Best Vegan Recipes For Beginners
Going vegan can be super overwhelming in the beginning. I always wished I had a list of easy vegan recipes to make navigating this new lifestyle much easier.
It took me a long time to totally cut out animal products. I thought vegan food would taste weird or be super hard to make.
Looking for easy vegan meals for beginners? I put together a list of EASY, not-intimidating-at-all vegan recipes for you to try and hopefully love!
Many can be made ahead of time to enjoy lunch all week, and a handful can even be made in just one pot. Enjoy every one of these quick, easy vegan meals.
What Is A Vegan Recipe?
That’s an excellent question. When I said “easy” recipes, I meant easy, like, made with minimal ingredients.
Vegan Recipes for beginners are not difficult to make and can be made the night before or on a weekday.
I tried to find recipes that are the least processed and contain as many whole foods as possible, as this seems to be a priority with the healthier plant-based diet.
A vegan recipe is a meat-free or vegetable-only recipe with no animal products, like butter, eggs, or dairy.
Think about what a recipe calls for to decide if it is vegan. For example, if you are baking a pie or cookies and the recipe calls for eggs, you can assume egg-free ingredients.
Vegan recipes are also without meat or dairy-free but have a much higher level of healthy veggies.
They may have whole grains, vegetables, and beans. They also usually contain some fruit, like strawberries or watermelon.
A Vegan Recipe is any recipe that is suitable for a Vegan diet. If the original recipe includes meat or dairy, the Vegan version will likely have alternative ingredients or perhaps some vegan substitutes to accommodate your personal needs.
Best Vegan Recipes for Beginners include the Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese from the classic cookbook Joy of Cooking, Creamy Vegan Corn and Tomato Soup from the not-so-classic cookbook Joy of Cooking (9th edition), and Chipotle Veggie Burger from the not-so-classic cookbook Joy of Cooking (9th edition).
You may also want to try the Vegan Pot Roast Tacos. If you can’t wait for your vegan pot roast to be ready, these tacos are a great way to get your protein in now!
Plus, they use roasted sweet potatoes and are amazingly easy to make. Another one is Green Veggie Mac n’ Cheese.
Mac n’ Cheese is a classic for a reason. It’s delicious and fast to make. This one has just 4 ingredients!
Cooked on the stovetop or in the microwave in minutes! The Vegan Teriyaki Stir Fry Cucumber and Tomato Stir Fry are fun for dinner, and the mixture can be made in just a few minutes.
Advantages Of Using Vegan Recipes
Many plant-based products (foods, clothes, household goods etc.) are produced without using any animals. Therefore we have many benefits of being vegetarian/vegan and, of course, using vegan recipes. Many recipes and ingredients have either been vegan since the dawn of human civilization or are very inexpensive to make vegan and cruelty-free.
What to expect from vegan recipes? Vegan recipes are quick and easy. The recipe calls for familiar ingredients for most people and could easily be found in the supermarket. They are usually made with less than five ingredients (though this can vary a little). In fact, most recipes call for ingredients that can be easily found in your kitchen.
I've tested and tasted these vegan recipes myself. I’ve even had a few family and friends try them. The main advantage of vegan recipes is that you can eat meat or any dairy product in the same meal without sacrificing that vegan-ness. There are actually vegan substitutes for almost all of the food you can buy at a grocery store.
Most of the common dairy products you buy are made with water, soy or coconut milk. So, unless you are eating ice cream or milkshakes, you can easily enjoy them in your vegan recipes. Vegan recipes are a breeze to make. A lot of them even can be made in the slow cooker in less than 30 minutes! You can then reheat them in the oven before serving.
The “so you want to eat vegan” section of any store you go to has so many options and dishes that even the pickiest vegan will find something they like. Vegan ingredients are inexpensive and plentiful. Vegan ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store. There are vegan substitutes for almost all animal products called for in a recipe.
Make the best Vegan Taquitos for your next easy weeknight meal. Also referred to as rolled tacos, taquitos delivers a crispy shell on the outside combined with creamy ingredients on the inside. Serve them with a creamy avocado dipping sauce for the perfect meal!
These vegan taquitos are stuffed with vegetables and made in a frying pan. The vegetable filling is the only thing you need to do in advance. You can prepare the filling while you are waiting for the tortillas to cook.
A traditional taquito is a small flour tortilla stuffed with filling and then deep-fried. However, you can make a taquito healthier by making it vegetarian or vegan and baking rather than frying them.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Vegan cream cheese — You can use storebought or make your own dairy-free cream cheese,
- 1 Onion — Use a white, yellow, or even a red onion,
- Green salsa — You can substitute it with a standard red salsa,
- Fresh cilantro — For those who don’t like cilantro, they can substitute it with fresh parsley
- Lime juice — Use either freshly squeezed or bottled lime juice,
- Vegan Chicken — You can buy something like Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken Strips or Gardein Chicken Strips, or you can make your own vegan chicken,
- Vegan Cheese — Use your favourite vegan cheddar or Mexican blend shreds, such as those made by Daiya or Follow Your Heart,
- Flour tortillas — You’ll need 10 flour tortillas. You can use regular or gluten-free tortillas and
- Avocado — One avocado will do the trick or substitute it with vegan guacamole.
One-Pot Creamy Garlic Pasta
Looking for a straightforward and quick vegan meal? The ONE POT CREAMY GARLIC PASTA is everything I love about one-pot meals. Many people made this pasta on a cold winter night and froze it for an easy weeknight meal. I know you are just itching to make it! Even though it was super chilly, they kept the pasta on low and waited the 4-5 minutes it called for.
You can either cook it in a skillet or the oven. I believe this is one of those meals that will work for the entire family. There’s plenty of healthy veggies, healthy carbs and a good dose of protein. This pasta is deliciously creamy and simple to make. Because of this, they’re great for beginners. You can put the pasta together in less than 5 minutes and get a tasty meal to have for lunch. They have a lovely light sauce that can be topped with leftover veggies or fresh herbs.
The one-pot creamy garlic pasta recipe I have here is what I personally find to be the ideal preparation for a creamy vegan pasta dish because the one-pan method cooks together with the pasta, and the sauce all in one pot coats the pasta exceptionally well. Fettuccini are especially suited and are coming out to a lovely al dente texture in the final product.
Thankfully, if you prefer your pasta cooked differently, it’s also easy to adjust. This one-pot creamy garlic pasta recipe is great with spinach or kale added, or served alongside other veggies and sides of choice, and can easily accommodate the addition of your favourite “cheezy” ingredients too, so make it your own, but know that I also love it in its basic form printed here.
For a slightly ‘cheesier' taste, try adding white or yellow miso paste and/or nutritional yeast. This recipe will taste bland if not properly seasoned, so be sure to taste it throughout cooking and add salt, pepper and other seasonings as needed. You can finish the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, but I recommend only adding it to individual portions just before eating.
The lemon juice will start to curdle the soy milk if left to sit and may also have the same effect if other non-dairy milk is used. This recipe is as good as your non-dairy milk and vegetable broth. If you do not like the taste of them on their own, you will not like how this recipe tastes.
The cooking time will need to be adjusted for differently shaped or thinner pasta. The simmer in step 4 should be fairly gentle; otherwise, too much liquid may cook off – though that's luckily an easy fix, but note that the cooking time will increase because the extra non-dairy milk will cause the temperature of the overall cooking mixture to decrease temporarily.
Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
Not only does this cauliflower dish taste great, but the texture is great, and it’s loaded with healthy ingredients. This dish is packed with nutritional value and is fun to make for a quick meal on a weeknight. The best part of sesame cauliflower has always been the sauce… It’s the sauce, not the cauliflower, that makes sesame cauliflower so addictive.
Cauliflower—the darling vegetable of the year—is definitely having a moment. And with more and more cauliflower-based products hitting shelves each day, the cauliflower excitement doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. To cook this delicious sticky sesame cauliflower, you need to gather all the ingredients.
The ingredients include:
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped (6 1/2 cups florets),
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce,
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or agave,
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar,
- 1 tbsp minced garlic,
- 1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil,
- ½ tsp powdered ginger,
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot, (please note that cornstarch is not non-GMO)
- 1/4 cup water, and
- Sesame seeds and scallions for garnish.
Follow these easy instructions, and you’re good to go.
- First, preheat your oven to 450 F (~230 C).
- Grease a baking pan or line it with parchment.
- Cut cauliflower into florets, then slice, so one side of each floret is flat.
- Arrange in a single layer in the greased pan
- Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, sweetener, vinegar, garlic, sesame oil, and ginger in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil.
- While waiting, stir together the cornstarch and water until cornstarch dissolves fully,
- Then slowly whisk this into the saucepan as soon as it boils.
- Turn heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes,
- Stirring more frequently once it returns to a boil.
- Cook until thick. You can also make the sauce ahead of time if desired, and it thickens more as it sits in the fridge.
- Flip cauliflower florets and bake for 10 additional minutes.
- If desired, you can now move the pan to the top rack and broil for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour sauce over florets.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds and optional scallions on top, and serve.
Spicy Sesame Zoodles
These sesame zoodles are drizzled in a creamy sesame sauce. Forget the calorie-loaded noodles and opt for zucchini noodles instead! So why is this recipe one of the best? Marly, a certified Plant-Based Pro and Vegan Dessert Expert uses zucchini noodles instead of wheat noodles, making this both a gluten-free, low carb, and low-calorie meal. Adding tahini paste creates a creamy texture to the sauce that combines perfectly with the spices. Using fresh ginger is a flavour booster that will keep you coming back for more!
For you to create this awesome dish, you need to prepare all ingredients. The ingredients you need for this recipe include
- Zucchini — You’ll need 2 zucchini,
- Sesame oil — This stuff is the best, and if you can find toasted sesame oil, it’s even better.
- Tamari — This is a gluten-free version of soy sauce, so you can substitute soy sauce if you have issues with gluten. Or you can use Bragg or Coconut Aminos,
- Tahini paste — This is sesame butter, and you can usually find it in the international section of most grocery stores. You can substitute it with cashew, almond or sunflower butter,
- Sweetener — You can use maple syrup, agave, or a low-calorie sweetener like Stevie or Truvia,
- Fresh Ginger — We’ll use a bit of finely grated ginger, or you can substitute it with ground ginger,
- Garlic — use fresh garlic or substitute a couple of tender cloves from garlic confit,
- Hot Sauce — I prefer sriracha or tabasco. If you don’t like spicy, you can leave this out,
- Green onion — You’ll need one green onion and
- Sesame Seeds — I like to sprinkle these over the top.
Ultimate Veggie Burger
The Ultimate Veggie Burger is loaded with vegan cheese, veggie bacon, the best veggie burger ever, and avocados. You’ll be surprised vegan can taste so good. If you’re into loaded burgers, with bacon and dripping melted cheese, and slathered mayo, and you’ve ever wondered if vegans feels the same…wonder no more because we now have the Ultimate Veggie Burger recipe. For your loaded veggie burger-loving heart!
So what makes this Ultimate Veggie Burger recipe one of the best? Marly, a certified Plant-Based Pro and Vegan Dessert Expert, first uses plant-based burgers, like Impossible Burgers, to make these veggie burgers the absolute best. Adding avocado slices is more than just a creamy, healthy fat. It also adds pops of colour and flavour. Toasting the buns with vegan butter adds a buttery flavour to every bite.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Veggie Burger — You can use any of your favourite veggie burgers, such as Impossible Burgers, Pure Farmland Burgers, or these Field Roast Hand-Formed Veggie Burgers,
- Veggie Bacon Strips — You can use storebought bacon or make these tempeh bacon strips,
- Vegan Cheddar Block — Sure, you can use vegan cheddar slices, but I find the Daiya Vegan Cheddar Style Block delivers an extra-cheesy flavour,
- Avocado — You’ll need an avocado (or two) to cut into slices and serve on your burgers,
- Vegan butter — You can use tub margarine, Earth Balance, or homemade vegan butter. And
- Buns — Use any of your favourite dairy-free and maybe gluten-free buns.
Here are the instructions we found for you to enjoy the recipe.
- Cook veggie burgers in a skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides.
- Cook veggie bacon strips until heated through and browned.
- Slice the vegan cheese in thick slices.
- Peel the avocado, remove the pit, and slice.
- Spread the vegan butter on both sides of the buns and place them buttered side down in the skillet and cook until golden brown.
- Melt the cheese by placing the veggie burger on the bottom bun and top with cheese.
- Place it in the skillet for a couple of minutes (or microwave for about 20 seconds) to melt the cheese.
- Top each burger with veggie bacon strips, avocado slices, and the top bun.
- Serve with vegan mayo (optional) and your favourite sides.
That’s it, and you’re done!
Vegan Cheesy Corn Casserole
This Easy Vegan Corn Casserole is a cheesy cornbread dish, sure to please any dinner crowd and the cook too because it's so easy to make! This corn casserole is the perfect savoury side dish that goes with any meal.
So why is the Vegan Cheesy Corn Casserole recipe one of the best? According to Marly, a certified Plant-Based Pro and Vegan Dessert Expert, the use of both whole and cream-style corn add lots of corn flavour to this casserole. Using a corn muffin mix keeps this casserole fluffy and delicious. Adding vegan cheddar shreds as a topping brings the flavours altogether, making this recipe hard to beat!
To create this delicious recipe, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Corn — You’ll need a 15 oz can of whole kernel corn,
- Creamed Corn — Despite the name, there is no cream in creamed corn. You’ll need a 15 oz can of cream-style corn,
- Corn muffin mix — We’ll be using an 8 oz package of muffin mix — be sure to read the ingredients to make sure there are no dairy or egg ingredients,
- Vegan sour cream — Many vegan sour cream options are available, such as Tofutti and Good Kharma. Also, you could substitute it with Cashew Cream,
- Vegan butter — You can use Earth Balance or any favourite dairy-free margarine, and
- Vegan cheddar shreds — We often use Follow Your Heart or Daiya Cheddar.
Before you proceed to making it, it’s nice to have an easy, pleasing vegan cornbread casserole to put on the table.
- To start, Make the Batter — Combine the whole corn, creamed corn, corn muffin mix, vegan sour cream, and melted vegan butter in a large bowl.
- Stir to combine. Pour the corn mixture into your prepared baking dish.
- Top with Cheese — Top with the vegan cheddar shreds.
- Bake — Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until it’s golden brown around the edges.
Vegan Lasagna With Cashew Spinach Ricotta
This lasagna recipe is as easy as they get: layers of ground faux meat, vegetables, and cashew spinach ricotta. For my easy and healthy lasagna, you may use the Lightlife Smart Ground Zesty Italian. It will add an amazing meaty texture to the sauce that blends perfectly with garlic, carrots, onions, and zucchini. The smart ground is made with organic non-GMO soy protein and actually contains 11g of protein per serving, which balances well with the carbohydrates and healthy fats in this dish.
According to Marly, a certified Plant-Based Pro and Vegan Dessert Expert, the ingredients you need for Lasagna Sauce & Noodles are:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil,
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic,
- ½ cup finely chopped onion,
- 1 cup finely chopped zucchini,
- ¾ cup finely chopped carrots,
- 1½ packages Lightlife Zesty Italian Ground (or 500g vegan ground meat of your choice),
- 3 cups marinara sauce,
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and
- 1 package of gluten-free lasagna noodles*.
For Cashew Spinach Ricotta, you need
- 3 cups cashews, soaked in warm water for 1 hour then drained,
- ½ cup hot water,
- ¼ cup lemon juice,
- ½ teaspoon salt,
- ½ teaspoon onion powder,
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh spinach.
Lastly, for the Optional Garnishes:
- ¼ cup dairy-free parmesan cheese (store-bought) and
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or spinach.
I hope you find a recipe you would like to add to your list. If you want to know more about the best Vegan recipes for beginners, you may visit the website of Marly at https://namelymarly.com/simple-vegan-recipes-beginners/ to see more of her recipes. You may also want to check out the other Vegan recipes listed in https://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/easy-vegan-recipes-for-beginners. Hoping that this article helped you in finding what recipes or dishes you want to try.
I trust you enjoyed reading the article on the Best Vegan Recipes For Beginners. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
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Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me your questions, experience and remarks about the Best Vegan Recipes For Beginners in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.