Here are some plant-based dinner ideas that are sure to please the whole family! There is no need to find a bunch of special recipes to eat plant-based. Many foods you already eat are plant-based, or could be with a simple substitution or two.
Be sure to include a source of carbohydrate, protein, and/or fat to ensure you’re making a balanced and nourishing plant-based dinner. Pairing plant-based proteins with grains ensures you will have all the necessary amino acids your body needs.
Plant-Based Dinner Ideas
- Soup. Vegetable soup, tomato soup, split pea, and minestrone are all examples of naturally plant-based soups. Some soups, like hamburger soup, are easy to make plant-based by switching an ingredient or two for a plant-based option like lentils. Soups are also the best for batch cooking because they freeze well and can be thawed for a quick nutritious meal on a busy night. Make soup a filling meal by adding a source of protein and carbs, such as legumes.
- Sheet pan meal. Basically, my favorite meal to make because it’s super easy and has minimal clean up because the whole meal is cooked on one pan. Toss veggies, potato and a source of protein such as chickpeas in oil and seasoning. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast at 375º until veggies are cooked, about 40-60 minutes.
- Bowl. Bowls are having a moment right now because they are easy, versatile and delicious! The base of the bowl can be a complex carb, like brown rice, quinoa, barley, or an ancient grain, or a salad base of mixed greens, spinach or even kale. Top it with veggies, protein, and a delicious sauce and your meal is ready to eat. Try topping with leftovers from the sheet pan dinner and a tahini based sauce, or go Asian inspired and top rice with julienned carrots, bean sprouts, cabbage, edamame, sesame seeds and a spicy peanut sauce.
- Curry. Curries can be as complex or as simple as you’d like. The best part about plant-based curries, such as dahl or chana masala, is that they were designed to taste amazing just as they are.
- Burritos. Sweet potato and black beans or refried beans and rice are two great plant-based dinner options.
- Sandwich. Delicious options include fresh or roasted veggies with hummus, or chickpea salad sandwich.
- Casserole. Lentil shepherd’s pie and broccoli quinoa bake are two delicious plant-based casserole options when you’re craving something hearty and comforting.
- Pasta. Use a tomato sauce and throw in some canned lentils for make a plant based bolognese and simply add in some veggies sautéed in olive oil, olives, herbs, and freshly cracked pepper. Simple and tasty!
- Pizza. Pizza without cheese!? Yes. It’s called pizza marinara and is a traditional Neapolitan-style pizza. Roasted peppers, arugula, olives, or vegan parmesan are all great topping choices.
- Salad. Salads are another versatile, mix-and-match plant-based dinner idea. Try to incorporate a source of protein, carbohydrate and fat for a balanced and more filling meal. For example, try this one out; a Greek salad with pasta and chickpeas.
- Burger. Made with beans, lentils, nuts or tempeh, you can try a different recipe every night of the week! Veggie patties freeze well and can be thawed and reheated for a quick meal or prepped for a lunch-to-go.
- Chili. Plant-based chili is a filling, versatile, and easy-to-make option. Try one that includes sweet potato and serve with fresh cilantro and jalapeños to really enhance the flavour.
There are so many delicious and filling plant-based dinner recipes to choose from!
Do you have any other ideas for nutritious plant-based dinners? Let us know in the comments below!
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- Four Steps to a Balanced Vegan Eating Pattern. (2016, October 9). Retrieved from http://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vegetarian-and-Vegan-Diets/Four-steps-to-a-balanced-vegan-eating-pattern.aspx
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