The right garnish will take your best vegan recipe to the next level by adding flavor, enhancing aroma, and making them Instagram worthy beautiful. Keep reading for 16 MamaSezz garnish ideas for your favorite plant-based meals.
When most folks hear the word garnish they think of the wee bit of drizzle added to their dish at a fancy restaurant. Pretty but not always that flavorful.
Here at MamaSezz, we believe a garnish should be more than eye candy. Great garnishes bring out the natural flavors and aromas of your best vegan recipes while making your food more visually appealing. (We do, after all, eat with our eyes first.)
19 ways to Garnish Vegan Recipes
These No B.S. (you know bad stuff) garnishes can be added to almost any vegan main dish. Better yet, you can whip ‘em up in advance and keep in your fridge or pantry until you’re ready to jazz up your favorite whole food plant-based recipes.
1. Toasted and roasted seeds
We love using toasted or roasted seeds to garnish a big bowl of soup, salad, or even a bowl of non-dairy ice cream! Don’t forget to add some of our favorite salt-free seasonings before you pop them in the oven.
2. Minced chives
Easy peasy and oh-so-versatile, minced chives go well in everything. Try with pasta dishes, hummus toast, dairy-free mashed potatoes, burrito bowls, summer salads. MamaSezz Corn Chowdah tastes awesome garnished with chives (Pro tip -mince delicate chives right before you want to use as they last longer in the fridge when intact.)
3. Fresh herbs
Fresh herbs are a great last-minute garnish idea for the home chef on the fly. Play around with mint, basil, parsley, cilantro (great for Mexican dishes!), rosemary, sage.
4. Cheezy creamy Mama’s Mac Sauce
Is there anything our dairy-free cheese sauce can’t make better? We’re going to go ahead and say no. A drizzle of our Mama’s Mac Sauce transforms most dishes. Try it on burrito bowls, Mama's Veggie Burgers, or roasted veggies for a creamy, dreamy, flavor boost.
5. Roasted veggies
A healthy way to add a pop of color to your plate. When it comes to roasting veggies, any variety is up for grabs but these are some of our go-tos for garnishing - asparagus, beets, red onion, carrots. Place your roasted veggies on top of mashed cauliflower or potato and sprinkle with your favorite herb (that’s right -- garnish your garnish!).
6. PopcornYes, popcorn as a garnish. What a world! It pairs beautifully with creamy soups. We recommend topping your favorite vegan butternut squash or our MamaSezz dairy-free Corn Chowdah.
7. Toasted coconut
Sweet tooth? Add toasted coconut to your favorite whole food plant-based desserts, like this refined sugar-free fudge brownie! Or even start your day on a sweet note by sprinkling toasted coconut on your oatmeal.
8. Carrot curls
One of our favorite ways to jazz up a salad? Spiralize some carrots to make pretty curls! And for those trying to up their hydration game, carrot curls are also a great way to add flavor (and vitamins) to your H20.
9. Grated beet
Another great addition to your best vegan salad recipes is grated beets. Or look beyond greens and pile on top of a veggie burger. Beets aren’t just eye-catching, this delicious root vegetable is high in heart-healthy dietary nitrates which can boost athletic performance and blood flow.
10. Lemon rings, lemon peel, lemon wedge
Add zip (or zest) to your table with lemons. Whether you’re making rings, using the peel, or tossing in a whole wedge, the acidity of lemon is perfect for sharpening the flavors of your favorite beverages, sweet sauces, and savory soups. Pro tip - with lemon zest, grate at the last minute to prevent the shreds from drying out.
11. Oranges, rings, peels, and wedges
While we’re on the subject, don’t be afraid to explore the more in the world of citrus fruit. Oranges pair well with sweet or savory. Add new life to soups by spritzing fresh orange juice just before serving. Freshen up your salad with orange slices. And of course, pair orange with vegan chocolate for a tasty dessert combo.
12. Olives, sliced green or black olives, or whole.Go to the Mediterranean in your mind by adding olives. Top off your vegan burrito bowl with minced kalamata olives. Use sliced green olives to spruce up your cashew cream cheese toast. Toss any variety in your pasta salad (or any salad really). Layer Kalamatas with peppers, mushrooms, and artichoke on 100% whole grain dough for dairy-free pizza night.
12. PaprikaPaprika has so much more than being the pretty red sprinkle on potato salad. Made from peppers (bell peppers or sometimes hot peppers), there are many varieties of paprika. Experiment with mild, sweet, spicy, and smoked. Good with just about any savory dish, we love to pair it with roasted cauliflower or our dairy-free Hungarian Mushroom Soup.
13. Green peasGreen peas are high in protein and as all kiddos know, the perfect companion to dairy-free mac and cheese. But you can also think outside the box with your green peas. Toss them in your favorite stir-fry or blanch and use as a salad topper. Add them to Asian noodle soup or mash and mix with mint, green onions, and date syrup and spread them in a piece of toast.
14. EdamameEdamame (AKA whole soybeans) is a protein-packed add-on to any salad, stir-fry, soup, even mashed potatoes. You can find in-the-shell and shelled varieties at the grocery store in the freezer aisle.
15. AvocadoLast but certainly not least, avocados are the MVPs of the plant-based garnish world. This buttery fruit (yep, it’s a fruit) can spruce up soups, salads, hummus toast, rice bowls, tacos, sandwiches, and so so so much more.
Key TakeawaysWe like a pretty plate as much as anybody but the perfect garnish takes your vegan dish recipe up a notch on so many levels beyond aesthetics! Look for garnishes that:
- Make your dish more beautiful by adding color and texture.
- Complement the natural flavors of the dish.
- Bring out and enhance the dish’s aromas.
- Choose garnishes for your best vegan recipes you think are fun to eat.