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A vegan Super Bowl party menu even a football fan can love

Chefs share the recipes you need for delicious plant-based comfort food. No, this does not mean you have to stop being a SPORTS! fan.

Reprinted with permission from Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics by Lauren Toyota, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Let me guess. You’re irrationally excited for the BIG SPORTS GAME. You’re also rationally anxious about the need for humans to immediately transform the world food economy to avoid certain climate calamity. And, somehow, this alchemical emotional combination has you feeling, well, hungry.

Good news! Here is the vegan food menu for your Super Bowl party that can have you eating your feelings right along with the rest of those SPORTS! fans out there, but in a way that keeps the cruelty quarantined to the playing field.

”We don’t make compromises when it comes to taste,” Caroline Concha, the chef at Beelman’s, a restaurant and bar in downtown LA with a plant-based menu, told SB Nation. ”Sports fans, both vegans and meat-eaters alike, cheer on their favorite team while sharing our pub favorites like Tachos (aka tater tot nachos), crispy garbanzo beans, and, of course, Caroline’s Mighty Fine Chili.”

(Don’t worry, that chili recipe is below.)

Here are enough vegan snack suggestions and plant-based recipes from noted chefs and food blogs across the country to feed everyone at your party. Just about all of the ingredients should be familiar and available at most grocery stores. Yes, you’ll be using some plant-based meat substitutes for some of them. No, this does not mean you have to stop being a football fan.

Pregame: Accidentally vegan snacks you already love

I know, the word “vegan” can just sound scary or confusing or simply remind you of acai bowl-loving food photographers you hate follow on Instagram. But, in reality, everyone already eats a lot of things that are already vegan. Some of those things are very healthy. Some of those things are Fritos.

Here are a few more:

  • Salsa!
  • Guacamole!
  • All of those vegetable platters (just swap in some hummus for the ranch dressing)!
  • Most potato, tortilla, and corn chips flavors!
  • Also, all sorts of crackers!

There is a whole list of snacks that are already vegan over at for you to check out.

Reprinted with permission from Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics by Lauren Toyota, copyright © 2018. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

First Quarter: Let’s kick off with some vegan fried food!

Football is on TV. Something is gonna get fried. It’s basically the law. You’re not going to have any actual chicken wings on your vegan menu, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to go without some savory crunch.

”Comfort food was just what I always loved, and when I went vegan, I realized I could still do it,” Lauren Toyota, the vegan cook behind the hot for food blog and author of the Vegan Comfort Classics cookbook, told SB Nation. “I just had to do it my own way.”

Inspired by Kentucky Fried Chicken, Lauren’s Southern Fried Cauliflower recipe has plenty of the herbs and spices without the guilt or food coma.

”It reminded me of KFC,” she said. “I don’t know the secret season formula for KFC, but I tried to recreate it. And I think I nailed it.”

Southern Fried Cauliflower


8 to 9 cups cauliflower florets (two-bite size)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 4 to 6 cups for deep-frying

1 teaspoon sea salt

12 teaspoon ground pepper


1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

14 cup buffalo-style hot sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon celery salt

12 teaspoon ground nutmeg

12 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 teaspoon ground cumin

12 teaspoon ground allspice

Spicy Sriracha Aioli (or swap in the dip of your choice)

23 cup vegan mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice


Preheat the oven to 425°F.

To prepare the cauliflower, toss the cauliflower on a baking sheet with the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, salt, and ground pepper. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until tender. Let cool if necessary before handling the florets for battering.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a large heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer to a temperature of 325°F to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. The amount of oil may vary depending on the size of your frying vessel.

To make the batter, combine the nondairy milk with the apple cider vinegar and hot sauce in a large bowl. Mix the cornstarch with a small amount of the milk mixture to make a slurry and add to the bowl. This helps avoid lumps.

In another large bowl, combine the flour with the salt and all the spices.

Do not batter the cauliflower and let it sit before it goes in the oil. Only coat the pieces once the oil has reached 325°F. Batter a floret, then coat in the flour mixture, then submerge in the batter again and coat in the flour mixture once again. Fry a few pieces at a time for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Remove with a slotted frying spoon onto a baking sheet or large plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve with the aioli or a dip of your choice.

The Spicy Sriracha Aioli:

Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.

Second quarter: Yes, we need some buffalo wing sauce!

Amid all of these very thoughtful and creative recipes, I’m just going to share the very simple way that I get my own vegan buffalo fix (when I’m not just scooping up the soy buffalo nuggets from the Whole Foods hot bar).

Crispy buffalo tofu bites


2 12-oz. containers of extra firm tofu

Olive oil (or vegetable or corn or whatever you’ve got)

Your preferred hot sauce (and, yes, Frank’s RedHot is vegan)

Non-dairy butter substitute

Salt and pepper



Remove the tofu from the containers. Wrap each block in a paper towel. Place on a cutting board with a can from the cupboard on top to press out the water. Leave for 30 minutes.

Unwrap tofu and discard paper towels. Chop tofu into bite-sized cubes.

Place tofu cubes into a large bowl and mix with enough cornstarch to coat them.

Heat frying pan. Pour in just enough oil to thinly cover the cooking surface.

Add tofu to the pan in batches. Cook until crispy. Mix and flip the cubes as needed to cook all sides.

Set aside crispy tofu in a bowl (maybe you’ve already washed that first one!) lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Combine hot sauce and non-dairy butter substitute (I tend to keep it at a 3/1 ratio) in microwave for 30 seconds (or as needed depending on quantity).

Toss buffalo sauce with tofu. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Eat them all. Maybe share.

Halftime: So, you’re a vegan who misses the taste of bacon

What follows is tantalizing and terrifying in approximately equal measure: There are a number of bacon-flavored foods that are actually vegan, including multiple varieties of bacon bits and chips. The best part of eating these? No very, very smart piggies will be harmed for you to eat these.

Third Quarter: Vegan chili cheese fries? Vegan chili cheese fries!

You might be asking yourself what sort of devilish food inventor could pull off such a concept with only seven ingredients. The answer: the fine folks at The Vegan Stoner.

The Vegan Stoner

Fourth Quarter: It’s main course time!


We’ve got a pair of hearty options to serve as the main event at your feast, each shared by a chef on either coast: Beelman’s in Los Angeles and Red Bamboo in New York City.

As promised, here is the recipe from Beelman’s for Caroline’s Mighty Fine Chili.

“This recipe makes a big batch so invite a lot of friends!” she warned.

Caroline’s Mighty Fine Chili


5 onions

12 oz. jalapeno

5 peeled garlic cloves

14-oz. can chipotle in adobo

2 quarts pale ale beer (Caroline likes Showtime from Bluebird Brasserie, but any light beer will work)

8 Field Roast Mexican chipotle sausage

2 cans of crushed tomato

1 48-oz. can tomato paste

1 oz. vegetable paste

4 cups water

2 oz. dried Japanese chile

2 oz. dried guajillo chile

1 cup cumin ground

12 cup oregano dried

12 cup chili powder

4 tablespoons salt

1 can garbanzo beans

1 can red kidney beans

Cooking instructions

Place the peeled veggies on a hot grill with oil until charred and cooked.

Add the veggies to a large bowl and use immersion blender to blend until smooth, use water as necessary.

Add chipotle in adobo and blend with onion mixture.

Using a blender grind the chipotle sausage.

In a large pot, brown sausage and add onion mixture.

Add beer, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste vegetable broth concentrate.

Bring Japanese & guajillo chilies to a boil with 4 cups of water and blend with immersion blender. Add to chili.

Cook chili on low heat, add beans and simmer for 2 hours.

Add spices and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For anyone looking for a more handheld food option to avoid cleaning all those bowls (or mugs if you’re visiting me), check out this recipe for Greek “Chicken Gyro” with tzatziki, lettuce, and tomato on a grilled pita from Red Bamboo, a restaurant in the West Village of Manhattan that has been serving vegan comfort food since 2002.

“I think the key flavors to win people over are texture and taste,” Jade Wong, the owner of Red Bamboo, said. “Our concept is feeding people what they are familiar with, but with a twist.”

Greek “Chicken Gyro” with tzatziki, lettuce, and tomato on a grilled pita

Vegan Tahini Sauce Ingredients (makes about a quart)

Silken Soft Tofu (1 box)

2 grated garlic cloves

Juice from 1-2 whole lemons

1 peeled, seeded large English cucumber, minced & salted lightly

Garlic salt

Black pepper

Vegan Tahini Sauce Instructions

Use food processor: Mix all ingredients except cucumbers.

Drain cucumbers.

Fold in cucumbers to rest of mix and salt and add more lemon juice as needed.

Chicken Marinade Ingredients

Olive oil


Lemon juice

Lettuce, Tomato Garnish

Shred lettuce

Dice tomatoes

Use same dressing as chicken marinade to lightly dress garnish just before service

Gyro Assembly Instructions

Grill or toast pitas preferably with a little olive oil and oregano

Grill 2 “vegan chicken” patties

Spread tzatziki on pita

Layer “chicken” and top with lettuce and tomato

Serve with fries

Overtime: It’s vegan dessert recipe time

These S’mores bars from Minimalist Baker are delicious and take less than an hour from start to chomp. They’re also vegan and gluten free.

Check out the recipe here.

Minimalist Baker

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