8 Quick & Easy Vegetarian/Vegan Dinner Ideas

A good friend of mine recently gave me some valuable feedback on my blog. Though the recipes are great (aw, thanks!) some take some time to make which isn’t ideal for those busy days when you get home from a long day at work, are tired, and don’t have the time or energy to prepare a meal. However, you want something that is tasty, filling, and healthy. His solution was to provide a post with several dinner options that used minimal ingredients and that took minimal time to prepare/cook (like 20-30 minute dinner ideas). Excellent idea, so….this is what this post is all about.

These dinner ideas are all plant-based, easy to make, require minimal ingredients and time. They are good for you and are tasty. Many of these options are meals that I frequently eat when I am tight for time, or you know, feeling lazy and not wanting to cook a big meal. Hey, it happens to everyone, don’t feel bad about it.

FYI for those TL, DR’s out there this is a longer post, but hope this post inspires you all to eat clean and healthy food while being a busy on-the-go person all at the same time. These recipes are all plant-based and either vegetarian or vegan. They will make you feel good, seriously trust me on this guys. Oh and, hey, you get like a week worth of dinner planned out (or at the minimum, some ideas and inspiration).

Option 1: Multigrain Veggie Pizza

This is so quick and easy, it’s not even funny. It takes 20 minutes, tops. That’s if you need 10 minutes to prep the ingredients, which I think is even a generous estimate. Cooking time is very minimal too, we’re talking 8 minutes tops. The topping ideas are endless too, you can top the pizza with whatever your heart desires and you can be quite creative with it. Topping game can be strong, for sure. This is what I added to mine, and it’s a winner. All you have to do is use a spoon to distribute the sauce evenly (Passata is great as it’s extremely low sodium). Then top the pizza with whatever you want. Heat over to 400° and bake for 8 minutes. Tops. That’s it.

Ingredients

1 pack of multigrain thin crust pizzas (I use a PC brand, and it comes in a two pack). It’s already ready to go.

1 red onion, chopped

some zuccini, sprialized (if you have leftovers), or chopped (if not)

havarti cheese (or whatever cheese you want – use as much or as little as you want too)

1 tomato, chopped

black pepper

4 tbsp or so of Passata (strained tomatoes)


Option 2: Quick Veggie Stir-Fry

Another very quick lunch or dinner option. Super delicious, like Chinese take-out type delicious. Hefty serving of veggies too (score!) All you have to do is mix the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, sriracha, agave nectar and ginger into a bowl while the pasta is cooking (takes like 5-8 minutes or so). Then stir-fry your veggies in EVOO and rice vinegar and add the noodles and sauce (using a wok or large fry pan). Fry for another few minutes, and ta-da! Yum.

Ingredients 

3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 tsp Sriracha (or hot chili sauce)

2 tsp agave nectar (or honey)

1 tsp ground or fresh ginger

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp rice vinegar or sesame oil

Veggies (celery, bell peppers, carrots, sugar snap peas, green peas, mushrooms, etc)

Brown rice pasta, or rice pasta


Option 3: Buckwheat Noodles

Similar to the veggie stir-fry, is buckwheat noodles. These take about 20 minutes to make, start to finish too. Much like the veggie stir-fry above, except you cook the veggies and noodles together like a soup. Then use the same sauce as above. Top with more hot sauce and a fried egg if you like (I personally don’t eat eggs, but it’s a nice vegetarian option and good for protein).

Ingredients

3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or alternative like tamari or Bragg’s)

1 tsp Sriracha (or hot chili sauce)

2 tsp agave nectar (or honey)

1 tsp ground or fresh ginger

2 tsp sesame oil

1-3 bundles of buckwheat noodles

fresh broccoli, nappa cabbage (Chinese cabbage), sugar snap peas

and an egg or two if that’s your thing


Option 4: The Super Easy Green Smoothie

Let’s be real. There are some days you seriously just don’t have time, but you gotta eat. Enter the super quick and easy green smoothie. It can be an excellent meal replacement for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. There are so many good variations of the green smoothie that I can provide, but this is the quickest and easiest. VERY yummy too. Double or triple the ingredients for an even meaner lean green smoothie. Hello energy boost for days! (Well, to power you through until the next meal at least.)

Ingredients

generous handful of fresh spinach

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup 100% apple juice

3 ice cubes


Option 5: 15 Minute Sauteéd Zoodles with Arrabiata Sauce

Zoodles are great sauteéd or raw. Personally, I prefer them raw. They are just so crunchy and fresh. The best! Oh hey, you can actually check out this recipe here.

Ingredients

2 medium sized zucchinis

1 carrot (peeled)

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil, etc.)

1 cup of a fresh spicy pasta sauce of your choice (I used an Arrabiata sauce from Farm Boy) You can definitely make your own though with chilies, tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, lemon juice, etc.

cilantro or parsley for garnish

sea salt and black pepper (to taste)


Option 6: Superfood Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa bowls are the best. Just between the quinoa and the edamame there’s 17 grams of protein alone. That’s not even counting the protein from the other plants. Just cook the quinoa for 17-20 minutes in vegetable stock with some spices. While you’re doing that, chop of your veggies/prepare the veggies you want to add in. SUPER FILLING + ENERGY! You’ll be ready to take on the day, seriously.

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked

vegetable stock

Veggies (carrots, tomatoes, avocado, sugar snap peas)

1/2 cup Edamame

hummus

sea salt and black pepper

Option 7: Super Green Salad

For those days when your body is like, just give me ALL THE GREEN VEGETABLES. Use greens like kale, spinach or collard greens (the darker and leafier they are, the better). Or red leaf lettuce, arugula etc. Peas, steamed or cooled asparagus (if and when in season :(), fresh mint, tomatoes, etc. Here’s an idea to start:

Ingredients

Greens (kale, spinach, collar greens, arugula, etc)

tomatoes

peas

edamame

fresh mint

asparagus

sunflower seeds, or pepitas

EVOO, rice vinegar and lemon juice (for the dressing) + sea salt & black pepper


Option 8: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie 

Okay, this one takes a bit longer (like one hour total), but for the one day like maybe a Sunday… when you have time to cook a bigger meal. This will give you leftovers too (unless you live in my house and the whole pie is gone after dinner). Just check out that post right here because I just posted it earlier this week 🙂

Peace! ❤

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