We get it: cooking plant based for kids can be a challenge! Here are a collection of vegan recipes for kids that are a hit every time.
Cooking for kids can be a challenge: especially if you’re trying to infuse good-for-you ingredients! Since we’ve become parents, we’ve learned a lot about what it means to make kid-friendly meals. And it gives us a real life test case: our 2 year old son, Larson! If he loves it, we know that it would go over well with other kids, too.
When it comes to cooking plant based / vegan recipes, it can be difficult to find vegan recipes that are a hit with the young’uns too! Here we’ve collected all our favorite vegan recipes for kids that are a hit every time. And even better: they’ve been tested out on real life kids, too! So you know they’ll be a hit with your own.
This vegan tomato soup recipe is always a hit with kids! It's tangy, pure tomato-y, and made creamy using blended cashews. This thickens the soup and adds protein, too! (Use almond milk for nut allergies.) And the best part? The star toast garnish! Cutting toast into stars is an easy way to dress up a soup and kids simply love it. Hey, adults do too (us)! It's one of our vegan recipes for kids that we make often.
What kid doesn't love blueberry pancakes? These vegan pancakes are fluffy, a little tangy from the berries, and just sweet enough. Moistened with maple syrup, they’re seriously cozy and everything a pancake should be.
Pinwheels are always a hit with kids! A “traditional” pinwheel recipe uses lots of cream cheese to hold it together. To make it a vegan pinwheel recipe, this one uses hummus instead! Turns out, hummus is a fantastic plant-based substitute for cream cheese for holding a pinwheel together. This colorful pinwheel is stuffed with bell pepper, green onion, spinach, black beans, chili powder and cumin, and hummus! (Omit the shredded cheese specified in the recipe or use vegan cheese - it's just as good.)
Fries are 100% kid food, and these oven baked sweet potato fries are a healthy spin! They're slightly crispy on the outside, perfectly seasoned, and lusciously sweet on the inside. Using a bit of cornstarch helps most of the fries to become crispy on the outside. They’re best fresh from the oven, which shouldn't be a problem: kiddos will grab them that fast!
Rather have potato french fries? These Oven Baked Fries taste just like a restaurant.
Here's a fun way to make a healthy treat for kids: nice cream! What's nice cream? It's "ice cream" made with frozen bananas as a base. There's no dairy at all! This ice cream features blueberries blended with frozen bananas, using coconut milk to make it creamy. It's one of our toddler Larson's favorite treats: he doesn't need to know it's not really "ice cream. While it's a favorite in our vegan recipes for kids...it's also a big favorite with adults. (This is starting to be a theme...)
Kids love baking, and what's more fun than chocolate chip cookies? These vegan chocolate chip cookies are also gluten free: they're made with almond flour so they're chewy and satisfying. A flax egg holds them all together.
Want a few other cookie options? Bliss bites are chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies - one of our most popular recipes here on A Couple Cooks!
Looking for a fast and easy vegan dinner recipe for kids? All you have to do is “set it and forget it” for this one: it truly could not be easier! This vegan spaghetti is perfect for busy weeknights or for cooking with kiddos who want in on the fun. All it takes is just a few minutes of prep time to throw all the ingredients in the pressure cooker.
And the flavor? Take it from one of our readers, who said: “Oh my, I scraped the bowl clean on this one! The flavor was awesome and it was so easy, it was exactly what I needed right now.”
This one is just like broccoli cheese soup, but vegan! It’s impossibly creamy and whole food plant based (WFPB). It tastes like that cozy and comforting broccoli cheese soup from a can...but 1,000 times better! Kids adore this one.
Chocolate....hummus? Yes, here savory hummus is made sweet into a chocolate-flavored dip! It's perfect for vegan recipes for kids because if we know kids, we know they love dipping! It's perfect with strawberries, sliced green apples, banana slices, and pretzels. This has become a fan favorite recipe over the years because it's different and so delicious. Make the original recipe with tahini and maple syrup, or try a peanut butter version for another unique spin.
Soy curls? Oh yes! A restaurant in our city started serving soy curls as a vegan BBQ option, and we're now officially obsessed with this healthy meat substitute. These curls are savory, tangy, and have a texture a little like chicken. Slathered in homemade BBQ sauce, they're pretty darn amazing. Why are they one of our favorite vegan recipes for kids? Our 2 year old Larson is obsessed with them.
Who doesn't love Sloppy Joes? This vegan Sloppy Joes recipe is a hit with kids and adults alike. The pinto bean and kidney bean filling is spiced ketchup, vegan Worcestershire, chili powder, garlic powder, and oregano. It's so savory and satisfying that it pleases meat eaters too. Serve it on a bun with coleslaw alongside (try our Vinegar Coleslaw or Best Creamy Coleslaw using vegan mayonnaise).
This golden vegetable soup is like canned soup, but infinitely better! It's one of our favorite vegan recipes for kids because it's cozy and comforting, and all kids love it. It's seriously simple, with onion, carrot, celery, and rotini pasta noodles. If you'd like, you can customize it by adding other veggies or beans for additional plant based protein.
And last up on our list of vegan recipes for kids: this green apple smoothie! If there's one thing we've learned as parents, it's that kids LOVE smoothies! Our son Larson adores sipping smoothies from a straw, and it's a fantastic way to infuse some veggies and fruits. This smoothie features green apple, lemon juice, and lots of healthy dark leafy greens.
Looking for more vegan recipes for kids?
Here are a few more vegan recipes for kids that we’d recommend!
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.