We'll do the thinking for you - we have a full list of easy, plant-based recipes that both the kids and the adults (or the solo folks) will enjoy. From vegan nuggets to cozy stews! These are the meatless meals you need to have in rotation.
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- What Are Plant-Based Foods?
- Plant-Based Dinner Recipes
I remember when I first started experimenting with plant-based recipes, I had no idea where to start. How can I have a complete meal without the no-veg protein?
That’s when I had to start to think outside the box. Or better yet, the things I can add to my dinner plate, rather eliminate.
The good news is that there is a wide range of plant-based recipe ideas that are affordable, easy, and plant-based. Including the things you might already be eating, namely, spaghetti, vegan pizza, loaded potatoes, and vegetable stews.
And you might already be working with everyday pantry ingredients that are vegetarian including lentils, beans, rice, quinoa, and spices.
It will take some time, creativity, and a little bit of cooking skill - but I promise it’s approachable to switch to a plant-based diet, especially for those nighttime meals.
What Are Plant-Based Foods?
Plant-based foods are those that derive from plants. Vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds are all examples of plant-based foods.
A plant-based diet consists mostly or entirely of plant-based foods, some of which may be minimally processed. It can be a balanced, wholesome, and nutritionally generous diet when done right.
Additionally, it's a delicious and healthy way of eating that can be approachable and affordable with a little bit of planning.
Here are 31 delicious plant-based recipes for dinner that can be paired with your favorite sides. Very easy recipes, so they are perfect for plant-based beginners!
Not sure how to make your breakfast plant-based and healthy? Check out our 18 Frugal Plant-Based Breakfast Recipes.
Plant-Based Dinner Recipes
Vegan Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
A creamy, savory, rich vegan "butter chicken" recipe made with tofu. This recipe is 100% meat-free and packed with insane flavor. Pair this dish with rice, naan, or roti.
DINNER TIP: If you're missing Indian food, good news, you can still have it! This "butter chicken" recipe goes perfectly with a side of naan, roti, rice, or some raw onions. You won't need anything else. Top it off with coconut or cashew cream.
Vegan Puerto Rican Spaghetti
Load up your plates with Puerto Rican spaghetti made withadobo, sazon, sofrito, tomato, sauce, and meatless ground beef. This recipe is 100% vegan and EASY to make!
Habichuelas Guisadas From Scratch
A savory, Puerto Rican stew called "habichuelas guisadas" also known as a pink/red bean stew. Made from dry beans and from scratch. Served with rice, sliced avocado, and a protein.
DINNER TIP: To make habichuelas guisadas a complete meal, pair it with white rice, plantains, and sliced avocado. For the plantains, either go for salty tostones or sweet maduros, which can be fried or baked for a healthier version.
Black Bean Tofu Burger Recipe
Protein-packed, healthy plant-based burgers made with tofu, black beans, and mushrooms. A kid-friendly burger that's great for a weekday dinner meal. Gluten-free, vegan, and healthy.
DINNER TIP: Dress up your burger with your favorite items. Just like regular burgers, we can add onions, tomatoes, pickles, our favorite sauces, and a slice of vegan, melted cheese.
Puerto Rican Tofu Guisado
Go plant-based and enjoy your cozy bowl of Puerto Rican Tofu Guisado. Completely meat-free made with "meaty" tofu, tender potatoes, carrots chunks, and a variety of Puerto Rican spices.
DINNER TIP: Serve tofu guisado with your favorite PuertoRican sides including rice, avocado, and fried plantains.
Mushroom Lentil Loaf
Let’s crank on the oven for an umami-blasted Mushroom Lentil Loaf made with plant-based ingredients! Made with juicy mushrooms, protein-packed lentils, spices, and topped with a sweet-and-savory glaze
DINNER TIP: Go for a carb-based side to go along with your veggie mushroom lentil loaf, like mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, cornbread, and air fryer red potatoes.
20-Minute Chipotle Sofritas
A flavor-packed sofritas recipe that's inspired by Chipotle's version of the dish. Made with adobo sauce, fresh homemade sofrito, and "meaty" firm tofu. A great dish to add with rice, tacos, burritos or a salad.
DINNER TIP: This Chipotle-inspired sofritas dish is just as versatile as what you get from the restaurant. Go for a burrito, taco, salad, or rice bowl - the choice is yours. Add all of your favorite toppings and sides and you have a full meal.
Cannellini Bean Burgers (with Pantry-Friendly Ingredients)
Need a QUICK and EASY burger? These Cannellini Bean Burgers are made with pantry-friendly ingredients! No need to chop or shred! These burgers are also 100% vegan, gluten-free, eggless, and dairy-free.
Creamy Rigatoni With Sofrito Avocado Sauce
Quick and easy, creamy rigatoni pasta gently tossed in avocado and fragrant sofrito sauce. Made with a Puerto Rican twist, using adobo. A delicious dinner recipe that’s perfect for a busy weekday summer night.
Beefless "Beef" Stew (Puerto Rican Style)
Try our mouthwatering Puerto Rican-style vegan beef stew! Enjoy the flavors of the Caribbean in this cruelty-free twist on a classic favorite.
Oil-Free Vegan Fried Rice
A delicious, oil-free healthy vegan fried rice recipe loaded with your favorite veggies along with tofu scramble!
DINNER TIP: This oil-free "fried" rice is the perfect opportunity to throw in your favorite vegetables that need to get used up. Feel free to make this dish a little more interesting by adding corn, edamame, or even green beans.
Vegan Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Spinach
Whip up a creamy, velvety chickpea pasta for your next weekday dinner! Made with linguine, pan-roasted chickpeas, garlic, and creamy coconut milk. This recipe is 100% dairy-free, vegan, and can be made gluten-free.
10-Ingredient Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
Grab your bowls - we’re making the ultimate comfort food: Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese! Made with just 10 ingredients and incredibly easy to make.
How To Cook Dry Black Beans (No Soak)
Time to put those dry black beans to work! Here's an easy way on how to cook dry beans from scratch - no soaking needed. These beans are packed with plant-based fiber, protein and they're EASY to make.
DINNER TIP: Dry beans are ridiculously easy to make, they just need a little bit of time. I love pairing these beans with a side of white rice and steamed vegetables.
Vegan Palak “Paneer” With Tofu
Flavor-packed vegan palak "paneer" made with tofu, spinach, and Indian spices. A healthy dish that is best served with naan, roti, or a side of rice.
DINNER TIP: For a refreshing bite to this dish, add a side of freshly sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion.
Vegetarian Tofu Bean Chili
TheBESTvegetarian tofu bean chili. This classic, comfort dish is made with tender tofu, creamy beans, rich tomato sauce, and a blend ofpantry-friendly spices.
DINNER TIP: Chili is cozy any time of the year - whether it's for game day, winter, or to use as a topping for summer veggie hot dogs. I like to keep things traditional and add a side of homemade cornbread.
Vegan Puerto Rican Picadillo (Spiced Ground “Beef”)
Bring BIG flavor to your dinner table with Vegan Puerto Rican Picadillo, or vegan spiced “ground beef.” Made with vegan ground “beef” spices, potatoes, tomato sauce, and Spanish green olives.
DINNER TIP: Serve with a side of cooked white rice!
Spring Vegetable Fried Rice
Easy, 10-minute, vegan spring vegetable fried rice! A healthy, springtime recipe loaded with seasonal vegetables. Serve as a side dish or as the main meal.
DINNER TIP: Switch things up with this spring vegetable fried rice. Using vegetables in season. Serve with spring rolls, soup, or a salad.
Stovetop Vegan Tofu Meatballs
Sometimes, a classic, cozy dinner recipe is everything we need at the end of a long day. We’re going plant-based forour homemade vegan tofu meatballsrecipe to accompany our piled-up spaghetti.
DINNER TIP: The only thing you need to make this recipe complete is a pile of spaghetti and tomato pasta sauce.
20-Minute Thai-Style Vegetable Red Curry
Flavor-packed, Thai-style vegetable red curry made with sweet red bell pepper, broccoli, and tender potatoes. Cooked in just 20 minutes! Serve with a side of jasmin rice or roti.
DINNER TIP: Make this dish complete with a side of white jasmine rice or flatbread.
Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Yellow Rice)
Arroz con gandules or Puerto Rican yellow rice with gandules is a Puerto Rican staple made with pigeon peas, long-grain rice, sofrito, sazon, adobo, tomato sauce, and sometimes Spanish green olives. It's a Puerto Rican dinner staple that is served with most meals.
DINNER TIP: Puerto Rican yellow rice is typically paired with ripe avocado, plantains, and meat. But to keeps vegan, go for a side of sofritas or vegan picadillo mentioned in this list.
Puerto Rican Chickpea Stew (Garbanzos Guisados)
This is the BEST Puerto Rican chickpea stew! Made with authentic Puerto Rican flavors, spices, and ingredients. Serve with rice or fresh bread.
DINNER TIP: Packed with flavor, this Puerto Rican chickpea stew is perfect with rice or fresh bread. Add cilantro and chopped onions for a crunch.
Vegetable Spaghetti with Zucchini and Carrots
Get ready for a past with vegetables recipe that's flavorful, saucy, and delicious! This vegetable spaghetti is the perfect dinnertime meal when you have plenty of veggies you want to cook up!
DINNER TIP: Pair with your favorite garlic bread, salad, or soup!
One-Pot Chickpeas and Sweet Potato Curry
Time for one-pot chickpeas and sweet potato curry! It’s the perfect family-friendly dinner recipe, packed with fiber, protein, and flavor.
DINNER TIP: This recipe is great on its own, but for a complete meal, go for a side of white rice.
Tofu Noodle Soup (Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup)
Go for a Tofu Noodle Soup (Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup) the next time you’re craving something comforting and warm! Ready in just 40 minutes and made with pantry-friendly ingredients.
DINNER TIP: If you're looking for somethign light for dinner, this one's perfect! It's perfect with a slice of toasted bread.
Healthy Zucchini Soup with Potatoes and Parsley
This low-calorie, low-carb Zucchini Soup is made with vibrant ingredients including zucchini, parsley, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, garlic, and onion. A healthy zucchini soup that’s 100% vegan, gluten-free, and refreshing.
Crispy Air Fryer Tofu Nuggets
Air fryer tofu has never been easier! If you’re looking for a crunch, you’re in for a treat. With just SEVEN ingredients and air-fried in 20 minutes.
DINNER TIP: Add your favorite dips! Or, go basic and dip enjoy with mustard or ketchup.
Vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Fire-blasted vegan Roasted Tomato Basil Soup made with plant-based, healthy ingredients! The perfect, cozy, homemade soup, perfect for a chilly night.
DINNER TIP: This light dinner recipe is perfect for something cozy and flavorful. To make it a complete meal, a salad or vegan grilled cheese are great choices.
Spring Vegetable Soup With Asparagus
Zesty spring vegetable soup made with asparagus, peas, carrots, and juicy mushrooms. This recipe is vegan and done in just 15 minutes.
DINNER TIP: This healthy spring vegetable soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients. Load up your bowls as many times as you like. Add crusty bread to make it a complete meal.
Vegan Pastelón (Puerto Rican Plantain "Lasagna")
This sweet and savory Puerto Rican plantain lasagna has turned VEGAN and it’s just as good! This vegan pastelón is made with sweet plantains, flavor-packed lentils, and Puerto Rican spices.
DINNER TIP: This meal is complete with a side of rice and stewed beans!
Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Crispy, tender, and packed with flavor. These crispy buffalo cualiflower wings are a great party snack, or as a kid-friendly meal. Pile up those plate with these spicy and savory wings that'll satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
DINNER TIP: Share and serve with fries, onion rings, or a salad. And don't forget the dipping sauce!
There you have it - plant-based dinner recipes that'll make everyone at home asking for seconds!
Did you try any of the recipes on the list?
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information on various topics, including plant-based recipes. I can provide detailed explanations, suggest recipe ideas, and answer any questions you may have about plant-based diets. My responses are generated based on extensive training on a wide range of texts, including cookbooks, articles, and websites related to plant-based cooking.
Plant-based foods are those that derive from plants, such as vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. They are rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. A plant-based diet consists mostly or entirely of plant-based foods, some of which may be minimally processed. It can be a balanced, wholesome, and nutritionally generous diet when done right. Plant-based foods offer a delicious and healthy way of eating that can be approachable and affordable with a little bit of planning.
Plant-Based Dinner Recipes
This article offers a variety of plant-based dinner recipes that are both easy to make and delicious. Here are some concepts related to the recipes mentioned in the article:
Vegan Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani): A creamy, savory, and rich vegan "butter chicken" recipe made with tofu. This dish can be paired with rice, naan, or roti.
Vegan Puerto Rican Spaghetti: A Puerto Rican twist on spaghetti made with adobo, sazon, sofrito, tomato sauce, and meatless ground beef.
Habichuelas Guisadas From Scratch: A savory Puerto Rican stew called "habichuelas guisadas" made from scratch using dry beans. It is typically served with rice, sliced avocado, and a protein.
Black Bean Tofu Burger Recipe: Protein-packed plant-based burgers made with tofu, black beans, and mushrooms. These burgers can be dressed up with your favorite toppings and served with a side of fries or a salad.
Puerto Rican Tofu Guisado: A cozy bowl of Puerto Rican tofu guisado made with "meaty" tofu, tender potatoes, carrot chunks, and a variety of Puerto Rican spices. It can be served with rice, avocado, and fried plantains.
Mushroom Lentil Loaf: An umami-blasted loaf made with mushrooms, protein-packed lentils, spices, and topped with a sweet-and-savory glaze. It can be served with mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, or cornbread.
20-Minute Chipotle Sofritas: A flavor-packed sofritas recipe inspired by Chipotle's version. Made with adobo sauce, fresh homemade sofrito, and firm tofu. It can be added to rice, tacos, burritos, or salads.
Cannellini Bean Burgers: Quick and easy burgers made with cannellini beans and pantry-friendly ingredients. These burgers are vegan, gluten-free, eggless, and dairy-free.
Creamy Rigatoni With Sofrito Avocado Sauce: Quick and easy creamy rigatoni pasta gently tossed in avocado and fragrant sofrito sauce. It incorporates a Puerto Rican twist using adobo.
Beefless "Beef" Stew (Puerto Rican Style): A mouthwatering Puerto Rican-style vegan beef stew made with plant-based ingredients. It captures the flavors of the Caribbean and can be served with rice or fresh bread.
These are just a few examples of the plant-based dinner recipes mentioned in the article. Each recipe offers a unique twist on classic dishes, showcasing the versatility and deliciousness of plant-based cooking.
Please let me know if you would like more information about any specific recipe or if you have any other questions related to plant-based diets or cooking.