These easy vegetarian recipes for beginners are delicious ideas every meal! Find recipes for plant based dinner, breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Looking to find ways to eat more vegetables? Us too. In fact, it’s the reason we started this website! We’re two vegetarian cookbook authors who fell in love with the deliciousness of plant-packed meals. So here’s our list of favorite easy vegetarian recipes for beginners. Some are easy vegetarian dinner ideas, some are breakfast essentials, and some are cookies because: why not? Most are dinner recipes since, but we threw in some lunch ideas and breakfast recipes too. Here we go.
There’s no such thing as too many easy vegetarian dinner ideas, so here's another favorite: these incredible sheet pan 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 a fast and easy homemade guacamole.
With all of our vegetarian recipes for beginners, we try to make them so delicious that you feel totally satisfied without meat. This is the case with our chickpea curry! It's seriously flavorful, filled with ginger, garlic, cumin and curry powder, with a little coconut milk swirled in to make it creamy. It’s one of our top vegetarian dinner recipes that we recommend for getting your feet wet in plant based cooking.
Meet the best vegetarian lasagna! The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met.
Next up in our easy vegetarian recipes for beginners: tortilla soup! Instead of simmering for hours, you can get big flavor in just over 30 minutes. The secret here is adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis: it brings in a smoky flavor without adding too much heat! Topped with homemade crunchy tortilla strips, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
Meet our favorite vegetarian and vegan dinner recipe: the Falafel Burger! We don’t always have the energy to fry up a batch of authentic falafel. So eating it in burger form is the next best thing! These are easy to make with canned chickpeas. The combination of a cumin and coriander-scented chickpea patty with cool cucumber sauce and all the fixin’s is pretty darn epic. It’s a healthy vegetarian and vegan dinner recipe that everyone loves.
It can be hard to find a vegetarian dinner idea that works for everyone, and here’s one we fall back on time and time again: the Loaded Baked Potato! Mix and match any variety of baked potato toppings and you’ve got a delicious dinner that works for almost any diet. We recently did this when we were feeding a crowd (my family in town for a visit) and everyone loved it! There are endless ideas for customizing the meal and it lets every eater get creative.
Another fast and easy dinner recipe for your arsenal: 5 minute tacos! Yes, it's possible to make tacos in about 5 minutes. You'll love the chorizo egg filling, made of scramble eggs that taste meaty and satisfying. Top with salsa and hot sauce, it's seriously simple. It’s one of our go to’s for quick weeknights, and one of our favorite easy vegetarian recipes for beginners.
Here’s an incredible vegetarian recipe that’s impressive every time: these Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas! This fan favorite always gets top marks from readers. Tender sweet potatoes are the perfect contrast to savory black beans and tangy salsa verde. Top it off with Colby cheese, it’s the best gooey comfort food around. This one will please everyone: we guarantee it.
Want to make pizza that feeds a crowd? Let’s make Sheet Pan Pizza! This style of pizza is a bit different than the standard circular variety, but it’s become an instant favorite around here. Why? It makes a big pan the equivalent of 3 medium pizzas, and it’s so easy to make! You don’t need any special equipment, and you don’t have to bother with shaping the dough.
Introducing our new favorite easy vegetarian spin on chili…this Black Bean Chili recipe! It’s beyond simple to make, and the flavor is outstanding. (We hope you’ll agree.) It’s got a hint of smokiness to highlight the tangy tomatoes and savory black beans. Top it with your favorite toppings, and it’s so hearty and savory, you’ll forget it’s healthy, too.
So here’s one to file under easy vegetarian dinnertime basics: this easy rice bowl! This 30 minute vegetarian dinner features these easy black beans, a trick to make a bland can of beans taste amazing in 5 minutes. Pair it with rice and colorful veggies. The kicker? A zingy cilantro lime ranch that you’ll want to bathe in. These were so tasty and easy, we knew we had to share (we simply inhaled them).
Dinnertime just got easier. This vegan fettuccine alfredo is a winner with everyone from kids to meat lovers: it’s just that good! 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. Make it with any type of noodle you choose (legume noodles, zoodles, etc) and it’s an easy 30-minute plant based dinner.
Here’s a go-to when you need a plant based dinner that’s protein-packed: this Vegetarian Meatballs recipe! Now, there are two problems with most meatless meatballs recipes. Vegan meatballs take a long time to make, and many recipes don’t have much protein. This meatless meatballs recipe solves both problems. This recipe takes under 30 minutes to make, and it’s packed with protein!
Enchiladas are one of our favorite dinner recipes around here. But they can take a while to prep for a weeknight. Here’s a new recipe we designed to work in 30 minutes flat: these easy Vegetarian Enchiladas! The filling takes no time to whip up: it’s just spiced pinto beans and spices. Roll ’em up, bake until golden and cheesy, and load with all your favorite toppings. These are so quick, we’ve ditched our other favorite recipes for this one (oops!).
No one’s going to complain about more quick and easy vegetarian recipes, right? This one the ultimate quick weeknight meal, a filling vegetarian dinner that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Meet this soba noodle bowl! It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter. Even better: eggs are scrambled right into the mix (like fried rice, but with noodles!).
Another beyond easy vegetarian recipe: try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony of flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. This one is a massive hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too!
Here's a must-try vegetarian recipe: this irresistible BBQ Tofu! Each bite has just the right chewy texture, bathed in a silky, sweet, savory sauce. You’ll want to keep eating it for days. This plate disappeared very quickly at our house! This recipe is easy to put together and a great starter recipe for people who are wary of the stuff. In fact, it might turn them into unabashed fans.
Here’s another of our vegetarian recipes for beginners that’s so flavorful, you don’t miss the meat. This one features Moroccan spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, and it’s finished off with a squeeze of lemon. With the contrasting sweetness of the sweet potatoes, it’s complex and cozy all at the same time. It's vegan and plant based as is, or add a dollop of Greek yogurt for a creamy sauce to bring it all together.
What’s more homey than a bright bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese? This vegetarian classic hits the spot in any season. Make up a steaming bowl of homemade tomato soup flavored with tangy fire-roasted tomatoes, and a gooey gourmet grilled cheese with a hint of smoked gouda. Plus, we've got a few tips for making it for a crowd (like baked grilled cheese!).
Did you know tofu is mega delicious? Right out of the container it's a colorless, flavorless goo. But cook it up right and it’s one of the tastiest easy vegetarian dinner recipes you can have. This healthy vegan protein is great for incorporating into your meal prep repertoire. Want to fall in love with it? Come taste this tofu stir fry. It’s got the most flavor-packed stir fry sauce that works with any veggie, and the tofu is crisped on the outside and perfectly seasoned.
One of our fan favorite vegetarian recipe is this mushroom pasta with goat cheese! This might actually convert mushroom haters to a new way of life! It's become a fan favorite recipe because of the big flavor that's possible in under 30 minutes. Imagine: creamy goat cheese, savory mushrooms, fresh thyme and oregano and a bright squeeze of lemon. An absolute showstopper!
Want to make quesadillas for a crowd, but don’t want to hover over the stove while making them to order? Enter: quesadillas in the oven! This recipe makes the humble solo meal into a delicious dinner, resulting in a big batch all at once on a sheet pan. All the quesadillas are done at the same time, and they come out with a beautifully crispy exterior. In fact, it feels like a whole new version of this classic: like Quesadillas 2.0.
No matter how many healthy, easy dinner ideas we have in our repertoire, we’re always in need of another. Here’s our newest idea for loading up on good stuff: meet this Roasted Vegetable Pasta! It’s a combination between cozy comfort food and a vegetable-powered healthy meal, pairing roasted vegetables with bright marinara and Parmesan cheese. Here’s how to make this tasty vegetarian pasta!
These Thai style baked sweet potatoes are one of our favorite easy vegetarian recipes, because of the big flavor in this simple concept. If you have an Instant Pot, you can use it here to get perfectly cooked, moist sweet potatoes. Or, use our Quick Baked Sweet Potato to roast it in the oven. Accessorize 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!
Here’s a quick and easy taco recipe perfect for weeknights: try these Mushroom Tacos! Portobello mushrooms have enormous savory flavor: throw them in a skillet with some punchy seasonings and they make plant-based magic. This recipe is for when you have just a few minutes to throw together a meal: combine those portobellos with creamy refried beans and the quickest slaw, and you’ve got dinner!
What’s your favorite vegetarian comfort food recipe? Mac and cheese and pizza can do the trick, but here’s our ultimate: fried rice! There’s something about the chewy clumps of eggs and the savory ginger and soy-infused bites that feels positively life giving. Usually we make fried rice on the fly without a recipe. But after years of tinkering, we wanted to share our master method. Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: it tastes just like takeout from your favorite restaurant!
Welcome to…your new favorite healthy vegetarian recipe. Well, at least it’s ours! Something about all those tasty fillings snuggled cozily into a tortilla makes a burrito irresistible. This burrito is packed with flavor from Spanish rice (aka Mexican rice), seasoned black beans, peppers and onions, and mashed avocado. Even better, step it up with a zingy vegan sauce.
Of all our vegetarian recipes, one people consistently comment about is this wild rice soup! It's creamy by way of cashews that are blended right along with the soup to make a creamy base. Then there's tender wild rice, cozy carrots and onions, and white beans that round it out to add more plant-based protein. This one is vegan and gluten-free too, and we've heard from multitudes of people who say that meat-eaters love it too.
Roasting your dinner on a baking sheet makes for an easy vegetarian recipe! 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. Dinnertime win!
Are you on the lentil train? Lentils are low in calories, high in nutrition, and budget friendly. And, they make 40 times less greenhouse gases than a burger. Impressive, right? So here’s our favorite new way to eat them: our Best Damn Lentil Soup. Yes, we're pulling out the expletives because this one is so delicious, you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy hug. This vegetarian lentil soup is ready to amaze you.
Hold onto your hats! Here’s a creamy broccoli potato soup that will blow your mind. (We hope.) It’s impossibly creamy, whole food plant based (WFPB), and it tastes like the coziest bowl of comfort. And it’s 100% made of veggies! How’s that for amazing? This easy and healthy vegetarian recipe is also vegan and gluten-free, so it works for a variety of diets. But it tastes like an elevated version of broccoli cheese soup from a can (you know the one).
Why is finding healthy and easy vegetarian lunch recipes so hard? Over here we like to eat extremely simple at breakfast and lunch, so that we can spend our time and energy on dinner recipes. So here’s one of our favorite easy lunch tricks ever: is this chickpea salad sandwich! It’s basically a vegetarian chicken salad sandwich, but uses chickpeas instead of chicken. It’s so tasty, it’s become one of our most popular chickpea recipes.
Everyone needs solid basic vegetarian recipes for kitchen standards. And here’s one we think will become part of your repertoire: the perfect Egg Salad Sandwich! It’s the best kind of basic. This is a sandwich you can sink your teeth into, that tastes like an elevated version of what you’re used to. It’s fresh and healthy, not the mayo-laden kind you can find at the store. Another secret? It’s stuffed with fresh herbs, to give you a beautiful pop of flavor.
Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich? Here’s one with a glamorous twist: the avocado grilled cheese. Simply adding an avocado and tomato to a standard grilled cheese makes it fit for serving to company! Although it’s a simple dish, grilled cheese can be gussied up as much or as little as you like. Serve this avocado grilled cheese with tomato alongside a bowl of homemade tomato soup or a green salad, and you’ve got instant dinner.
Looking for healthy vegetarian lunch ideas? Here’s a salad that’s beautifully fresh and saves well for meals throughout the week: kale quinoa salad! It’s full of healthy ingredients: quinoa, kale, peppers, carrots: and then covered in a delicious, ultra tangy dressing. It’s so flavorful and keeps that flavor 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Our lunches just got way more exciting! It also works as a side salad for healthy dinners.
Here's a vegetarian breakfast recipe that's a to go-to. In fact, we make this recipe every single day. Why? This best oatmeal recipe tastes incredible. It’s vegan so it’s a plant based way to start the day. AND it is full of plant based protein so it is seriously filling: you’re literally full for hours after you eat it.
Want to eat more breakfast vegetables? Eating more veggies to start the day is starting to trend. Because let’s face it: the American breakfast is largely based on carbs and sugar. Pancakes, waffles, muffins…all sugary. So health-minded people have been asking: why not re-imagine breakfast? Let’s infuse veggies into the first meal of the day, too. So try this Breakfast Vegetable Scramble! You can make it two ways: with eggs or tofu, depending on your diet.
This 5 minute pesto arugula breakfast sandwich is a fitting vegetarian recipe for beginners because it shows how thoughtfully flavored food doesn’t have to take hours to make. Pesto is one of our tricks to adding big flavor in no time. Slather pesto on an English muffin, quick wilt some arugula, top with an egg and you’re in business! (And you can eat it for dinner, too.)
Here’s a breakfast vegetarian recipe that’s so full of cozy-spiced flavor, you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. Meet this incredible easy baked oatmeal! It's that brunch recipe you search for when you have house guests to impress. But guess what? It also works for quick mornings! Bake up a pan in advance and then grab a square to go. It’sbeyond easy, and the combination of the cinnamon, allspice and maple makes magic.
Last up in our vegetarian recipes...a sweet treat! If a no bake cookie and a peanut butter cup had a baby, it would be these bliss bites! Chocolate peanut butter heaven, right here. This one is a vegetarian recipe we recommend to everyone: not just beginners. Also gluten free, vegan and plant based, it’s our most popular recipe to date!
More easy recipes
Want to find vegetarian recipes outside of the ideas above? Here are a few more collections of our top dinner recipes:
Vegetarian 28 Day Meal Plan Looking for a vegetarian weekly meal plan? Here’s a 28 day vegetarian meal plan with planning ideas and a meal planning calendar with food to cook.
For the toppings: Sour cream, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, guacamole (optional), shredded cheese (optional)
Broil the veggies: Preheat a broiler. Thinly slice the bell peppers and thinly slice the onion. Remove the stems and slice the portobello mushrooms. Place them in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread the veggies on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place in the broiler and broil 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until softened and blackened on some edges. Then go right to Step 3.
Cook the beans: Meanwhile in a skillet, whisk together the ingredients for the Homemade Fajita Sauce. Drain and rinse the pinto beans and add them to the skillet. Heat over medium heat and cook until warmed through and the sauce is thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Taste and stir in another ¼ teaspoon kosher salt.
Saute the veggies: Once the veggies are done in the broiler, finish them on the stove by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a cast iron skillet or large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the broiled veggies, smashed garlic cloves, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender. Remove and discard the garlic cloves before serving.
Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
Serve: Place bowls of fajita veggies and pinto beans on the table, with tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, and fresh cilantro. Let each person add their desired toppings and serve.
*We highly recommend this homemade fajita sauce! Or you can substitute ½ cup store bought sauce. For the fajita sauce, mix together 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ cup olive oil.