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This is our guide to vegan ingredient alternatives, this guide will help resolve many of the questions home cooks have when starting to create vegan recipes.

In this blog post about vegan ingredient alternatives, we are going to help resolve many of the issues that home cooks feel complicate starting to create vegan recipes.

It will help to clear up all those initial questions like “but how do I bake a cake without eggs?” or make “a cheesecake without cream cheese?” and “what are we going to use instead of mince in the spag bol???”

Times have changed

When we started to cook more plant-based and vegan meals 10 years ago, you really had to search far and wide to find easy vegan alternatives to dairy and meat products for home cooks to use. Yes, there was Tofu (that wasn’t easy to find, except in health food shops), Quorn mince or pieces as a meat substitute and some of the Linda McCartney range were available. But we mainly cooked from scratch including as many whole foods as possible. It is still our preferred way to cook but if we just want a cheese and pickle sandwich, a quick midweek meal or an easy freezer tea, then there are now more alternatives than ever to explore.

How the Vegan Ingredient Alternatives list can help you

We also want to help you bake without thinking. We love making cookies, muffins, traybakes and cakes and with the help of your revised plant-based store cupboard, all these ingredients will quickly become second nature to use.

So we’ve done the hard work for you and these quick checklists of vegan ingredient alternatives are a great starting point. This list of vegan ingredient alternatives is by no means fully comprehensive, new products are coming to the market all the time. At the time of writing, these are the ingredients that are readily available in most supermarkets and health food shops.

Vegan cooks and shoppers guide

We are currently working on creating Vegan Cooks and Shoppers Guides to many of the ready-made ingredients in the vegan ingredient alternatives lists. Part of this will be the Which is the best? series in which we will reveal, amongst other incites, our best buy, best tasting and which has the Best Environmental Footprint.

How we wish guides like this had been around when we first started to cook plant-based!

Always remember that you can find delicious recipes for many of these ingredients on our recipe pages.


Vegan Ingredient Alternatives



Tofu – made from soya beans

Textured Vegetable Protein (check for gluten-free versions)

Seitan – made from wheat gluten

Tempah – fermented soya beans





For baking…

Ground Flaxseed

Ground Chia Seeds

Aquafaba – water from cooked pulses, usually chickpeas

Applesauce or banana

Vegan yoghurt

For savoury…

Gram flour – made from chickpeas

Silken tofu



Dairy-Free Spreads

Vegan Butter Blocks

Oils – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, Toasted Sesame Oil, Vegetable Oil

Nut Butters



Plant-Based – e.g., oats, almond, soy, coconut, hazelnut



Nutritional Yeast

Vegan soft cheese

Vegan hard cheese

Homemade vegan cheeses

Vegan cream cheese – see Which is the best vegan cream cheese?










Dairy-free Oat & Coconut Kefir



Oat cream

Cashew cream

Soya Cream

Coconut cream

Squirty Cream






Maple Syrup

Golden Syrup

Fruit Syrups



Most chocolate over 70% cocoa solids is vegan.

Look for vegan on other chocolate bars.

Cacao powder

Cocoa powder



Vegan stock cubes

Bouillon powder




Check ingredients but many shop-bought pastries are made with vegetable oil and are vegan – check ingredients.



Agar-agar powder or flakes



Use Henderson’s Relish instead of Worcester Sauce

Vegan mayonnaise

Homemade vegan mayonnaise


There are many vegan alternative sauces available, many brands are making alternatives of their main ranges. Easy to find is vegan pesto’s, cheese sauces, white sauces…


We are based in the UK and this list of vegan ingredient alternatives is made from our personal experience. Post written 1st Feb 2022.

Have you a copy of our cookbook …

The Plant-Based Family Cookbook


60 Easy & Nutritious Vegan Meals Kids Will Love.

We really want home cooks to explore and enjoy eating delicious plant-based meals, desserts, baking, batch cooking, making easy weeknight meals and starting the day off with amazing breakfasts. That’s why we created The Plant-Based Family Cookbook.





This blog post is part of a series of helpful guides – have a look at what ingredients are key to our recipes in our Plant-Based Cooks Store Cupboard post.


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