Plant Based Dinner Recipes – 15 Easy 30 Minute Meals

I know when I began my plant based journey 3 years ago, I knew that due to my busy lifestyle I most definitely did not want to be spending hours in the kitchen preparing overly complicated meals. That was a given. I wanted plant based dinner recipes that were not only fast, but EASY too.

So, over the past few years I have come to rely on a few staples that I never seem to get bored of, and best of all they can all be prepared and cooked in under 30 minutes. Having such easy to prepare meals is awesome because it helps you to stay on track with a diet and lifestyle that used to be considered pretty hard to stick to.

All of the below meals can be amended to be whole foods plant based, as you can easily swap out any oils for stock or water. Another reason I keep oils to a bare minimum is if you are trying to maintain or lose weight, as the plant based diet can be heavy on fats, especially if you are swapping out your usual sources of protein for nuts, seeds and avocados.

Tips for making easy dinners:-

  1. LISTS – Always write a list of your weekly meals in advance, and be sure to buy everything you need for those meals in your weekly shop.
  2. BATCH COOK – When you make dishes such as chilies, soups, casseroles, stews etc always make a big old batch then freeze in portions for a super fast dinner on another night.
  3. SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – Choose dishes with under 10 ingredients if you want to keep things uncomplicated.
  4. STAPLES – Keep staples such as tamari sauce, vegetable bouillon, mushroom ketchup, frozen homemade burgers, miso paste, frozen peas, sweetcorn, tins of  tomatoes, lentils and pulses, pastas and noodles, and packets of rice and quinoa in your cupboard at all times. That way you will always have something to throw together at a moments notice.

Easy Plant Based Dinner Recipes

1. Garlic, Ginger, Broccoli and Chickpea Stir-Fry

I LOVE this amazing and super easy recipe simply because it is so fast, cheap and simple. It’s probably in my Top 10 taste wise to all the plant based dinners I have tried and tested so far, so that’s saying something.

The great thing about this dish is the fact that both broccoli and chickpeas are high in plant proteins (so you have that base well and truly covered), the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar make for a gooey and delicious sauce (which I persoanally love with rice), and the healthful, antioxidant rich garlic and ginger compliment it perfectly. Mmm mmm mmm!

Garlic Broccoli Stir Fry With Chickpeas | Flavorful Recipe – Elavegan

By on | As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases Flavorful broccoli stir fry with chickpeas and a delicious garlic ginger sauce! This vegan weeknight dinner is easy to make in just one pan and it’s ready in about 25 minutes. The healthy takeout recipe is meat-free, gluten-free, low in fat, and very simple!

2. Pumpkin Pasta with Spinach

OMG what’s not to love about this recipe? Comforting pasta with a pumpkin puree! I’m salivating just thinking about it.

Pumpkin is one of those amazing flavours that works so well with the sage; and the coconut cream just makes it even more of a delicious and satiating meal that you can use any kind of pasta you like with (You could go for buckwheat, lentil, or chickpeas pasta to keep the protein content high).

Adding plenty of spinach will up the protein and nutrient content even more, making the whole dish a complete nutritious meal that the whole family will love.

VEGAN PUMPKIN PASTA WITH SPINACH (GLUTEN-FREE) | MyChefsApron

This delicious plant-based pasta dish is incredibly easy to make. The creamy pumpkin sauce is loaded with veggies such as onion and spinach and infused with dried sage and marjoram. It is perfect for a hearty yet quick weeknight dinner (family size) or for when you have friends over!

3. Nourishing Vegan Black Bean Stew

I actually don’t think a plant based dinner can be any more simple that this easy black bean stew that is ready in under 20 minutes.

Black beans are one of my favorite vegan foods as they make fantastic plant based burgers (see recipe below), buddha bowls, soups and stews. They are also very nourishing, and contain good amounts of iron, calcium, zinc, B vitamins, selenium and much more.

Serve this lovely stew with a nice portion of brown rice and you will be eating a low GI meal that will satiate you for hours.

Colombian Black Bean Stew [Vegan]

This Colombian black bean stew is not only super easy to make and utterly delicious, but also extremely healthy. Full of plant-based protein and fiber, it’s proof that plant-based food do not need to be complicated. Also, the main ingredients (black beans, onions, and garlic) are all inexpensive.

4. Sesame Garlic Noodles

In my opinion noodles are life. I literally love everything about noodle dishes, as they are just so versatile and you can use up any veggies you have in your fridge, fry them in a hot pan with some spices, throw your noodles in, and voila, you have a quick and easy meal.

Noodles can come in the form of rice, buckwheat, wheat, and all the other new fangled products out there now, so you’re always spoilt for choice. One of my personal favorites will always be the classic buckwheat ramen, as it just adds a big boost of full spectrum protein to a plant based dish.

This meal offers something you may never have tried before, which is tempeh. Made from the soy bean, it uses the whole bean (unlike tofu), therefore giving you a different texture closer to meat. It takes on flavours well, and is very versitile.

Sesame Garlic Noodles w/ Broccoli, Basil & Crispy Tempeh (vegan)

pin it! pin it! So, what is our general feeling on Instagram stories? You know, that thing they introduced that’s awfully similar to Snapchat, but slightly simpler, and with a detectable lack of puppy face filter. I tried to get into the groove of using it to document some cooking and food/beverage things in my everyday sorta life, but it felt forced.

5. Black Bean Vegan Burger

Here it is, my favorite plant based burger! You always need to have a great burger recipe in your repertoire for the those times when you just have a craving you need to satisfy.

Black beans work really well in this recipe due to the fact that they also give the colour of a true burger, which is what some people prefer. You can also amend the spices in this to anything you prefer as long as you use the basic ingredients.

These also hold their shape well, especially if you refrigerate them after moulding into shape. Great to throw on the BBQ!

Serve in a roll with some chunky, oven baked chips and a nice crisp side salad.

Easiest Ever Vegan Black Bean Burgers Will Please Your Family

With just four ingredients and a few seasonings, you really won’t find an easier (or tastier) vegetarian and vegan veggie burger recipe anywhere. You are likely to find yourself using this recipe over and over. These veggie burgers cook up quickly when pan-fried in a little oil, perfect for a quick weekday meal.

6. Hearty Chickpea and Vegetable Soup

Doesn’t this soup look like a bowl of pure health? The great thing about soups is they are just so versatile and you can add any veggies you please. It also doubles up as lunches as it can be kept for up to 3 days in your fridge.

Chickpeas (or Garbanzo beans as they’re sometimes called) are a great source of protein and fiber and give a ‘meaty’ quality to a soup or stew.

If you’re going to buy tinned, then the bigger, softer ones are the best; or better still, go for the jarred variety that you get in Asian stores, or the speciality isles in the supermarket. These jarred beans are the kind that they reserve whole isles for in Spain, and are so tasty you can just eat them as they are.

Italian Vegan Garbanzo Bean Soup

This Italian vegan garbanzo bean soup is perfect for chilly fall days. It’s super easy to make and packed with flavor and nutrients. Ready in only 30 minutes! Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are definitely among my favorite foods. We have them at least twice a week and I love using them for all sorts of curries, pasta, and spreads.

7. Vegan Bolognese Sauce

This list wouldn’t be complete without a good ole bolognese sauce. Sometimes we just want comfort food, and this sauce certainly fits the bill.

The thing I like most about this dish is the fact it is soy mince free, and the reason I stay clear of soy mince is because it is so processed. I’m not saying you should stay away from all soy products, as things like tofu, whole soya beans and tempeh are very minimally processed, but anything other than that is not going to be a ‘whole’ food.

Serve this dish with your favorite pasta and a crisp green salad for extra nutrition and you’re good to go.

Vegan Bolognese Sauce – Brand New Vegan

This Vegan Bolognese is a rich and flavorful sauce for those ‘meat lovers’ in your family. I use riced cauliflower and mushrooms to recreate the traditional ‘hamburger’ used in this sauce. Very rich, very flavorful, and VERY satisfying. Your husbands will thank you.

8. Peanut Noodles

Peanut sauce and chunky protein rich soba noodles are just comfort food at its finest. Add a few veggies and you have the perfect dinner meal, so simple, mild in flavour and child friendly, you can make this dish winter or summer.

The taste of peanut in a sauce has always been a firm favorite of mine, and takes me back to my days living near a Vietnamese community in London where peanuts were served with many of their delicious dishes in the amazing restaurants that I frequented often.

Easy Peanut Noodles Recipe – Love and Lemons

This simple recipe offers two variations for making delicious, easy peanut noodles. These vegan dishes make great weeknight dinners or weekday lunches! I don’t make peanut noodles nearly enough. I forget how easy it is to make a peanut sauce, and that I usually already have all the ingredients on hand.

9. Kale and Quinoa Winter Salad

If you’re not used to eating salad in winter, then you’ll love this hearty one. Healthy isn’t the word for this antioxidant rich beast.

Kale, quiona, walnuts and pomegranate are four of the most amazing plant based superfoods you can eat. Quinoa is a superior plant protein with a nutritionally complete amino acid profile (meaning that you don’t need to have any other proteins with it), walnuts are full of amazing, healthful fats for the brain and mood, kale is choc full of fiber and vitamins, and pomegranate is a powerful anti aging antioxidant.

So, make up a batch of this beautiful salad and have some for lunch the next day too!

Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad – Eat Yourself Skinny

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! Well now that November is just about over, it’s finally time to start decorating for the holidays and planning all the fun festive parties! This was the first year I actually put our tree up BEFORE Thanksgiving because I was just that excited, so December literally can’t come fast enough.

10. The Ultimate Vegan Chili

Nothing beats a good vegan chili. Nothing, nothing, nothing I tell you! It really is that good when you get it right; and right this one is as I’ve tried and tested it myself. It has everything you could possibly want from a chili, and it’s definitely not missing any meat.

The thing that stands out with this recipe is you still have the amazing texture of soy mince for that meatiness, but you have made it yourself from a block of tofu. Therefore, no nasty hidden ingredients or GMO (not if you choose organic anyway), just good, wholesome plant based protein, two different kinds of beans, and also sweetcorn which gives it a wonderful sweet pop.

This Ultimate Vegan Chili

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. This Ultimate Vegan Chili is thick, hearty and meaty! It’s loaded with veggies, beans, warm spices, and savory meat crumbles. It’ll keep you cozy and satisfied during those chilly days, too! This recipe is easy to make, freezer-friendly and perfect for potlucks!

11. Vegan Pad Thai

This vegan Pad Thai has everything you crave in such a dish with its noodles, herbs and spices it just hits the spot.

Lots of fresh ingredients and super high protein tofu make this a healthy and filling, quick and easy week night dish. You can throw this one together in around 20 minutes from mostly store cupboard ingredients.

Vegan Pad Thai

This vegan pad Thai is my absolute Favourite! Made with fresh simple ingredients you’ll love this healthy vegan dish that takes less than 30 minutes to make! This recipe for Pad Thai is a take of a traditional pad Thai recipe from Thailand.

 

12. Lentil Loaf

It’s like meatloaf, but it’s lentils, and lentils are such a power house of plant based protein and nutrition that you really should be getting a good couple of portions into your diet each week.

This loaf  contains omega rich walnuts and flax along with brown rice, so you basically have a fully rounded meal here. Just serve with lots of steamed veggies and your favorite vegan gravy and it will be absolutely delicious.

Lentil Loaf | Cozy, Comforting + Meal-Prep Ready – The Plant Riot

Being vegan or plant-based doesn’t mean you forget the favorite flavor combinations from your “omnivore era” (if you had one). One of the comfort foods we loved (especially Andrew) was meatloaf, so we simply had to create a plant-based alternative. After a few experiments, we came up with this Lentil Loaf!

12. Creamy Lentil Curry

This simple one pot curry recipe contains my favorite high protein, brown lentils that I think are the tastiest in this kind of dish.

It’s always good to have a curry night every now and then, as there are so many great plant based sides you can put with it if you feel like adding more, such as poppadoms, onion bhajis, naan bread, pickles and chutneys; even fresh fruits traditionally go with curry. Or, to keep things simple, just serve it with a side of rice.

Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry

This easy to make Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry is a healthy vegan recipe that makes a perfect meatless Monday dinner recipe. It takes less than an hour (mostly hands-off time) to make and is packed full of delicious Indian flavors. Make extras and you’ll have a giant smile on your face at lunch the next day.

13. Tofu Scramble

Tofu is one of the highest protein plant based foods out there that is also VERY low in fat and calories, so great if you’re watching your weight.

You can scramble this up with any veggies you wish really, though I always think bell peppers, onion and spinach are a classic combo. This addition of turmeric powder to the dish not only adds an amazing, anti inflammatory spice into the mix, but also gives it that rich yellow egg colour that just seems to make it taste better somehow.

Tofu Scramble with Tomatoes and Chives

This vegan tofu scramble with tomatoes and chives makes the perfect breakfast for the weekend! It’s super delicious, easy to make, and it makes a great vegan alternative to scrambled eggs. And it’s pretty healthy too! I know a lot of people who say breakfast is their favorite meal of the day.

 

14. Vegan Thai Noodle Salad

Raw veggies in abundance will keep you in the best health possible as they contain lots of raw enzymes, and also have all their nutrients intact due to them not being destabilised by heat.

This amazing Thai salad has it all, and the addition of noodles and peanuts makes it a wholesome and hearty meal that you could easily prepare in advance and throw throw together last minute.

Try to eat lots of raw and nutritious foods as much as possible and you may really notice the difference in you general health and well-being, not to mention your skin will glow. I try to keep my diet around 60-70% raw, and it makes a huge difference.

Best Ever Thai Noodle Salad

Thai Noodle Salad with the BEST EVER Peanut Sauce- loaded up with healthy veggies! Vegan and Gluten-Free! Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable. ~Mary Oliver~ The other day I got a hankering for an old standby we used to have on the Mizuna menu, the vegetarian restaurant my friend Tonia and I started together way back when.

15. Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are a lovely, neat and compact dish that’s full of flavour, veggies and antioxidants from the bright bell peppers.

These peppers are a meal-in-one so no side are necessarily needed. You’ve got vegetables, rice and a great source of delicious protein with the addition of tempeh. Another great family favorite!

Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers – Easy, Healthy Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Italian Vegan Stuffed Peppers features a colorful mix of veggies, flavorful herbs and protein rich tempeh for a hearty and delicious lunch, dinner or meal prep idea! Meet my new favorite stuffed peppers recipe – not that these Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Peppers aren’t great too, we just needed another variation!

CONCLUSION

Eating and preparing plant based meals needn’t be a bind if you prepare a food plan in advance for your week ahead, and also get all your shopping in ready. You may also want to prepare some easy snacks in advance too, to stop your from buying high fat and sugar store bough products.

I hope this post has shown you some easy recipes that both you and your family can enjoy together. Keep things mixed up and try a new meal at least a couple of times a week so nobody gets bored. It will also help you identify what you do and do not like if you are a newbie to the plant based diet.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2020, not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving. I have lived this healthful lifestyle for over 3 years, and created Zestforever to share my experiences, trials, errors, how I overcame them, and to show you how easy it is for you to do it for yourself and thrive too!

I have studied, tried and tested all manner of healthy lifestyles over the past 20 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz that plant based eating has. I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor, and have a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer reviewing and contributing to posts.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant to show you ways of potentially boosting your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

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