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13 California-Inspired Vegan Spring Recipes to Add to Your Menu
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13 California-Inspired Vegan Spring Recipes to Add to Your Menu

From easy date night dishes to your next favorite vegan treat, these vegan spring recipes will have you making a grocery list in no time.

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7 min read

April 11, 2021

The Golden State is known for its innovative approach to food. With all the sunshine and garden-to-table ingredients, vegan spring recipes are pretty much the name of the game here. But vegan spring dishes don’t automatically translate to salads galore. After all, the Golden State has inspired signature tacos, burritos, and pizzas.

From easy date night dishes to your next favorite vegan treat, these vegan spring recipes will have you making a grocery list in no time.

Vegan Food for Spring: Garden-to-Table Recipes You Can Grow and Make Yourself

vegan spring Appetizers

1. Avocado Hummus

Is there anything more Californian than combining avocados with hummus? This healthy and satisfying recipe by Carlsbad Cravings combines the best of guac and hummus. It even has less than five ingredients. Need we say more?

Ingredients

2 medium or 1 large avocado

1 package guacamole seasoning mix

1 cup hummus (regular or jalapeño cilantro spiced)

Lime juice to taste

Vegan Spring Soups

2. Easy Split Pea Soup

A hearty soup from Sweet Simple Vegan is all you need to feel like home. Photo courtesy of Sweet Simple Vegan.

This cozy split pea soup is the perfect weeknight vegan spring dinner recipe. Inspired by the restaurant The Andersen’s, Sweet Simple Vegan shares a healthy recipe that only tastes like a guilty pleasure.

Ingredients

½ medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, diced

10 cups vegetable broth

2 cups split peas

½ teaspoon fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish

Croutons

Parsley, finely chopped

3. Easy Vegan Pho

This easy vegan pho from Detoxinista is un-pho-gettable. Photo courtesy of Detoxinista.

Are you even Californian if you haven’t tried at least 10 different variations of pho? This vegan spring recipe comes from Detoxinista and is as flavorful as they come. Make it in less than an hour, add your favorite toppings, and bon appetit.

Ingredients

Pho Base

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, sliced

3 inches fresh ginger, sliced

2 whole star anise

5 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon ground coriander

8 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Sea salt to taste

Assembly

8 ounces rice noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 green onions, chopped

1 cup mung bean sprouts

½ cup fresh cilantro

1 jalapeño, sliced

Lime wedges, optional

Vegan Spring Salads

4. California Sunset Salad

Yes, this is another delicious recipe from Healthy Happy Life, but who’s counting? The California Sunset Salad is energizing, healthy, and oh so yummy—what seasonal vegan recipes should be all about. The guacamole on top is also *chef’s kiss.*

Ingredients

1 large dinosaur kale, finely chopped

1 beet, peeled and chopped

4 medium carrots, diced

⅓ cup pistachios, chopped

Salad dressing

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

2–3 teaspoons walnut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)

2 teaspoons liquid sweetener of choice (agave, maple, etc.)

¼ teaspoon coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

1–2 teaspoons tahini, optional

Guacamole

1-2 avocados

1 lemon or 2 limes

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

Black rice

⅓ cup black rice

⅔ cup water

A pinch of salt

Garnish

1–2 satsumas, sliced and peeled

1 small tomato, diced

5. California Quinoa Salad

Damn Delicious knew what it was doing when creating the California quinoa salad recipe. Photo courtesy of Damn Delicious.

This recipe from Damn Delicious is a healthier version of the Whole Foods’ favorite. Dare we say it’s even better? From the raisins to the vinegar dressing, this vegan spring recipe is a definite hit.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 mango, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

½ cup edamame, shelled

⅓ cup red onion, chopped

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup raisins

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Zest of 2 limes

6. California Pasta Salad

Always a hit at parties, Culinary Hill's California pasta salad is as flavorful as it gets. Photo courtesy of Culinary Hill.

Chewy noodles, colorful veggies, and a tangy sauce—Culinary Hill strikes again. This recipe does call for a ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, but you can leave it out or substitute for ¼ cashew cheese and still have an equally delicious vegan spring dinner recipe.

Ingredients

1 pound thin spaghetti

2 medium zucchinis, diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

1 large cucumber, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 can sliced black olives, drained

Dressing

1 cup olive oil

½ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup parmesan cheese (leave out for a vegan recipe)

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon celery seeds

¼ teaspoon salt

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Vegan Spring toasts

7. California-Style Smoky-Sweet Tofu Avocado Toast

Experience an explosion of flavors and indulge in California-Style Smoky-Sweet Tofu Avocado Toast. Photo courtesy of Happy Healthy Life.

This savory, crunchy, and flavorful recipe from Healthy Happy Life is unbelievably addictive. Tasty tofu cubes sprinkled over avocado toast, and topped with almond slices—can it really get any better?

Ingredients

2 large slices of sourdough bread

1 avocado, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

1 lemon, sliced into wedges (and zest for topping)

Tofu

½ package extra-firm tofu, cubed

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

⅛ teaspoons smoky paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Almond topping

½ cup sliced almonds

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Salt to taste

8. California Burritos

This California-style vegan burrito recipe from Forks Over Knives makes an easy and nutritious lunch or dinner. You probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry, so what are you waiting for?

Ingredients

½ cup onion, chopped

¼ cup vegetable broth

¾ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 cup corn

¾ cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Sea salt to taste

4 7–8 inch whole grain tortillas

2 cups shredded lettuce (or kale)

½ avocado, sliced

¼–½ cup salsa

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional

Hot sauce to taste, optional

9. Vegan California Panini

Avocado, red onion, tomato, jalapeño... We're already sold. Photo courtesy of This Savory Vegan.

Who doesn’t like a good panini? This Savory Vegan’s panini recipe hits all the right marks. The combination of avocados, tomatoes, and spinach is intensely flavorful, and the kick from the jalapeño seals the deal.

Ingredients

4 slices sourdough bread

2 teaspoons vegan butter

2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese

½ red onion, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

½ jalapeño

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 cup baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Vegan spring entrées

10. Vegan Spicy “Tuna” Sushi

This vegan spicy tuna sushi allows you to enjoy the best parts of the Japanese cuisine guilt-free. Photo courtesy of Fork and Beans.

Fork and Beans is the author of this recipe that has an innovative take on sushi. The vegan spring dish is the perfect prepare-ahead snack for lazy days.

Ingredients

½ cup sunflower seeds, soaked and drained

1 cup dry brown rice

2 nori sheets

¼ cup shredded carrots

½ cucumber, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

Sesame seeds for garnish

Sauce

½ cup cashews, soaked and drained

¼ cup lemon juice

½ nori sheet

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

½ jalapeño

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup water

11. California Inspired Vegetarian Paella

Adding a California twist to the Spanish classic is exactly what makes this paella extra special. Photo courtesy of 101 Cookbooks.

The only thing better than paella is vegetarian paella. This California-inspired take on the Spanish classic packs all the flavors and none of the guilt. Next time you have guests over, rely on 101 Cookbooks’ vegan spring dish to impress.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 carrots, diced

1 bunch of scallions or spring onions

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups paella rice

1 cup sofrito sauce

1½ teaspoons smoked paprika

½ teaspoon saffron threads

3 cups mixed vegetables (asparagus, peas, tomatoes, squash, artichokes, radish)

5 cups vegetable stock

Toppings

Lemon slices

Olives

Toasted almonds

Sliced herbs

Vegan spring sides

12. Beverly Hills Potatoes with Pesto Butter

Domestic Fits sure knows how to put together an easy seasonal vegan recipe. Substitute the butter with a vegan alternative and you’ll have a recipe you’ll keep coming back to. Ready to meet your next favorite snack?

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds miniature potatoes

1–2 cups kosher salt

¼ cup pesto

2 tablespoons vegan butter

13. Pearl Couscous with California Avocados and Crispy Tofu

This yummy recipe was submitted by Sam Zien to California Avocados. You might already know Zien as the owner of the delicious Not Not Tacos joint in San Diego. But, get ready to know him as the author of your favorite Israeli-inspired vegan spring recipe.

Ingredients

1 pound extra-firm tofu

2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1½ cups water

1 cup pearl couscous

3 large shiitake mushrooms

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

½ teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons sriracha

3 radishes, sliced

¼ cup red onion, diced

¼ cup green onion, chopped

⅓ cup tomatoes, diced

3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

2 avocados, diced

Salt to taste

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