It’s Dinner Time!
Let’s be real… is there anything better than a comforting meal after a long day? Today, we will share what you can eat for dinner on a plant-based diet. These are our favorite healthy plant-based dinner recipes to make you feel good.
For this post, we have picked out 10 different plant-based dinner options for you to up your dinner game! We want you to take some time to relax and enjoy great and healthy food. It’s so important to have a nourishing meal for dinner!
Looking for a quick and easy plant-based dinner?
All the plant-based dinner options you will learn today are easy to make and look and taste delicious. But the recipes are not everything… We will also be sharing some extra tips for you to play a little in the kitchen and soon discover your inner chef.
We want to show you will see how easily a healthy plant-based dinner can fit into our busy schedules. And, of course, how amazing they can be!
For many people, dinner means the healthiest meal of the day. And that’s exactly why a whole food, plant-based dinner option is the best choice you can make! Plant-based meals are naturally lighter, plus you won’t be missing out on any nutrients.
On that topic, it’s important to remember that eating at a certain time at night has nothing to do with gaining weight. We know some people worry about that but it’s not about the time on the clock, but about the choices we make. And you just can’t go wrong with a healthy plant-based dinner!
Ok, so before we get to the recipes and show you what dinner on a plant-based diet looks like, we wanted to share some basic concepts and good tips for you to keep in mind when putting them together.
The Right Ingredients Make All the Difference
Some specific foods are great for us to have during night time. Of course, you don’t need to include all of them on your plate every night, but it’s good to know, right? The list includes healthy fats that you can get from avocado, nuts, seeds, and some very tasty and satisfying sources of good carbs, like quinoa, brown rice, beans and sweet potatoes that help with unwanted cravings late at night!
It’s important to keep in mind that every plant-based dinner can and must be super tasty! I mean, who doesn’t love a flavorful, filling meal? You can and should eat that way for dinner everyday on a plant-based diet. That’s why…
Spice It Up!
The right spices are a game-changer in the kitchen! Make sure your pantry is stocked with them! Also, place your favorites near the cooking area so you can just grab them anytime!
Here are some of my favorites spices:
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- red pepper flakes
- … and so much more!
By the end of this post, we’ll share a shopping list with you, full of spices and other must-have ingredients, so… keep scrolling!
What about protein?
If you are on a plant-based diet, I’m sure you’ve heard or thought about this question at some point. We’ve talked about this on the blog before since it’s such a common topic.
However, you’ll soon realize this is not a problem since there are tons of plant-based foods high in protein out there, and they are incredibly versatile. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read this post about lunch on a plant-based diet where we give you tons of information about this.
But to put it simply, you just need to make sure you’re eating enough beans (like black beans, lentils, and chickpeas) and that you include some organic tofu and tempeh in your routine! And lastly but not least… always include a good handful of nuts and seeds here and there (like cashews, almonds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds!).
On this post, you will see tons of high protein plant-based dinner options, so let’s dive in, shall we?
Get ready to crave some delicious food!
10 Spectacular Plant-Based Dinner Recipes:
1. Creamy Tofu Pasta
Does anything sound better than pasta for dinner? Or pasta any time if we’re being honest! This is a very quick and easy plant-based dinner. It’s a cozy and hearty pasta recipe that will probably become a new favorite.
If you can, look for a good brand of organic tofu to make this even better.
Did I mention this is a great option for high-protein plant-based dinner! Because it is. Also, you can easily make this dish gluten-free by simply using gluten-free pasta. It works with any kind.
- 1 cup silken firm tofu
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 tbsp yellow or dijon mustard
- 2 cups pasta of choice
- 1/2 cup pasta water (see instructions)
Optional: Add your favorite cooked veggies to the sauce and allow to heat through for added flavor, color, and nutrients, of course. I like to add frozen peas, carrots, or steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Save 1/2 cup of pasta water while draining and set it aside.
- Blend tofu, pasta water, and all other ingredients until well combined.
- Cook tofu sauce in low heat for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and add pasta. Serve with some extra olive oil (optional) and black pepper on top, if you’d like. Enjoy!
2. Spiced Lentil and Shitake Stir Fry
I’m a big fan of stir-fry. And a big fan of lentils! They are delicious, very quick to cook, and super versatile. This recipe is another great option for a healthy and high protein plant-based dinner. Also, lentils are packed with fiber and are easy to digest which means they are perfect for dinner. The shitake makes this dish even more interesting and full of flavor while keeping it light.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, you can cook some extra lentils and save it in the fridge for the week. That way, you can easily have this healthy plant-based dinner whenever you feel like it. Also, feel free to add any veggies you like into this recipe!
- 1 cup dry brown lentils (pro-tip: you can soak them overnight in hot water and drain before cooking, for better digestibility)
- 3 cups of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped in small pieces
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp coco aminos (you can use soy sauce, but keep in mind it’s not usually gluten-free)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- Bring water to a boil in a medium-large pan, then reduce to a simmer and add lentils.
- Let it simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes. Make sure lentils are covered with water and add more water if needed. Once lentils are soft, set it aside.
- In a large frying pan, add sesame oil (optional-can use broth, wine, beer, too), onion, garlic, shiitake mushrooms and red pepper. Sauté on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Once mushrooms are looking soft, add cooked lentils, coco aminos and cumin. Sauté for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add green onions once the heat is off (but save some of it for garnish!) and give it a good stir. Garnish with fresh green onions on top and bon appétit!
3. Easy Miso Ramen Soup
I don’t know about you, but nothing says comfort food to me than a hearty and satisfying ramen soup. And while it may seem tricky to achieve a good result with ramen recipes, you know I’m all about plant-based recipes that are easy to make. That’s why I’m happy to show you how to make this pretty, quick and easy plant-based dinner recipe.
The miso soup for this recipe is packed with flavor and it pretty much does all the work here. Now, I’ll show how I usually do this recipe, but I encourage you to pick your favorite toppings and have fun customizing this one.
For example, if you want to make this plant-based dinner higher in protein, you can add some baked tofu as a topping. Or, green it up with some bok choy or broccoli florets.
Here’s my go-to choice:
- 6 ounces ramen noodles
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 cup green onions, chopped
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame oil (optional-can swap for broth, wine, or beer)
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce (optional)
- 3 cups of hot water
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain noodles and set aside.
- Toss yellow pepper, bean sprouts and green onions in a medium bowl.
- In another (and larger) bowl, add the miso paste, tamari or soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil and minced ginger. If you want, add sriracha sauce too. Mix well. Slowly pour 3 cups of hot water into the bowl and whisk it with a fork.
- Add 1 cup of the miso soup in a serving bowl, a portion of noodles, and all the veggies you want for toppings!
4. Super Chickpea Soup
If there’s one ingredient you always need to have at home for a healthy plant-based dinner, it’s a can of chickpeas. Trust me! Not only are they delicious, packed with good carbs, fiber, and tons of protein, they are incredibly versatile and really helpful when it comes to quick and easy plant-based recipes. I learned this one from BBC Good Food. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/moroccan-chickpea-soup-0
I love a hearty soup and the tomatoes and the lemon make all the difference here. This soup only takes about 20 minutes to be done and you can save it in the fridge for a couple of days too!
I did change a thing or two from the original recipe, so here’s how I do it. I hope you love it as much as I do!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp smoked or sweet paprika
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 handful of coriander
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- a pinch of black pepper
- In a large saucepan, add olive oil, onion, and celery and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add chopped tomatoes, paprika, salt, and ground cumin. Give it a good stir, then add vegetable broth. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add drained chickpeas and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, add lemon juice, coriander, and a pinch of black pepper. Enjoy!
5. Roasted Squash and Quinoa Salad
Roasted veggies are my favorites. It’s the easiest way to include all the veggies you need for dinner on a plant-based diet. Plus, it just gives them such a perfect texture and flavor, especially if you roast them with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
And the best part? You won’t be washing tons of dishes afterward, which is always great, especially after a long day of work.
This recipe might sound fancy but it couldn’t be easier. The roasted squash adds a creamy texture to the salad and I love to combine that with some avocado. The roasted onions and the cooked quinoa also add different textures and flavor to keep this salad interesting and full of great nutrients.
To sum it up, this plant-based dinner provides good carbs, the best healthy fats you can get, and lots of protein from the quinoa.
You can easily double this recipe and have some leftovers for the next few days too. Feel free to add your favorite herbs and spices to this.
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp curry
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 avocado
- A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook quinoa according to instructions with just a pinch of salt and set it aside.
- Place the cubed squash on a large baking sheet. Add olive oil (optional), paprika, curry, and salt. Use your hands to mix it all. Cut the onion into 4 large pieces and add them to the baking sheet as well. Roast for 45 minutes.
- Mix quinoa and roasted veggies well.
- Serve with half an avocado and some fresh parsley. Enjoy!
6. Black Bean Burrito Bowl
The great thing about Mexican cuisine is that they have plenty of plant-based dinner options. Burritos are a very nutritious and delicious way to nourish your body. Talk about healthy and delicious!
However, this is not your typical burrito. As you will see, I’ll skip the tortilla and the rice for this, so this can be a lighter, gluten-free dish, which is a great option for a healthy plant-based dinner, right?
This recipe was inspired by the Minimalist Baker. I don’t follow their recipe exactly, but some ingredients are the same. This came out so good!
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained
For the Guac-
- 2 avocados
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 4 tbsp of lime juice
- A handful of cilantro
- Place half the diced onion and minced garlic into a large skillet, add olive oil and stir it for 5 minutes. Add chopped cauliflower and red pepper and sautée for about 10 minutes.
- Add beans to the same skillet and season all with salt, ground cumin, and chili powder. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring it frequently. Set aside.
- For the guacamole, grab a medium bowl and add avocados. Smash it with a fork. Add lime juice, diced red onion, chopped tomatoes, and a handful of fresh cilantro. Mix well. Add salt according to taste.
- Serve beans and veggies with guacamole and extra cilantro on top. Yum!!
7. Sushi Bowl with Miso Dressing
Sushi bowls can be a fun and healthy plant-based dinner option for the warmer days. It’s refreshing, light and full of veggies. You can get creative and choose as many veggies and toppings as you want, but I tried to keep it simple with only 5 ingredients and a tasty dressing.
I chose to use edamame because it’s an amazing source of protein for healthy meals and even snacks. They are a plant-based source of complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids we need!
The miso dressing for this recipe is truly addictive and delicious. You’ve been warned.
1/2 cup sushi rice, uncooked
1 cup of frozen edamame
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot, shredded
1 avocado, cubed
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce or coco aminos (don’t use soy sauce if you want this to be gluten-free)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
- Cook rice and edamame according to package instructions and set aside.
- In a bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk it with a fork until well combined.
- Place rice, edamame, carrot and cucumber all next to each other in a serving bowl and serve with some cubed avocado and a few tablespoons of miso dressing on top. Hope you love it!
8. Hummus and Avocado Sandwich
If we’re being honest, sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking, at all. This sandwich is perfect for those lazy or extra busy nights. It’s a healthy plant-based dinner option, very quick to put together and packed with nutrients.
Since hummus are made from chickpeas, this sandwich a high-protein plant-based dinner recipe that you can always have on-the-go! You can totally use store-bought hummus for this so everything is ready in advance. Like I’ve said many times before on this blog, I usually use this great hummus by Sabra brands, and my favorite is Roasted Garlic. So good!
However… I will teach you an easy homemade recipe as well if you want to give it a try. It’s super fresh and delicious and it lasts for at least a week in the fridge.
2 pieces whole wheat bread (or any gluten-free bread you love)
6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp red onion, chopped
1 tbsp dijon mustard
A handful of spinach
For the hummus-
8- ounce can chickpeas
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp organic sesame tahini (a can will last for months)
1 tsp salt
- For the homemade hummus, place all hummus ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. If needed, add 1-2 tbsp of water to adjust the texture. Keep leftovers in the fridge.
- Mix all sandwich ingredients, except for the hummus and avocado, into a bowl and combine. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Toast bread and spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on each slice. Smash avocado with a fork and spread it on top of the hummus.
- Add the sandwich mix and enjoy!
9. Olive and Arugula Pesto Pasta
Pasta for dinner is everyone’s favorite. I think we can all agree it’s the ultimate comfort food. But can you eat it for dinner on a plant-based diet? Oh YES! Pasta can be a pretty awesome choice for dinner on a plant-based diet. Especially when you can make it extra healthy, packed with greens!
This recipe is all about balancing out the carbs from the pasta with a lot of healthy greens and good fats from this amazing arugula pesto. There are tons of plant-based pasta options out there nowadays, including gluten-free, so make sure you give this recipe a try if you’re a pasta lover too.
This is a must-have quick and easy plant-based diet dinner that’s packed with nutrients.
2 cups vegan whole wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta (penne and rigatoni work great here)
2 cups arugula leaves (baby arugula works too)
1/4 cup unsalted cashews (or walnuts, or peanuts)
1 tbsp minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
- Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and set it aside.
- Place arugula leaves, cashews, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, and salt into a blender and blend until well combined.
- Put 1 tsbp olive oil (or sub for water, or veggie broth) in a large skillet, add minced garlic, stir for about 2 minutes. Add pesto sauce and pasta, give it a good stir for about 30 seconds, then turn the heat off. Serve with some ground black pepper on top!
10. Tofu and Veggie Stuffed Sweet Potato
I can’t resist a well-baked sweet potato. I’m a big fan, and I love the fact that there are so many ways to stuff a baked sweet potato on a plant-based diet, which makes them a very versatile ingredient. You just need to be a little creative and try different combinations.
For this recipe, we are going to stuff our creamy sweet potatoes with some extra-firm tofu and frozen peas. And you know what that means? That this is a super healthy and high-protein plant-based dinner option.
Plus, it’s truly delicious and I’m sure it will become one of your favorites go-to dinner recipes on your plant-based diet. Here it is:
1 large sweet potato
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 cup extra firm tofu, mashed with a fork
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tamari sauce (or soy sauce or coco aminos)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees for at least 10 minutes.
- Wash the sweet potato and pinch with a fork several times all over it (around 8 times). Add to a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes-1 hour. Baking time will depend on the size and thickness of your sweet potato.
- Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat and add in the olive oil, chopped onion, smashed tofu, tamari sauce, peas, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add green onions and set it aside.
- Once the sweet potato is soft enough that a knife can easily pierce into it, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut the center of the potato open and mash the inside a bit. You can also slice in half and place both halves on a plate. Spread the tofu and peas mix on top of each half or inside your sweet potato. Serve with some extra chopped green onions and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
How good are these recipes? Honestly, I could easily eat any of these on a daily basis so I hope you feel as inspired as I am to cook after reading this! I want you to know just how colorful, interesting, and full of awesome flavors and nutrients a plant-based dinner can be.
And because we have shared so many amazing recipes with you in this post, I thought I’d give you some extra grocery tips. So here’s a shopping list I made with some essentials to make cooking dinner on a plant-based diet a lot easier.
Plant-based Grocery Tips
First: spices. Grab them all! And grab some good sauces, too.
- Black Pepper
- Ground Cumin
- Dried Oregano
- Sweet Páprica
- Smoked Páprica
- Chili Powder
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Tamari sauce
- Coco aminos
Then,, make sure you stock your pantry with all these amazing sources of carbs:
- Rolled Oats
- Brown Rice
- Whole Grain Wheat Pasta
Also, don’t forget these awesome protein sources!
- Frozen peas
- Frozen edamame
- Organic tofu
- Cans of beans (red beans, black beans, pintos, chickpeas…)
And, of course, pack your shopping cart with lots and lots of veggies, herbs and mushrooms! Make sure you eat good carbs and enough dark greens since they’re extra important for dinner on a plant-based diet.
- Red pepper
- Green Leaf
- Portobello mushrooms
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Green onions
- Fresh Basil
Take some time to meal prep after shopping
I know most of us are usually tired by the end of the day, so that’s why having some easy ingredients around is so helpful. Also, when it comes to dinner, meal prep is a life-saver. Make sure you find enough time to chop some veggies and store them on the fridge all packed and ready to be used anytime.
Get Creative With the Recipes
I truly hope this post and list help you with some dinner ideas while on a plant-based diet. Don’t think too much about having all ingredients listed. Choose your favorites! That’s the fun part of cooking, you’ll figure out what works best for you.
Trust the Process
Some people think plant-based recipes can be trickier than others, but that is not true. Just like with everything, you need to take some time to learn some stuff. You certainly don’t have to be a great cook to give these recipes a try!
You will find that most of them are pretty easy to make, and I’m sure you will love the results and make it even better each time you cook.
Just trust the process, have fun with it, you know? You’ll soon get the hang of it!
The most important step is done: you are well informed!
Now You Know What You Can Eat On A Plant-Based Diet
Or at least you have some pretty good ideas! So go ahead, print your favorite recipes, get to the kitchen and enjoy some delicious food!
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