I get it – after a long day of just being a busy human being, a 30-minute dinner recipe sounds like the perfect thing to wrap up a night (or let’s be real: takeout).
As much as I love cooking and exploring new plant-based dinner recipes, sometimes I just want to hang up the apron and get something on the dinner table quick and easy.
When I think about dinner, the first thing I think about is utilizing the ingredients I have in my kitchen.
That way, I can skip the grocery trip. Additionally, using what I already have helps me reduce food waste and be a little more intentional about thinking outside of the cooking box.
Pro-tip: shop more pantry items that stretch out for a long time (canned beans, rice, pasta, sauces, and spices). These items are useful in quick dinner plant-based recipes. Plus, they are typically inexpensive.
5 Tips To A Quick, 30-Minute Dinner
A great way to create a quick dinner is to prepare beforehand. This could mean chopping, organizing, or even discovering a new plant-based recipe before it’s time to whip something up in the kitchen.
It also helps to have ingredients already on hand to avoid a grocery trip.
What I do is take a look at what I have around in my pantry and kitchen and come up with something with what I already have.
For example, if I have cooked brown rice ready to be used, I drag that out and make loaded stir-fry rice.
Go For Recipes With Minimal Prep Time
When searching for recipes online, take a look at the recipe first. Take note of the prep time, cook time, and the steps needed. Anything that requires too many steps or too long of a cook time, toss it. Look for something different.
Most recipes will note the cooking time. If not, reading the recipe steps will give you a good idea of how long it might take to create the dish.
Search For One Pan/Pot/Baking Sheet Recipes
Using only one cooking tool can make things easier and faster. Examples include an Instant Pot, wok, baking sheet, and cast iron skillet, or dutch oven. These cooking tools often do not need help from others and whole meals can be made from them.
Currently, one of my favorite kitchen tools that I purchased recently is a dutch oven. It helps distribute heat more evenly, is great for longer cook times like stews, by preventing it from drying out, and it can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven.
Heat Pre-Made Frozen Dinner
Keep your freezer well-stocked with already cooked, plant-based meals that simply need to be heated through.
If there’s a day during the week when you have ample time to meal prep, use that time to cook freezer-friendly meals that can be warmed throughout the week.
If you need something cozy for dinner, check out 10 Soup Recipes For Fall.
Keep It Simple
Look for recipes that only require a handful of ingredients, steps, and cookware. A great option would be a classic spaghetti dish.
Other easy plant-based recipe options include, a tofu sandwich loaded with chopped veggies, tacos, and stir-fry.
There are plenty of recipes online that are reasonable, fast, using everyday ingredients and cookware. Or, cook something that you’ve made more than a dozen times before. So there are no surprises – just get straight to the cooking point.
30-Minute Plant-Based Dinner Ideas
Oil-Free Vegan Fried Rice
Beefless “Beef” Stew (Puerto Rican Style)
Black Bean Tofu Burger Recipe
Smoky Vegan Mac and Cheese
Vegetarian Tofu Bean Chili
Creamy Rigatoni With Sofrito Avocado Sauce
20-Minute Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Bean Stew)
Cannellini Bean Veggie Burger
Spring Vegetable Fried Rice
20-Minute Chipotle Sofritas
Vegan Palak “Paneer” With Tofu
One-Pot Pasta With Roasted Tomatoes and Mushrooms
10-Ingredient Vegan Broccoli Curry
Did you try any of the recipes on this 30-Minute Plant-Based Dinner Ideas list?