These easy vegan recipes for beginners make eating a whole food plant-based diet fun, healthy, and most importantly: delicious!
When Alex and I started eating lots of vegan recipes, at first it seemed daunting. How would we feed ourselves? But we quickly realized they can be some of the most creative, delicious and beautiful recipes out there!
Fast forward to today, and we’ve devoted our lives to inspiring people–you–how to eat lots of vegetables in delicious ways. Our forte? Veggie-packed recipes that are tasty, healthy, and pretty simple to make. You have 3 chances per day to eat a whole foods plant based (WFPB) diet. Why not start now?
First up in our easy vegan recipes for beginners: tacos! These vegan tacos are full of fresh flavors, featuring a zesty lentil filling, green cabbage, and a bright green cilantro drizzle. They’re one of our easy vegan recipes you can quickly whip up on a weeknight. Scroll down for the recipe!
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!”
Loaded sweet potatoes is one of our favorite easy vegan recipes. And you won’t believe the flavor in these Mexican sweet potatoes! They’re the perfect blend of sweet and savory. The spicy pico de gallo is the perfect complement to the light sweetness of the potato. Topped with creamy cilantro sauce made out of a secret vegan ingredient (cashews!), it’s a little bit of heaven.
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! Serve easy vinegar coleslaw (or use our best creamy coleslaw with vegan mayo).
This vegan chickpea curry hits all the checkboxes for plant based dinner perfection. It’s full of plant based protein, so it will keep you full for hours. Packed with chickpeas, spinach, ginger, and curry powder, and it takes only 20 minutes to make. Serve with basmati rice.
This one’s the best veggie stir fry out there. The homemade teriyaki sauce is so easy to make: it takes just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes. The teriyaki also has no refined sugar, instead relying on maple syrup! Combine it with nutrient dense brocolli, bell peppers, and tempeh, and you’ve got a satisfying and protein-filled meal. It’s become a serious go to in our house for easy vegan recipes.
Another at the top of our easy vegan recipes, this Chickpea Salad Sandwich! It's a fan favorite that works for both vegetarian and vegan diets. Essentially a chicken salad sandwich using chickpeas, it's made of mashed chickpeas, celery, green onion, a little mayo, and a pop of lemon. We served this one up with hummus spread on both sides of the bread, and it added an extra dimension.
These vegan tacos are a bit outside the box, since the filling is made of quinoa! The quinoa filling is toasted and filled with taco spices and lime. Then combine it with a bell pepper slaw, spicy cashew cream, and feta cheese, and you’ve got a new level of delicious. Oh and pickled red onions for color and crunch!
This easy sheet pan dinner is full of colorful vegetables and loaded with flavor! It's a plant-based dinner that roasts up everything on a sheet pan at once: lots of good-for-you veggies and chickpeas for plant based protein. Throw it all in the oven while you cook rice or quinoa. Top with a dollop of hummus, vegan sour cream, or another vegan sauce. Dinnertime win!
Minestrone soup is a vegan Italian recipe designed for using up any veggies you had on hand. This classic soup is full of chunky vegetables, white beans, and pasta in a tomato-y broth. Serve it with basil pesto (or vegan pesto) and it’s called Minestrone alla genovese. In Italian this means “minestrone soup from Genoa,” the capital of the region of Liguria Italy where all the great pesto comes from!
Many times when we think of easy vegan recipes, we tend to think towards dinner ideas. But we wanted to give you some breakfast inspiration too! This Homemade Acai Bowl is a tangy purple smoothie made of acai berries and tropical fruit, topped with vibrant toppings of all kinds. Acai pulp can be found in the frozen section in most groceries or online. It’s absolutely worth finding some if you can; the flavor is unique and it makes for a special treat.
If we’re talking easy vegan recipes for beginners, this one is probably the easiest breakfast you’ll ever make. Promise. The instant oatmeal mix takes just 5 minutes to put together and makes enough for breakfasts throughout the week. Then each morning, just add water and microwave for 2 minutes! It’s a genius life hack that makes for simple mornings. Top with nut or seed butter for a filling breakfast.
These cauliflower tacos are a fan favorite! The filling stars our crispy breaded cauliflower (baked, not fried), which are reminiscent of the texture of fish tacos. Add to that refried beans and silky Yum Yum Sauce and they’re all about one thing: big flavor!
Easy vegan recipes have got to include treats, right? If a no bake cookie and a peanut butter cup had a baby, it would be these bliss bites! This one is a vegan recipe we recommend to everyone: not just beginners. It’s our most popular recipe to date! One trick: make the “mini” version using a mini muffin tin to keep the portion size smaller: then you can eat more of them!
In just 25 minutes, you've got a fresh bowl of delicious vegetables that’s smothered in a tangy lemon tahini sauce. If you’re just starting to eat plant based recipes or have been eating them for years, this one's a truly tasty way to eat your veggies. Couscous is ultra quick to cook: bring it to a boil and then turn off the heat for 5 minutes! For gluten free diets, substitute quinoa or rice.
Here's a fantastic vegan breakfast idea: a tofu scramble! You'll be surprised how much it has the flavor and texture of scrambled eggs! It's a healthy, savory vegan breakfast that takes only 10 minutes to whip up. If you'd like, serve it with a veggie saute on the side: red onion, peppers and greens cooked until tender.
This one takes a little time to bake, but it's 100% worth it. Just WOW! Alex and I eat dairy, but we agree: this is our favorite lasagna, period. No matter how you eat, this vegan lasagna will be a hit. 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 will please everyone at the table...we guarantee it.
And finally, another favorite in our easy vegan recipes: wild rice soup! This soup is creamy and comforting, with white beans, carrots, mushrooms and wild rice. It’s naturally creamy using cashews blended with some of the body of the soup. It makes for a filling and satisfying dinner that rounds out our list of easy vegan recipes. Try either Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup or Stovetop Wild Rice Soup.
Soak the cashews for the Creamy Cilantro Sauce for at least 30 minutes while making the remainder of the recipe, more if time (or make ahead — see instructions in the cilantro sauce recipe).
Place the lentils in a pot with 6 cups warm water. Bring to a low boil, then boil for about 15 to 20 minutes until just al dente (taste often to assess doneness). Drain, then stir in the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
Warm the tortillas according to the package instructions. (We typically char ours on an open flame, but that’s not the preferred method with the One Degree tortillas.) To serve, top the tortillas with lentils, green onions, green cabbage, salsa verde, torn cilantro leaves, and cilantro drizzle.
Keywords: Vegan Recipes, Easy Vegan Recipes for Beginners
Looking for more recipes?
Outside of these easy vegan recipes, here are a few more collections of dinner recipes:
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.