Cutting out dairy can seem next to impossible when you think about the foods you’ll have to give up, from cheesy slices of pizza to ice cream and cheese plates.
But as dairy-free diets have grown in popularity, it’s become easier and easier to find substitutes to use when cooking or snacking. With the right shopping list, dairy-free doesn’t have to be a drag. Promise.
These dairy-free recipes use everything from nutritional yeast to coconut milk to mimic the rich, creamy, or savory taste you want without any of the lactose or animal byproducts you may be trying to avoid.
Love a good Caesar salad? You can still have one without a speck of Parm or mayo in sight. Make a dressing out of soaked cashews, almond milk, garlic, lemon juice, and Dijon and toss it with fresh kale and spicy chickpeas. Add some sweet potato noodles on there for a more filling meal and you’ll be good to go.
When you’re craving a milkshake, blend up this smoothie. Cashew milk is a little thicker than almond, so it’s ideal to use here. Mix it with banana, chia seeds, coconut flakes, cauliflower, and some cocoa powder and full-fat coconut milk.
You’ll feel like you’re drinking a Mounds candy bar, in the best way (with some sneaky veggies for added nutrients!).
There’s nothing more comforting than potatoes, unless we’re talking scalloped potatoes upping the ante. We’ll gladly eat them all year round, not just on holidays.
A bit of dairy-free butter, your dairy-free milk of choice, a whole bunch of russet potatoes, and you’re golden… literally. You could even add some nutritional yeast for an even more cheesy bite.
Creamy pasta IS possible to make dairy-free, even if it’s not quite the same as a bowl full of mac and cheese. Again, cashews are your friend here, so whip out your food processor and blend ’em up with some fresh basil, olive oil, and garlic.
Add some color to your dinner with kale and cherry tomatoes. And if you’re not vegan, feel free to sneak some leftover grilled chicken or sausage in there.
If you’re worried about avoiding the endless dips and quesos bound to be at this year’s Super Bowl party, it’s time to break out this dairy-free dip. It’s just as satisfying as the real thing and won’t make you feel as blah after a few bites. More room for wings!
Naan flatbread is often made with yogurt, ghee, or butter, so it’s not always dairy-free. But this recipe needs no milk products to make the savory, soft texture we know and love. We’d recommend adding the optional garlic, but it’s your call.
The downside of dairy-free cheese is that it tends to be a little more expensive than the regular kind, so dumping an entire bag of shreds on a pizza might hurt your heart a little. The solution: Make the toppings the star and add a little nutritional yeast to the sauce to give it a bit of that cheesy flavor while keeping it dairy-free.
Casseroles are our favorite, considering all you have to do is mix everything up and toss it in a baking dish. This one tastes like Alfredo pasta and uses coconut milk, nutritional yeast (it’s really a savior), chicken, and broccoli. The “pasta” part is actually spaghetti squash, so you’re getting a big heap of veggies with each serving too.
Don’t think we forgot about dessert. While everyone from Halo Top to Ben & Jerry’s has come out with a dairy-free pint in the last few years, you can easily make your own for a fraction of the cost. This one tastes like a cross between Chunky Monkey and an Almond Joy. Get excited.
This light and fluffy apple upside-down cake is not only dairy-free but also eggless and vegan. Plus, the look of those layered sliced apples is just so pretty on a table. Save this one for some guests (or just eat it yourself on a chilly night).