Explore 15 Vegan Irish Recipes: hearty stew, Boxty, Shepherd's Pie, Soda Bread, Colcannon, and more. For St. Patrick's Day, add Irish luck to your plant-based meals.
Vegan Irish Traditional Food
Ireland has a rich food culture that relies on local ingredients like potatoes, cabbage, onions, and meat. Traditional Irish cuisine features hearty, comforting foods like stews, soups, breads, and breakfasts that fill you up and keep you warm. However, many of the most well-known dishes like Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, and soda bread with butter contain animal products.
The good news is that Irish food can easily be made vegan by swapping a few ingredients. With some simple substitutions, classics like boxty pancakes, Irish stew, and Shepherd's Pie can be plant-based while keeping their distinctly Irish flavor.
Vegan versions of Irish dishes allow you to celebrate Ireland's unique culinary traditions. You can choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with some green food, but we strongly recommend choosing some traditional Irish recipes from below and cooking some proper Irish food for the occasion.
Main Substitutions to make Traditional Irish recipes Vegan
When veganizing traditional Irish recipes, there are a few key substitutions to keep in mind. This allows you to adapt recipes while maintaining the familiar flavors and textures, just in a plant-based form.
Irish recipes often rely heavily on dairy products like milk, butter, cream, and cheese. This is not surprising, as they have a very large amount of cows around the whole country. Thankfully, there are many plant-based alternatives available (even in Ireland!).
- For milk, substitute for unsweetened soy, oat, almond, coconut, or other plant-based milk.
- Instead of butter, use vegan margarine, coconut oil, or olive oil.
- To replace cream, try full-fat canned coconut milk, cashew cream, or blended silken tofu.
- For cheese, use nutritional yeast for flavor or experiment with vegan cheese products.
With the right plant-based dairy swaps, you can replicate the creaminess.
Eggs act as binders and rising agents in baking. For vegan egg replacements:
- 1 Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds whisked with 3 Tbsp water = 1 egg
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce = 1 egg
- ¼ cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg
- ¼ cup banana puree = 1 egg
- Commercial egg replacers such as JustEgg, or powdered replacer.
These will help baked goods keep their texture and rise properly.
For hearty Irish dishes, you can substitute meat with vegan protein such as:
- Extra-firm tofu and tempeh
- Seitan or veggie meat alternatives
- Lentils, beans, or chickpeas for texture
- Mushrooms like portobello caps
- Jackfruit for pulled meat texture
With the right ingredient swapping, traditional Irish recipes can easily be made vegan. The flavors will remain intact, just cruelty-free!
15 Vegan Traditional Irish Recipes
Many traditional Irish mains feature meat or dairy as the base, but they can easily be made vegan with simple ingredient swaps. Here are some delicious hearty Irish mains dishes with a twist.
1. Vegan Irish Stew Recipe
This traditional Irish stew with Guinness is our vegan alternative to the traditional Irish beef or lamb Guinness stew. Served with some creamy vegan mashed potatoes, this dish brings the traditional Irish flavors to your table. You can cook this dish with soy curls, tofu, seitan, or your favorite plant-based protein.
2. Lentil Shepherd's Pie
This vegan shepherd's pie recipe is easy to make in your Instant Pot, slow cooker, or on the stovetop. Simply top with mashed potatoes for a healthy gluten-free vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, Cottage Pie, or whatever else you want to call it!
3. Vegan Potato and Leek Soup
This Vegan Potato Leek Soup is the perfect soup for those chilly winter days when you feel like eating something comforting, healthy, and delicious. Our Leek and Potato Soup is creamy from the added cashews and served with crispy leeks on top and traditional Irish brown bread. Your whole family will love this satisfying one-pot Irish meal made with vegetable broth.
4. Vegan Fish and Chips
This amazingly crispy Vegan Fish is made with marinated tofu that has been coated with classic beer batter and deep-fried to get that crunchy texture on the outside and delicious flavors bursting from within. We serve our "Tofish" with chips, homemade mushy green peas, a homemade vegan tartar sauce, and fresh lemon.
5. Hearty Vegan Stew and Dumplings
This is one of the dishes that we look forward to the most when traveling to Ireland—Grandma's stew and dumplings, which are so soft and fluffy and loads of hearty vegetables. Hearty and comforting, this meal only needs one pan and it’s ready in 30 minutes.
While meat often takes center stage in traditional Irish cuisine, the side dishes are just as iconic. Luckily, many classic Irish sides are already vegan or can be made plant-based with simple substitutions. Here are some recipes for vegan versions of popular Irish sides.
9. Vegan Colcannon
Who doesn't love some colcannon or champ? This traditional recipe for Vegan Irish Colcannon is gluten-free, allergy-free, paleo, made with cabbage, but without the dairy! A cheap and easy staple Irish side dish that will quickly become a comforting family dinner staple!
10. Vegan Soda Bread
If you have ever been to Ireland, you will probably remember this bread as it's served among most of the cafes with the classic "Soup of the day". If you are preparing a proper Irish feast, don't leave out the Soda Bread! Serve with vegan butter and enjoy!
12. Irish Potato Bread
This traditional dish is also known as Irish Farls, Fadge, or potato cakes! Made on a hot griddle with leftover mashed potato, this gluten-free and vegan potato bread recipe is a delicious, simple, and quick side dish, breakfast, or snack.
Desserts and Drinks
Your traditional Irish meal cannot be complete without something sweet, or some liquor to warm up your body.