It’s that time of year again!

As you gear up to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, you might be on the prowl for plant-based versions of classic Irish dishes. And, as the luck of the Irish would have it, Love Veg has you covered.

While Irish food has traditionally centered around heavy meats and dairy-based creams, the plant-based movement is giving Irish food a modern overhaul. Soda bread, vegetable stews, and cabbage are the stars of the show…and none require animal cruelty, gut-busting ingredients, or environmental harm. 

Here’s how you can get a taste of the Emerald Isle without sacrificing your health and values. 

Vegan Irish Stew

Serves 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (473ml) vegan stout beer
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 ½ cups baby potatoes, halved (or about 2 regular potatoes and cut into chunks)
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Please note that some people find this recipe bitter. I love the bitter taste, but if you do not like bitter flavors here are my tips: make sure you use a beer you like the flavor of, if you don’t like it before it goes in the soup, you won’t like it in the soup. You can start with less beer to taste or replace the beer completely with a vegan beefless broth. If you find the finished soup too bitter try adding fat such as 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil, or vegan butter and some sweetness such as 1 – 2 tablespoons brown or white sugar, agave, or maple syrup.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and when hot add in the celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and just begins to brown about 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle in the flour. Stir well to coat the veggies, and cook for another minute to heat up the flour. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth, and scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon to get any bits off the bottom. Add in the beer, all of the remaining veggies, tomato paste, and spices. The beer will foam up, but that’s ok, the bubbles and alcohol will cook right out.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the veggies are fork-tender, but not mushy. The stew will be very thick! If you prefer a thinner stew, feel free to thin it out to taste with 1 to 2 more cups of vegetable broth. Remove bay leaves before serving, and enjoy hot. Allow leftovers to cool and store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Vegan Irish Mashed Potatoes (Colcannon)

Serves 4


  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups full fat coconut milk
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1/2 small white onion, minced
  • 1 cup sliced brussels sprouts
  • 1 small leek, white part only, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium pot, add the potatoes, coconut milk, half of the garlic, butter and salt to taste. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Give the potatoes a stir and turn down to simmer and cook for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the brussels sprouts mixture. Heat a cast iron skillet or sauté pan to hot. Add the coconut oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions, leeks, and the remaining garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the brussels sprouts, mix to combine well. Stirring frequently, continue to cook the brussels sprouts until soft but still bright green. Set aside.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the potatoes into a ricer and rice, saving the cooking liquid in the pot. Then pour the liquid a little bit at a time into the riced potatoes, folding in each time to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the brussels sprouts mixture to the mashed potatoes, gently stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Vegan Irish Soda Bread

Serves 10


  • 1 ¾ cups plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Heat your oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor bowl, combine whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pulse a few seconds to combine.
  4. Chop the vegan butter into cubes and add to the flour. Pulse until it resembles a coarse meal, about 10 or so seconds. Add the raisins, orange zest, flaxseed meal, and cornstarch. Pulse to combine. Pour this into a mixing bowl and create a well in the middle.
  5. Pour the soy buttermilk mixture vegan milk into the center of the bowl and stir from the center outward, incorporating the flour as you go.
  6. Knead the dough in the bowl, only to incorporate additional flour until you have worked it all in and a dough ball forms. Don’t knead too much.
  7. Place the dough ball on your prepared pan. Make sure some raisins are popping through the top. If not grab some from the bottom and push them into the sides and top, for a more rustic finished loaf. Use a knife to cut an X into the top.
  8. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. When you tap the top of the loaf, it should have a hollow sound. That lets you know it’s done.
  9. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving warm.

Chef’s Tip: If the top crust starts to get too dark, create a “tent” using aluminum foil to protect the top

Vegan Irish Hand Pies

Servings: 15 hand pies


For the hand pie wrapper

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 12 tablespoons vegan butter
  • Ice cold water

For the filling

  • 1 tablespoon oil (any neutral oil)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 medium potatoes (either red or yellow. Cut into small cubes)
  • 1 cup cabbage (cut into small pieces or shreds)
  • 14 oz brown lentils (cooked or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or oregano)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce. Skip if soy-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 scallions (finely chopped)


Make the pie dough

  1. Make the pie dough by whisking together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the vegan butter until it is evenly dispersed and there are no pieces larger than peas.
  2. Drizzle in ice-cold water while mixing with a fork until the dough comes together. Form it into a ball as best as you can. Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or longer.

Make the filling

  1. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over medium heat and stir the garlic into it. When the garlic turns lightly golden and aromatic, add the potatoes with salt and ground black pepper. Saute for a couple of minutes until the potatoes start caramelizing.
  2. Stir in the cabbage and saute for five minutes or until the cabbage wilts and the potatoes are nearly cooked. Stir in the tomato paste and oregano and mix. Cook the tomato paste for a couple of minutes.
  3. Stir in the cooked lentils, tamari and vegan Worcestershire sauce, if using, and mix with the vegetables. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Cook until the filling is warmed through.
  4. Add scallions, mix them in, and turn off heat. Set the filling aside to cool.

Assemble and bake the hand pies

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius.
  2. Turn out the pie dough on a generously floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on top. You can divide the pie dough in two to make handling it easier. Keep one half refrigerated while you work with the other.
  3. Roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼th of an inch. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter or the lid of a jar to cut out discs of dough. Gather up the dough scraps, roll, and cut out more discs.
  4. Place approximately two heaping teaspoons of filling in the center of one disc. Place a second disc above the disc with the filling and press the edges to seal. Use the tines of a fork to press the edges again, creating a decorative edge. Cut a cross in the center of the pastry using a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Place the hand pies on a baking sheet and brush with some vegan butter, if you wish, to help them get a nice color. Bake 40 minutes or until golden-brown and flaky. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the pies cool slightly before you serve.

Irish Corned Cabbage

Serves 4


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice (see note below)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
  • 4 medium beets, peeled and quartered
  • 4 small to medium waxy potatoes, halved
  • 3 carrots, cut into thirds
  • 8 small onions or shallots, peeled but left whole
  • 1 medium head savoy or green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges through the root
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons drained prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon natural sugar


  1. Combine the water, tamari, garlic, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and paprika in a large saucepan. Wrap the pickling spice, red pepper flakes, and thyme in a small muslin bag or in several layers of cheesecloth. This will make the removal of all the seeds and spices easy. Add the spice bag to the broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Arrange the beets and potatoes on the bottom of the saucepan, making sure the spice bag is submerged in the broth. Arrange the carrots, onions, and cabbage on top of the potatoes and beets. Cover the pot and bring to a boil again, then reduce to a strong simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Uncover, arrange the green beans on top of the cabbage, cover again, and cook until the beans are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, horseradish, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar.
  5. To serve, place the vegetables on a plate and top with the horseradish sauce and a few tablespoons of the cooking broth.

Pickling Spice: The best pickling spice is one that includes coriander seeds, cloves, mustard seeds, bay leaves, dill seeds, and allspice. If you want to make a homemade version, combine 2 tablespoons mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons dried dill seed, 6 whole cloves, 2 broken cinnamon sticks, and 2 crushed bay leaves in an airtight container.