St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are just around the corner, and for the Feast of St. Patrick, you’ll need plenty of food. The menu for this holiday is often heavy on corned beef, but there are plenty of vegetable-forward dishes to make for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a flexitarian looking to eat less meat or you’re a life-long vegan, these plant-based St. Patrick’s Day recipes will be the highlight of your festivities.
1. Shamrock Shake
A popular fast food treat, shamrock shakes are easy to adapt for vegan diets and are much cheaper to make at home. Really, you’re making a minty, green “milk”shake, so you can customize it as you please. But if you’re not sure where to begin, this four-ingredient recipe from Loving It Vegan is a good place to start. Plant-based whipped cream and green sanding sugar are simple toppings, or go all out with crushed mint cookies, chocolate shavings, and fresh mint leaves.
2. Irish Coffee
If you’d like to start the celebrations early, kick off the day with a veganized version of Irish coffee. Typically topped with cream, Irish coffee is spiked with whiskey and a bit of sugar for sweetness. Instead of dairy-based cream, try this Irish coffee made with a homemade coconut cream. If coconut isn’t for you, you can also make this drink with a cashew-based cream. If all else fails, buy some pre-made, dairy-free cream from the store. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, or even grated chocolate. Cheers!
3. Irish Champ
Champ is a dish that mixes scallions or green onions into mashed potatoes. You could also level up the recipe by mixing in leeks for more flavor. Either way, start with your favorite mashed potato recipe, just swap any dairy-based cream, milk, and/or butter for plant-based versions from the grocery store. Or check out this vegetarian Irish champ from Eat Something Sexy, and just swap the butter for your favorite vegan spread.
4. Shepherd’s Pie
If you want something hearty and comforting — or you just need to use up some wilting produce in the fridge — shepherd’s pie is a great option. Although this meal is believed to have originated in Britain, it has been enjoyed for years across Ireland. It’s also a great way to reduce food waste. Use any variety of veggies you like. For protein, consider lentils, your favorite beans, or a store-bought beef or sausage alternative. Top with mashed potatoes, turnips, cauliflower; you name it. This dish is completely customizable. If you’d like some guidance, Minimalist Baker has a wildly popular vegan version of shepherd’s pie.
If you want to make a traditional dish that can serve a crowd, go for boxty, or Irish potato pancakes. These patties get crisp on the outside and stay soft on the inside. Best of all, they make for great leftovers. Simply throw them in the oven or a pan to heat them back up. The Veg Life’s recipe includes a homemade mustard dipping sauce, or serve with vegan sour cream and/or caramelized onions to suit your tastes.
6. Potatoes and Cabbage
It doesn’t get simpler than this. Fry or roast potatoes and cabbage to your preference, and feel free to mix in a plant-based sausage for a protein boost. Alternatively, you could try colcannon, an Irish dish similar to champ that mixes greens, like cabbage or kale, into creamy mashed potatoes. This nutritious colcannon recipe from Kara Lydon Nutrition is completely vegan and filled with delicious and healthy ingredients, so you can make this for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond.
7. Vegan Reuben
Corned beef, a reuben sandwich staple, is often associated with Ireland, and many reuben-themed dishes are especially popular for St. Patrick’s Day. Tempeh, made from fermented soy beans, is an impressive replacement for corned beef. Learn how to make a marinated tempeh and even homemade dressing for your sandwich with this vegan reuben recipe from My Darling Vegan.
8. Soda Bread
Soda bread is a classic Irish quick bread that uses baking soda instead of yeast. It is also typically made with buttermilk. To veganize it, The Conscious Plant Kitchen uses soy milk and apple cider vinegar as a buttermilk replacement. Best of all, this vegan soda bread takes less than 30 minutes to make using just 5 ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen.
Based in Los Angeles, Paige is a writer who is passionate about sustainability. Aside from writing for EcoWatch, Paige also writes for Insider, HomeAdvisor, Thrillist, EuroCheapo, Eat This, Not That!, and more. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University and holds a certificate in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She also specialized in sustainable agriculture while pursuing her undergraduate degree. When she’s not writing, Paige enjoys decorating her apartment, enjoying a cup of coffee and experimenting in the kitchen (with local, seasonal ingredients, of course!).