Whether you eat fully vegan or want to eat more veggies, these vegan dinner recipes are some of the most exciting and creative meals you’ll eat.
Do you eat a plant based diet? Or are you just looking to eat more vegetables? Either way, vegan dinner recipes can be some of the most delicious and creative meals you’ll eat. Alex and I have compiled our best vegan dinner recipes that have become fan favorites. Whether you eat strictly vegan or just want to add more veggies to your diet, we promise you’ll find some dinner recipes you love!
A study came out recently called the EAT-Lancet Study that talks about how eating more plants and a little less meat is better for the planet. It’s also a better for our personal health, too. Alex and I started eating this way about 10 years ago when we read a book called Food Matters by Mark Bittman. So, this is becoming more and more of a theme in research and media. The upside to all of this is: eating lots of veggies has never been more exciting and creative! Because of the internet, we have access to all sorts of ideas for eating vegetables stemming from cuisines from around the world. And access to literally millions of recipes. Eating your vegetables has never tasted so good.
WOW! This vegan lasagna is majorly good. No matter how you eat, this vegan lasagna will be a hit! Promise. It's smothered in a zesty marinara sauce, layered with spinach, mushrooms, and our secret ingredient: hummus! Top with a sprinkling of "Parmesan" and it's a favorite that pleases everyone at the table. We guarantee it!
Next up in our vegan dinner recipes: Sloppy Joes! These vegan Sloppy Joes have a zingy lentil filling that tastes just as good as the meaty version. Put it on a toasted bun with some bread and butter pickles, and WOW! You’re going to love this one (promise). A fantastic plant-based meal for people who are on the fence about veggies, they're crowd pleasing and have a cozy, comforting vibe!
Your noodles are destined for greatness with this vegan pasta alfredo! The impossibly creamy sauce is a healthy spin on the traditionally rich pasta. It’s made with nutrient-dense cauliflower and protein-packed cashews instead of dairy. Said one reader: “YUM! I love it! It’s super easy to make. I made it again 2 days later!”
Another major crowd pleaser in our vegan dinner recipes is this vegan pot pie with sage crust. It’s become one of our top fan favorite recipes, and for good reason. The flaky crust is scented with sage, and the inside is pure creamy, savory goodness with sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and white beans. Take it from one commenter: “WOW. This is seriously amazing pot pie. I’ve had a couple of vegan pot pies before, but this is my favorite! I love the flavor of the sauce, especially the smoked paprika. And the CRUST! So flaky and wonderful.”
Next up in our best vegan dinner recipes: Vegan Pizza! Pizza without cheese needs big flavors, especially in the umami department. So in addition to lots of hearty veg (spinach, chickpeas, red peppers), we brought in that meaty umami quality with mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Our other secret to our best vegan pizza is using very high quality tomato sauce. Since cheeseless pizza can’t make up for flavor with cheese, the tomatoes you use have to add mega flavor. Here we’ve used fire-roasted tomatoes, which bring a lovely sweet flavor. This vegan pizza pie is a big hit with family and friends alike!
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is used as a plant based substitute for pulled pork. That might sound crazy, but it’s absolutely delicious. This jackfruit BBQ sandwich has barbecue sauce that’s perfectly balanced: sweet, tangy, savory, and a little boozy from a bit of whiskey. Hello, flavor! Simmer that with your jackfruit until it takes on that boozy, tangy BBQ flavor. Then place it on a bun with either our easy vinegar coleslaw or our best creamy coleslaw (with the vegan mayo variation). It’s one of the most seriously satisfying vegan dinner recipes you’ll try!
Since we’re on the theme of “best”, how about the best vegan meatballs? This is one of our coziest, most comforting vegan dinner recipes. The ingredients for these plant based meatballs are simple: just oats, potatoes, cashews, garlic and spices! They’re then pan fried in a bit of oil until crispy, then doused in tangy marinara sauce and topped with vegan Parmesan. And that vegan Parmesan — well, we’re new converts! It’s got the texture of shaker can Parmesan cheese, but it’s fully plant based and super savory.
Hello, flavor! This vegan noodle bowl is everything that’s great about a spring roll, in bowl form. Crisp veggies, tender noodles, and crunchy crushed peanuts are set off by an herbaceous punch from the trio of basil, cilantro and mint. And a zingy Sweet Garlic Lime Sauce infuses a gingery, citrusy goodness throughout. Honestly, we’re a little speechless with this one. It's a fantastic vegan dinner idea that works for weeknights or entertaining (and it saves well for lunches).
Another key in vegan dinner recipes: the burger! This black bean burger is made with sweet potatoes and oats, and then flavored with soy sauce and mirin to simulate a teriyaki flavor. For the topping a few sauteed shiitake mushrooms and sriracha mayo, which makes for a killer combination. Or course if you want to go big on teriyaki, you could brush the entire burger with our Easy Homemade Teriyaki Sauce!
What’s a list of vegan dinner recipes without a good chili? This savory, hearty quinoa vegan chili is packed with protein and is gluten-free as well. It’s got lots of veggies and the secret ingredients are a bit of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chili peppers in adobo (available at most groceries in the ethnic foods aisle). And if you’re looking for other vegan chili recipes: we’ve got quite a few!
Where are our ramen fans at? Alex and I love ramen, those steaming noodle bowls filled with colorful veggies and savory broth. Ramen is a traditional Japanese dish that’s an interpretation of Chinese noodles, but it has a Korean spin as well! This Korean ramen is one of our favorite vegan dinner recipes for its satisfying, savory flavor. Gochujang (Korean chili paste), peanut butter, miso and seaweed all work together to add major savoriness to the broth. It’s full of delicious colorful veggies and tofu, all piled onto chewy ramen noodles and topped with tangy quick pickled cucumbers.
Raw falafel may sound a bit odd, but they’re incredibly good! Our version is made with sunflower seeds, herbs and spices. Then we’ve nestled these raw falafel into a buddha bowl with fresh raw veggies like greens, beet and carrots. Also of note: these raw falafel are made without a dehydrator. Many recipes online use a dehydrator, but ours simply uses a food processor. The bowl is covered in a creamy, lemon tahini dressing with a hint of maple. We tried this meal out on a few friends and got rave reviews!
Nachos for dinner? Yes, please! These loaded vegan nachos are the best because they’re piled high with smoky, meaty lentils, crunchy veggies, and topped with our vegan nacho cheese. To make them one of our healthy vegan dinner recipes, look for organic corn chips with minimal ingredients (ideally corn, oil, and salt).
This Italian pasta salad is full of zesty flavor, featuring lots of veggies, kalamata olives, capers, and crisp romaine. It’s like eating pasta and salad all at once! Not only is it delicious, but the romaine and veggies helps you feel satisfied eating less pasta overall. Instead of relying on cheese for flavor, this one is tangy and salty without the dairy! It’s one of our tried and true vegan dinner recipes.
Ready for the coziest, most comforting superfood soup? This butternut squash lentil soup tastes like a bowl of sunshine. It’s chock full of beautiful, colorful healthy ingredients, and it tastes surprisingly more delicious than you’d imagine from the humble ingredients. Using leeks brings a complexity to the body of the soup, and it’s filled with butternut squash, carrots, onion, and of course: kale! This is one of our healthier vegan dinner recipes, and it’s one of the tastiest too.
Who doesn’t love sushi? These days, there are vegan sushi options with incredible flavor and beautiful colors! However, it’s difficult to make sushi at home. So we created a deconstructed sushi bowl! For this vegan sushi bowl, we’ve used brown rice, nori paper (the seaweed paper used to roll sushi), and a bunch of veggies. It’s all tossed with an orange and soy dressing and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It gives the illusion of eating sushi, without being nearly as labor intensive. We also used our Instant Pot method for brown rice: which is quicker than stove-top and hands off!
These Thai sweet potatoes are one of our readers’ favorite vegan dinner recipes because of the big flavor from a relatively simple concept! If you have an Instant Pot, you can use it to make perfectly cooked, moist sweet potatoes. Or, roast the sweet potatoes in the oven while you prepare the toppings: a fresh, crunchy Thai-style pepper and cabbage slaw and a creamy peanut sauce.
And to round out our best vegan dinner recipes...chickpea curry! This one is the epitome of healthy weeknight dinners. It can be made in just 20 minutes, a speed record for sure. But there are no flavor shortcuts: it's bursting with garlic, ginger, cumin, and curry powder, with a bit of coconut swirled in for a creamy body. Serve with basmati rice (or Instant Pot rice) and it's a true gem.
Looking for more dinner recipes?
Outside of these vegan dinner recipes, here are a few more collections of dinner recipes:
2 25-ounce jars tomato basil pasta sauce (or any marinara sauce)
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
10 to 13 ounces no boil lasagna noodles* (see note!)
8-ounce container hummus
Dried oregano, for sprinkling
Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Make the spinach mushroom filling: Pull out the stems of mushrooms with your fingers. In a food processor or with a large knife, roughly chop the mushrooms, 1/2 cup of the cashews and the rosemary. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a skillet and bring to medium heat. Sauté mushrooms and cashews for 3 minutes until soft but still hold their shape. Add the spinach (saving out a few leaves for the garnish) and sauté until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the lemon juice. Let stand until assembling.
Make the dairy free Parmesan topping: in a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 cup cashews with the garlic powder and lemon zest until it’s ground into about the texture of a shaker can of grated Parmesan. (Alternatively, chop as finely as possible with a knife.)
Mix the sauce: In a large bowl, mix together the pasta sauce and tomato sauce.
Layer the lasagna: In a 9 x 13” baking dish, spread tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of noodles (our pan held 3 noodles longwise and 3/4 noodle widthwise), breaking noodles as necessary**. Spread with half of the hummus, half of the mushrooms and a tomato sauce layer. Repeat again: 1 layer of noodles, half of the hummus, half of the greens and tomato sauce. Finally, top with noodles, then tomato sauce again. Sprinkle the entire top with the “Parmesan” and dried oregano.
Bake: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, then 10 minutes uncovered. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving (this allows the lasagna to set). If you’d like, finely chop spinach leaves to use as a garnish (for looks only!). Cut into pieces and enjoy.
*Important: You must use no-boil lasagna noodles for this recipe! Do not substitute standard noodles. The amount of sauce is formulated for no boil noodles, which need more liquid than standard lasagna noodles.
**If you have a large 9 x 13” aluminum pan with square sides, you’ll need 13 ounces noodles. A 9 x 13” glass baking dish with rounded sides only needs 10 ounces of pasta noodles! Baking dish shapes and noodle shapes can vary, so make sure you have enough pasta based on your baking dish.
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 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.