31 Tasty Vegan Recipes That Are Totally Oil-Free
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. How do you get more flavor, rich texture, and golden brown deliciousness minus the added fat?Read more below
By Linda Barsi,
October 05, 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, cupcakes, and salad dresses without the added fat. But don’t fret: These 30 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.
Check out our entire archive of vegan, plant-based recipes. Below are 30 of our hand-picked favorites!
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.
How can you have mouthwatering French fries without oil? We start with 10 minutes of steaming to get the insides tender, add light coating of spices including garlic powder and sweet paprika, then roast the fries in the oven to get the outsides golden and crisp.
Pesto is almost always loaded with oil (and cheese), but our recipe uses garlic, fresh lemon juice, tofu, and nutritional yeast to achieve that rich, zesty flavor.
Traditionally fried in oil, these tasty quesadillas get their crunch from pan-toasted tortillas and their creaminess from a cashew-based cheese sauce spiked with lime and nutritional yeast.
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.
Let this Thai noodle recipe do right by your tastebuds, without all the added fat you’ll find in most restaurant versions. This dish uses low-sodium soy sauce, brown rice syrup, roasted peanuts, and garlic for rich, savory results.
Let jalapeño, silken tofu, and nutritional yeast do the heavy lifting that oil usually does to create this delicious cilantro pesto.
This burger’s crispy outer layer and “meaty” center make it a huge hit with families transitioning to a plant-based diet. The nuts add texture and flavor while the beans and rice make it filling and delicious.
Completely free of added fat, these crispy cookies are a sweet, guilt-free treat. Applesauce and apple cider vinegar add tenderness while the oats absorb the cocoa, lemon, and vanilla for a delicious flavor.
Loaded Potato Skins
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.