As the world becomes more aware of sustainability and more conscious of healthy consumption, an increasing number of people are making the switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Change like that is not a cakewalk. Plant-based alternatives can be pricy, and if you come from a meat-heavy culinary culture, holding fast to your identity can be a struggle.
Still, plant-based diets continue to grow in popularity and visibility, and with fast food Impossible and Beyond burger options, they're starting to become mainstream. Of course, you don't want a veggie burger every night, and finding things to cook that actually taste good is one of the hardest challenges. Not to worry! YouTube is full of friendly chefs making high-grade tutorials to cover all manner of culinary tastes and dishes packed with flavor.
To those thinking of making the switch, those who’ve already made the decision, or those who might just want to eat less meat, here are some carnivore-approved plant-based Youtube cooking channels to make your veg-life journey 100 times easier and tastier.
Beautiful presentation, nutritionally dense meals and over-the-top flavor. That’s what you’re in for with Andrew Barnard’s vegan YouTube cooking channel. This devoted dad’s warm personality and zest for life comes through in each of his videos. Each clip begins with a walkthrough of the recipe, from preparation and ingredient gathering to the full cooking experience. The interesting part? Barnard doesn’t speak one word the entire time. It’s a bit of an ASMR experience, actually. After that, he sits down in his beautiful New York City kitchen and talks you through the meal, complete with substitutions you can make for different preferences or dietary restrictions. Everything is vegan, and you can find more on his website, makeitdairyfree.com. These videos are a pleasure to watch, whether you follow through on the recipe or not!
Looking for another glowing personality to inspire your cooking experience? Nisha Vora of Rainbow Plant Life is your best friend with a meal plan that covers everything from fancy date-night meals to quick-and-easy worknight favorites; many of which are inspired by the Indian dishes she grew up eating with her family (sometimes her parents make an appearance!). Vora also recommends meal prep options to get you through the week with heart, comforting and nutritious meals; as well as shopping hacks to help you save money when you’re at the grocery store.
We’ve all been told time and time again that a vegan diet is incredibly healthy—but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Candice of the Edgy Veg puts her mad genius mind to mastering the flavors and textures of your favorite fast food staples and junk food go-to’s, but she makes them all vegan. She won’t stop until she’s perfected the theory, and you can watch her figure it out along the way. Not only are her recipes life-changing, but her delivery is also hysterical and engaging. You'll want to watch her figure these out, then follow along! If you want even more Edgy Veg at home, check out her cookbook 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes.
Classically-trained chef Gaz Oakley is a Youtuber with more than 53 million views. He made the shift to veganism after taking up a bodybuilder's meaty, protein-rich diet. He soon realized the excessive animal protein wasn't making him feel good, and started looking into plant-based alternatives. A passionate cook, he soon shared his experiments and launched a whole brand that he calls Avant Garde Vegan. His recipes are easy to follow, cost-efficient and absolutely delicious. Ready for more? Oakley is also a published author of vegan cookbooks.
This dynamic twin duo's positive outlook makes plant-based life a breeze. The Happy Pear channel started with a mission to help people eat more vegetarian food while leading happier and healthier lives. Hosts Dave and Steve Flynn have developed an encyclopedic knowledge of how to make plant-based food simple, creative and absolutely irresistible. This channel is a go-to for motivation and easy-to-make recipes for a healthy, plant-based meal.
This aesthetically-pleasing channel is hosted by Ryoya Takashima. The philosophy of this channel is to “eat foods that are good for all people, all creatures and the environment,” believing that “world peace” is possible "through the food choices we make.” With a following of 2.4 million, Takashima’s channel is pleasing to the eyes and the mouth. Learn to make delicious plant-based Buddha sushi bowls, burritos, tacos and more. The versatility of his channel is commendable, from drinks like lemonade, boba and hot chocolate to vegan desserts like matcha cookies, pound cake and lilikoi cheesecake.
Jenne Claiborne is the wonder woman behind this channel. The LA-based cook discovered healthy eating when she made a decision to go vegan in college. She believes the switch made her happier, more energetic and better nourished. Through her Youtube channel, she shares a lot of vegan recipes and healthy eating tips for anyone who wants to join her in a healthier life. She even shares “meaty recipes” for those who crave heftier taste bud satisfaction, suggests vegan snacks, and tells you where to find the best groceries for a vegan household.
This is the perfect channel for vegan newbies. It’s exactly what the name suggests, affordable and quick vegan recipes. Host Rose is on a mission to show the world that vegan food can be cheap, easy and delicious. Her witty personality helps any vegan beginner to feel at ease, and her recipes cater to “broke people who don’t know what they’re doing.” Recipes range from vegan burgers to pasta with delicious vegan sauces and even vegan mozzarella sticks!
There you go! You're ready to make the meal of your life for months on end. When you're ready to take a break, let someone else do the cooking with a visit to one of our favorite vegan restaurants across the country. Looking for more plant-based inspiration? Give a follow to one of our favorite plant-based influencers on social media!
Photography by: Anna Kucher / Getty