Vegan Naan Recipe

By Jessica Hylton -

Learn how to make easy Vegan Naan (Indian flatbread), from scratch! It’s pillowy soft and fluffy, and so delectable. Homemade naan is the perfect side for everything from curries to soups, and you can even use it for wraps!

Plate of vegan naan loaves.

Vegan Naan is a treasured side dish in our household. Indian food has always been one of my favorite cuisines and, needless to say, whenever I order it, I ask for extra naan.

I love ordering extras because it means that after the rest of the takeout is finished, I have naan to eat with my chickpea curry, my lentil curry, and even as a flatbread if I want.

Easy Homemade Vegan Naan

Let’s talk about the characteristics of naan before we get any further. The basic gist is this: it’s chewy, pillowy soft, and perfectly seasoned. Dusted with herbs and garlic, this bread is downright irresistible! You can even add a little parmesan if that’s to your liking.

Naan really exemplifies how easy, delicious, and rewarding it is to make your own homemade bread. I am particularly fond of this recipe because it only takes a little over an hour to prepare (and is resting for the majority of that time), so it really is possible to make it often!

A hand holding a loaf of naan.

What is Naan Bread?

Naan is a fluffy, leavened (made with yeast) flatbread that is usually baked in the oven. It’s chewy, soft, a touch sweet, and seasoned with a sampling of herbs and spices.

Note that this time, though, we’re going to make the naan in a cast iron skillet – so no need to preheat the oven today!

Finally, naan is a great bread to have sitting on your counter because you can eat it as-is and come away totally satisfied, but you can also enjoy it with a curry, or make a sandwich with it!

Stack of naan loaves on a plate.

Notes on Ingredients

What goes into making loaves of naan bread? Nothing too complicated – just some flour, a little sugar, some yeast, and a couple more ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to have lined up on the counter before starting:

  • Flour: I like to use all-purpose flour. Keep in mind you’ll need up to 2 tablespoons extra for kneading and flouring the bread.
  • Sugar: A little brown sugar adds some sweetness to this bread, which makes it even more delicious.
  • Baking Powder: To help with giving the naan a little lift.
  • Active Instant Yeast: Yeast is the main agent that will help the bread rise.
  • Seasoning: Gather up garlic powder, sea salt, and ground black pepper.
  • Warm Vegan Milk: You can warm your milk up in the microwave.
  • Greek Vegan Yogurt: Thick coconut cream from a can of coconut milk will also work (see notes below).
  • Coconut Oil: Or olive oil, for brushing.
  • Optional: Add vegan parmesan cheese, extra garlic, parsley, or cilantro, for topping.

How to Make Vegan Naan from Scratch

Mix Dry Ingredients: In a bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together. Create a well in the center of the flour.

Add Milk: Slowly add the vegan milk and vegan yogurt to the dry ingredients, and then mix together with a spatula until just incorporated. The dough should look shaggy.

Dough being mixed in a bowl.

Knead the Dough: Flour a clean surface, and then pour/add the dough onto the surface. Flour your hands and fold the dough together. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes with your hands and knuckles.

Dough on a countertop.

Let the Dough Rise: Lightly grease the ball of dough with some oil and place back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it sit for 30 minutes on the counter in a warm area. The dough should rise and double in size.

Smoothed dough in a mixing bowl.

Create 6 Balls of Dough: Divide the dough into 6 equal balls and roll each into a circle.

A semi-circle of divided dough.

On your floured surface, press each circle down with your palm, then roll into a slightly oblong shape using a floured rolling pin. It should measure about 6-8 inches. I like to do this one at a time.

Rolled out dough on a countertop.

Cook the Naan: Over medium-high heat, heat a cast-iron skillet (preferably) or a regular large skillet. Brush both sides of the naan with a bit of the oil. Add a teaspoon each per naan of coconut oil into the hot skillet, and then add the naan. Fry up for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until you see bubbles starting to form. They will puff up a little bit, but the indicator is the slightly darkened spots. Turn the naan over and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other side, looking again for the slightly darkened spots.

Naan dough in a cast iron skillet.

Let Cool: Remove the naan from the heat and place on a wire rack to let it cool. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese, garlic, cilantro or parsley and a dash more of salt if needed. Continue with the other naan pieces of bread until finished. Serve and enjoy!

Torn pieces of vegan naan.

Tips for Success

And just like that, you’ve got a basket of vegan naan to complement your favorite curry or soup! Now that you see how easy this process is, the hardest part will be telling yourself that one batch of naan is enough for the week.

Read through these tips and tricks on naan to make life in the kitchen even easier:

  • Use Fresh Yeast: As with all bread recipes, ensure your yeast is fresh and active and your baking powder is fresh, too!
  • Possible Yogurt Substitutions: If you don’t have vegan yogurt, no problem! Stick a can of high-quality, full-fat coconut milk (don’t shake it) in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or leave it in the fridge overnight. Then scoop the thick part of to the equivalent (1/2 cup). It should be as thick as the consistency of yogurt. You can also sub vegan sour cream, buttermilk, or mayonnaise! For the buttermilk you can use the vegan milk + 1 tbsp of vinegar to the ½ cup mark, and let it sit until it gets like buttermilk. Start with 1/4 cup buttermilk, then add in the rest if the dough needs it!
  • If Your Dough is Too Sticky: The dough can get kind of sticky, so you may need to add a little more flour to the mixture before kneading it (up to 2 tbsp). Don’t add too much, though, or the dough will become dry.
  • Keep Loaves Warm in the Oven: I know, I know, I told you that you didn’t need to preheat the oven. But, since you’re cooking the naan loaves one at a time, you can use the oven to keep the warm if you want!
A pile of vegan naan on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

One of the many wonderful qualities of naan is its versatility as a side dish. You can eat naan:

How to Store Naan

Naan can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days in a tightly-sealed container, or a tightly-sealed plastic bag. Toast a couple loaves in a toaster oven to reheat, or simply use a regular oven.

Can I Freeze Naan?

Freezing Naan is so simple. I recommend flash-freezing it, or wrapping it separately in parchment paper, cling film or foil, then into a freezer-safe bag. Thaw them in a toaster oven or on the counter or in the fridge. 

A pile of easy vegan naan.

Enjoy friends! If you make this Vegan Naan Recipe, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!

Overhead shot of stack of naan bread on a table.

Vegan Naan Recipe

Learn how to make easy Vegan Naan (Indian flatbread), from scratch! It's pillowy soft and fluffy, and so delectable. Homemade naan is the perfect side for everything from curries to soups, and you can even use it for wraps!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Breads
Cuisine Indian
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour + an extra up to 2 tablespoons for kneading and flouring
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon active instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup warm vegan milk you can warm it in the microwave
  • 1/2 cup greek vegan yogurt or thick coconut cream from a can of coconut milk (see notes below)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil for brushing
  • optional vegan parmesan cheese, extra garlic, parsley or cilantro, for topping
Instructions

Instructions

  • In a bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together.
  • Create a well in the centre of the flour. Slowly add the vegan milk and vegan yogurt to the dry ingredients, and then mix together with a spatula until just incorporated. The dough should look shaggy.
  • Flour a clean surface, and then pour/add the dough onto the surface. Flour your hands and fold the dough together. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes with your hands and knuckles. The dough will be sticky at first, but you add up to 2 tablespoons while flouring and kneading to make it easier to manage.
  • Lightly grease the ball of dough with some oil and place back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it sit for 30 minutes on the counter in a warm area. The dough should rise and double in size.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal balls and roll each into a circle. On your floured surface, press each circle down with your palm, then roll into a slightly oblong shape using a floured rolling pin. It should measure about 6-8 inches. I like to do this one at a time.
  • Over medium-high heat, heat a cast-iron skillet (preferably) or a regular large skillet. Brush both sides of the naan with a bit of the oil and here you can add even more seasonings on the outside of the naan.
  • Add a teaspoon each per naan of coconut oil into the hot skillet, and add the naan. Fry up for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until you see bubbles starting to form. They will puff up a little bit, but the indicator is the slightly darkened spots.
  • Turn the naan over and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other side, looking again for the slightly darkened spots.
  • Remove from heat and place on a wire rack to let the naan cool. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese, garlic, cilantro or parsley and a dash more of salt if needed. Continue with the other naan pieces of bread until finished.
  • Serve and enjoy!
NOTES
As with all bread recipes, ensure your yeast is fresh & active and your baking powder is fresh, too!
Yogurt Substitutions
If you don’t have vegan yogurt, no problem! Stick a can of high quality full fat coconut milk (don’t shake it) in the freezer for about 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight, then scoop the thick part of to the equivalent (1/2 cup). It should be as thick as the consistency of yogurt.
You can also sub vegan sour cream, buttermilk or mayonnaise! For the buttermilk you can use the vegan milk + 1 tbsp of vinegar to the ½ cup mark & let it sit until it gets like buttermilk. Start with 1/4 cup buttermilk (& follow the photos) then add in the rest if the dough needs it!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 429mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 2mg
by Jessica

More Vegan Bread Recipes to Try

Looking to experiment with more easy vegan bread recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:

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Recipe Rating




114 comments

  1. Kaylee says:

    Are there alternatives to the Greek yogurt??

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Kaylee,

      You could always use vegan yogurt. I’m not sure coconut cream would stand up.

  2. Ims says:

    This was delicious – before brushing on the olive oil to put it in the pan I sprinkled some garlic salt over it and it was just absolutely wonderful. Thanks! X

    • Jessica says:

      You’re SO welcome!! Thanks so much for letting me know. LOVE the garlic salt idea!

  3. Ims says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I love this recipe, I make it about once a week and it doesn’t even seem to be enough. This recipe speaks to my soul. The only thing I struggle with is that the actual cooking is quite labour intensive – I was wondering if you had ever tried making them in the oven, and how that turned out?

    Thanks!

    Ims

    • Ims says:

      Ok hi I just realised my comment ended up right under my other comment from the first time I made it and now it looks like I have dementia and forgot I posted that first comment. Whoops… I swear I’m not crazy, I just love naan. 🙂

      • Jessica says:

        Hey Ims,

        Haha no you don’t seem crazy at all!! I’m SO glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe so often and thank you so much for sharing! I have never tried making this in the oven but I plan to make a video for this post soon and I will try it out then and let you know.

  4. Bob Johnson says:

    NOM NOM to this NAAAAAAAAN.. YUM YUM in the INDIAN TUM TUM

  5. Adelle John says:

    Madethis with some CurriedCoconut andsplit pea soup. Was wonderful. Thakns. This recipe is really quite simple tomake. Fast and easy, turned out great too.

  6. Reem Ramadan says:

    Thanks for the recipe, I made it today every thing is gone
    but I put garlic pieces in the top of the dough with some of parsley leaves
    and I put in two of the dough olive oil and thyme (za’atar)
    its perfect crust

  7. TerryM says:

    I made this yesterday and we loved it! I was a bit confused about the yeast – the recipe says “nutritional”, but your later comments say “active”. Like you, I tend to look at multiple recipes, then create my own custom recipe based on what sounds best. I’m an avid bread baker, so I opted to use active yeast and left out the baking powder (I was afraid they would be too biscuit-like). I used my own homemade whole milk yogurt and added an egg (from looking at other recipes). So it’s certainly not vegan, but we aren’t, either :). I also broiled it rather than frying, and brushed it with ghee when it came out of the oven. It was so delicious! Crispy outside, tender & chewy inside, and a lovely golden brown color. You can do so much with this recipe to modify seasonings and flavors. Thanks!

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Terry,

      So glad you enjoyed!! I’ll admit – this recipe is a BIT of a mess and something I intend to fix very soon! So happy you were able to decipher my original intention. I appreciate your feedback so much!

    • Barbara Miller says:

      Hi Terrym, could you please post exactly as you changed it? I am confused about the yeast options. please include baking instructions.
      thank you.

      • TerryM says:

        With apologies in advance to Jessica for hijacking her recipe :)… Here it is.

        1 cup all-purpose flour
        1 cup whole wheat flour
        2 teaspoons brown sugar
        1 tablespoon baking powder
        1 teaspoon active yeast
        1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
        1/2 teaspoon sea salt
        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
        1/3 cup warm milk
        1/2 cup greek yogurt
        1 egg, slightly beaten
        2 T ghee (basically, this is butter melted in a saucepan, then spooning out the whey (the white foamy part), so you are left more or less with clarified butter
        1 teaspoon parmesan cheese for sprinkling (optional)

        In a bowl, add both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together.

        Create a well in the centre of the flour. Slowly add the warm milk, egg and yogurt to the dry ingredients, and then mix together with a spatula until just incorporated.

        Flour your hands and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes on the counter. This will allow the dough to rest and become manageable before making the naan.

        Divide the dough into 6-8 balls (the smaller balls will puff up more) and roll into a circle. Press the dough down with your palm, then roll into a slightly oblong shape on a floured surface using a rolling pin. It should measure about 6-8 inches.

        Place on baking sheet under broiler set on low. Check after 30 seconds or so (I don’t recall exactly how long I left them in, it was a while back), but I took them out while they were lightly browned, but still pliable. Brush with the ghee, and add the cheese and/or herbs (I just used the parm).

  8. Tatum says:

    Hi Jessica, I recently found your page on IG and I’m in love … thank you for sharing. I see this recipe is from a 2014 post. I was wondering since you’ve become vegan have you revamped the recipe any . Can I substitute for the brown sugar or the all purpose white flour?

  9. Jessica says:

    5 stars
    This naan bread was so easy and hardly took anytime to make. Since I don’t live in a big household, I froze mine for future meals. I simply pop it in the over for a few minutes on each side and it tastes as though it was freshly made! I’ll definitely be making another batch of these once I run out 🙂

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome Jessica! Thank you so much for reading! We’re glad that you found the recipe easy. We freeze them all the time as well so I’m happy that worked for you too.

  10. KC says:

    5 stars
    I was a little intimidated because yeast is not an ingredient I’m familiar with, but once again your clear recipe instructions resulted in the most delicious and pillowy naan. When I added some fresh minced garlic on top it tasted just like the one I get at my favourite Indian restaurant! I’m quite eager to make this again to accompany your coconut chickpea curry recipe (which is made weekly in my household). Your recipes never disappoint!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Wow, thank you so much KC. We really tried to make this recipe as user friendly as possible, so this review really means a lot. To hear that it rivals your favourite restaurant is just the icing on the cake. Thank you again for reading and for your kind words. Have a great day!

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