Get Cozy With These 10 Flexitarian Friendly Recipes Perfect for the Cold Weather


Dec. 4 2023, Published 4:25 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Flexitarian diets — which are primarily vegan diets with room for flexibility — have numerous benefits for your health, the animals, and the environment.
  • There are a number of plant-based alternatives to classic comfort foods, from tofurky to chik'n noodle soup.
  • Try these flexitarian recipes for yourself or to bring to your next holiday get together.
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Consuming a plant-based diet comes with a plethora of physical health and environmental benefits. From lowering your chances of heart-disease to lessening your environmental footprint, the perks of going plant-based are endless. The flexitarian diet is a popular term for those who consume a primarily vegan diet, with some flexibility towards eating the occasional animal product.

However, eating a flexitarian diet comes with its own challenges, especially around the holiday season. From Thanksgiving turkey to traditional holiday dishes containing meat or dairy, this can cause some additional and unneeded stress around this already hectic time of year.

But there’s no need to stress! Try these 10 flexitarian recipes that are perfect for a frigid winter day or holiday get together. Even your carnivorous friends and family will have to have a taste.

Mouthwatering Vegan Turkey

If you feel like you're missing out on the holiday turkey, we've got a flexitarian tofu recipe that doesn't disappoint. While this dish is definitely going to take quite a bit of time and preparation, this flexitarian alternative to a holiday classic is sure to satisfy.

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Vegan Lasagna Soup

This vegan soup recipe is simple and satisfying comfort food. Warm up from the cold temperatures with this deconstructed lasagna recipe. You could also opt for chickpea-based pasta sheets for added protein.

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Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables

This orzo salad recipe from Cooking For Peanuts features our favorite fall vegetables such as brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Serve it up as a side dish or as the main event.

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One Pot Spinach Pasta

If you're in a pinch for a flexitarian dish, this simple spaghetti dish from Vegan Haven can be ready in just 20 minutes. While this recipe features coconut milk to make the dish extra creamy to begin with, you could make it even creamier with some vegan cheese.

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Holiday Seitan Roast

If tofu isn't your thing, try this seitan roast recipe with vegan gravy and vegetables. Seitan, a protein-rich meat alternative made from gluten, is versatile and can take on a number of flavors just like tofu.

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Vegan "Chicken" Noodle Soup

This flexitarian soup recipe is a plant-based twist on a classic comfort food. Nora Cooks recommends using any store-bought Tofurky as a tasty chicken replacement.

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Jackfruit Pot Roast

This plant-based pot roast from Food with Feeling takes just under an hour to make. If you're unfamiliar with jackfruit, this plant creates a brisket-like texture. Be sure to add your favorite garnish for a holiday flair, like rosemary or parsley.

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Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

Enjoy this flexitarian dish from Veggie Society which uses cashews, sauteed garlic, onions and spices to make a delicious vegan cheese sauce. This dish provides a delicious and flavorful dairy-free cheese alternative.

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One Pot Holiday Feast

Create a sharable and satisfying meal in just one pot. This recipe certainly takes some time and preparation, but you won't regret it after you taste Chef Derek Sarno's mushroom shallot gravy.

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Green Bean Casserole

Make this dish as a comfort food for dinner, or serve it up as a side at your next get together. This flexitarian recipe with twist on an already plant-heavy classic. According to recipe creator Know Your Produce, no one will be able to guess this dish is completely vegan!

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