30-Day Vegan Dinner Plan
This month we have you covered with our healthy, quick vegan dinner recipes. From the Easy Eggplant Stir-Fry to the Vegan Minestrone Soup, there is ample inspiration to shake up your evening meal. Packed with vegetables, whole grains and plant-based protein, these recipes provide impressive nutrition without sacrificing flavor.
Crunchy Summer Salad with Creamy Vegan Avocado Dressing
Remember back when dousing some iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing was considered healthy? We know better now, but a lackluster vinaigrette makes us want to skip the salad altogether. Without the buttermilk and mayo, is it even worth it? This dressing, made with creamy avocado and tangy umeboshi vinegar, will show you the possibilities. You can make it as-is or substitute whatever herbs you have on hand: parsley, basil and cilantro are all great options. The salad itself is a colorful, texture-rich antidote to the stereotypical boring salad, and it's also customizable. Here we use a base of romaine because it's crunchy and sturdy enough to stand up to a creamy dressing, but you can use kale, mixed greens or any blend of greens your heart (and fridge) desires. Same for the add-ins: You can sub in green beans for the asparagus, use black beans instead of chickpeas, or mix in additional veggies you have available like cucumber or shredded carrots. If you want to get extra fancy with it, try grilling the corn for an added smoky flavor. While this salad can be eaten as a side, it's strong enough to star as the entree.
Easy Eggplant Stir-Fry
This eggplant stir-fry is easy to make. We call for long and tender Japanese eggplant, but regular eggplant will work well too, cut into 1-inch pieces. Jalapeño peppers can vary from mild to very spicy. If you need to cut the heat, opt for small sweet peppers in their place.
Korean BBQ Tempeh Grain Bowl
If you're a tempeh skeptic, you've probably never had the firm soy-based slabs slathered with a sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce. We give this easy BBQ tempeh combo a punch of umami with tamari and add a little heat courtesy of gochujang. It's easy to put your own spin on this recipe; see Variations (below) for some riffs.
Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
To avoid a watery sauce, choose tomatoes that are fleshy and have few seeds. Romas (aka plum tomatoes) fit the bill, but there are plenty of heirlooms with a similar flesh-to-seed ratio. The addition of cherry tomatoes brings a burst of sweetness to the dish.
Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burgers
These vegan sweet potato-black bean burgers spiced with curry powder are easy to make. Blending the mixture with your hands gives you a soft, uniform texture then the outside gets crispy by cooking in a cast-iron pan. To make this recipe gluten-free too, use gluten-free oats and serve the patty in a lettuce wrap, omitting the bun.
Vegan Minestrone Soup
Is minestrone soup vegan? It can be, with the right ingredients! This vegan minestrone soup is heavy on the green vegetables (it has peas, zucchini and kale, to name a few!), setting this quick healthy soup recipe apart from the rest. If you miss the tomatoes, feel free to add them to the mix. Last but not least, enjoy the crispy garlic croutons that float on top and soak up the flavorful broth. Source: EatingWell.com, November 2019
Coconut Black Rice Bowls with Tofu & Purple Asparagus
Black beans, black rice and black sesame seeds all contain anthocyanins, potent antioxidant compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation. So "forbidden" rice isn't just striking, it's also a serious nutrition upgrade. Simmering it in coconut milk adds rich aroma and flavor.
Vegan Mushroom Bolognese
This Bolognese sauce recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. We swap out the beef and pork for button mushrooms to keep this traditional comfort food vegan yet weighty with umami flavor. And while some recipes call for red wine, this recipe sticks with Hazan's white wine selection.
Egyptian Falafel with Tahini Sauce (Taameya)
The Arabic word taameya translates to "tasty little bits." This version, made with fava beans, which are plentiful in the Nile delta, is thought by some to be the original falafel. (Recipe adapted from Zooba Restaurant.)
Spinach Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, White Beans & Basil
Roasted sweet potatoes are paired with spinach, cabbage and white beans and tossed together with a bright basil dressing in this healthy main dish salad.
Slow-Cooker Vegetable & Tofu Thai Stew
Cauliflower and tofu are ideal ingredients for this soup. The cauliflower soaks up the cooking liquid, and the tofu keeps the dish light, allowing the bold flavors in the liquid--predominantly the curry paste and lemongrass--to take center stage in this slow-cooker tofu stew.
Beefless Vegan Tacos
Take taco night in a new direction with these healthy vegan tacos. We've swapped crumbled tofu for the ground beef, without sacrificing any of the savory seasonings you expect in a taco. You can also use the filling in burritos, bowls, taco salads and to top nachos. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2019
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end. Source: EatingWell.com, August 2018
For these hearty and healthy vegan meatballs, we've swapped out the traditional ground beef and pork for protein-packed chickpeas and quinoa--without skimping on any of those Italian flavors that you look for in a classic meatball. Mushrooms up the umami factor, and a simple tomato sauce completes the picture. Serve over your favorite pasta. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2019
Vegetarian Lo Mein with Shiitakes, Carrots & Bean Sprouts
A hit of Sriracha gives a sweet and spicy edge to this healthy vegetarian recipe. Traditional lo mein is made with fresh lo mein noodles, which can be found in Asian markets. You can also use fresh or dried linguine noodles--fresh linguine is in the refrigerated section of some grocery stores. This easy dinner comes together in just 30 minutes, so it's perfect for weeknights.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Avocado & Walnuts
Serve this summery strawberry spinach salad alongside soup or a half sandwich, or top with grilled chicken or roasted salmon for a complete and easy healthy meal. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Summer 2019
One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
This one-pot pasta with tangy tomato-basil sauce is a simple, fast and easy weeknight dinner. All of your ingredients go into one pot, and with a bit of stirring and about 25 minutes of cook time, you'll have a healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Chinese Sweet & Sour Tofu Stir-Fry with Snow Peas
This healthy sweet and sour tofu stir-fry is easy to whip together on weeknights. Just be sure to plan ahead so that you can freeze the tofu in advance. It gives the tofu a meatier texture and helps it absorb the sauce. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Fall 2019
Vegan Eggplant Lasagna
A combination of tofu and nutritional yeast creates a convincing stand-in for ricotta in this easy vegan eggplant lasagna. It's layered with the eggplant and a quick homemade tomato sauce, then topped with dairy-free cheese substitute for a satisfying casserole that'll please meat eaters and vegans alike. It also happens to be gluten-free! Source: EatingWell.com, April 2019
Sweet Potato Hash Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Diced sweet potato, bell peppers and apples make a vegan stuffing inspired by the flavors of sausage. To add that savory flavor, we use poultry seasoning (don't worry, there's no actual poultry in it!). Piled into portobello mushroom caps, it creates a beautiful and filling plant-based main dish--perfect for the holidays. Source: EatingWell.com, October 2018
Lemony Lentil Soup with Collards
You don't need broth for this lentil soup recipe--it's rich thanks to the browned bits in the bottom of the pan that meld into the soup, packing it with flavor. Ground coriander, from the seed of the cilantro plant, has a floral, citrusy flavor that dovetails nicely with the lemon. Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2019
Vegan Mac & Cheese
Mac and cheese no longer has to be off the menu if you don't do dairy. A blend of hearty cauliflower, butternut squash, cashews and nutritional yeast gives this vegan macaroni and cheese the gooey, cheesy texture and flavor of traditional mac, without a bit of dairy!
Tofu & Snow Pea Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
A fast dinner recipe perfect for busy weeknights, this easy stir-fry recipe will quickly become a favorite. To save time, use precooked rice or cook rice a day ahead. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Spring 2019
Curried Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup
In this flavorful soup recipe, sweet potatoes simmer in a quick coconut curry, resulting in a creamy, thick broth punctuated by notes of garlic and ginger. We love peanuts for their inexpensive price and versatile flavor. They're also a great source of protein--1 ounce has 7 grams. Source: Diabetic Living Magazine, Spring 2019
Jackfruit, a tropical fruit with a dense, meatlike texture, absorbs the flavor of spices and sauces well. In these jackfruit carnitas tacos, the meat substitute is simmered in a spicy sauce and shredded for a nearly authentic vegan carnitas.
Vegan Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo with Kale
In this date-night-worthy vegan fettucine alfredo recipe, cooked cauliflower transforms into a rich, luscious sauce when it's blended with softened cashews. A high-speed blender will give you the creamiest results. Opt for whole-wheat fettucine to add fiber to the vegan pasta recipe. Source: EatingWell Magazine, April 2019
Slow-Cooker Vegetable Stew
Potatoes and beans make this tomato-based crock-pot vegetable stew super-hearty. You could also add briefly sautéed chunks of zucchini or fresh corn kernels just before serving, or add another can of cannellini beans for more substance. A dollop of pesto on top is also super-delicious. Adding homemade garlic croutons is an easy way to elevate this healthy dinner.
Stuffed Potatoes with Salsa & Beans
Taco night meets baked potato night with this simple recipe for loaded baked potatoes with salsa, beans and avocado. This easy, healthy family dinner comes together with just 10 minutes of active time, so you can make it on even the busiest of weeknights. This recipe is just as delicious with sweet potatoes in place of russets.
Vegan Gnocchi Soup
This Italian-inspired vegetable-packed soup features flavorful herbs, mushrooms, kale and tomatoes. Shelf-stable potato gnocchi are vegan, but if you want to make this soup gluten-free or lower in carbs, try cauliflower gnocchi instead. Source: EatingWell.com, November 2018
Jackfruit Sloppy Joes
Meaty jackfruit makes these vegan sloppy Joes rich and filling. Jackfruit, a starchy tropical fruit, is mildly nutty and sweet, a blank canvas for a warm and spicy sauce like the one for this quick meat-free sandwich. Source: EatingWell.com, March 2019