Happy National Junk Food Day! We’re celebrating with a host of vegan junk food recipes that are bound to satisfy every craving for the familiar, comforting, indulgent flavors and textures we’ve all learned to love early on. Eating vegan can be healthy, but it doesn’t have to be – after all, it’s caring about the animals and the planet that inspires vegans to change their diets, and it’s recipes like these that help people realize that anything they can eat, they can eat vegan. So pick your favorite vegan junk food recipe off our list (we’ve got both sweet and savory categories covered), and enjoy!
Savory Vegan Junk Food Recipes
This classic savory snack is made without any dairy, and yet has that irresistible cheesy flavor thanks to vegan butter, nutritional yeast, and smoked paprika!
Fries are an iconic junk food item, but they don’t have to be all that junky: this vegan loaded fries recipe uses oven-baked crinkle-cut fries, and a myriad of healthy Mediterranean-inspired toppings from black olives and fresh parsley to tangy vegan feta cheese and garlicky yogurt dip. For more vegan fries inspiration, check out our list of 29 Vegan Recipes for Anyone Who Loves Fries!
This vegan junk food recipe is a healthy-ish spin on the classic loaded nachos. It combines a zesty black bean mix with vegan cheddar cheese and homemade salsa and is topped with some easy homemade vegan sour cream. Yum!
If your favorite snack is potato chips, check out Nisha’s recipe! These homemade chips are perfectly crispy, and more healthful, fresh & delicious than store-bought potato chips at the same time. You can read more about enjoying potatoes in a healthier way in Nisha’s column Cook and Nourish.
Arancini could be considered Italian junk food – these stuffed deep-fried rice balls are an absolute indulgence, and taste so, so good. Veganizing arancini is easy: stuff them with warm gooey vegan mozzarella, shallow fry them in some oil (or even in an air fryer!) and serve with a mouthwatering arrabbiata sauce, just like Jessica did!
These baked chicken-less nuggets are the comforting vegan junk food you need in your life right now! They’re made with chickpeas and tofu, which gives them just the right amount of firmness and crispiness, and a great texture overall, plus a serious protein boost!
Classic jalapeño poppers, but make it vegan! “Flawless in every way” – that’s how Zac Bird, the creator of this vegan junk food recipe, describes it. And he knows a thing or two about vegan junk food – his debut cookbook of the same name just came out!
Vegan recipe developers’ creativity never ceases to amaze us and is often truly helpful for those who are seeking their old comfort foods but don’t have their plant-based alternatives available at the store. Such is the case of this vegan junk food recipe by Woon Heng: her drumsticks are made from tofu skins and cooked to perfection! They’re gluten-free (unlike most store-bought vegan drumsticks), and take some time to make, but knowing you can enjoy your favorite food without harming animals is so worth it!
Did you know today is also National Hot Dog Day? Celebrate it by making this super easy-to-make cheesy everything seasoned “bagel” dogs! By the way, there’s a whole section on Vegan Travel Eats dedicated JUST to vegan junk food recipes, so be sure to check it out!
Vegan junk food doesn’t have to be healthy, but it can be – and yet remain just as delicious! Case in point: this flavorful, healthy vegan cauliflower gyros recipe that makes a delicious shareable meal of roasted cauliflower, Greek spices, creamy dairy-free tzatziki, and fresh crisp veggies, all wrapped in warm flatbread!
A vegan junk food recipe list wouldn’t be complete without tacos! If tortillas are an integral part of your pantry, as they are for Anja, you’ll love experimenting with delicious filling combinations, especially this one: soy strips cooked in homemade BBQ sauce + avocado cream + the classic corn and parsley to balance them out!
Copycat vegan junk food recipes like this crunchwrap supreme are really popular for a good reason: they give you all the comfort of your favorite fast food with none of the guilt for animal cruelty or physical discomfort involved in its production and consumption. This wrap has layers of vegan nacho cheese sauce, homemade vegan taco meat, sour cream, guacamole – and that’s not even the full list of goodness hidden between the crispy tortillas!
Did you know that chicken waffles are part of a variety of culinary traditions, including Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine and soul food? Their veganized version has all the flavors and textures they are known and loved for, so you won’t miss the meat or other animal products involved in the traditional recipe!
Upgrade your instant ramen by making it a part of this delicious Korean snack meal! Cooked with chewy rice cakes, mushrooms, and veggies in a spicy, umami-rich sauce, it makes for a comforting, easy dish.
Traditional chimichangas are deep-fried and filled to the brim with animal products, but their vegan counterpart by Sheil Shukla uses fajita veggies and black beans for the filling, and vegan nacho cheeze sauce and avocado crema for the topping!
A perfectly shareable summer meal, these vegan sliders are made with jackfruit that’s tossed with a flavorful Hawaiian Style BBQ Sauce, topped with a creamy tangy slaw, and placed on a sweet Hawaiian roll. They will be a backyard BBQ hit with vegans and non-vegans alike!
This vegan junk food recipe is a winner. “Beefy” tomato ragu and creamy bechamel sauce amidst layers of tender lasagne sheets with more cheese to top – what can be better?
Philly cheesesteak has an iconic place among American junk foods, but its vegan version is much better! Take one look at these vegan garlic butter-drizzled buns filled with plant-based ground meat and dairy-free provolone, and you’ll instantly know why!
This mouthwateringly good-looking copycat burger is the ultimate vegan junk food recipe! Vegan cheese, vegan meat, vegan buns, and your own homemade spicy vegan Big Mac sauce – name a better combo, we’ll wait.
Sweet Vegan Junk Food Recipes
Technically, Oreos on their own are already a vegan junk food, but you can take it to the next level with this recipe by Make It Dairy Free! The concept is simple: take an Oreo, or another vegan chocolate sandwich cookie, roll it into a batter, and then deep fry. Yum! Be sure to check out the snacks section at Make It Dairy Free for more vegan junk food recipe inspiration!
There’s no need to wait for your favorite sweet treats to be veganized by the companies who produce them when you can make your own! This copycat vegan recipe even has a secret ingredient (spoiler: it’s avocado) that provides the texture and healthy fats to bind all the ingredients, without the need to use any other high-calorie ingredients.
Who doesn’t love a good cupcake? We know we do! Especially when it has a core of gooey caramel sauce, a swirl of Swiss meringue buttercream, is topped with caramel-coated popcorn – and is fully vegan, of course!
These vegan spring rolls are a healthier, apple-pie-inspired spin on the traditional dessert rolls that are made with animal ingredients and often deep-fried. Serve them with some non-dairy ice cream and enjoy!
If you miss the old-fashioned, cakey donuts covered in a thin sugary glaze, this vegan junk food recipe is for you. Best part of making your own vegan donuts at home? You get to keep the holes, too!
A perfect way to cool off on a hot summer’s day is this creamy, chocolatey vegan frosty that requires only 2 ingredients and can be whipped up in just a few minutes!
Article by Anna Kot.
If you didn’t find a vegan junk food recipe you love, we have more to inspire you: