As both consumers and operators adjust to life and business amidst the pandemic, one trend has emerged with strength across categories: plant-based food is bigger than ever, from grocery shelves to restaurant menus. In fact, a growing number of consumers say they identify as “flexitarian” and a whopping 58% want to increase their consumption of plant-based foods (Datassential, August 2020).

Capitalize on this opportunity with plant-based versions of your most popular dishes. Not only are plant-based menu items often perceived to be healthier than traditional meat-based foods, but they can simultaneously replicate the taste, texture and indulgent experience that classic comfort foods provide.

The next wave of plant-based menuing is about exploration and pushing boundaries—from deep-fried banana blossoms and sautéed heart-of-palm tacos to savory jerky, ham and steak substitutes that look and taste like the real thing. If you’re looking to innovate within your customers’ “comfort zones,” decadent yet familiar plant-based recipes are the answer!

As a pioneer in plant-based proteins, Gardein® has always been ahead of the curve. We’ll show you just how versatile our products can be in our latest recipe video. Watch to learn more!

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  • Chef Tips

    The beauty of Gardein® products is in their versatility—they can easily be swapped into your existing recipes to create plant-based versions of patron favorites. Use them across the menu, for every daypart! Here are some tips from the Conagra Foodservice culinary team to get you into a meatless mindset.

Multiple cooking methods.
Gardein® products cook in minutes and can be prepared like traditional proteins. Try brushing with marinade or barbecue sauce when grilling to impart additional flavor along with a smoky finish from the grill!

Easy breading.
Give your Gardein® Chick’n Breasts a crispy coating with minimal time and labor required. Simply coat with toasted bread crumbs and shallow fry.

Focus on texture.
When using Gardein® products in recipes that utilize sauces, it’s best to create texture on the Gardein® products first. With marinara sauce, for example, be sure to sear Gardein® Meatless Meatballs in a sauté pan with a touch of vegetable oil or on a sheet pan in a hot oven before adding to your sauce.

The Quick Dish

The Quick Dish

By The Numbers

The most popularly menued comfort foods can serve as inspiration for plant-based versions that are sure to please your guests.
By The Numbers

Meatless Comfort Classics

From global street food to retro-inspired favorites, any dish can be made plant-based when you start with the right ingredients! Gardein® products serve as the ideal substitute to help you create vegetarian and vegan menu items that appeal to any patron.

Plant-Based Chick’n Tenders

Give your customers the flavor and crunch they won’t forget with this vegan take on fried chicken, featuring seasoned, double-dredged and fried Gardein® Chick'n Breasts served with vegan honey Dijon dipping sauce.

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An unexpected twist on a classic comfort dish, which includes a flaky vegan puff pastry crust filled with savory seasonings, diced Gardein® Chick'n Breast and vegetables folded into a creamy vegan roux, then baked to perfection.

View Recipe


This mouthwatering burger features a Gardein® Ultimate Plant-Based Burger topped with fried green tomato slices, spicy vegan pimento cheese (made with cashews) and a creamy Cajun vegan mayo.

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For a plant-based take on street food, combine Gardein® Ground Crumble with potatoes, peas and carrots as the filling for crispy beefless empanadas.

View Recipe

Follow us on Instragram

You’ll find even more delicious recipe ideas on our Instagram, @conagrafoodservice

Brand Focus

The Gardein® brand was founded as a delicious, simple solution to consumer demand for meatless offerings. Today, we offer a full line of 100% plant-based proteins made with the perfect blend of non-GMO grains and veggies to deliver the taste and texture of real meat. Other brands in the Conagra Foodservice portfolio, like Udi’s® Gluten-Free, help operators easily cater to a range of dietary restrictions.

  • Gardein
  • Udi's


Operator Spotlight

Restaurants around the country are introducing patrons to indulgent, fun and crave-worthy comfort foods—that just happen to be plant-based! Here are some Black-owned operations thriving in the vegan and vegetarian space.

Vurger Guyz (Los Angeles)
Founded by former NCAA athletes, this food truck serves up a fully vegan menu of street food favorites, including burgers, tacos, tots and sweet potato fries.

Conscious Plates (Chicago)
With a mission to empower and feed the community, every dish at this Chicago restaurant is meat-free, dairy-free, soy-free, wheat-free and starch-free. Highlights include their Waffle Supreme Sandwich—a mushroom and wild rice patty, a chickpea egg patty, agave syrup and house sauce between two spelt waffles.

Simply Pure (Las Vegas)
Chef Stacey Dougan created a menu of plant-based cooked and raw dishes that are also food-allergy-friendly, including vegan “chicken” salad lettuce wraps made from almonds and cashews, topped with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and cashew-based Alfredo sauce.

Urban Vegan Kitchen (New York)
The extensive menu in this vegan comfort food spot gives diners the opportunity to build their own bowls and burritos from over three dozen ingredients, or to choose from crafted sandwiches, scrambles, salads, quesadillas and more.