That’s when I had to start to think outside the box. Or better yet, the things I can add to my dinner plate, rather eliminate.
The good news is that there is a wide range of plant-based recipe ideas that are affordable, easy, and plant-based. Including the things you might already be eating, namely, spaghetti, vegan pizza, loaded potatoes, and vegetable stews.
And you might already be working with everyday pantry ingredients that are vegetarian including lentils, beans, rice, quinoa, and spices.
It will take some time, creativity, and a little bit of cooking skill - but I promise it’s approachable to switch to a plant-based diet, especially for those nighttime meals.
What Are Plant-Based Foods?
Plant-based foods are those that derive from plants. Vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds are all examples of plant-based foods.
A plant-based diet consists mostly or entirely of plant-based foods, some of which may be minimally processed. It can be a balanced, wholesome, and nutritionally generous diet when done right.
Additionally, it's a delicious and healthy way of eating that can be approachable and affordable with a little bit of planning.
Here are 31 delicious plant-based recipes for dinner that can be paired with your favorite sides. Very easy recipes, so they are perfect for plant-based beginners!
Not sure how to make your breakfast plant-based and healthy? Check out our 18 Frugal Plant-Based Breakfast Recipes.
Plant-Based Dinner Recipes
DINNER TIP: If you're missing Indian food, good news, you can still have it! This "butter chicken" recipe goes perfectly with a side of naan, roti, rice, or some raw onions. You won't need anything else. Top it off with coconut or cashew cream.
DINNER TIP: To make habichuelas guisadas a complete meal, pair it with white rice, plantains, and sliced avocado. For the plantains, either go for salty tostones or sweet maduros, which can be fried or baked for a healthier version.
DINNER TIP: Dress up your burger with your favorite items. Just like regular burgers, we can add onions, tomatoes, pickles, our favorite sauces, and a slice of vegan, melted cheese.
DINNER TIP: Serve tofu guisado with your favorite PuertoRican sides including rice, avocado, and fried plantains.
DINNER TIP: This Chipotle-inspired sofritas dish is just as versatile as what you get from the restaurant. Go for a burrito, taco, salad, or rice bowl - the choice is yours. Add all of your favorite toppings and sides and you have a full meal.
DINNER TIP: This oil-free "fried" rice is the perfect opportunity to throw in your favorite vegetables that need to get used up. Feel free to make this dish a little more interesting by adding corn, edamame, or even green beans.
DINNER TIP: Dry beans are ridiculously easy to make, they just need a little bit of time. I love pairing these beans with a side of white rice and steamed vegetables.
DINNER TIP: For a refreshing bite to this dish, add a side of freshly sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion.
DINNER TIP: Chili is cozy any time of the year - whether it's for game day, winter, or to use as a topping for summer veggie hot dogs. I like to keep things traditional and add a side of homemade cornbread.
DINNER TIP: Serve with a side of cooked white rice!
DINNER TIP: Switch things up with this spring vegetable fried rice. Using vegetables in season. Serve with spring rolls, soup, or a salad.
DINNER TIP: The only thing you need to make this recipe complete is a pile of spaghetti and tomato pasta sauce.
DINNER TIP: Make this dish complete with a side of white jasmine rice or flatbread.
DINNER TIP: Packed with flavor, this Puerto Rican chickpea stew is perfect with rice or fresh bread. Add cilantro and chopped onions for a crunch.
DINNER TIP: Pair with your favorite garlic bread, salad, or soup!
DINNER TIP: This recipe is great on its own, but for a complete meal, go for a side of white rice.
DINNER TIP: If you're looking for somethign light for dinner, this one's perfect! It's perfect with a slice of toasted bread.
DINNER TIP: Add your favorite dips! Or, go basic and dip enjoy with mustard or ketchup.
DINNER TIP: This light dinner recipe is perfect for something cozy and flavorful. To make it a complete meal, a salad or vegan grilled cheese are great choices.
DINNER TIP: This healthy spring vegetable soup is packed with good-for-you ingredients. Load up your bowls as many times as you like. Add crusty bread to make it a complete meal.
DINNER TIP: This meal is complete with a side of rice and stewed beans!
DINNER TIP: Share and serve with fries, onion rings, or a salad. And don't forget the dipping sauce!
There you have it - plant-based dinner recipes that'll make everyone at home asking for seconds!
Did you try any of the recipes on the list?