30 Ways Tabitha Brown Puts A Vegan Twist On Classic Dishes

Tabitha Brown has undoubtedly been one of the most pivotal people on the vegan food scene in the past few years. Besides being an Emmy-nominated actress, mother, wife, and best-selling author, Brown regularly shares vegan cooking tips with her over 13 million social media followers. Her sweet, motherly personality, charisma, and sassy wit have been pivotal in growing her expanding food empire. She is now the host and producer of Netflix's first vegan cooking show, "It's CompliPLated," and children's show, "Tab Time." She has also partnered with spice brands McCormick and Target to offer spice blends and home goods for outfitting every kitchen — plant-based or not.

Brown's plant-based recipes are purposefully approachable and timeless; she's found tons of creative ways to outfit staple home recipes with wholesome vegan ingredients that don't skimp out on the flavor. Here are some of our favorite cooking tips from Tabitha — 'cause that's our business.

Substituting the meat in tacos with pecans

In an interview with Eater, Tabitha Brown shared that although a lot of people use walnuts as a meat substitute in tacos, she sticks to pecans. She boils the nuts with garlic for about 12 minutes before draining the water and blending them with chopped bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and seasoning.

Then, Brown transfers the filling to a skillet, where she cooks it. "It browns really nicely and it's so flavorful; it's a really great meat substitute," she said. "Most people who try it don't even know the difference."

Using mushrooms to replace scallops and seafood

The reality is that many people miss certain foods when going plant-based, including Tabitha Brown. "I'm vegan, but my truth is that I always, always, always — did I say always — miss crab legs, like lobster, and shrimp," she shared in a TikTok video.

She makes a simple swap with enoki mushrooms to scratch the itch for seafood. Brown cuts the base off the mushrooms and tosses them with olive oil, nori furikake seasoning ("For extra seafood flavor"), garlic powder, and Old Bay. Then, she cooks the mushrooms in a skillet and serves them with her favorite seafood dipping sauce. 

Crafting a super creamy mac and cheese with nuts, plant milk, and squash

Mac and cheese is a staple at holiday gatherings — including Tabitha Brown's Thanksgiving. The social media star makes her recipe by cooking strips of butternut squash in broth with a few potato wedges and seasoning until soft.

Then, she transfers the mixture to her blender, adding vegan sour cream (or vegan yogurt) to make the mixture super creamy. She finishes the sauce off with a bit of shredded vegan cheese. From there, Tabitha notes that the recipe can be eaten creamy off the stovetop or baked with a bit more vegan cheese and seasoning sprinkle. 

Cooking carrot bacon in your air fryer

Carrot bacon is arguably the food that put Tabitha Brown on the map. Not only does it crisp up on the edges and satisfy that textural component of bacon, but the blend of seasonings also makes the flavor of this vegan alternative absolutely sublime. To make her recipe, she places her thinly peeled carrot strips in a marinade made with liquid smoke, maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder for a while before cooking the strips in her air fryer for about five minutes.

Swapping jackfruit for cheesesteak

It's no surprise that one of Tabitha Brown's most popular ingredients to work with is jackfruit. The neutral-flavored, stringy fruit is the perfect texture for pulled "pork," and as Brown suggests, also for a vegan cheesesteak. While she prepares her husband's sandwich with Impossible Meat, she makes her own with canned jackfruit.

After rinsing and pressing the moisture out, she seasons the fruit with peppers, onions, and mushrooms in a skillet until the jackfruit starts to break into smaller pieces. She then adds dairy-free mozzarella, melts it down, and spoons it onto a vegan-mayo-slathered grinder roll.

Incorporating mushrooms and chickpeas in angel eggs

In an exclusive interview about the delicious vegan food in her new cookbook, Brown shared that the most meaningful dish to her was her twist on deviled eggs — called angel eggs. "It's one of my most popular recipes. It was one that did not exist anywhere in the world, and now people make it all the time," she explained.

She starts the recipe with white mushrooms soaked in pickle juice with a touch of black salt: An ingredient that will change your vegan recipes forever. As for the yolk, Brown combines processed chickpeas with mustard, mayonnaise, sweet relish, and seasonings. After scooping the chickpea mixture into the mushroom cap, she finishes the recipe with a sprinkle of paprika.

Vegan ingredients make an upgraded elote

Elote, or street corn, is a popular dish in countries like Mexico. But vegan mastermind Tabitha Brown has a way to make this recipe vegan, at home, and best of all — in an air fryer. She coats raw corn cobs with lemon-infused olive oil and her Sunshine seasoning before nestling them in the air fryer for 15 minutes.

Then, Brown covers each corn cob with vegan mayonnaise, roasted garlic seasoning, and chili powder. She also explains that viewers can add a sprinkle of Tajin or cilantro for an extra flavor bite.

Putting vegan butter on for peaches and biscuits

Tabitha Brown recounts that she has fond memories of her family making apples and biscuits before church, but her recipe rendition uses peaches instead. "These are canned biscuits, 'cause Tab don't bake, and that's my business," she said in a TikTok video of the recipe. Meanwhile, Brown substitutes regular butter for vegan butter and fresh peaches for canned, rinsed ones.

She then cooks down the peaches with cinnamon, nutmeg, and bourbon maple syrup until slightly brown. Lastly, she stuffs each of the biscuits with the peach mixture and a little bit of vegan butter on top, along with a buttery maple glaze.

Making vegan tuna salad with carrot pulp and jackfruit

If you're a fan of carrot juice and have a ton of leftover pulp lying around, put it to good use with Tabitha Brown's vegan tuna salad. She mixes pre-cooked, leftover jackfruit with the carrot pulp and a spoonful of vegan mayo to bind it together.

She also seasons it with sweet relish, dill weed, onion, garlic powder, black salt, and nori furikake for a fishy flavor. Brown explained in her TikTok video that the recipe could be made with either the pulp or the jackfruit, but she used both to use up the food left in her kitchen.

Upgrading potato salad with black salt and vegan mayo

Everyone has a different potato salad variation, but we would argue Tabitha Brown's is the best. She adds vegan mayonnaise, sweet relish, finely chopped onion, celery, and yellow mustard to her potatoes.

The staple ingredient in her recipe, though, is black salt — which has an egg-like, sulfuric flavor. Brown also adds a ton of garlic powder, as she does with almost all of her recipes, and smoked paprika for color.

Swapping regular yogurt for vegan yogurt in a parfait

Yogurt parfaits are a light, easy breakfast to start your day on the right foot. Tabitha Brown's veganized recipe rendition uses her favorite granola, dairy-free yogurt, and fruit like peaches, blackberries, and sliced strawberries. 

Although she uses Forager's vanilla cashew yogurt, Brown also recommends other types, including oat, coconut, or almond-based products. "We gon' layer it up," she instructs in her TikTok video, before dipping a spoon in and enjoying her creation. 

Powering tacos with legumes

Legumes don't only provide a boost of fiber and protein, but they can also provide a unique texture to dishes. Tabitha Brown uses legumes, specifically chickpeas, for her Taco Tuesday special.

Brown begins by draining and rinsing her chickpeas before adding the beans to the food processor with shiitake mushrooms, red onion, garlic, bell peppers, and spinach. Once it's loosely pulsed, with chunks of all the ingredients remaining, she cooks the mixture with taco seasoning in a skillet. She tops her tortilla with kale, avocado slices, pico de gallo, salsa, and lime juice.

Buying a chick'n alternative for quesadillas

Although Tabitha Brown makes a lot of her vegan ingredients in-house, some of her recipes also feature store-bought ingredients. In her chick'n quesadilla recipe, she uses Sweet Earth Foods' Mindful Chick'n Strips. "It's called chick'n... that mean it ain't real," Brown said in her TikTok video

She cooks the meat substitute in a pan with mesquite-flavored oil and seasoning, noting that viewers only have to cook the protein until it has brown flecks. She piles the quesadilla high with both cheddar and mozzarella, spinach, and her cooked chick'n pieces.

Using vegan folded egg and sausage for a breakfast skillet

Tabitha Brown offers a lot of breakfast-for-dinner content on her TikTok page, including a recipe for a skillet dish made with layers of red potatoes, shallots, and mushrooms. Brown keeps it simple by adding in some vegan folded egg pieces, vegan sausage, and chopped spinach.

She tops her nutritious breakfast bowl off with sliced avocado and a spoonful of salsa. This quick and easy meal is perfect for mornings on the go, or when you're craving non-vegan breakfast staples. 

Adding many different types of vegan cheese for a comforting grilled cheese sandwich

The one food that vegans tend to miss a lot is grilled cheese. But Tabitha Brown has an easy way to make extra creamy grilled cheese — that's also 100% vegan.

She makes her vegan pepperoni grilled cheese with golden wheat bread, vegan butter, a slice of vegan provolone, shredded vegan cheese (on top of the sandwich), and a layer of vegan pepperoni. "You got to fry that pepperoni and cheese into the bread," Brown explained in her TikTok.

Swapping out the seafood for seasoned tomatoes in a poke bowl

Poke bowls are a wholesome lunch idea and Tabitha Brown has the perfect way to make the recipe vegan. Her vegan poke salad bowl includes cubed tomatoes as the salmon or tuna replacement. She notes in a TikTok video that removing the skin from the fruit and seeds is optional, but she prefers to leave both. 

Brown seasons the tomatoes with coconut aminos (a soy sauce alternative), chili garlic sauce, and nori furikake for fishy flavor. Brown explains that the tomatoes need to sit for at least ten minutes, but as long as overnight, to soak in the flavor. Her bowl features chopped kale, spicy kimchi, snap peas, cucumber, bell pepper, and avocado, but we'd argue that tomatoes are the star.

Seasoning hearts of palm for fish tacos

Hearts of palm are a unique ingredient often sold in the canned section of the grocery store. Per Tabitha Brown, you can make this vegetable into the base of fish tacos. 

In a video she shared with her followers, she instructs how to slice the pieces into sticks and season them with nori furikake and taco seasoning. The filling, including sliced peppers and onions, has the same stringiness as a fish filet. Brown complements the fillings with a generous serving of avocado, pico de gallo, salsa, and cilantro. 

Upgrading crab cakes with jackfruit and hearts of palm

Crab cakes are a delicious summer appetizer, but there's nothing that can replace crab — or can there be? According to Tabitha Brown, the best replacements for crab are jackfruit and hearts of palm. 

She adds the two canned ingredients with celery to a food processor before seasoning them with lemon juice and nori furikake for a fishy undertone. She also uses coconut shreds, panko breadcrumbs, and mayonnaise to help bind the cakes together. Then, she cooks the patties in the air fryer until lightly golden.

Transforming your breakfast scramble with chickpeas

There are tons of egg replacements out there — from tofu to bottled JUST egg. Tabitha Brown instead uses a less mainstream ingredient: chickpeas. She adds canned chickpeas, mushrooms, onion, peppers, and spinach to a food processor with seasoning and black salt for an eggy undertone. 

Brown then sautés the ingredients together in a pan until warmed through before topping with avocado slices, Old Bay seasoning, and vegan lemon pepper "parmesan" seasoning. The meal is packed with healthy fiber and protein to keep you full all day long.

Crafting a pot un-roast with jackfruit

Pot roast is a dish known for its pieces of chewy, fleshy meat. Tabitha Brown replaces this staple component of the dish with jackfruit for a pot "unroast."

She cooks the canned jackfruit with a mirepoix, vegetable broth, and traditional pot roast seasonings like rosemary and garlic until the jackfruit starts to shred. This vegan dinner can be served by itself or with a side of vegan mashed potatoes. 

Serving BBQ oyster mushrooms at your next celebration

Vegans don't have to feel left out at the barbecue, especially with Tabitha Brown's rendition of barbecued mushrooms. For all-season cooking, Brown makes this dish in her air fryer. 

She uses oyster mushrooms seasoned liberally with barbecue sauce, vinegar, liquid smoke, coconut aminos, and dry seasoning. The mushrooms that come out of the air fryer are soft, packed with classic barbecue flavor, and are, of course, 100% vegan. 

Adding vegan sausage to make a meaty stuffing

No Thanksgiving table is complete without stuffing — or dressing, as Tabitha Brown calls it. The creator adds ground Field Roast smoked apple and sage sausage to her stuffing for its seasoning and sublime meaty flavor. 

She then mixes the stuffing with her favorite seasoning — garlic powder — and vegetable broth. To help bind the stuffing ingredients together, Brown adds a drizzle of vegan butter to the pan before baking it in the oven. 

Swapping out fish for banana blossoms

Tabitha Brown makes the most of canned ingredients in her kitchens, including banana blossoms. She uses this ingredient as a substitute for fried fish. 

In a video shared on her social media, she explains how she dredges the blossoms purchased from her local Asian market in a fish fry mix seasoned with nori furikake seasoning. Then, Brown transfers the blossoms to a shallow oil fry pan and cooks until the outside is perfectly crispy. 

Frying oyster mushrooms instead of pork chops or chicken

There's no dish like Sunday night fried chicken. In Tabitha Brown's house, though, this chicken is made from oyster mushrooms. 

This type of mushroom tastes similar to chicken because of its umami flavor and high stalk-to-cap ratio. Brown fries her oyster mushrooms with breading in shallow oil, but you may also consider adding this mushroom to your air fryer for a mess-free and low-oil dinner idea. 

Substituting ground beef for a meat substitute in meatloaf

Every house makes its meatloaf differently. Tabitha Brown makes her meatless meatloaf with a ground meat substitute — like Beyond Beef or Impossible grounds. 

To help bind her meatloaf together, Brown adds breadcrumbs and two tablespoons of ground flax seed into the meat with a splash of water. She also uses a ton of different veggies to help keep the loaf moist and impart some vegetal flavors and a crunchy texture.

Using lobster mushrooms instead of chicken

It's easy to see that Tabitha Brown loves cooking with different kinds of mushrooms. This mushroom, which Brown explains in a TikTok video, "[doesn't] live in the sea, it lives in the woods." 

She slivers the red mushroom into pieces and seasons it with vegan butter, nori furikake, garlic powder, coconut aminos, and chili garlic sauce. After letting the mushrooms cook down with the sauce, she adds it as a topping on her salad with a bit of vegan "honey" mustard dressing.

Satisfying a seafood craving with vegan shrimp

Tabitha Brown is always looking for ways to satisfy her vegan seafood craving. She likes to use vegan shrimp, sold in a frozen package. "Lord have mercy, they look like real shrimp — but these shrimp can't swim," she commented in a TikTok video detailing how she uses the ingredient in her kitchen. 

Brown seasons the shrimp with nori furikake, garlic powder, and an Old Bay and paprika blend. While the shrimp are cooking on a cast iron skillet, she seasons with butter and the seasoning mixture. She uses the seafood substitute for tacos, but we could also see this recipe being used for a salad, too.

Veganizing French toast with JUST Egg

How do you make French Toast when you don't have the egg in the custard? Tabitha Brown has found a way — with a little help from bottled JUST Egg. 

This product is made with mung bean protein and contains no animal products. She uses vegan raisin bread coated with JUST Egg and cinnamon-nutmeg-chia seasoning. Once the bread is cooked until golden brown, she covers the slices in powdered sugar, sliced banana, and syrup.

Wrapping up a spicy tuna roll with carrots

While you can eat vegan sushi with just avocado and cucumber, Tabitha Brown has found a way to upgrade sushi with a fish replacement. Her rendition of a vegan spicy tuna roll includes carrot pulp mixed with vegan mayo, nori furikake, and chili garlic sauce. 

She rolls the mixture in a moistened seaweed sheet with avocado and chopped cucumber. Not only will you have inexpensive vegan sushi, but you'll also have some spare carrot juice.

Filling a vegan lasagna with vegan sausage and veggies

The easiest way to say "I love you" is with a comforting plate of lasagna. Tabitha Brown shares the love with her followers with her veganized recipe, which includes no-bake green lentil lasagna sheets (for extra plant-based protein), crumbled vegan sausage, peppers, onions, spinach, and crimini mushrooms. S

he adds all the filling ingredients to the food processor before sautéing it in a pan for about seven minutes. Then she layers the lasagna with sauce, filling, and vegan cheese (pepper jack, cheddar, and mozzarella shreds) before baking until molten and cheesy.