Favorite Vegan Substitutes for Common Ingredients

Favorite Vegan Substitutes for Common Ingredients

The holiday season is upon us, so naturally friends and family of vegans are breaking into a cold sweat at the thought of providing food for their plant-based people. Thankfully, it’s simpler than you might think to make your favorite dishes vegan by simply omitting animal products, or by substituting these ingredients. Keep this cheat sheet in your recipe box for easy care and feeding of vegan guests, or if you’re the vegan pass it out to your pals upon request!

* These are just some of my personal favorites and not a comprehensive list of possible vegan alternatives. (All items are also gluten-free unless noted otherwise.)



  • Cheesy flavor: nutritional yeast (e.g., sprinkled on top of dishes or can be mixed with butter or milk for a creamy consistency)
  • Nacho cheese/queso: Raw Cashew Cheese (recipe in RAWvolution by Matt Amsden)
  • Slices:
    • Field Roast Chao Slices
    • Daiya Slices
  • Shredded: Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
  • Putting no cheese on pastas, pizzas, etc.


  • Almond milk: Almond Breeze unsweetened original
  • Cashew milk: Make by blending ¼ c. raw cashews to 1 c. water

Butter: Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread or Nutiva Buttery Spread

Ice Cream:

  • Sorbets
  • Almond Dream Toffee Almond Fudge
  • Sandwiches: Tofutti Cuties (not GF)

Cream Cheese: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (may contain traces of gluten)

Sour Cream: Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream (may contain traces of gluten)

Mayonnaise: Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise or Just Mayo

Yogurt: So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk


  • Substitute ¼ c. applesauce for 1 egg in baking recipes
  • Substitute ½ a banana for 1 egg in baking recipes
  • Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer for baking recipes
  • Tofu (extra firm) sliced or drained and scrambled, salted and seasoned to taste for eggs


  • maple syrup
  • agave nectar


  • organic unbleached cane sugar
  • Sugar In the Raw
  • maple syrup



  • tofu, seitan, and tempeh can all be flavored and substituted for most meats
  • Leave meat out of any dish

Beef: Boca Veggie Protein Veggie Ground Crumbles (not GF)


  • Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips
  • Nuggets: Boca Original Chik’n Veggie Nuggets (not GF)

Lunchmeat: Tofurky Deli Slices or Field Roast Slices (not GF)

Bacon: Lightlife Smart Bacon (not GF) or LightLife Tempeh Bacon

Sausage: Tofurky Italian Sausage or Field Roast Apple Sage or Italian Sausage (not GF)

Hot Dogs: Lightlife Smart Dogs or Field Roast Frankfurters (not GF)

Hamburgers: Gardenburger Veggie Medley

Click here for holiday recipe ideas from Oh She Glows.
Allyse Sonnega is a dedicated yogini, educator, mother, vegan, and overall uplifting human being that provides great service to the world through her peaceful thoughts, words, and actions.