You know how much I love really delicious, hearty plant-based meals. The types of meals everyone at your table can dig into—even diehard carnivores. I honestly believe that plant-based eating can be utterly delicious! My culinary aesthetic is all about vibrant, globally-inspired dishes, based on seasonal, local produce and plant-powered staples. I want my meals to be approachable and not overly complicated, yet overwhelmingly gorgeous and satisfying. Over the past several years I have developed hundreds of dinner recipes, ranging from plant-based comfort foods to adventurous plant-based fare. I’ve tested them all on my family and friends until I get the thumbs up. And I’ve enjoyed cooking up these 100% plant-based meals in my own kitchen night after night. That’s why I am so excited to bring you my top 10 favorite plant-based dinner recipes, from my kitchen to yours.
Eat and Live the Goodness,
The Plant-Powered Dietitian’s 10 Favorite Plant-Based Dinner Recipes
A harvest from your summer vegetable garden or trip to the farmers market—and rummage through the kitchen cupboard—never looked so delicious! With one large saucepan and a few simple ingredients, this mouthwatering plant-based Ratatouille with White Beans is sure to satisfy any hearty appetite.
This completely plant-based (vegan) recipe for “Chicken” and Vegetable Dumplings comes straight from my mom’s old green recipe box. She grew up in Arkansas on a farm, and this original, classic, simple dumpling recipe was handed down from my grandmother Edith, who would round up the ingredients in her own backyard. My mother raised me in a mostly vegetarian home, and we managed to enjoy a variety of Southern dumpling recipes. This one is based on faux chicken pieces, carrots, potatoes, and a flavorful sauce.
If you’ve ever had eggplant parmigiana at a traditional Italian restaurant, you would never likely call it a light, healthy meal! So, I set out on a quest to make a lighter, leaner, plant-based version of this classic Italian dish. Starring eggplant and tomatoes, this simple dish can hit your dinner table in less than 40 minutes, and it’s absolutely scrumptious.
The vibrantly flavored, Indian classic comfort food, Chana Masala with Brown Rice, is one of my all-time favorite dishes. And it’s super easy to make this classic dish at home too, with a few simple ingredients—chickpeas, canned tomatoes, spices, and brown rice. I promise this recipe for Chana Masala will be on your weekly menu rotation for weeks to come!
The Creole flavors of New Orleans—steeped in a rich tradition of cultures, including African, Caribbean, and the New World—are among my favorites. You might be surprised to discover that many of these traditional dishes, such as jambalaya, are based on plant foods: beans and rice. This one-pot meal for Red Bean and Okra Jambalaya is bursting with flavor; serve it with a crusty whole wheat baguette for a hearty meal.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy mushrooms is in a simple pasta dish, like this Mushroom Bomb Lentil Pasta. In this dish, it’s all about the mushrooms—the pasta is merely a blank canvas to let the savory warm flavors of mushrooms shine through.
Green leafy vegetables are brimming with good health and flavor, and are also a classic ingredient in many traditional dishes, such as this simple, plant-based (vegan), gluten-free pasta dish for Penne with White Beans and Greens. Since most of the other ingredients—bean pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, white beans, onion, garlic, and herbs—can be kept on hand, this is a very easy, go-to weeknight meal.
This dish boasts a rich Thai flavor profile, thanks to hearty additions of red curry, coconut, and peanut butter. It’s so easy, all you have to do is cook brown rice noodles for a few minutes, sauté bell pepper and mushrooms, stir up a flavorful coconut-Thai sauce, and mix it all up in a skillet with the noodles and greens. Thanks to the brown rice noodles, greens, and tofu—it’s packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and even calcium!
It’s easy to move away from the “meat as the center of the plate” attitude when you focus on fresh, globally inspired dishes, like these spicy Tofu Mushroom Tacos, which feature a flavorful, easy tofu mushroom filling, and delicious toppings.
Rich with the spices and flavors of Indian dal (a lentil curry), this recipe is hearty, simple, and absolutely delicious. This Indian-Style Yellow Lentil Stew can be whipped up in about 45 minutes with only 10 ingredients (not including pantry staples). And the recipe is 100% plant-based (vegan), oil- and salt-free, and gluten-free too.
For other plant-based dinner recipes, check out a few more of my favorites: