Chef José Andrés’ 7 Best Plant-Based Recipes

During the ongoing humanitarian disasters around the world, celebrated Spanish chef José Andrés has been on the ground to feed countless people through his World Central Kitchen.

The chef has also spoken candidly about how the food system contributes to the climate crisis. Back in 2018, the chef called out the need for diverse solutions, like the Impossible Burger, to feed a growing world population and professed his love for vegetables during an interview at SXSW. “If we’re going to be feeding nine billion [people], we need to be open in many ways,” Andrés said.

“A vegetable … you put it in [your mouth], it’s elegant from the beginning almost to the end,” Andrés added. “Why are we eating meat still?” 

In 2021, Andrés joined the Board of Directors at Good Meat before the company secured historic approval from the FDA and USDA to serve its cultivated chicken—or chicken made from cells without the need to slaughter birds en masse—in the United States. The benefit of making meat this way is a substantial reduction in resource use and greenhouse gas emissions. 

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Last year, Andrés became one of two chefs in the country—and one of the very few in the world—to serve cultivated chicken at his Peruvian fusion restaurant, China Chilcano, in Washington, DC. 

Jose Andrés’ best plant-based recipes

While Andrés uses animal products in his cooking, his vegetable-centric mentality has carried over into many of his projects and recipes. Here are just a few of our favorite recipes that are either vegan or can easily be made without any animal products.

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1Tomato Watermelon Skewers

As the days get warmer, these party-friendly vegan watermelon skewers come together in just a few minutes—or in the time it takes for you to “fillet” and skewer the ingredients. Tomato and watermelon get a hit of sherry vinegar, good Spanish olive oil, lemon juice, and zest, along with a few fresh herbs for a citrusy, refreshing appetizer that is full of Spanish gazpacho charm.

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2Cold Tomato and Bread Salad

Another refreshing recipe that focuses on fresh and ripe tomatoes. Spanish food is about the quality of the ingredients and this salad is all about crusty rustic bread that’s refreshed with verdant bell peppers, scallions, and briny olives, along with sherry vinegar and sweet pimento—both key elements of Spanish cooking. Most of the work in making this salad is in crushing the garlic together with parsley in a mortar and pestle to deliver a complexity of flavor to the entire dish. 

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3Tichi’s Garbanzo Stew

This chickpea stew is a perfect dinner for chillier nights. Andrés’ trick to make the chickpeas extra flavorful is soaking them overnight in water with a pinch of bicarbonate soda (baking soda), which softens their skins and opens them up to absorb maximum flavor. Classic Spanish saffron, pimentón (smoked paprika), and cumin give this stew a depth of flavor while the addition of spinach provides a little greenery. This one’s best sopped up by crusty, toasted bread, maybe slathered with a little vegan butter. 

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4Beefsteak’s Marinated Beet Salad

This recipe comes from Andrés’ Beefsteak restaurant in Washington, DC, which focuses primarily on plant-based fare with only minimal animal products such as dairy and eggs. The burgers are either made with vegan chicken, plant-based protein, or thick-cut vegetable patties made from beefsteak tomatoes or marinated beets. The latter is the inspiration for this salad, which features tender beets marinated for 12 to 18 hours in apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and sugar, black peppercorns, and fresh thyme. 


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5Potato Chip Omelette


A few of the chef’s top recipes are fairly easy to veganize with some of our favorite plant-based swaps. This is a classic Tortilla Española—a traditional omelet—which means the main ingredient is eggs. Lucky for us, there are plenty of vegan stand-ins these days, the most popular of which is mung bean-based Just Egg. The rest of the ingredients here are vegan, including the branded Jose Andrés’ Potato Chips that give this “tortilla” its crunch.

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6Tortilla con Pisto

Pisto is a traditional Spanish dish that’s vegan without modifications. It’s a vegetable stew that consists of tomatoes, zucchini, red and green peppers, and onions, all stewed together until soft. It’s a bit like Ratatouille from France or caponata from Italy. For this dish, Andrés lays the pisto over an egg tortilla—made perfectly with the help of a plate flip trick during the cooking process. Again, Just Egg can easily replace the eggs in this recipe for a fully vegan dish. 

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7Scallops With Roasted Catalan Sauce 

The scallops in this recipe are secondary to the flavorful “Catalan” sauce—which is a traditional red romesco. This sauce is made with bell peppers, plum tomatoes, garlic, Chile peppers, white bread, and blanched almonds, along with some key spices and, of course, high-quality olive oil. The sauce can easily become a flavorful topper for crusty bread, grilled tofu, or even vegan scallops—store-bought or made from trumpet mushrooms, your choice. 

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