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30 Plant-Based Recipes You Have to Try


plant based recipes

Are you interested in adding more plant-based meals to your diet but aren't sure where to start? Perhaps you're a seasoned vegan looking for new culinary adventures, or maybe you're simply curious about exploring the bountiful world of plant-based eating. No matter your motivation, you've landed on the right page.


Each of the recipes we'll share is not only nourishing and delightful but also straightforward to prepare. No specialized equipment or obscure ingredients required – just honest, whole foods transformed into genuinely delectable meals.



plant based recipes

We'll explore the myriad flavors and textures that plant-based foods have to offer, from comforting Vegan Mac and Cheese to tantalizing Vegan Tacos, from rich, chocolatey Vegan Chocolate Cake to satisfying Vegan Lentil Soup. Each recipe will be presented with step-by-step instructions, helping you bring these dishes to life in your own kitchen with ease.


So, get your apron on, sharpen your knives, and let's dive into the vibrant world of plant-based cuisine together. These are the 30 plant-based recipes you absolutely have to try – who knows, you might discover your new favorite dish!



30 Plant-Based Recipes

 

1. Lentil Curry

This easy yet nutritious Lentil Curry is a staple in plant-based diets, offering a healthy dose of protein and fiber. It's a dish that's as comforting as it is flavorful, thanks to the blend of warming spices.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried lentils

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


Instructions:


Begin by rinsing the lentils under cold water until the water runs clear. This step removes any debris and reduces the natural bitterness of the lentils.


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion to the pot and sauté until it becomes translucent and tender. This usually takes around 5 minutes.


Once the onion is cooked, add the minced garlic to the pot. Cook for another minute, or until the garlic is aromatic. Be careful not to burn the garlic, as this can make the curry taste bitter.


Now, it's time to add the spices. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder, and let them cook for about a minute. This step will help release the flavors of the spices and infuse them into the onion and garlic mixture.


Next, add the rinsed lentils to the pot. Stir everything together to ensure that the lentils are well coated with the spice mixture.


Pour in the coconut milk and vegetable broth. Stir the mixture and bring it to a simmer.


Once the curry is simmering, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. You can check the lentils by taking one out and pressing it between your fingers - it should squash easily.


Taste the curry and add salt to your liking.


Serve the curry in bowls, garnished with fresh coriander leaves for added freshness and color.


This Lentil Curry is a flavorful and hearty meal that's perfect for a weeknight dinner. Pair it with some basmati rice or naan bread for a complete meal that's satisfying and full of plant-based goodness.


 

2. Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cream

These Black Bean Tacos are a perfect example of how plant-based eating can be colorful, satisfying, and full of flavor. The star ingredient here is the black beans, which provide a hearty texture and are a fantastic source of protein and fiber. Coupled with fresh vegetables and delightful avocado cream, these tacos are both healthy and delicious.


Ingredients:

For the Black Bean Filling:

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • Salt to taste

For the Avocado Cream:

  • 1 ripe avocado

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

  • Salt to taste

For the Tacos:

  • 8 soft tortillas

  • 1 cup chopped lettuce

  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Instructions:


Begin by preparing the black bean filling. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, typically taking around 5 minutes.


Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for another minute. Avoid burning the garlic as it may produce a bitter flavor.


Stir in the ground cumin and chili powder. Let the spices cook for about a minute to release their flavors.


Add the drained and rinsed black beans to the pan. Stir to combine the beans with the spiced onion and garlic mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the beans are heated through. Season with salt according to your preference.


While the beans are cooking, prepare the avocado cream. In a food processor or blender, combine the ripe avocado, lime juice, cilantro leaves, and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth.


Assemble your tacos. Warm the soft tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side. Then, spread a generous spoonful of the avocado cream on each tortilla.


Top the avocado cream with the spicy black beans. Add the chopped lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro.


Repeat this process until all the tortillas are filled.


There you have it, a delightful and nutritious plant-based meal. These Black Bean Tacos are not just a feast for the taste buds, but also for the eyes with their vibrant colors. They are perfect for a quick lunch or a casual dinner, offering a refreshing and satisfying eating experience.


 

3. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa, Black Beans, Corn, and Salsa

Stuffed Bell Peppers offer a wholesome, colorful, and versatile option for a plant-based meal. The quinoa provides a nutty flavor and a good dose of protein, black beans add texture and heartiness, while the corn adds sweetness. The salsa provides a vibrant burst of flavor, rounding off this well-balanced dish.



Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers, any color

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

  • 1 cup salsa, store-bought or homemade

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Instructions:


Start by cooking the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear. Place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan, add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Set the cooked quinoa aside.


While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the bell peppers. Cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds and the inner membranes, ensuring not to pierce the bottom of the peppers. You'll be left with hollowed-out peppers ready for stuffing.


In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, corn kernels, and salsa. Add the ground cumin, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir everything together until well combined.


Spoon the quinoa mixture into the prepared bell peppers. Fill each pepper up to the top.


Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.


Remove the peppers from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, then garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.


The result is a dish that's not just packed with plant-based goodness, but also bursting with color and flavor. The sweet, crunchy peppers provide the perfect contrast to the hearty, spicy filling, making these Stuffed Bell Peppers a meal you'll want to make again and again.


 

4. Vegan Pad Thai with Rice Noodles, Tofu, and Vegetables

Pad Thai is a popular Thai street food dish traditionally made with shrimp, egg, and fish sauce. This vegan adaptation substitutes these with tofu for protein, while still maintaining the iconic tangy, sweet, and savory flavors that are hallmarks of Pad Thai.


Ingredients:

  • 8 oz rice noodles

  • 1 block of tofu, pressed and cut into cubes

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 carrots, julienned

  • 2 green onions, chopped

  • 1 cup bean sprouts

  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts

  • Lime wedges, for serving

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional, for heat)


Instructions:


Start by preparing the rice noodles. Following the package instructions, soak or cook the rice noodles. Once they're done, drain and set them aside.


Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the cubed tofu and cook until it's golden brown on all sides. This usually takes around 5-7 minutes. Once the tofu is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.


In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic, thinly sliced red bell pepper, and julienned carrots. Sauté the vegetables until they're just tender, which should take around 5 minutes.


While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine the tamarind paste, soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, and chili sauce (if using). Stir until everything is well combined.


Add the cooked rice noodles and the sauce to the pan with the vegetables. Toss everything together, ensuring the noodles and vegetables are well coated in the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.


Return the tofu to the pan, add the chopped green onions and bean sprouts, and toss again. Cook for another minute.


Serve your Vegan Pad Thai topped with crushed peanuts and lime wedges on the side.


This Vegan Pad Thai is not only satisfying and flavorful, but it's also adaptable. Feel free to experiment by adding different kinds of vegetables or adjusting the sauce to your liking. Enjoy this deliciously tangy, sweet, and savory dish straight from your kitchen.


 

5. Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is a fantastic plant-based alternative to traditional chicken or tuna salad sandwiches. It's made with wholesome ingredients that come together to create a creamy, flavorful filling that's both satisfying and packed with protein.


Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons dill pickles, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried dill)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 slices of bread

  • Lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, and cucumber for serving (optional)


Instructions:


Start by preparing the chickpeas. Place the rinsed and drained chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl. Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the chickpeas until most of them are smashed, but some whole chickpeas remain. This will provide the perfect texture for your salad.


Add the vegan mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, finely chopped red onion, celery, and dill pickles to the bowl with the mashed chickpeas. If using, also add the chopped fresh dill. Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is well combined.


Now, it's time to season your salad. Add salt and pepper to taste, and give the salad another good mix. At this point, it's a good idea to taste your chickpea salad and adjust the seasoning if necessary.


Spread a generous amount of the chickpea salad onto a slice of bread. If you're using lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber, place them on top of the chickpea salad.


Top with the second slice of bread to complete your sandwich. Repeat the process with the remaining slices of bread and chickpea salad.


Serve your Chickpea Salad Sandwiches immediately, or store them in the refrigerator for a quick, easy, and delicious plant-based meal that's ready when you are.


This Chickpea Salad Sandwich is a versatile recipe that you can customize according to your preference. Feel free to add other ingredients like bell peppers, grated carrots, or capers to the chickpea salad. Alternatively, you could switch out the bread for a wrap or a bagel, or even serve the chickpea salad on a bed of greens for a gluten-free option. Enjoy this easy and nutritious sandwich as a lunch, dinner, or a snack on the go.


 

6. Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

This Cauliflower Buffalo Wings recipe transforms ordinary cauliflower into a dish that's bursting with flavor and has a satisfying crunch. These bite-sized florets are baked until crispy and coated in a tangy, spicy sauce, making them an excellent plant-based alternative to traditional buffalo wings.


Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 1 cup almond milk (or any plant-based milk)

  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose or gluten-free)

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup buffalo hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon plant-based butter, melted

  • Ranch dressing, celery sticks, and carrot sticks for serving


Instructions:


Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure the cauliflower wings don't stick to the pan.


In a large bowl, combine the almond milk, flour, garlic powder, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk everything together until you have a smooth batter.


Toss the cauliflower florets into the bowl with the batter. Make sure each floret gets fully coated with the batter. Shake off any excess batter before placing each floret onto the prepared baking sheet.


Bake the cauliflower in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the florets start to become golden.


While the cauliflower is baking, prepare your buffalo sauce. In a separate bowl, combine the buffalo hot sauce and melted plant-based butter.


After 20 minutes, remove the cauliflower from the oven. Drizzle the buffalo sauce over the baked cauliflower florets, tossing them in the sauce until each floret is well-coated.


Return the cauliflower to the oven and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the cauliflower wings are crispy and have a deep, vibrant color.


Let the cauliflower buffalo wings cool for a few minutes before serving with ranch dressing, celery sticks, and carrot sticks.


Enjoy these Cauliflower Buffalo Wings as a tasty appetizer, side dish, or a main dish. It's a versatile recipe, and you can adjust the level of spiciness to your liking by using more or less hot sauce. You can also try different variations of this recipe, such as BBQ Cauliflower Wings or Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Wings, by simply changing the sauce. This plant-based dish is sure to become a favorite at your family meals, gatherings, or game nights.


 

7. Mushroom Risotto

This delicious Mushroom Risotto recipe creates a creamy and comforting dish full of savory flavors from the combination of earthy mushrooms and aromatic herbs. Arborio rice, a starchy, short-grain rice, is key to the creaminess of the risotto. This dish requires patience and constant stirring, but the end result is well worth it.


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Arborio rice

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 cups fresh mushrooms (such as cremini or shiitake), sliced

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, for a cheesy flavor)

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


Instructions:


In a saucepan, heat the vegetable broth over low heat. Keep it warm throughout the cooking process.


In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.


Add the minced garlic to the pan and sauté for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant.


Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, stirring occasionally, until they are browned and their liquid has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes.


Stir in the Arborio rice, making sure each grain is coated with the oil. Sauté the rice with the mushrooms for about 2 minutes.


Pour in the white wine and stir continuously until the wine is fully absorbed by the rice.


Begin to add the warm vegetable broth to the pan, one ladle at a time. After each addition, stir continuously until the broth is absorbed by the rice before adding the next ladle of broth.


Continue this process of adding broth and stirring until the rice is creamy and al dente, meaning it should be cooked but still have a slight firmness to the bite. This process usually takes about 20-25 minutes.


Stir in the nutritional yeast, if using, and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Serve the mushroom risotto immediately, garnished with fresh chopped parsley.


This Mushroom Risotto is a great main dish for any occasion. You can easily adjust this recipe by using different types of mushrooms or adding other vegetables, such as peas or asparagus, for variation. A well-made risotto is a testament to your skill in the kitchen and is sure to impress at any dinner table.


 

8. Vegan Chili

This Vegan Chili is a hearty and satisfying dish that's perfect for cold weather or anytime you're in the mood for comfort food. It's loaded with beans, vegetables, and a medley of spices that give it a rich, smoky flavor. The recipe is quite flexible and allows for many variations depending on your preferred ingredients and how spicy you like your chili.


Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bell peppers (any color), diced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 zucchini, diced

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) beans (such as kidney, black, or pinto), drained and rinsed

  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • Optional toppings: avocado slices, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions


Instructions:


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.


Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook for another minute until fragrant.


Next, add the diced bell peppers, carrots, celery, and zucchini to the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.


Add the drained and rinsed beans, diced tomatoes (with their juice), chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir everything together until well combined.


Pour in the vegetable broth and stir again. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.


After 30 minutes, add the frozen corn to the pot and stir to combine. Continue to simmer the chili for another 10 minutes until the corn is heated through.


Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings if needed. If you prefer a spicier chili, you can add more chili powder or a pinch of cayenne pepper.


Serve the Vegan Chili hot, with your favorite toppings like avocado slices, chopped cilantro, and sliced green onions.


This Vegan Chili is a great make-ahead dish as the flavors only get better with time. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage. It's a filling, nutritious meal option that's perfect for weeknight dinners or feeding a crowd.


 

9. Vegan Lasagna

Vegan Lasagna is a delightful and savory dish that brings together the familiar comforts of pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese in a vegan-friendly format. This recipe introduces a homemade vegan ricotta cheese and bechamel sauce that add creaminess and depth of flavor, making it almost indistinguishable from its dairy counterpart.


Ingredients:


For the vegan ricotta:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water for at least an hour

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the vegan lasagna:

  • 1 box lasagna noodles

  • 2 jars marinara sauce (24 oz each)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 zucchinis, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups fresh spinach

  • 1 recipe vegan ricotta (as prepared above)

  • 1 recipe vegan bechamel sauce (recipe follows)