If you’re a vegan or follow a plant-based diet you know what it is like to receive comments such as “how do you have the time?” or “being vegan takes so much work”. Or maybe you’re new to the vegan world and feel intimidated about how you’re going to learn how to cook and shop while avoiding animal by-products. The thought of it completely frightens you and turns you away.
Whether you’ve experienced that or you’re new to the adventure we all need to recognize that being vegan can actually be easy. The vegan community is huge and we’re all here to help each other along the way. We have found 15 recipes for uncomplicated dinners that don’t require ingredients you have never heard of all the while maintain more than satisfactory flavor and nutrition and most of all are animal free!
15. Creamy Vegan One Pot Pasta
Hearing words like creamy can seem uncanny in the vegan world. Vegans, however, can enjoy creamy foods too, we just source it differently. This recipe gets its creamy texture from coconut milk and a red curry paste.
This Asian style dish is full of flavor and makes an excellent comfort food when you want to indulge in a tasty bowl of pasta. It is also loaded with vegetables so you won’t be missing out on any nutrition. Make this easy one-pot dinner for a quick meal during the week.
14. Vegan Jambalaya
Jambalaya traditionally is a Cajun dish filled with all sorts of meat ingredients such as shrimp chicken and sausage. As we know that is not okay for Vegans. This vegan jambalaya recipe lets you enjoy the familiar flavors of a tasty Cajun dish without any animal sacrifices!
This recipe is very hearty because the meat substitute is made up of mixed beans. It is also very filling and nutritious as the base ingredient is brown rice and then packed full of veggies. The ingredient list is filled with tasty seasons to spike your taste buds interests.
13. One-Pot Everyday Lentil Soup
Having a savory soup recipe on hand is always a good idea. Especially for days where you need something to warm you up or just something that is comforting. This recipe is really easy is made in one pot for minimal cleanup.
This soup is packed full of nutrition from the kale, carrots and lots of other veggies and then is perfectly balanced with protein nutrients from the lentils. That is a meal you can feel good about serving to your whole family
12. Refried Bean Burrito With Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus
These delicious refried bean burritos make an awesome weeknight meal because they are really easy to throw together. The best part about this recipe is it is so customizable. You can simply change up a few of the ingredients to suit your taste, make it spicy, or mild or even smoky, whatever suits your fancy.
Some cans of refried beans contain animal by-product such as lard so make sure to always read the label to make sure it is suitable for the vegan diet. If you’re looking for ways to make this recipe even easier consider buying pre-made hummus instead of making your own. This is a delicious meal that the whole family will love and you can even save the leftovers for lunches the next day if there are any that is.
11. Easy Veggie Pizza With 20-Minute Crust
Pizza is almost every child’s favorite meal, and adults too let’s be real here. Growing up cheesy pizza is what I always looked forward to and transitioning to a vegan diet doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in your favorite meal.
This recipe includes a really easy 20-minute dough recipe that will satisfy your taste buds and your homemade cooking efforts. I mean you could buy store-bought but this is so easy you don’t have to! Layer the pizza with a simple tomato sauce and top it with your favorite toppings. Then cook it until it’s nice and crispy. You can enjoy your pizza with vegan cheese or try sprinkling nutritional yeast on top for a cheesy yet healthy flavor.
10. Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This recipe takes on a healthy twist to loaded baked potatoes. You won’t be missing out on any cheesy or sour cream toppings because us vegans have our own! This recipe makes a very nutritious meal and you enjoy these stuffed potatoes on their own. They’re packed full of protein and other great nutrients from the black beans and the sweet potatoes.
While the sweet potatoes are baking in the oven fry up the onions with some seasonings then add in the black beans. When everything is done the assembly is very easy, simply add the black bean mixture into your fluffed sweet potato and top it off with a delightful Mexican crema sauce and chunks of creamy avocado.
9. Orzo Salad With Spinach And Tomato
Dinner doesn’t always have to be something extravagant, sometimes it can be as easy as a wholesome salad. Perfect for nights when you had a big lunch or on a hot summers day. The base of this salad is orzo. If you haven’t had orzo before it has a rice-shape but is, in fact, a pasta.
Adding orzo to your salad is a great way to get in extra nutrients as it is an excellent source of carbs, iron, fiber and even protein. Mixed with savory grape tomatoes and spinach you’ll have this wholesome salad made in no time. To complete the recipe the dressing is made from a rich in flavor red wine vinegar, basil, garlic, and salt to taste.
8. Easy Vegan Fried Rice
Traditional fried rice is not very vegan-friendly as it usually contains fried egg. If you love Asian cuisine no need to worry vegans can have fried rice too. This recipe is quick and easy and also contains 22 grams of protein! A great way to refuel after a long hard day.
The recipe starts with perfectly marinated tofu and then is cooked to a delightful crispy texture and then is finished with a hearty brown rice and veggie mixture. It is topped off with a savory peanut sauce that won’t make you miss your Chinese takeout. So the next time someone asks you where you get your protein on a vegan diet, consider making them this meal.
7. Instant Pot Red Lentil Chili
Did someone say easy or instant pot? Well, really they’re the same thing, right? The instant pot, the god sent kitchen tool comes to the rescue to make this quick and easy vegan chili. It is perfect when a hearty meal craving arises or you need something to get over a cold day.
Say goodbye to your meaty chili days because this recipe makes the perfect substitute if not better. The red lentils help thicken the chili giving it that meaty texture you’re familiar with. This recipe is full of flavor and you can easily adjust the amount of heat depending on your level of love for hot sauce. This recipe is so easy it only takes 30 minutes and is a great meal to serve to any of your meat-loving friends.
6. Vegan Chickpea Tacos Lettuce Boats
If you’re looking for a low carb vegan dinner then this recipe would be perfect for you. It also makes a great dinner idea if you’re looking for something lighter. The base of this recipe starts with delicious and crispy chickpeas.
The secret is to cook the chickpeas like you would cook ground meat for traditional tacos so they hold all the same flavor but with no animals. This recipe is also allergen-friendly as there are no nuts, dairy, gluten, soy or meat! Send the leftovers with your kid’s lunches because this is school approved! If you’re not feeling the lettuce boats simply swap them out for corn tortillas.
5. Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
If you’re like me then macaroni and cheese was an easy staple meal growing up. Afterall, it is the first real food I learned to cook. This recipe will bring back so many childhood memories and is adult and kid approved!
Skip the dairy because you don’t need it! This macaroni and cheese recipe gets its cheesy goodness from full-fat coconut milk and a secret ingredient of pureed roasted butternut squash. Make sure to add in nutritional yeast for a savory yet cheesy flavor.
4. Easy Black Bean Burgers
A lot of restaurants have a veggie burger on their menu but they aren’t always vegan. More so, they are usually vegetarian because they still contain some sort of animal product such as an egg to help bind the ingredients. Make sure to always ask and never assume or better yet stay home and make these delicious vegan burgers on your own stove.
These burgers hold their shape and are quite firm from mixing in a flax egg and breadcrumbs to help bind the mixture together. This recipe is so easy you just need to mash and mix the ingredients, for the patty shape, cook and then it’s ready to eat. Make these burger patties in a skillet with light oil to make them nice and crispy and enjoy your burger night in.
3. Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Wings might just be every meat lovers favorite. Make this amazing recipe and watch your meat-lovers surprised reaction at what they’re actually made of. This recipe is very easy, contains minimal ingredients and there is no vegan egg substitute necessary.
These cauliflower wings get their crispy texture from panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs that have a light fluffy and crunchy texture). This recipe is actually baked, not fried making it even healthier. The trick is to not soak the wings in the buffalo sauce to prevent sogginess. Gently toss and bake for another 5 minutes until their nice and golden. Serve with homemade fries for a full dinner meal.
2. One Pot Creamy Garlic Pasta
Prior to my plant-based journey, one of my favorite pasta dishes was Fetucini chicken alfredo, a vegans nightmare. This dish really resembles that but might just actually be better.
This recipe is a one pot wonder that only takes 35 minutes to make. Making it a great meal to feed the family on a busy night. This recipe is nut free, vegan and extremely creamy. The sauce is made up of non-dairy milk, vegetable broth, and savory garlic. The trick is to cook the pasta in the sauce mixture to optimize flavor. You could even serve this with vegan garlic toast for an ultimate comforting meal.
1. Healthy Butter Chickpeas
Vegans don’t need to miss out on savory dishes like butter chicken because we can make it with chickpeas instead. This recipe achieves all the same flavors you love about a classic like butter chicken but without the meat or any animal by-product.
This butter chickpea recipe achieves a thick creamy texture without any heavy cream or butter at all for that matter. This flavorful dish contains lot’s of seasonings without being too spicy so it’s perfect to serve to your children too. Serve over brown rice or basmati rice for a perfect healthy Indian dish.