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!
By Linda Barsi,
Oct 5, 2017
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.
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.
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.
Low in fat and rich in flavor, this vegan gravy is ready in just 30 minutes.
In this easy recipe, pasta and a colorful medley of roasted veggies are tossed with herbs for a fresh, hearty meal.
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.
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.
Noodles, bok choy, broccoli, button mushrooms, and carrots soak up the savory sauce in this healthful, nourishing dish.
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.
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.
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.
Loaded with potatoes, white beans, and veggies, this easy pan-sautéed recipe is primed to become a family favorite.
Let jalapeño, silken tofu, and nutritional yeast do the heavy lifting that oil usually does to create this delicious cilantro pesto.
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.
Rather than slathering potatoes in fat, consider simmering them in a flavorful, herb-infused broth. Your tastebuds won’t know the difference.
This secretly healthy, seven-ingredient recipe for fries and homemade ketchup is a triple threat: oil-free, kid-friendly, and easy to make.
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.
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.
Browned to perfection and ready in only 25 minutes, this take on a breakfast classic will leave ’em begging for more.
Usually fried in sizzling oil, these hearty, potato- and spinach-filled tacos deliver comfort-food satisfaction without the extra grease.
Kids love these breaded nuggets, which can be prepared in an oven or air fryer.
A tasty tofu ricotta tops off this vegan take on a classic casserole dish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These little croquettes—a recipe which usually uses butter or oil to get crispy and golden on the outside—are baked to crunchy perfection.
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.
Flavored with herbs and tamarind, these potatoes get their fluffy interior and crisp skin from baking.
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.
Hungry For More Healthy Vegan Recipes?
We have a huge variety of wholesome, nourishing vegan recipes to get you through every day from start to finish.
Vegan Breakfast Recipes
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.
Vegan Lunch and Dinner Recipes
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.
More Delicious Vegan Recipes
7 Keys to Success on a Healthy Vegan Diet
Getting started on a plant-based diet or looking to refresh your eating habits? Download our practical guide to long-term success.