15 Quick and Delicious Plant-Based Dinner Recipes

sweet potato taco salad served in pink bowl
Lennart Weibull

We all know that eating more plant-based meals is better for us and the planet, but what, exactly, does that mean? Plant-based diets are all about sticking to eating vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Some people keep strictly to those foods, choosing to maintain a vegan diet, while others enjoy dairy, eggs, and other animal-based foods.

The recipes here address both approaches to plant-based eating. Our gorgeous Asparagus and Potato Gratin is packed with vegetables, but does include cheese and a tiny bit of prosciutto. However, if you are looking to go totally plant-based, try the Taco Salad with Sweet Potatoes, shown here, or our Soba with Sweet Potatoes in Miso-Lime Broth—it's a perfect match for a chilly and rainy day. Our Rice and Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce is another completely plant-based meal, and it proves that rice and beans could never taste (or look) so good! You will also find that some of the dishes are flexible, like the Mushroom Tacos with Charred-Corn Salsa. The recipe calls for finishing with a dollop of sour cream, but you can go vegan and easily skip it.

It's surprisingly easy to maintain a plant-based diet. If you find going strictly vegan a bit too much of a challenge (rest assured, you are not alone!), know that just cutting back on animal based foods is a great way to go. And doing so is especially easy when you can whip up one of these delicious plant-based recipes in less than 45 minutes!

01 of 14

Cheater's Mac and Cheese

Cheater's Mac and Cheese recipe
Con Poulos

Easy, cheesy, creamy, and quick, there's a lot to love about this comforting pasta dinner that takes just 20 minutes to make. It gets bonus points for adding healthy broccoli to the mix.

02 of 14

Very Veggie Fried Rice with Eggs

very veggie fried rice with eggs
Nico Schinco

You'll want to add this recipe to your regular dinner rotation. Not only is it delicious, but it's also versatile—we like to think of it as a use-what-you-find-in-the-crisper-drawer kind of quick meatless meal. Top each portion with a fried egg and enjoy.

03 of 14

Asparagus-and-Potato Gratin

asparagus potato gratin
Con Poulos

Don't you love it when a side can easily become dinner? That's the story of this potato gratin with asparagus and prosciutto. It's rich with goat cheese and Pecorino Romano, and you can be sure the whole family will be asking for seconds. To make it vegetarian, leave out of the prosciutto.

04 of 14

Mushroom Tacos with Charred-Corn Salsa

mushroom tacos with charred corn salsa
Chris Simpson

These hearty portobello tacos require just over 30 minutes to make and are absolutely delicious to eat. Take this smoky dinner vegan if you like—just skip the sour cream.

05 of 14

Pinto-Bean Burgers

pinto bean burgers
Armando Rafael

No bun, no problem! These California-style veggie burgers are plenty filling on their own. They're served with roasted red pepper-studded Greek yogurt, toasted almonds, sprouts, and sliced avocado. A squeeze of lemon brightens the whole dish.

06 of 14

Tomato-Eggplant Gnocchi

tomato eggplant gnocchi
Ren Fuller

Here's a one-skillet vegetarian dinner that's hearty but not-too-heavy. What's more, it's simple to make since it stars store-bought gnocchi. They cook atop an eggplant and tomato sauce. Red pepper flakes add a touch of heat that's tempered by a little bit of creamy ricotta.

07 of 14

Avocado, Salsa, and Cilantro Omelet

omelet with salsa and avocado
Chris Simpson

Inspired by huevos rancheros, this omelet is stuffed with creamy avocado, salsa, and plenty of cilantro. We're skipping the cheese tonight for a healthy but flavor-filled meal.

08 of 14

Creamy Broccoli and Spinach Soup

Creamy Broccoli-and-Spinach Soup recipe
Yuki Sugiura

Vibrantly colored and velvety textured, this weeknight-friendly broccoli soup gets an extra boost of nutrients from baby spinach and silky sautéed leeks. A drizzle of tangy crème fraîche and a few crunchy pretzel nuggets serve as the finishing touches to this comforting, wholesome bowl.

09 of 14

Swiss-Chard and Almond Pasta

swiss chard almond pasta on plate with spoon
Chris Simpson

When you need a quick pasta dinner but fancy something just a little different, try this spin on spaghetti. It's made with rainbow chard, toasted almonds, and a hint of lemon zest.

10 of 14

Mezze Salad

Greek mezze salad
Armando Rafael

This meatless dinner gathers everyone's favorite Mediterranean foods on one plate. We're talking lemony yogurt, cucumber salad, easy roasted chickpeas, and grape leaves. Make the components ahead and assemble just before dinner.

11 of 14

Soba with Sweet Potatoes in Miso-Lime Broth

noodle dish with cut limes
Marcus Nilsson

You'll want to eat this noodle soup again and again once the temperatures start dropping. Bok choy, shiitakes, miso, lime, garlic, and fresh ginger all act as immune-boosters, while sweet potatoes thicken the broth and give it body.

12 of 14

Rice-and-Bean Salad Bowl with Tahini Sauce

rice and bean salad bowl
Johnny Miller

It's the tahini-and-lemon sauce over a rice and bean salad with sliced red cabbage, avocado, roasted bell pepper, cucumber, and watercress that truly takes this vegan recipe to the next level. (Our recipe calls for making the brown rice in advance, but even if you start from scratch, you can get the whole dish on the table in under an hour.)

13 of 14

Mushroom Tortellini with Arugula

mushroom tortellini with arugula on plate
Chris Simpson

Use fresh or frozen cheese tortellini for this vegetarian dinner that's ready in half an hour. It's paired with a mix of sautéed mushrooms and peppery arugula, and finished with cool crème fraîche.

14 of 14

Beet Noodles with Parsley Pesto and Parmesan

Your most colorful dinner yet? Cutting beets into thin noodles means you can roast them in just 10 minutes. Pairing the crimson-hued "pasta" with bright-green parsley-walnut pesto makes for a striking presentation and a deliciously healthy meal.

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