100+ Best Vegan Swaps & Alternatives (Food + Lifestyle)

by Alena

Follow a plant-based diet and compassionate lifestyle easily with our list of the best vegan swaps and alternatives! Find everyday foods, delicious treats, clothing, beauty products and more.

If you thought about going vegan but felt overwhelmed by all of the products you won’t be able to purchase anymore — this guide is for you!

Transitioning to veganism can be much easier if you have helpful lists on hand for your grocery shopping!

Whereas it used to be rather difficult to eat a large variety of foods and meals as a vegan a decade ago, nowadays the market for vegan alternatives has grown so much that there’s a simple vegan product swap for literally everything.

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We’ve covered what vegans eat and healthy food swaps before if you’re looking for that specifically.

This ultimate list includes common vegan brands you can look out for at the store as well as everyday kitchen staples you can use to mimic eggs in baking or make your own plant-based ice cream with!

Many vegan alternatives, like mock meats, offer a similar nutritional profile which is important to avoid deficiencies and meet your nutritional needs on a vegan diet.

Other vegan swaps, like using apple sauce for baking, are great if you’re vegan on a budget or want to start vegan meal planning at home without getting lots of specialty products first!

Enjoy the following list and start recreating your favorite meals on a vegan diet.

Meat & fish alternatives

Do you find it hard to let go of the texture and flavor of meat dishes but want to show compassion towards animals?

There are countless delicious alternatives to replace chicken, beef, sausages and even fish nowadays! 

Many mock meats are pretty much equivalent when it comes to the amount of protein they offer, so nutritionally speaking, they are awesome food swaps.

Try a few different brands to find out which one you like the most!

Best mock meat brands

  • Gardein
  • Beyond Meat
  • Quorn
  • Amy’s
  • Field Roast
  • Boca
  • Lightlife
  • Yves
  • Tofurky
  • Louisville
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Ingredients for meaty recipes

No matter if you want to make burgers, beef crumbles or sausages at home, there are a handful of accessible and oftentimes budget-friendly plant-based foods you can use — even if you can’t have soy.

  • TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • Seitan
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Quinoa
  • Jackfruit
  • Mushrooms

Depending on how high in calories and protein you’d like your vegan meat replacement to be, these ingredients offer something for everyone.

If you’re looking for that deep umami flavor meat dishes usually offer, be sure to use soy sauce, mushrooms, smoked paprika or sundried tomatoes in your meaty recipes!

Check out the recipes below for lots of ideas like meatballs or meatloaves.

Milk & yogurt swaps

The sky is the limit when it comes to vegan milk alternatives nowadays! We love watching more and more options arrive on the supermarket shelves over the years and trying all of the different flavors.

There are huge differences between the vegan alternatives, though — even if you go for unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk, the nutrition values, textures and flavors can vary drastically.

Vegan milk & cream alternatives

  • Soy milk — ubiquitous, froths well, is easy to handle and has a great nutritional profile.
  • Almond milk — second most common at cafés, can have a bitter-ish taste; homemade tastes a lot better than most store-bought varieties.
  • Oat milk — comes closest to dairy in terms of texture and taste, great starting point.
  • Coconut milk — the canned variety is great for Asian recipes like curries because it’s very thick.
  • Rice milk — neutral taste, low fat content and low in calories; if at all, use for cereals or smoothies but never in coffee.
  • Pea milk — new on the market, high in protein, closely mimics the taste of dairy milk.
  • Hemp milk — an up-and-coming plant-based alternative that’s creamier than soy milk and tastes somewhat like almond milk.

There are also varieties made from flax, cashew, macadamia, walnut, quinoa, spelt, sunflower or hazelnut!

As we said, the sky’s the limit. Many of them can even easily be made at home by soaking, blending and then removing the pulp if wanted.

Vegan yogurt

  • Soy yogurt
  • Cashew yogurt
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Almond yogurt

There’s not as much variety compared to milk alternatives (yet) but we love trying all the different flavors from vanilla to peach yogurt and more.

Find our easy recipes for homemade almond yogurt here and be sure to try our yogurt tahini sauce for your next salad!

Dairy-free brands

  • So Delicious
  • Silk
  • Blue Diamond
  • Tofutti
  • Daiya
  • Ripple
  • Alpro
  • Kite Hill
  • Oatly
  • Califia Farms
  • Pacific Foods
  • Good Karma

Some of these brands are more common in the US while others can also be found in Europe, Australia and other places in the world.

Most grocery stores have their own budget-friendly brands, too!

Vegan cheese

Cheese is usually the hardest to replace on a vegan diet — and there are huge differences in terms of texture and flavor when it comes to the different brands.

This is one of the reasons why people are stuck at a vegetarian diet and cannot go fully vegan sometimes!

Luckily, vegan cheese has come a long way and nowadays, you can find anything from slices to shreds and cream cheese at the grocery store with flavors from mild to sharp.

Best vegan cheese brands

  • Daiya
  • Tofutti
  • Violife
  • Chao
  • Sheese
  • Follow Your Heart
  • So Delicious
  • Good Planet
  • Miyoko’s
  • Kite Hill
  • Simply V
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Homemade cheese swaps

There are a handful of vegan staple foods you can use to make cheesy vegan snacks and dishes! 

The most common ways to recreate cheese in vegan recipes are to use nutritional yeast, salt, vinegar and garlic for flavoring as well as tofu, cashews or other nuts and seeds as a creamy base.

By the way, if you want to make your own vegan parmesan cheese: simply blend some cashews with salt and nutritional yeast to a powder!

Check out the recipes below for more.

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Ice cream substitutes

Ice cream is one of the easiest foods to substitute as a vegan in our opinion! 

You can find super creamy and tasty ice cream made from coconut, almond or soy at the store or simply go for fruit sorbets at any ice cream parlor — it won’t hurt to ask whether they use any milk or cream, though.

Vegan ice cream brands

  • So Delicious
  • Coconut Bliss
  • NadaMoo
  • Almond Dream
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Oatly
  • Haagen Dazs
  • Halo Top
  • Baskin-Robbins
  • Ripple
  • Trader Joe’s

Food swaps for ice cream

Making your own ice cream at home is pretty easy if you have a decent blender. Using frozen bananas with just a splash of plant-based milk is the most basic way to get vegan ice cream!

Here are more suggestions.

  • Frozen berries
  • Coconut cream
  • Frozen pineapple or mango
  • Cocoa powder
  • Peanut butter

Butter alternatives

From good old dairy-free margarine to more authentic-tasting buttery spreads, here is what you can find at the store if you want to swap out butter!

  • Earth Balance
  • Miyoko’s
  • Califia Farms
  • I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter
  • Milkadamia
  • Becel
  • Violife

Vegan butter swaps at home

  • Nut or seed butter for sauces, in baking or on bread
  • Vegetable or coconut oil for baking or frying
  • Avocado, pumpkin puree or apple sauce in baking
  • Vegan yogurt or buttermilk in baking
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Replacing eggs

One of the toughest items to replace in baking and cooking might be eggs. 

While vegan cheese substitutes don’t taste exactly like cheese, you can still use vegan shreds or slices for sandwiches or baking and call it a day.

Eggs are a lot harder to replace when it comes to their consistency and how they work.

Here are the best vegan egg products on the market and some vegan swaps you can make at home!

Vegan egg brands

  • JUST
  • Follow Your Heart
  • Simply Eggless
  • Ener-G
  • Bob’s Red Mill

Vegan egg swaps

When making your own food at home, you can use plant-based staples to replace eggs in all kinds of different ways.

  • Tofu for scrambled eggs or pureed for baking
  • Chickpea flour for omelets
  • Aquafaba (chickpea liquid) recreates egg whites in baking
  • Kala Namak (black salt) for the sulfurous flavor
  • Mashed banana, apple sauce, mashed avocado or vegan yogurt in baking
  • Flax egg: ground flaxseeds mixed with water to create a gel for binding

Check out the recipes below for some examples.

Vegan honey

Wait, honey is not vegan? Yup, many people forget about this common liquid sweetener. It’s made by bees and for bees, harvesting it usually kills a bunch of them and it’s just so easy to replace.

  • Bee Free Honey
  • Humble Honee
  • Harmless Hunny
  • Maple syrup
  • Agave syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Molasses
  • Coconut sugar
  • Stevia

We love to sweeten our desserts with dates! Check out our recipes below for healthy treats.

Other vegan food swaps

Let’s look at more vegan alternatives to animal-based foods!

  • Beef or chicken stock: veggie stock or vegan chicken stock
  • Gelatin: Agar agar, carrageenan
  • Whey protein: vegan protein powder, homemade protein blend
  • Candy bars: nut bars, oat bars, vegan Snickers, etc.
  • Milk chocolate: dark chocolate, No Whey!, Vego, Lindt
  • Caramel: date caramel
  • Fish sauce: soy sauce, seaweed, vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • Dressings: olive oil vinaigrette, 35+ vegan dressing recipes
  • Whipped cream: homemade coconut whipped cream, Soyatoo, So Delicious

Find our favorite vegan snack options below!

Personal care & cleaning products

Per definition, veganism is more than just a diet — it’s a lifestyle that seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation in all areas of life.

Unfortunately, animals are being harmed for more than just the food on our plates!

Let’s take a look at vegan alternatives for household items and more.

When it comes to non-food items, animals can be harmed in several ways: either parts of their bodies are used in the product itself or the product was tested on animals.

Vegan brands

  • Pacifica
  • Mrs. Meyer’s
  • Ecover
  • Method
  • Wilko
  • Alba Botanica
  • Principle Beauty

We suggest that you look out for any vegan label on the packaging to find lots more options local to you!

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Clothing alternatives

From leather to wool, silk, fur and down — there are a handful of materials used in shoes, belts, jackets and other clothing items that come from animals.

Vegan alternatives

  • Cotton 
  • Nylon 
  • Linen
  • Lyocell
  • Fleece
  • Polyester
  • Hemp
  • Plant fibers
  • Pineapple leather

Please be aware that we just listed materials that don’t contain any animal products — they are not necessarily all great for the environment.

Vegan clothing brands

  • Bleed Clothing
  • Matt and Nat
  • Tentree
  • Ragwear
  • Ethcs
  • Ahimsa
  • Nae
  • Stella McCartney
  • Will’s of London

When it comes to items like t-shirts, underwear or hoodies, they usually don’t contain any animal products — just try to avoid the main offenders like non-vegan leather, wool or fur.

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Vegan entertainment

The last area of our everyday lives where humans might exploit animals is broadly named “entertainment”.

Most of them probably haven’t even crossed your mind — just like movies or TV shows that rely on harming animals like live slaughter or stressing them in any way.

  • Zoos & aquariums: visit an animal sanctuary instead
  • Riding horses, camels or elephants: help out at a shelter to connect with animals or go mountain climbing
  • Circuses: only visit shows that don’t feature any animals
  • Swimming with sea animals: can be harmless when unintrusive in nature but you can just swim or snorkel in open waters instead
  • Pets: skip the breeder and rescue an animal from a shelter instead

Please note that the actual activity should be evaluated and it’s not always animal abuse if an animal is involved.

More vegan guides

Check out the following articles next!

Which vegan swaps or alternatives were new or most helpful to you? Share with us in the comments below and don’t forget to Pin this article here.

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About Alena Handwritten FontAlena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

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