Ketchup

This secretly healthy, seven-ingredient recipe for fries and homemade ketchup is a triple threat: oil-free, kid-friendly, and easy to make.

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Tacos de Hongo

Topped with guacamole, these crunchy tacos with a hearty mushroom filling won’t let you down in the flavor department. Transform your family’s Taco Tuesday with this oil-free entrée.

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Fudgy Vegan Brownies

Store-bought boxed mixes for brownies and other baked goods often call for added oil. Make these Fudgy Vegan Brownies instead, which contain no oil and offer loads more flavor.

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Garlic Hash Browns with Kale

Browned to perfection and ready in only 25 minutes, this take on a breakfast classic will leave ’em begging for more.

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Spinach-Potato Tacos

Usually fried in sizzling oil, these hearty, potato- and spinach-filled tacos deliver comfort-food satisfaction without the extra grease.

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Chickpea Nuggets

Kids love these breaded nuggets, which can be prepared in an oven or air fryer.

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Spinach Lasagna

A tasty tofu ricotta tops off this vegan take on a classic casserole dish.

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“Cheesy” Veggie Pizzettes

A mouthwatering pizza without oil is more than possible the way we’ve made it. Combine the crispy pita crust, cheesy bean spread, and sautéd vegetables for a hit come dinner time.

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Cinnamon-Oat Waffles with Sweet Potato "Butter"

You can throw out that old can of olive oil spray. These crispy vegan waffles will brighten any brunch, no oil required. Try the sweet potato “butter” mixed with fresh fruit.

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Air-Fryer Taquitos with Cauliflower and Black Beans

Air fryers work magic when it comes to cooking up crispy food without oil. These crunchy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside taquitos are a staff favorite.

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Loaded Potato Skins

Who says you can’t make loaded potato skins without oil? Drizzled with tahini sauce and browned to perfection, these crispy, savory potatoes won’t disappoint.

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Black-Eyed Peas

Instead of bacon fried in oil, this versatile entrée is flavored with sage, maple syrup, and soy sauce. Serve it with brown rice and wild greens tossed with fresh lemon and pepper.

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Crispy Baked Falafels

These falafels make for a crispy dish that’s as good as the fried variety. Serve them as an appetizer or in a pita with all the fixings.

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Curried Millet Cakes with Creamy Red Pepper Coriander Sauce

These little croquettes—a recipe which usually uses butter or oil to get crispy and golden on the outside—are baked to crunchy perfection.

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Breakfast Scramble

Even with the best nonstick skillet, a breakfast scramble begs for a lot of oil to prevent it from sticking to the pan. This recipe illustrates the power of sautéeing with water, adding a tablespoon at a time to keep the food from sticking.

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Potato and Onion Bake with Rosemary and Tomatoes

Flavored with herbs and tamarind, these potatoes get their fluffy interior and crisp skin from baking.

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Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Normally coated in oil, these browned, grilled mushrooms are marinated in all the dressings you need to make for a delicious barbecued meal or burger.

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We have a huge variety of wholesome, nourishing vegan recipes to get you through every day from start to finish.


One of the most common questions we hear from people who are new to eating plant-based is “What do I eat for breakfast?” We’ve compiled some of our vegan breakfast recipes to get you started.


Healthy and nourishing by nature, vegan dinner recipes make great options for lunches, as well! Whether you’re hungry for a savory casserole or lighter fare such as soups, sandwiches, and salads, you’ll surely find something to satisfy your craving in our list of popular vegan lunch and dinner recipes.


Ready to get started? Check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path. To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer.

Comments (5)

(5 from 8 votes)
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Susan2 weeks ago
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Excited to try some of these recipes!

Melanie3 weeks ago
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I’m glad that my diet is plant based

Shailesh Bagade2 months ago
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Wow, So many vegan recipes. simple to make. wanna try these recipes as soon as possible.
never knew I was already eating some of these dishes because of my culture. information and education is very important on food.

Ogreen2 months ago
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Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and also the rest of the site is really good.

abrazilian4 months ago
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this list of oil-free recipes is insanely good

about the author

Linda Barsi

Linda Barsi is a veggie-loving writer based in Los Angeles. She loves dogs, discovering new vegan restaurants, and mentoring young writers via her YouTube channel. You can follow her on Twitter.

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