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Vegan menu: what to prepare for a dinner with friends

According to Eurispes’ 35th Italy Report, there are 2.5 million Italians who follow a vegetarian diet and 1.5 million vegans. The 2023 trend, down slightly from the previous year, means that 2.4% of Italians have already opted for an exclusively plant-based diet. 

Vegan menu: 5 good reasons to learn

The plant-based diet is only one element of vegan philosophy, which manifests itself in a lifestyle that avoids any form of animal exploitation. However, the plant-based diet can also be chosen outside veganism and thus be motivated by reasons such as therapeutic indications, health, concern for sustainability or even spiritual causes. 

For all these reasons, anyone should be able to cook a vegan menu, and as far as this may seem from some people’s personal taste, we give you (at least) five good reasons to delve into the subject: 


Among friends invited for dinner, some follow a plant-based diet. It is the best, and probably also the most common, opportunity to show respect for their choices and opt for a vegan menu. It is also the occasion to discover, for you and your friends, new and pleasant flavours. 

Health and wellness

1. A balanced vegan diet is rich in nutrients such as fibres, vitamins and minerals. Knowing how to prepare vegan dishes allows you to experiment with new sources of proteins, antioxidants and healthy fats, promoting health and well-being.

Environmental sustainability

2. Producing plant-based food requires fewer natural resources than producing meat. By reducing the consumption of animal products, you can help mitigate negative environmental impacts.


A vegan menu can be delicious. By experimenting with ingredients such as fresh vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and aromatic spices, you can discover new flavours and combinations that satisfy even the most demanding palates. 


Cooking a vegan menu introduces a wide variety of ingredients into the diet. This contributes to greater nutritional diversity and can break food monotony.

Tips for an irresistible vegan menu

Vegan cuisine has sparked a wave of creativity among professionals around the world, to the point that many chefs have taken on the challenge of creating unique dining experiences without the use of animal-derived ingredients. It is also for this reason that vegan cuisine has transformed from a mere alternative to a rich and satisfying culinary option, based on the innovative use of plant-based ingredients, bold combinations, and advanced cooking techniques.

Luckily for us, you don’t have to be a chef to create a good vegan menu, although it does take some experience to transform fresh and nutritious ingredients into flavourful and satisfying dishes. With the premise that vegan cooking is stimulating an extraordinary production of manuals and insights, let’s try to provide a few tips, and then focus on the topic we know best: pinsa. 

Tomato and basil bruschetta.

A great classic. Whole wheat bread, diced fresh tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper for a light and fresh recipe, perfect as a starter. 

Hummus with raw vegetables.

Hummus is a typical sauce from Middle Eastern cuisine made from chickpeas and tahina. To enhance its taste, you can accompany it with carrot sticks, cucumbers and peppers.

Artichokes alla romana and alla giudia.

Two delicious recipes that are part of Rome’s tradition. Artichokes alla romana are stuffed with garlic, mint and pepper, and then cooked upside down and covered with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil and water. Artichokes alla giudia, originating from Jewish influences on Roman cuisine, are crushed and fried in oil without any batter. 

Milanese risotto (without butter and parmesan).

In the Italian culinary tradition, there are several dishes that can adapt to a vegan diet with a few adjustments. One example is risotto alla milanese, known for its yellow colour due to saffron. To make it vegan, simply replace the creamy finish with butter and Parmesan cheese and use ingredients such as olive oil or vegetable margarine. 

Grilled eggplant with lemon tahina.

Grilled eggplant, topped with a tahina sauce and lemon, is a side dish that adds depth and richness to the menu. It is also a quick dish to prepare and combines intense flavours that can win over diners. 

The different uses of pinsa in a vegan menu

We devoted an in-depth article to vegan recipes with pinsa Romana, in which we emphasized how it integrates perfectly with the principles of the vegan diet and can be made delicious with creative and innovative recipes.

Here we emphasize another aspect, namely its versatility. Pinsa is not just a main course, as we all imagine pizza to be, nor just (in a manner of speaking) an accompaniment like bread. It is perfect as a starter or appetizer, but it can also accompany the main course like a focaccia, perhaps made tastier with extra virgin olive oil and rosemary. It can certainly be the star of the evening, but also the dessert, if you wish. And in all these forms it never strays far from the principles of the vegan diet, and it’s got you covered for the whole dinner. Better than that…

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