I remember when I first started experimenting with plant-based recipes, I had no idea where to start. How can I have a complete meal without the no-veg protein?
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 21 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.
Vegan Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)
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.
Vegan Puerto Rican Spaghetti
Habichuelas Guisadas From Scratch
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.
Black Bean Tofu Burger Recipe
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.
Puerto Rican Tofu Guisado
DINNER TIP: Serve tofu guisado with your favorite PuertoRican sides including rice, avocado, and fried plantains.
Mushroom Lentil Loaf
DINNER TIP: Go for a carb-based side to go along with your veggie mushroom lentil loaf, like mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, cornbread, and air fryer potatoes.
20-Minute Chipotle Sofritas
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.
Cannellini Bean Burgers (with Pantry-Friendly Ingredients)
Creamy Rigatoni With Sofrito Avocado Sauce
Beefless “Beef” Stew (Puerto Rican Style)
Oil-Free Vegan Fried Rice
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.
Vegan Creamy Chickpea Pasta with Spinach
10-Ingredient Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
How To Cook Dry Black Beans (No Soak)
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.
Vegan Palak “Paneer” With Tofu
Vegetarian Tofu Bean Chili
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.
Vegan Puerto Rican Picadillo (Spiced Ground “Beef”)
Spring Vegetable Fried Rice
Stovetop Vegan Tofu Meatballs
DINNER TIP: The only thing you need to make this recipe complete is a pile of spaghetti and tomato pasta sauce.
20-Minute Thai-Style Vegetable Red Curry
DINNER TIP: Make this dish complete with a side of white jasmine rice or flatbread.
Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Yellow Rice)
DINNER TIP: Puerto Rican yellow rice is typically paired with ripe avocado, plantains, and meat. But to keeps vegan, go for a side of sofritas or vegan picadillo mentioned in this list.
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?
Please leave a comment below, share it, rate it, or tag a picture @plantbasedandbroke on Instagram and hashtag it #plantbasedandbroke. Show off that creation with us
Being half Black and half Puerto Rican, you know I’m hoping to have to try the “Sin Carne Guisada”! I’m so intrigued!!
Yessssssss you need to! It’s so freaking good and it reminds me of the good old days when my abuela would cook for me! <3
These recipes look so yummy. I can’t wait to try some in the kitchen. Those tofu nuggets tho’
Let me know when you do try them! I hope they turn out great! 🙂
All of these recipes looks so good! I’m excited to try out the crispy cauliflower buffalo “wings.”
Yesssss you need to try them! So good
I’m obsessed with beans and lentils, so this list speaks to my soul!!!!! LOL That lentil soup, girl… delicious!!!
Sammeeee! Haha. I didn’t grow up with lentils, but it’s definitely made its way to my diet in the last couple of years ^_^
They all look so good!! I M definitely loving the cauliflower!!
These all look like amazing dishes! With fall almost here, I look forward to trying the smoky vegan bean chili. It looks flavorful and filling.
That oil-free vegan fried rice is calling my name!
It’s interesting when you said that some recipes require creativity because of their unit plant-based recipes. Yesterday, my cousin told me that he was planning to start his career in food blogging using plant-based recipes because of his fitness journey and medical practice, and he asked if I had any idea what would be the best option for him to begin. Thanks to this helpful article, I’ll be sure to tell her that they can acquire more information and ideas from vegan recipes and vegan cooking tips blog.
Weeepa! I love all your Puerto Rican recipes. Thank you soooo much!
Wepaaaa! Enjoy! 🙂
This is a great list of plant-based dinner ideas! I’m excited to try some of them!