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?
These vegan 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! 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!” Also try: Vegan Pesto Pasta.
Here's the ultimate vegan chili recipe! Everyone loves chili, and it's the perfect way to make vegetables taste delicious. It’s hard to find someone who will turn this one down! It’s full of savory flavor starring beans, quinoa, and a hint of adobo sauce for complexity. Top it with our vegan sour cream and some pickled jalapenos and well: it’s out of this world good. Serve with Vegan Cornbread.
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).
These vegan enchiladas are a huge crowd pleaser! Tortillas are wrapped around a veggie filling of black beans and guacamole, and it’s all doused in a zesty homemade enchilada sauce. With the crunchy veggie topping, this dish looks simply incredible. And it tastes even better than it looks!
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 or vegan naan.
Another at the top of our easy vegan recipes, this Chickpea Salad Sandwich! It's a fan favorite: 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. Also try: Simple Chickpea Salad
There’s no such thing as too many easy dinner ideas. So let us present our new favorite: these incredible vegan fajitas! Everyone loves this meal, even meat eaters. It’s a great way to make a fun healthy dinner where no one notices there’s no meat! Roast up lots of veggies on a sheet pan with spices, and serve with refried beans and “guac-ish,” a super fast version of guacamole.
This vegan broccoli soup is impossibly creamy, whole food plant based (WFPB), and tastes like the coziest bowl of comfort. And it’s 100% made of veggies! This one tastes like an elevated version of broccoli cheese soup, and makes for a filling vegan meal.
Ready for a veggie-filled pasta that tastes incredible with no need for cheese? Meet this vegan pasta primavera! Pasta primavera is all about fresh, green spring veggies and a delicate, light flavor. This one features loads of flavor and springy broccoli, asparagus, peas, and mushrooms.
Loaded sweet potatoes is one of our favorite easy vegan recipes: and you won’t believe the flavor in these! 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.
This one’s the best vegan 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-rich meal.
Veggie burgers can be seriously satisfying, and that doesn’t mean processed meat substitutes. These easy vegan chickpea burgers are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a hint of nuance from smoked paprika. Painted with BBQ sauce and served with vegan bacon and spicy mayo, they’re darn tasty.
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!
These crispy avocado tacos are destined to be your new favorite vegan recipe! You’ve got avocado fries, breaded and baked in a hot oven until crispy. Then top that with spiced black beans, pico de gallo, and the refreshing crunch of romaine lettuce. Drizzle on a creamy lime and cilantro sauce, and it’s heaven on a plate. It tastes like restaurant tacos, but it’s easy to whip up in your kitchen.
Here’s a vegan banana muffins recipe that will make everyone say, “Wow!” They’re fluffy and just sweet enough, with the perfect banana flavor. Even better, a streusel topping gives every bite a little crunch and extra touch of sweet. You’d really never know these are a vegan baked good. Also try: Vegan Banana Bread
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.
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!
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!
Easy vegan recipes include 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, this one is probably the easiest breakfast you’ll ever make. Promise. Toast the oats in coconut oil to bring out their flavor, then add water and cinnamon and wait for a few minutes. It’s a genius life hack that makes for simple mornings. Top with almond butter, peanut butter or cashew butter for a filling breakfast (and add vegan strawberry jam if you like).
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: it takes just 5 minutes!
Here's a fantastic vegan breakfast recipe: 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.
Is there anything cozier than blueberry pancakes? Any time of the day: these babies hit the spot. This vegan blueberry pancakes recipe results in fluffy griddle cakes that are just sweet enough and a little tangy from the berries. Moistened with maple syrup, they’re everything a pancake should be.
If you have the time and want to impress, this vegan shepherd's pie recipe is where it's at! Imagine: a creamy gravy filled with tender vegetables, lentils and scented with fennel and sage. Then a fluffy layer of Yukon gold potatoes, topped with fresh rosemary. It’s layered together in a baking dish and then baked until golden.
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.
Vegan protein: making recipes to stay full!
Lastly, one important part to eating vegan recipes. Make sure you get enough plant based protein to stay satiated and full! Getting protein from legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy is important for balancing a diet that has no meat or dairy. And it will keep you full for hours! All of the recipes above focus on making sure there is a good amount of vegan protein. Here are the best sources of vegan protein in your diet:
If using purchased refried beans, mix with 1/2 teaspoon cumin and a pinch or two kosher salt to taste. (Or, you can make our Refried Black Beans but for this recipe we preferred using storebought so we could focus on the cauliflower!)
Thinly slice the cabbage, enough for 2 cups. Mix it with 2 tablespoons lime juice and a pinch or two of salt. Allow it to stand at room temperature until serving.
To serve, place refried beans in a tortilla, top with cabbage, breaded cauliflower, Yum Yum sauce, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges to spritz prior to serving. (If you have leftover cauliflower, you can reheat them in a 350F oven for 10 minutes, flipping once.)
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.