Whether you’re looking for meatless meal ideas, trying to include more vibrant veggies in your diet, or maybe you’re a full-fledged vegan, this list of easy vegan dinner recipes is for you.
They’re simple, affordable, and delicious. And just because you’re skipping the meat and dairy doesn’t mean you should skip the flavor! Keep reading for all my tips + a roundup of vegan recipes!
For many who don’t already subscribe to the vegan lifestyle, the idea of preparing an entirely vegan dinner can be daunting.
Without meat, dairy, or even fish, it’s hard to imagine a meal that’s not simply a salad or a plate of plants.
And you might wonder if you can make a vegan meal that is satisfying and also flavorful. The answer is yes!
And I’m excited to share with you some mouthwatering, nutritious, and satisfying vegan recipes that are easy enough to make any night of the week!
Because my family eats the Mediterranean way, we do eat fish and some meat and dairy. But our diet focuses heavily on seasonal produce combined with grains, nuts, and legumes (like beans and lentils), which make for some very hearty and satisfying vegan meals. And on a budget! (Print my Mediterranean diet shopping list for free).
Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to for cooking, which makes it easy to keep things vegan while adding good fat.
If you’re just trying to add more vegetarian options to your diet, it begins with having the right ingredients on hand.
5 Pantry Essentials for Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking
I make a lot of vegan and vegetarian meals, and whenever I go shopping I look for these 5 essentials:
1. Vegetables (fresh and frozen). Browse the produce aisle for seasonal vegetables, and remember that things like sweet potatoes and root vegetables are more filling and hearty. Don’t ignore the frozen section! Frozen veggies like peas, spinach, and broccoli are great to have on hand especially if you’re trying to save prep time.
2. Legumes. Legumes are things like beans, chickpeas, and lentils. They’re hearty, protein-packed, and rich in fiber, B vitamins and more. Stock up on canned chickpeas and beans for those nights you need a big bean salad, a cozy vegan chili or a one-pot that you can quickly throw together. Dry lentils are quick to cook and don’t require soaking, I often use them to make big pots of soup.
3. Grains and pasta. Barley, farro, freekeh, quinoa, rice, couscous, and whole wheat pasta can make a great base for a vegetarian or vegan meal. This big couscous salad and this simple olive oil pasta are two of my family’s favorites (hold the cheese for a vegan option).
4. Herbs and flavor makers. Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, thyme, and oregano can add a ton of flavor to your vegetarian dinner! I also use fresh garlic, onions, shallots and a number of Mediterranean spices to amp up the flavor.
5. Extra virgin olive oil. My two go-to oils that I use on a daily basis are Early Harvest and Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oils. They’re both quality single estate extra virgin olive oils, from hand-picked and cold-pressed olives. (You can find them both here)
And if you’re looking for just a few vegan recipes to get you started, here’s a list of my very favorite dinners:
13 Vegan Dinner Recipes
(tap recipe names in red to see the full recipe)
Roasted Vegetable Barley
You’ll love this satisfying and colorful barley meal full of vegetables (hold the feta for vegan). Chockful of flavor and you can make it ahead as part of your meal-prep!
Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Simmered, succulent stew packed with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and spices all in one pot! No special tagine pot needed, unless you already have one.
This simple dish of lentils and rice with crispy onions is addicting. I use these all-natural black lentils for mujadara. These petite lentils cook fairly quickly. They have a wonderful, creamy consistency; full-bodied and earthy flavor.
Fried Eggplant with Tomatoes and Bell peppers
Delicate, flavor-packed fried eggplant with green peppers and tomatoes. This humble Mediterranean dish makes a great vegetarian main with your favorite grain or warm pita bread.
This iconic dish is easier to make than you might imagine. All you need to start are chickpeas, fresh herbs and the right spices. My family’s secret recipe comes with a step-by-step tutorial. And by the way, you can prepare the falafel patties in advance and freeze for when you need them.
Fasolakia: Greek Green Beans
Velvety, tender green beans and potatoes, braised in a tomato and extra virgin olive oil sauce. A simple, flavor-packed, and satisfying entree
Sweet Potato Stew
Melt-in-your mouth sweet potatoes, tender carrots, tomatoes, and wilted baby spinach. It gets a little Eastern Mediterranean flare with a few warm spices like cumin and turmeric. The best way to serve this hearty vegan stew is over quick-cooked couscous or with a piece of crusty whole wheat bread.
Braised Eggplant and Chickpea Stew
Eggplants cooked to velvety tender perfection with chickpeas and tomato. This is even better the next day!
Power lentil salad
This is my go-to for a power lunch. I recommend using our green lentils with fresh cucumber, red onion, baby spinach, parsley and pomegranate seeds. The dressing: lime juice, EVOO, honey, cumin, allspice and salt and pepper will bring all the flavors together.
Orzo with Zucchini and Chickpeas
Zucchini and protein-rich chickpeas, paired with tiny orzo pasta and finished with crunchy, toasted pine nuts. So much flavor in this simple pasta dish!
This Egyptian fava bean dish is creamy with a spicy lemon-garlic and is perfect for any meal of the day. The flavors will surprise you in the best way possible. Find canned fava beans at your grocery store in the international section or here on Amazon (affiliate link). You can also use pinto beans as a substitute.
Red Lentil Soup
This creamy red lentil soup gets a little Greek flare with the addition of cumin and rosemary, and a big drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish. Grab all-natural red lentils here.
Pasta e Fagioli
This humble bowl of Italian soup is such a comforting dish that you can make easily with your pantry staples. This calls for two types of beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, the trinity (onion, celery and carrot) plus herbs over pasta.
And please let me know which of these recipes you’ve tried!
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