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VEGAN NAAN

Vegan Naan – Easy to make at home, skillet cooked Indian style bread is soft, fluffy and delicious! Perfect for snacking, soaking up soups and stews, or using as a base for mini pizzas and wraps!

top down view of freshly made vegan naan bread stacked on a black plate.

Naan is a popular Indian flatbread served as a snack or part of a main meal. It’s either used to scoop up food or is filled and served stuffed. It’s making me hungry already! :)

Naan dough is leavened with yeast and made with yogurt for a super soft texture. Traditionally it’s baked in a clay oven called a Tandoori. The dough is prepped and slapped across the inside of the hot oven wall, bubbling as it cooks.

If you’ve ever had naan, you know just how delicious it is!

And now you can make it at home with this simple vegan naan recipe complete with full step by step photos to guide you. Homemade naan is super easy to make and so much better than restaurant or store-bought!

What to serve with naan? Use your homemade naan to scoop up Chickpea Hummus or White Bean Hummus, serve alongside Chana Masala or Spicy Red Lentil Dal, make a wrap and fill it with the ingredients for this Falafel Salad, use for this White Flatbread Pizza + Zucchini, or simply eat it as is.

top down view of ingredients needed to make vegan naan bread.

 Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, yogurt is combined into a dough, left to rise and then rolled and cooked, creating an incredibly soft and flavorful Indian flatbread.

Here is everything you’ll need, plus substitution ideas:

  • Flour – I’ve used all-purpose flour, bread flour, spelt flour and a mixture of the last two. All flours worked well, the only difference being the color with spelt baking up darkest. A gluten free flour blend is doable too, although I haven’t tested it myself.
  • Yeast – We’ll be using rapid-rise fast acting yeast. If you only have active dry yeast see notes in the recipe card.
  • Sugar – Organic pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup will be fine. Sugar is necessary to help activate the yeast.
  • Salt – Pref. mineral or sea salt.
  • Water – Unsweetened plant-milk will also work. Just be sure it’s lukewarm before using.
  • Vegan Yogurt – I used Kite Hill’s unsweetened plain yogurt here, use your favorite non-dairy yogurt. In a pinch use vegan buttermilk or vegan mayo works well too (see below).
  • Oil – Use your favorite olive oil, but really any oil will do. Try a garlic infused olive oil for added flavor.

top down view of process of mixing vegan naan bread dry ingredients.

How To Make Vegan Naan

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt, mix to combine.

top down view of process of pouring wet ingredients into flour mixture.

  • In a medium bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, combine the 3/4 cup warm water (between 105 and 115ºF.) with the yogurt and oil.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

top down view of naan bread dough just mixed and shaggy looking.

  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Dough will be rough & shaggy looking and tacky to the touch.

side by side photos of the process of kneading naan bread dough.

  • Knead the dough by pulling the dough ball onto itself about 5 times, and form a ball. It doesn’t have to be a tight ball.

top down view of naan bread dough ball in glass bowl tightly covered with saran wrap.

  • Tightly cover the bowl with saran wrap and let rest in a warm area away from drafts for about 60 – 90 minutes. The warmer the area, the faster the dough will rise.

Tip for faster rising dough: Heat your oven to 200 degrees F, then turn off the oven. Place the dough in the oven, on the center rack, close the door and let the dough rise without disturbing it for 30 minutes or so.

top down view of process of folding dough onto flat surface with flour.

  • Once dough has risen it will have doubled in size, as shown above left.
  • Fill a small bowl with flour and lightly sprinkle a flat surface with flour. Turn dough onto the flat surface and sprinkle with flour (pictured above right). Dough will be tacky.

top down view of process of cutting dough into 6 pieces.

  • Dust fingers with flour and shape the dough into a rectangle, it doesn’t have to be a perfect shape.
  • Cut the dough into 6 pieces, making them as even as possible (again it doesn’t have to be perfect).

top down view of process of rolling vegan naan dough before cooking.

  • When ready to bake, roll a piece into a ball.
  • Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval shape (about 9 x 4 inches), flatting to about 1/8 inch thick. Add more flour as needed to your work area and fingers.

top down view of process of cooking vegan naan bread in a skillet.

  • Get the skillet nice and hot by heating over medium-high heat. Place dough onto the un-greased skillet surface. When bubbles start to appear (above left), flip the naan and cook the other side (above right).
  • Once done brush with melted vegan butter or olive oil (shown below).

Now your vegan naan is ready!

top down view of finished vegan naan bread on a platter and coating with melted vegan butter or oil.

What If My Dough Doesn’t Rise?

If dough doesn’t rise, let it rest a little longer until it does. There could be few reasons for this. Yeast has expired, liquids were too hot, not warm enough spot for rising, or maybe one of the ingredients was too cool and the yeast didn’t activate right away. This happened on my last batch, but ultimately the dough rose after about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

What If I don’t Have Yogurt?

You can use vegan mayo or vegan buttermilk in place of yogurt. I’ve tried both replacements with perfect results.

  • If using vegan mayo, let it come to room temp and use in a 1 to 1 ratio. For acidity, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1/2 – 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • For vegan buttermilk, replace the 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water using warm unsweetened plant milk (almond, coconut milk, soy or oat) instead. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and let rest for 10 minutes to curdle. Use more acid for a tangier buttermilk.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Counter: Once the naan has cooled completely, keep it stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
  • Refrigerator: Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 days, in a covered container or ziplock bag.
  • Freezer: Naan can be frozen in freezer safe containers or plastic bags for up to 2 months. Let thaw before using.
  • Reheat: Warm naan in a toaster oven or microwave.

Serving Suggestions

Soft and chewy naan is super versatile and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Here a few of my favorite options:

top down view of freshly made vegan naan bread stacked on a black plate.

More Homemade Bread Recipes

If you try this Indian flatbread recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

VEGAN NAAN

Easy to make at home, vegan naan bread bakes up pillowy soft and delicious! Perfect for soaking up soups & stews, and as a base for mini pizzas and wraps.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 75 min
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 6
  • Category: Bread, Snack
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Indian

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose, white whole wheat, spelt or gluten-free flour blend)
  • 2 teaspoons organic pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon rapid-rise fast acting yeast (if using active yeast see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water (between 105 and 115ºF.)
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy yogurt, at room temp
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

garnish

  • melted vegan butter or garlic infused olive oil
  • freshly chopped parsley or cilantro

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt, mix to combine.

Mix wet ingredients: In a medium bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, combine the 3/4 cup warm water (between 105 and 115ºF.) with the yogurt and oil.

Combine dry & wet: Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Dough will be rough & shaggy looking and tacky to the touch.

Quick knead: Knead the dough by pulling the dough ball onto itself about 5 times, and form a ball. Doesn’t have to be a tight ball.

Cover and let rise: Tightly cover bowl with saran wrap and let rest in a warm area away from drafts for about 60 – 90 minutes. The warmer the area, the faster the dough will rise. Once dough has risen it will have doubled in size.

Turn dough out: Fill a small bowl with flour and lightly sprinkle a flat surface with flour. Turn dough onto the flat surface and sprinkle with flour. Dough will be tacky.

Shape dough: Dust fingers with flour and shape the dough into a rectangle, it doesn’t have to be a perfect shape.

Cut dough: Cut the dough into 6 pieces, making them as even as possible (again it doesn’t have to be perfect).

Roll & flatten: When ready to bake, roll a piece into a ball. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval shape (about 9 x 4 inches), flatting to about 1/8 inch thick. Add more flour as needed to your work area and fingers.

Heat skillet and bake: Get the skillet nice and hot by heating over medium-high heat. Place dough onto the skillet surface. When bubbles start to appear (above left), flip the naan and cook the other side.

Garnish: Once done brush with olive oil or melted vegan butter and enjoy!

Makes 6

Store: Leftover naan can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days on the counter. To keep longer, freeze for up to 2 months.

Notes

If using active dry yeast instead of rapid rise:

  • Mix wet: In a medium bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100°F). Let set for 10 minutes, or until frothy. Once the liquid is frothy, add the yogurt and olive oil.
  • Mix dry: In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • Combine the wet ingredients to the dry and follow remaining instructions as directed.

Yogurt substitute: You can use vegan mayo or vegan buttermilk in place of yogurt. I’ve tried both replacements with perfect results.

  • If using vegan mayo, let it come to room temp and use in a 1 to 1 ratio. For acidity, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice of 1/2 – 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (the full tsp. of vinegar will make it tangier).
  • For vegan buttermilk, replace the 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water using warm unsweetened plant milk (almond, coconut milk, soy or oat) instead. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar and let rest for 10 minutes to curdle. Use more acid for a tangier buttermilk.

Dough didn’t rise: If dough doesn’t rise, let it rest a little longer until it does. There could be few reasons for this. Yeast is expired, not warm enough spot, or maybe the one of the ingredients was cool and the yeast didn’t activate right away. This happened on my last batch, but ultimately the dough rose after about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.

Keywords: vegan naan, naan bread, Indian flatbread

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39 Comments

  1. Thank you so much! This was just the recipe I needed tonight. I made a gluten free version and added some vegan garlic butter while it was hot. The only problem was I couldn’t stop eating it.

  2. Is it possible to use chick pea flour instead of all purpose flour? Would it be the same amount used? Thank you so much!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Angela! I’ve never tried replacing the flour with chickpea flour and would only suggest replacing with 25% chickpea flour. I’m just not sure how it would turn out with a 1 to 1 replacement since chickpea flour doesn’t contain gluten. Hope that helps!

  3. Super simple recipe, very easy to prepare and cook- I use either a cast iron frying pan or tawa and both are great. The naan bubbles up nicely when the pans are pre-heated and hot. I always use nigella seeds rolled on top for a lovely authentic taste. My son likes vegan garlic butter on top and I love peshwari naans. I mix an equal amount (3-4 tbsp) of microwave softened coconut cream and brown sugar together with a few teaspoons of almond flour and cut sultanas plus crushed seeds from a few cardamom pods. This mixture is smoothed onto the surface of a rolled naan and then I fold it in like an envelope so the mixture is on the inside, and roll again then cook as normal. Thank you for this awesome recipe as I really missed naans after becoming vegan.

  4. First and Foremost,
    This is such an amazing recipe with easy to follow instructions!! Thank you!!! I’m half way through, and just had to sneak a taste. So great.

  5. Try adding dry minced onion and nigella seed

  6. I made a batch of these last night and even my “wonttryanythingnew” stepson ate some!! This is definitely going to be a recipe I make often. Thank you for sharing!

  7. kiwicottage says:

    I LOVE this soft dough to work with. My friends were little piggies eating it as fast as I made them! Best naan recipe ever… Thank you.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you all loved the recipe! Thanks for sharing and enjoy often!

  8. Susan Alexander says:

    Hi there. I want to make this but have no yeast. Can I do it with bicarb 0r baking powder I ahead? Thanks! Susan

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Susan! I’ve seen on the web that you can replace yeast with other leavening agents, but I never tried it and am not certain it would work with recipe. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

  9. Katerina-Anastasia says:

    Could I add buckwheat or oat flour instead of all-purpose white whole wheat flour ?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, you can certainly try. Buckwheat flour can be used 1 – 1 for all-purpose. The oat flour is a little different and you may need to use slightly less as it really absorbs moisture. This recipe is pretty forgiving, so give it a shot! Do let us know how it goes, it’s would be super helpful to others and us!

  10. I made a 1/2 portion and I used 1/2 all-purpose flour and 1/2 whole-wheat flour. I also pressed garlic and cilantro into one side of the naan before putting it on the skillet. The naan was super fluffy and yummy!

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