10 QUICK VEGAN RECIPES FOR BUSY WEEKNIGHTS

We all have those nights when we get home late, exhausted from the day, and the last thing we want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. You know those nights—I certainly do! So, for all my fellow plant-based peeps who can relate, I’ve compiled a list of 10 quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious vegan recipes for those busy weeknights.

Un plato de tofu crujiente sobre una mesa.

Getting easy vegan recipes every weeknight dinner

Weeknights are often a blur of activities — whether it’s working late, running errands, or juggling family obligations. Finding time to prepare a nutritious, plant-based meal can be a challenge. But worry not, I’ve compiled a list of quick vegan recipes that are not just easy to make but also incredibly delicious! So let’s get cooking!

1. Orange crispy tofu

Who doesn’t love a good crispy tofu? It’s quick, customizable, and packed with goodness. Crispy tofu is always a great meal prep ingredient that goes a long way with different sauces and seasonings. Serve this with your favorite vegetable or roasted broccoli and some good steamed rice or noodles. Make your rice in your instant pot to make this dish even faster.

Quick Tip

Always press your tofu before cooking for a better texture. Trust me, it’s a game-changer!

crunchy cauliflower tacos 14

2. Vegan Tacos

Taco Tuesday, anyone? A dish so versatile, it’s perfect for a casual dinner or a festive gathering. When it comes to quick vegan meals, vegan tacos are a game-changer.

They’re the epitome of fast, convenient, and oh-so-delicious. I’ll never forget the look on my friends’ faces when I served these cauliflower tacos for the first time—they couldn’t believe it was all plant-based! Don’t forget to top it off with some salsa, avocado, and maybe a squeeze of lime. Tacos are one of the best vegan dinner recipes because they are:

  1. Time-Saving: You can assemble a basic vegan taco in as little as 15 minutes, making it an ideal dish for those busy weeknights when you’re short on time but still want something wholesome.
  2. Nutrient-Packed: With ingredients like black beans, avocados, and fresh veggies, vegan tacos are a powerhouse of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
  3. Flavorful and Fun: Tacos are all about layering flavors. You can spice them up with some jalapeños, add tang with lime juice, or give them a creamy touch with vegan cheese or avocado slices.
curry-thai-.ale-graf.piloncilloyvainilla-46-scaled

3. Vegetable Thai Curry

When it comes to rich, aromatic, and comforting meals, Thai curry holds a special place. But what if you’re looking to enjoy this exotic dish while adhering to a vegan lifestyle? Enter Thai Vegan Curry, a plant-based wonder that captures the essence of traditional Thai curry without animal products.

Thai Vegan Curry is a medley of robust flavors, brought to life by a blend of spices, herbs, and plant-based ingredients. It features a base of creamy coconut milk infused with a paste of garlic, ginger, and lemongrass, giving it an unforgettable aroma. Add to this a colorful array of vegetables—such as bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini—and a protein like tofu or tempeh, and you’ve got a delicious, nutrition-packed dish.

This is my favorite Thai curry; add chickpeas or crispy tofu for a more substantial dish. This hearty, protein-packed, flavor-filled dish is ready in under 30 minutes. You only need a can of chickpeas or tofu (if using), some veggies, coconut milk, and curry paste.

Una ensalada de pasta con limón y chicharos.

4. Spaghetti with lemon and peas

Ever been in a situation where you forgot to grocery shop, and all you have is pasta, garlic, and frozen peas? That was me last Wednesday. But this classic Italian dish needs no more than that.

Imagine a plate of perfectly cooked spaghetti — each strand delicately coated in a sauce that’s as light as it is flavorful. Now add in the burst of freshness from lemon zest and the subtle crunch of bright green peas. That’s Spaghetti with Lemon and Peas for you, a dish that manages to be both comforting and refreshing at the same time. If you’re feeling fancy, top it off with some vegan parmesan, pine nuts, or fresh herbs.

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5. Buddha Bowls

One of my absolute favorites is the Buddha bowl—so named for its round, “belly” appearance, full of colorful, nutritious foods. You can throw together grains, beans, veggies, and a yummy dressing. I love using quinoa, chickpeas, avocado, and roasted veggies with a tahini, cashew dressing, or even mole. Talk about wholesome!

Un plato con un sándwich Sloppy Joe y una copa de vino.

6. Vegan Sloppy Joes

Remember those messy yet oh-so-delicious Sloppy Joes from your childhood? Well, they just got a vegan makeover, and it’s fantastic! Vegan Sloppy Joes provide all the comfort and flavor of the traditional version but replace the ground meat with plant-based alternatives like lentils, tempeh, or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Whether you’re vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your week, these are a must-try!

Why Vegan Sloppy Joes Are a Hit

  1. Flavor-packed: Imagine a hearty filling of well-spiced plant-based protein, bathed in a tangy, slightly sweet tomato sauce, all piled high on a warm, toasty bun. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds!
  2. Nutrient-Dense: By opting for plant-based protein options like lentils, you’re getting a fiber and nutrient boost without compromising on taste.
  3. Quick and Easy: This dish often takes under 30 minutes to make, especially if you’re using pre-cooked lentils or canned options, making it ideal for those busy weeknight dinners.
  4. Crowd-Pleaser: This is one of those dishes that both vegans and non-vegans will love, perfect for family dinners or social gatherings.

I used to love Sloppy Joes as a kid. When I turned vegan, I was thrilled to find out I could still enjoy them, but with lentils instead of meat. Simmer some lentils in a tangy tomato sauce and serve it on a soft, warm bun.

Serve with roasted sweet potatoes, french fries, or chips.

EASY SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS: Meatballs and spaghetti in a white bowl.

7. Vegan meatballs and spaghetti

Discover a vegan take on an Italian classic with our “Unbelievably Good Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe”. Swap out traditional ingredients for plant-based alternatives without compromising on taste.

My recipe for vegan meatballs is made with faux meat, vegan cheese, and a medley of herbs that deliver a hearty and robust flavor, perfectly complementing the tangy, homemade tomato sauce.

Combined with al dente spaghetti, this dish creates a fulfilling and comforting meal. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or to impress at your next dinner party.

pesto-de-aguacate-3-of-5

8. Avocado Pesto Pasta

When my basil plants were growing out of control, I decided to make pesto. But with no parmesan on hand, I decided to use an avocado I had lying around. The result? A creamy, rich, vegan pesto that pairs perfectly with any pasta. This dish has become a regular in my weekly rotation.

Un plato de fajitas de frijol sobre una mesa.

9. Vegan fajitas

Who doesn’t love the smoky aroma and sizzling sound of fajitas arriving at the table? With Vegan Fajitas, you can enjoy all that sensory delight while keeping it plant-based. Forget the chicken or beef; this dish is all about marinated tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, or even a medley of vegetables that offer a burst of flavor with every bite.

  1. Customizable: Whether you prefer tofu, tempeh, or just an array of vibrant vegetables like bell peppers and onions, you can easily tailor this dish to your tastes and nutritional needs. Which makes them perfect for easy vegan weeknight dinners.
  2. Rich in Flavor: The secret lies in the marinade, usually a blend of spices like cumin, paprika, and garlic powder, combined with lime juice for that zesty kick.
  3. Quick to Make: From slicing the veggies to sautéing them, vegan fajitas often take just 20-30 minutes to prepare, making them an ideal choice for quick weeknight dinners.
  4. Social Food: Vegan fajitas are perfect for family gatherings or dinner parties. Just lay out the sizzling veggies and toppings, and let everyone build their own fajita.

A family favorite in my house, these fajitas are filled with black beans, peppers, and vegan cheese. Serve them with some salsa and vegan sour cream, and you’ve got yourself a filling, wholesome meal in no time.

Una pizza hecha en casa en una sartén sobre una mesa.

10. Veggie-loaded Pizza

Who said pizza can’t be healthy and quick? Use a store-bought vegan pizza crust, a jar of marinara sauce, and your favorite veggies. My go-to toppings are bell peppers, onions, olives, and a sprinkle of vegan cheese.

And there you have it. These recipes have saved me on countless busy nights and I’m sure they’ll come to your rescue too. Remember, vegan cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With a bit of creativity and some pantry staples, you can whip up a delicious, plant-based meal in no time at all. Happy cooking!

Alejandra Graf
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