27 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners
Looking to start a plant-based diet? EatingWell is here to help with simple vegan recipes to help you make the transition in the easiest and most delicious way possible. Plant-based diet recipes like Marinated Tofu Salad, Black Bean Quinoa Bowl and Berry-Almond Smoothie Bowl will fill you up with plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables plus the inspiration to kick-start your journey on a new way of eating.
Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl
This black bean and quinoa bowl has many of the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
Berry-Almond Smoothie Bowl
A little frozen banana gives creamy texture to this satisfying smoothie bowl.
Vegan Creamy Coleslaw
Classic coleslaw goes vegan in this easy barbecue side dish recipe. Eggless or vegan mayonnaise's mild flavor is indistinguishable from regular mayo in this coleslaw flavored with Dijon and cider vinegar. Look for it in the condiment section of large grocery stores or natural-foods stores.
Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl
Blitzed cauliflower gives this very easy vegan soup recipe its creamy taste without adding any dairy. To get the silkiest texture, puree the soup in a blender rather than using an immersion blender.
Cocoa-Chia Pudding with Raspberries
Have chocolate for breakfast with this unbelievably healthy chia pudding recipe. The deep chocolaty flavor pairs perfectly with juicy raspberries for a fun switch-up from oatmeal for your morning routine.
Vegan Bistro Lunch Box
Perfect to pack for lunch to take to work or for a picnic in the park, this vegan bistro box is filled with Mediterranean diet-inspired crunchy vegetables, pita bread, creamy hummus and olives.
Spiralized broccoli stems transform into tender "noodles" in this lo mein-inspired vegetarian recipe. Serve on top of brown rice or buckwheat soba noodles.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing
This hearty vegan salad is loaded with plant-based power ingredients: chickpeas, quinoa and hummus. We love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the unexpected flavor of roasted peppers.
Pineapple Nice Cream
All-fruit, dairy-free and with no added sugar--these are the hallmarks of "nice cream," a healthy alternative to ice cream. This pineapple nice cream has tropical flavors, thanks to a hit of mango and lime. It takes just minutes to make this naturally sweet frozen dessert in the food processor or a blender. Enjoy it alone, or top with fresh fruit and toasted coconut.
West Coast Avocado Toast
Hummus, sprouts and avocado top sprouted whole-wheat bread in this healthy vegan lunch idea. Look for sprouted bread in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Roasted Vegetable & Black Bean Tacos
These hearty vegan tacos are quick and easy to make, perfect for busy weeknights. They are so tasty no one will miss the meat or dairy.
Tofu Cucumber Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Making tofu tastier can be as simple as tossing it in a knockout sauce like this Sichuan-inspired peanut dressing. To make this cucumber salad recipe a meal, add rice noodles and double the dressing. Serve with an extra drizzle of sesame oil and sliced scallions.
Chocolate Banana Oatmeal
Have your fruit and a little luxury too with this kid-friendly healthy chocolate and banana oatmeal recipe. Short on time in the morning? Try our overnight oatmeal variation.
Roasted Root Veggies & Greens over Spiced Lentils
This earthy bowl of lentils bursting with Middle Eastern flavors is topped with leftover roasted root veggies from a large batch for an easy weeknight dinner. Keep it vegan or add a drizzle of plain yogurt for extra richness.
Mixed Greens with Lentils & Sliced Apple
This salad with lentils, feta and apple is a satisfying vegetarian entree to whip together for lunch. To save time, swap in drained canned lentils--just make sure to look for low-sodium and give them a rinse before adding them to the salad.
Creamy avocados make this dairy-free and vegan chocolate dessert recipe super-rich. Serve as a not-so-sweet dessert or with strawberries for dipping.
Quinoa Avocado Salad
Protein-packed quinoa pairs with creamy avocado in this refreshing grain salad. It's the perfect make-ahead side dish to bring on a picnic or take to a potluck. Or pack it for lunch or enjoy it as a light dinner.
Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing
Hearty yet simple to prepare, this stuffed sweet potato with black beans, kale and hummus dressing is a fantastic 5-ingredient lunch for one!
Butternut Squash & Cauliflower Soup with Chickpea Croutons
Bulk up boxed butternut squash soup with frozen cauliflower florets, then top off your bowl with crispy chickpea snacks for major crunch (look for them near the dried fruit and nuts at your grocery store). This impressively easy dinner comes together with just those three ingredients, not including salt, pepper and oil. Because prepared soups are typically higher in sodium, look for light or reduced-sodium versions of your favorites.
Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice
Combine precooked lentils (often located in the produce section of your grocery store) with an Indian-style simmer sauce for a super-fast and flavorful curry. Serving it over riced cauliflower bumps up the vegetable count and keeps carb servings in check. This 3-ingredient dinner (not counting salt, pepper and oil) is really as easy as it gets. To be mindful of the salt, look for simmer sauces with less than or close to 350 mg sodium per ¼-cup serving.
Clean-Out-the-Fridge Vegetable Soup
This recipe is purposefully flexible so you can incorporate just about any veggie into it. Top with a dollop of pesto and/or a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
Summer Grilled Vegetables
Colorful grilled summer vegetables are served with a light and refreshing sauce in this easy side dish that pairs perfectly with just about everything.
Golden Vegetable Soup
In this vegan golden vegetable soup, butternut squash adds color, while ginger, serrano pepper and spices add depth and earthy flavors.
Marinated Tofu Salad
Tofu soaks up the flavors of lemon, cumin and coriander in this marinated tofu salad. The marinade does double duty, combining with tahini to transform into a dressing with a nutty taste and creamy texture.
Peanut Zoodles with Edamame
A package of fresh zucchini noodles gets tossed with shelled edamame and store-bought peanut sauce in these 5-minute, no-cook vegetable noodle bowls. Because prepared sauces and dressings are commonly high in sodium, scan the label and opt for those that contain 150 mg sodium or less per tablespoon.
3-Ingredient Refried Bean & Pico de Gallo Tostadas
Making your own tostadas is easy. Use store-bought corn tortillas, brush them with olive oil and bake to crunchy perfection! Here we topped the tostada with refried beans and fresh pico de gallo for an easy 3-ingredient meal.
Black Bean Hummus
For a slightly Southwestern spin on hummus, swap in black beans for the traditional chickpeas. It's just as fiber-rich and filling, but with a taste that pairs well with tortilla chips and crisp bell peppers.