12 Plant Based Recipes Perfect for Dinner

Did you know that what you eat may prevent or reverse disease? Here are 10 of our favorite plant based diet recipes (WFPB) to eat more vegetables at dinnertime.

Did you know the way you eat could save your life? Or at least make it way better. Research is showing that eating fresh food and a mostly whole food plant based diet (WFPB) can be life changing. A hospital in Pennsylvania has even started fresh food by prescription to treat and prevent disease. This is the exact why behind this website. Because we believe eating fresh food and plant based recipes can save lives. 

The reason Alex and I created this website is that we think cooking and eating lots of plant based meals can prevent and even reverse disease. But we’re not doctors or nutritionists: we’re recipe developers. That means that on A Couple Cooks, we’ve got lots of recipes using the foods doctors and nutritionist say are good for you.

How to make plant based recipes filling

Here is a list of our 10 favorite filling plant based recipes that are perfect for dinner. Plant based meals here means vegan: no meat or dairy. A misconception we hear is that plant based meals are just a pile of carrot and celery sticks and not filling. Au contraire: vegan main dishes need to be packed with plant-based protein! That means focusing on recipes with the following:

For more, see Guide to Plant Based Protein. Here are our favorites that are both filling and delicious. Let us know if you make them, and feel free to share with friends and family who are looking to eat more veg.

Want plant based recipes as part of a meal plan? Try our 28-Day Vegan Meal Plan or Plant Based Diet Meal Plan.

And now…some favorite plant based recipes!

A fan favorite of our plant based recipes, this curry is incredibly flavorful! It's packed with filling protein-filled chickpeas, and super foods like sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach. Serve it with brown rice or quinoa

Said one reader: "I googled the “best cauliflower curry recipe ever” and found yours. Boy, was that a stroke of luck. This recipe is definitely a keeper. It got 5 stars from my family – truly a tough crowd. A flavorful and delicious meal in short order!"

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Loading up on plant-based protein is key to making plant based recipes filling! And this insanely-tasty healthy chili recipe is full of it: it's got a trio of protein-packed beans, quinoa and is topped with pepitas. It’s full savory, hearty flavor even though it’s meatless!

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These BBQ bean tacos with pineapple salsa are a delicious fast and easy plant based recipe! They’re on the table in less than 30 minutes. They're all about contrasts: barbecue pinto beans and a tangy pineapple salsa made with red onion, cilantro and lime.

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This creamy wild rice soup is a huge fan favorite. And we couldn't be more thrilled, because this truly is one of the best vegetarian recipes out there. Intensely cozy and comforting, it features chewy wild rice, savory veggies and white beans, swimming in a naturally creamy sauce that you'll never believe has no dairy. (The secret? Cashews!) It's pretty magical. Serve with buttermilk biscuits or vegan cornbread.

Try either: Best Wild Rice Soup or Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup.

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This Thai salad is a fresh and delicious way to eat salad for dinner. Crunchy colorful vegetables and crisp-sauteed tofu are smothered in a creamy peanut sauce dressing. Then it's all topped with peanuts, cilantro, and lime. There’s a lot going on in this bowl, since the more varied and interesting the flavors and textures of a salad, the more satisfying it is!

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Veggie burgers are infamously tricky to make tasty. While it’s not made of beef, this one is hearty and full of flavor, made with protein-filled black beans and sweet potatoes. And the filling takes it over the top: savory sauteed shiitakes and spicy mayo. 

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Instead of making pizza dough, using naan bread cuts the time significantly (just make sure your naan is vegan)! These naan pizzas are a quick and easy plant based recipe, featuring hummus and a tahini miso drizzle to bring big flavor in place of cheese. 

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This one is a Lebanese salad-turned nourish bowl! Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that’s a mix of herbs, cucumber, tomatoes, and crispy pita pieces. Here the concept is made into a filling plant based recipe, adding spiced chickpeas to make it more filling. It's drizzled with a vinaigrette spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and garnished with mint.

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Here's one of our most popular plant based dinner recipes! Imagine perfectly baked sweet potato, topped with a fresh, crunchy Thai-style pepper and cabbage slaw and a creamy peanut sauce. We’ve heard from many readers and followers that this one is a family favorite! If you have an Instant Pot, try this with our Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes.

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this Moroccan stew is cozy, healthy and full of flavor. It's spiced with cumin, coriander and cinnamon, and the chickpeas are simmered with tomatoes and chickpeas. Sere with a side of quinoa or couscous, and a dollop of cashew cream.

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We’re surprised by how many people have told us they love this one: humble Cajun-spiced red beans and brown rice. It’s super flavorful plant based recipe that's budget-friendly, too.

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Last but not least in our plant based recipes, our favorite bowl meal! These Mediterranean couscous bowls take about 25 minutes to put together, making them a seriously quick dinner! Spiced chickpeas are nestled in a bowl with lemon parsley couscous, tomato, cucumber, and topped with tahini sauce.

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Looking for more plant based recipes?

If you’re craving even more plant based recipes, here are more of our faves:

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Cauliflower curry

Cauliflower Curry Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.89 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

Everybody loves this cauliflower curry recipe! This easy whole food plant based recipe (WFPB) is warm-spiced, nutrient packed, and ready in just over 30 minutes.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 pound sweet potato (4 cups chopped)
  • 1 head cauliflower (5 cups chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder*
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, San Marzano if possible
  • 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Brown or white rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Make the rice according to How to Cook White RiceHow to Cook Brown Rice, or Instant Pot Rice.
  2. Dice the onion. Chop the sweet potato into bite-sized chunks (do not peel). Chop the cauliflower into florets.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 2 minutes, then add the sweet potato and saute 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and saute another 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Add the Muir Glen tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender.
  4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. When the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas and 4 cups spinach and stir for 2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add another ½ teaspoon kosher salt to taste, adding additional salt if necessary.
  5. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve with brown rice.

Notes

*Using a high-quality curry powder is key to a complex taste in this curry. Using a full-fat coconut milk is also recommended versus light coconut milk, as it imparts a satisfying richness.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian Inspired

Keywords: Plant Based Recipes, WFPB

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Deb Hatton
    May 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    These are awesome! I recently decided to try going vegetarian for a month and have started to work through these recipes. They’re really softening the blow of dropping the meat!

  • Reply
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby
    May 12, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I’d love to eat more plant based but I don’t like beans so that can post a challenge! That pizza recipe looks to die for though!

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