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 by-products 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, 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, and a tablespoon each of cocoa powder and full-fat coconut milk. You’ll feel like you’re drinking a Mounds candy bar, in the best way.
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!
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 remaining dairy-free.
Bakes are our favorite, considering all you have to do is mix everything up and toss it in a casserole 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 at home for a fraction of the cost. This one tastes like a mix between Chunky Monkey and an Almond Joy… get excited.