27 Plant-Based Meal Ideas

Recently, a friend suggested to me that vegetarian and plant-based meals are boring. Say, what now?! I entirely disagree!

After some talking, I came to realize that we all need a little inspiration in the kitchen. We get used to what we know how to cook, and often don’t have time to look for meal inspiration.

So, I sat down with my friend and we brainstormed a list of plant-based meal ideas that got us excited. By the end of our fun afternoon activity (ok, fun for us foodies!), we had this list that I am happy to share with you now.

  1. Lentil soup with carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and fresh parsley, drizzled with olive oil
  2. Curry chickpea stew with tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard, cilantro, ginger, coconut milk over barley
  3. Mexican salad of black beans, shredded cabbage and carrots, quinoa, and cilantro-avocado dressing
  4. Shepherd’s pie of tofu with carrot, peas, mushroom, & collard greens topped with mashed potatoes
  5. BBQ baked tofu with oven-roasted sweet potato wedges and a green salad
  6. Bean or tofu and sweet potato tacos topped with fermented cabbage, avocado, peach salsa, etc
  7. Grain salad of cooked quinoa or faro mixed with roasted, sautéed, or raw vegetables and lentils
  8. Legume-based pasta mixed with broccoli, zucchini, and homemade tomato or vegan alfredo sauce
  9. Caramelized onion, spinach, avocado quesadilla with corn, gluten-free, or Siete brand tortillas
  10. Black-eyed pea stew with leeks, swiss chard, and lemon topped with walnut parsley pesto over rice
  11. Vegetarian chili and gluten-free cornbread forever and always
  12. Thai soba noodle bowl with thinly sliced vegetables, edamame, and a red curry coconut milk broth
  13. Black bean burgers made with quinoa, cumin, and spices with oven fries
  14. Loaded baked sweet potato stuffed with vegetables, beans, and guacamole
  15. Risotto or polenta with seasonal vegetables and herbs
  16. Miso-glazed roasted parsnips and potatoes with sautéed grains and leftover grains
  17. Green pea, cauliflower, pepper, and tomato curry over brown rice
  18. Stir-fried tofu with spicy ginger or curry sauce with colorful vegetables over rice noodles
  19. Quinoa vegetable fried “rice” with avocado and kimchi
  20. Creamy dairy-free potato and broccoli soup topped with roasted mushrooms or tempeh bacon crumbles
  21. Greek salad with cucumber, chickpeas, olives, red onion, roasted red peppers, and artichokes
  22. Tempeh, kidney bean, cashew, and kale enchilada casserole topped with favorite enchilada sauce
  23. Pasta-free lasagna made with baked eggplant strips layered with zucchini, spinach, tomato sauce and your favorite cheese
  24. Corn chowder with red potatoes, carrots, red pepper, and coconut milk
  25. Seasonal vegetable pasta salad with a homemade Italian vinaigrette, pesto, or goddess dressing
  26. Spaghetti squash topped with sautéed mushrooms and greens with a cashew pesto
  27. Stuffed peppers with crumbled tempeh, beans, and quinoa


Want more actual recipes? Check out some of these sites for some excellent vegetarian and vegan recipes for any meal:

Brown Vegan

The Roasted Root vegetarian recipes

Sweet Potato Soul

Food52 vegetarian recipes

Food for the Soul recipes

Naturally Ella

Green Kitchen Stories


Published by Okay to Eat

Natasha Eziquiel-Shriro, MS, RDN, CDN

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