11 Vegan Pork Recipes Better Than the Real Thing

11 Vegan Pork Recipes Better Than the Real Thing

Pulled pork sandwiches, barbecue ribs, and sweet and sour pork are quintessential weeknight dinners. And, you can enjoy them even if you don’t eat meat. These vegan recipes show not only how easy it is, but also how versatile plant-based cooking is. But first, how do you make pork dishes without the pork?

Vegan Substitutes for Pork

There are several ways to replace pork, but it all depends on what type of recipe you want to make. If you’re recreating a recipe that uses pulled pork, opt for jackfruit or king oyster mushrooms — the large stems can be shredded with a fork. This leaves you with a texture similar to shredded meat.

In many cases, it’s all about cooking your pork substitute in the same flavors as the traditional dish. So, you can use seitan, a type of plant-based meat made from vital wheat gluten, for things such as vegan sausages and ribs. Meatier mushrooms like chanterelles, shiitake, or even minced creminis can also stand in for pork in a variety of dishes. Even lentils, when seasoned just right, can replace ground pork.

11 Amazing Vegan Pork Recipes

From vegan pulled pork to barbecue ribs, chorizo, and char siu buns, here are 11 vegan pork recipes to try your hand at. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get cooking.

Jackfruit > pork. | Love and Lemons

1. Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwich

Jackfruit, a large subtropical fruit that’s popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, has a meaty texture that’s uncanny to pulled pork when done right. In this recipe, it’s cooked in a smoky homemade barbecue sauce until tender, then served on buns with quick slaw. It’s great for parties and weeknight dinners — especially since you can prep the jackfruit ahead of time.

Get the recipe here.

Tender seitan meets sweet and savory barbecue sauce. | Avant Garde Vegan

2. Vegan Sticky BBQ Ribs

These vegan ribs are made from seitan, a plant-based meat made from wheat gluten, and are slathered in a sticky cola-infused barbecue sauce. The seitan has a realistic, meaty texture just like the real thing and is perfect for pairing with all of your favorite barbecue sides.

Get the recipe here.

Sweet, sour, and oh-so-good. | Asian Inspirations

3. Vegan Sweet and Sour Pork

This sweet and sour pork dish is so simple, it’ll become part of your regular dinner rotation. Soy meat replaces pork (use textured vegetable protein) and is fried to crispy perfection before being tossed in a chili sauce. It’s then served with a stir-fry of bell peppers and pineapple chunks for the ideal balance of sweet and sour.

Get the recipe here.

Use chanterelle mushrooms to replace pork. | Veggie Society

4. Vegan Carnitas

These meat-free carnitas feature all of the flavors of the classic Mexican dish without the pork. Chanterelle mushrooms are cooked on the stovetop with cumin, coriander, garlic, chili powder, and a tangy orange gravy. If you can’t fine chanterelles, use king oyster, shiitake, or jackfruit. Serve with chimichurri sauce, a squeeze of lime juice, and fresh cilantro.

Get the recipe here.

Lentils and mushrooms stand in for ground pork. | Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures

5. Vegan Ragù

Traditional ragù has nothing on this meatless wonder. This whole food, plant-based version of a traditional Italian dish is made with fresh fennel, button mushrooms, lentils, and red wine. It’s also free from oil, sugar, and highly processed ingredients.

Get the recipe here.

A polish classic gets a meat-free update. | Connoisseurus Veg

6. Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

These budget-friendly vegan cabbage rolls feature a savory, smoky quinoa and lentil filling inside tender leaves, baked in homemade tomato sauce until warm and bubbly. You can also make this dish the night before — set everything up in the baking dish, cover, and bake according to the directions the next night.

Get the recipe here.

Perfect for Taco Tuesdays. | Sweet Cannela

7. Vegan Chorizo

This vegan chorizo is made from crumbled tofu and mushrooms instead of pork, but it doesn’t miss out on flavor and texture. It’s cooked with guajillo, árbol, ancho chilies and plenty of garlic and spice. To make chorizo and potato tacos, simply cook a couple of potatoes, cut them up, and add them to the skillet.

Get the recipe here.

All of the authentic taste of a traditional Chinese pork bun. | Woks of Life

8. Vegan Char Siu Bao

Char siu bao, or Cantonese pork buns, can be steamed or baked. This baked version features dairy-free milk bread — made with coconut oil instead of heavy cream — filled with savory tofu that tastes like roast pork. The bread is also like a blank canvas, meaning you can add any other filling you’d like.

Get the recipe here.

Easy to make with an oil-free version. | It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

9. Vegan Italian Sausage

Perfect for grilling, pizzas, pasta, and more, these vegan Italian sausages are made from seitan and flavored with spices and savory sun-dried tomatoes. Use them any way you would use traditional Italian sausage.

Get the recipe here.

Warm up with a bowl of vegan pozole. | Dora’s Table

10. Vegan Pozole Rojo

Pozole is a hearty, spicy Mexican soup traditionally made with pork shank. But in this recipe, jackfruit is the perfect replacement. It features tender pulled jackfruit, hominy, guajillo, árbol, and ancho chilies, and zucchini. Pozole rojo is all about the toppings — serve alongside a plate of minced white onion, sliced red radish, green cabbage, tostadas, and oregano.

Get the recipe here.

So meaty, you won’t believe it’s vegan. | Full of Plants

11. Vegan Braised Pork Belly

This vegan pork belly is made from plant-based meat, fermented tofu, and a layer of bread to recreate the fatty, meaty layers of the real thing. It’s braised in a sweet, salty, and peppery sauce that tastes amazing with rice, noodles, or sauteed greens. The pork itself takes a bit of work to make, but the end result is amazing.

Get the recipe here.