17 Delicious Vegan Recipes
Thinking about going vegan? A vegan diet—one that eliminates animal products of any kind—requires a little creativity in the kitchen. But done correctly, there may be some real health benefits: Non-vegan ingredients like dairy products and meat can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and eating a high volume of veggies is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, several common cancers, and other chronic diseases. But even if you're not ready give up your Brie or beef, swapping in vegan meals a few times a week can be beneficial for your health. Here, our favorite vegan recipes that are just as tasty as they are healthy. From a vegan BLT (yes, such a thing exists!) to a Vietnamese-inspired rice noodle salad to a flavor-packed nut-crusted tofu dish, even meat lovers will approve of these vegan recipes.
Tuscan Barley Salad
Try this recipe: Tuscan Barley Salad
Make sure to batch-cook barley earlier in the week to speed the prep time for this high-fiber, high-Resistant Starch dish. The orange zest adds a wonderful bright flavor to the salad, which tastes even better if made a day ahead of time.
Ingredients: Walnuts, navel orange, olive oil, pearl barley, fennel bulb, sun-dried tomatoes
Asian Noodles in Broth
Try this recipe: Asian Noodles in Broth
This warm, flavor-packed noodle recipe is perfect for chilly nights. Bonus: despite being meat-free, this dish contains a whopping 26 grams of protein.
Ingredients: Soba or udon noodles, low-sodium soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger, soft tofu, romaine lettuce, daikon radish, carrots, green onions, dark sesame oil
Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup
Try this recipe: Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup
Cold night? Warm up with this nutrient-packed vegan soup, which can be on the table in just 30 minutes. Even better? It only requires four ingredients to make.
Ingredients: Sweet potato, fresh ginger, sugar, salt
Zoodles With Tomatoes and Spinach-Caper Pesto
Try this recipe: Zoodles With Tomatoes and Spinach-Caper Pesto
With this plant-based, carb-free "pasta" dish, you can indulge in Mediterranean flavors without the meat or cheese. Tip: Keep tomatoes on the counter, not in the fridge, for the best flavor and texture. The recipe lists optional Parmesan cheese, but omit it to make the dish vegan-friendly.
Ingredients: Extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, baby spinach, parsley leaves, capers, hempseed, lemons, salt, black pepper, zucchini, avocado oil, cherry tomatoes
"Bacon," Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato Pitas
Try this recipe: "Bacon," Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato Pitas
Thanks to dulse and a little liquid smoke, you can get all the flavors of a classic BLT without the bacon. As a bonus, this recipe is packed with good-for-you veggies.
Ingredients: Coconut oil, dulse, liquid smoke, avocados, cilantro, scallions, fresh lime juice, whole-wheat pitas, baby greens or chopped romaine, plum tomatoes
Vietnamese Veggie and Rice Noodle Salad
Try this recipe: Vietnamese Veggie and Rice Noodle Salad
Dinner can be on the table in just 35 minutes with this fresh-tasting veggie and rice noodle salad. To make this dish vegan-friendly, look for a brand of peanuts that doesn't contain gelatin for the final garnish.
Ingredients: Carrots, daikon radish, English cucumber, rice vinegar, sugar, avocados, ginger, lime juice, garlic, coconut oil, extra-firm tofu, brown rice noodles, mung-bean sprouts, cilantro, unsalted peanuts
Try this recipe: Nut-Crusted Tofu
The crunchy nut coating on this tofu recipe packs on the protein (the dish contains a whopping 15 grams). Also good: it's low in cholesterol and saturated fat and comes in under 300 calories. What's not to love? Tip: Some brands of dijon mustard may contain honey, so look for a mustard product without honey to make this dish vegan-approved.
Ingredients: Pistachios, whole-wheat bread crumbs, shallot, garlic, lemon zest, tarragon, extra-firm tofu, Dijon mustard, lemon juice
Kamut Salad With Roasted Cauliflower
Try this recipe: Kamut Salad With Roasted Cauliflower
You won't miss the meat in this flavor-packed cauliflower salad with kamut, a wheat grain originally discovered in Egyptian tombs (it's a great source of protein, amino acids, and vitamin E). Pack any leftover salad (minus the avocado) for your work lunch.
Ingredients: Kamut, cauliflower, tahini, fresh lemon juice, baby arugula, garlic, avocado, black pepper, olive oil, kosher salt
Vegetable Pad Thai
Try this recipe: Vegetable Pad Thai
This lighter version of the classic Pad Thai dish still includes ingredients like lime, peanut butter, ginger, and bean sprouts, so you get the same flavorful staples you've come to love. Plus, with 20 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, you're treating your body to a great takeout alternative. Make sure to look for peanuts that don't contain gelatin for a vegan-friendly garnish.
Ingredients: Peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, ketchup, ginger, crushed red pepper, yellow squash, carrots, peanuts, bean sprouts
Try this recipe: Portobello Fajitas
These 30-minute, meat-free mushroom fajitas bring some serious heat. Bell peppers and onion up veg factor (and nutrients) to this dish and help provide that authentic fajita flavor.
Ingredients: Portobello mushroom caps, grapeseed oil, chile powder, yellow onion, yellow and red bell pepper, poblano chile, lime wedges, salt, corn tortillas, hot sauce
Sriracha-Lime Grilled Watermelon
Try this recipe: Sriracha-Lime Grilled Watermelon
Give this juicy summer fruit an unexpected upgrade with a spicy kick. You can fire up the grill and prepare your snack the night before, or forgo the grilling and sprinkle the seasonings on raw watermelon for an equally-delicious dish. No watermelon on hand? This recipe also works well with jicama.
Ingredients: Watermelon, extra-virgin olive oil, sriracha, kosher salt, coconut sugar, lime zest, lime wedges
Eggplant Steaks With Tapenade
Try this recipe: Eggplant Steaks With Tapenade
Grill eggplant steaks indoors in a pan, or outdoors: Place on grates over moderate heat, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Also good: eggplant packs in lots of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Ingredients: Eggplant, grapeseed oil, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, sundried tomatoes, olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil
Grilled Tofu With Spicy Peanut Sauce
Try this recipe: Grilled Tofu With Spicy Peanut Sauce
Buy firm or extra-firm tofu; softer varieties will fall apart on the grill. To make the dish vegan-friendly, look for a brand of peanuts that doesn't contain gelatin.
Ingredients: Extra-firm tofu, grapeseed oil, light brown sugar, black pepper, cilantro, salted peanuts, extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, Fresno chili, ginger, lime juice
Zucchini with Corn and Cilantro
Try this recipe: Zucchini with Corn and Cilantro
Give your veggies a Tex-Mex flare with this southwestern side-dish recipe. Buttery olive oil added to cilantro and tangy lime juice gives that fiesta flavor to fiber-rich zucchini and corn. Add a side of refried beans and you have a filling and delicious meal.
Ingredients: Olive oil, zucchini, whole-kernel corn, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, salt, black pepper
Spicy Black Bean Burritos
Try this recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burritos
These protein-packed burritos contain both black beans and tofu. Topped with lycopene-rich tomatoes, lettuce, and plenty of cilantro and cumin, this recipe has abundant zest. Although it calls for the burritos to be topped with sour cream (a nonvegan ingredient), leaving that part out won't compromise the spicy Mexican flavor.
Ingredients: Plum tomatoes, fresh cilantro, red onion, chipotle chile in adobo sauce, fresh lime juice, sea salt or kosher salt, white rice, black beans, red onion, garlic, cumin, olive oil, extra-firm smoked tofu, whole wheat tortillas, iceberg lettuce
Sweet and Sour Slaw
Try this recipe: Sweet and Sour Slaw
This six-ingredient recipe is perfect for a potluck lunch. Cider vinegar and sugar add sweet and sour taste to this mix of veggies, while keeping it low in cholesterol. Plus, cabbage and carrots are low-calorie ways to get vitamin C. To mix it up, throw in a few slices of Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples to get tart flavor with a crunchy bite.
Ingredients: Sugar, cider vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw, green onions
Triple Bean Salad
Try this recipe: Triple Bean Salad
Fiber and iron-rich beans make up this quick and easy salad. The mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice gives the dish a tangy flavor without the saturated fat found in creamy dressings. Serve it as a side dish or over romaine lettuce for a light lunch.
Ingredients: Green onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, red wine vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, lemon juice, salt