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Jun 15, 2021

No Soy? No Problem! Designing a Soy-Free Vegan Menu

If you’re designing a vegan menu, you want to include as many diners as possible. That includes diners who have an aversion or allergy to soy. Plenty of vegan foods contain soy, but some alternatives can suit them just fine. Let’s take a look at some popular vegan foods and soy alternatives that organic restaurants can use instead.

Soy Milk

Soy milk has become a popular alternative for diners who want to cut dairy out of their diet. Whether they are lactose intolerant or simply don’t like the fat that comes with dairy milk, soy milk can be a good addition to coffee or a key baking ingredient. However, if soy is a problem for you as well you need to look into other dairy alternatives.

Fortunately, there are many options in this category. You can offer nut milk, like almond or cashew, oat, or rice milk. You may even find that some menu items go just fine with coconut milk or hemp milk. Your diners who don’t like soy will appreciate the extra effort you’ve went.

Meat Alternatives

If you’re offering vegan food, your menu likely offers a variety of meat alternatives and substitutes. Tofu and tempeh are versatile and ideal for so many types of dishes in many cultures. Faux meats, like “Beyond” meats and the “Impossible” burger have experienced stark rises in popularity.

However, tofu and tempeh are made with soybeans. Some of the ingredients in other meat substitutes could also be soy-based. You may need to get creative with some other menu offerings. Portabella mushrooms can make for a great burger substitute. Chickpeas can be an ideal, high-protein option as well.

You can also look into seitan. This is another versatile meat substitute, but it’s made with wheat flour gluten and many varieties do not add soy at all.


This shelled bean may resemble peas, but it’s a soybean. Edamame is becoming a popular ingredient that has been rising in popularity. You might be adding it to rice and salad dishes on your menu right now! You need some alternatives, like lima beans, peas, or fava beans, for your customers who want to avoid soy.

Miso and Soy Sauce

These are common additions to many meat and rice dishes, but they’re not going to fly with customers who are going soy-free. Miso is made from fermented soybeans. As for soy sauce, it’s right there in the name, isn’t it?

There are different types of miso out there that you can sub in, including some that are based on chickpeas instead of soybeans. As for soy sauce, you can try something made with coconut or a different kind of distinctly flavorful sauce, like Worcestershire sauce.

For More Vegan Menu Ideas

If you’re in restaurant management and want to know more about how you can attract diners of all kinds, we can help. Visit the Organic Restaurants website and blog to learn more about vegan options, soy-free items, and other healthy food items. We’ll help you vary up your menu!

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