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36 Easy Vegan Dinner Ideas That Even Picky Eaters Will Love

You'll find something for everyone on this list of plant-based recipes.

<p>Caitlin Bensel</p>

Caitlin Bensel

Whether you're a big proponent of Meatless Mondays or a die-hard vegan, you're probably looking to mix things up and add some new flavors to your repertoire. These easy vegan dinner ideas are the perfect answer, with a mix of unique flavors from around the world. And even better, most of these dishes are less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Related: 21 High-Protein Vegan Breakfast Ideas to Keep You Full

Odds are, even the pickiest diner will love at least a few of the options on this list, so you can add a few new tricks to your dinner game.

Spiced Rice With Crispy Chickpeas

<p>Caitlin Bensel</p>

Caitlin Bensel

Chickpeas are a plant-based meal mainstay. Here, they're crisped up with warm Indian spices, and served with rice that was cooked in garam masala.

Spiced Rice With Crispy Chickpeas

Fish-Free Ceviche

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Get all the flavors of ceviche—without the fish—in this 10-minute dish that's a perfect light summer dinner. Hearts of palm swap in for the seafood, and get that tropical flavor from the light lime and coconut dressing.

Fish-Free Ceviche

Slow Cooker Black Bean Posole

<p>VICTOR PROTASIO</p>

VICTOR PROTASIO

Pop a few ingredients into your slow cooker, and come home to this hearty Mexican stew. Swap out the standard sour cream for a dollop of vegan sour cream (or coconut cream) as a garnish.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Posole

Tofu Asada With Caramelized Onion Refried Beans

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Tofu is the perfect blank canvas for any spice blend you choose—and here, it takes on the spicy heat of carne asada. Caramelized onions add sweetness to refried beans.

Tofu Asada With Caramelized Onion Refried Beans

Vegetarian BLT With Shiitake Bacon

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Shiitake bacon can still give you that same smoky flavor of bacon—especially when marinated in soy sauce and roasted.

Vegetarian BLT With Shiitake Bacon

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Alison Miksch
Alison Miksch

Chickpeas make a surprising (and incredibly delicious!) vegan swap for tuna in this salad sandwich. Use vegan mayo to make this completely plant-based.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Zucchini Butter Spaghetti

Jennifer Causey
Jennifer Causey

Don't let the name fool you: There is barely any butter in this dish. Instead, shredded zucchini, shallots, and garlic are cooked until they reach a buttery consistency, then tossed with pasta. (You can use a tiny dollop of vegan butter in lieu of the regular butter for a little extra richness.

Zucchini-Butter Spaghetti

Thai Curry Vegetable and Tofu Soup

Christopher Baker
Christopher Baker

This super-fast soup gets its creaminess from coconut milk in its curry paste broth. This is a perfect recipe for using up any extra veggies from your produce drawer—peppers or broccoli could be a nice add-in or swap for any veggies you don't have on hand.

Thai Curry Vegetable and Tofu Soup

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Watermelon makes a surprisingly good substitute for tuna in this Hawaiian-style poke recipe. (The soy-sesame marinade gives it a more savory note.) Use vegan mayo for the spicy drizzle.

Watermelon Poke Bowls

Black Bean-Oat Burger

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

This mix-and-cook burger recipe is super simple to make. Pile it high with your favorite condiments, and pair it with homemade fries for a tastier (and just as quick) version of the fast-food favorite.

Black Bean-Oat Burger

Gnocchi and Sweet Potatoes With Hazelnuts

Greg Dupree
Greg Dupree

Pillowy potato gnocchi and spiced sweet potatoes get their perfect counterpoint from crispy hazelnuts. You can sauté the gnocchi in olive oil or a bit of broth in lieu of the butter.

Gnocchi and Sweet Potatoes With Hazelnuts

Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

This colorful soup is the perfect cozy comfort food—especially when you're feeling under the weather. It's loaded with good-for-you superfoods. Think carrots and butternut squash, lentils, and crunchy roasted almonds.

Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon

Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

Con Poulos
Con Poulos

The secret ingredient in this chili? It's cocoa powder, which gives the dish a mole-like flavor.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili With Sweet Potatoes

Nutty Tofu Bowls

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

To give your tofu that crispy texture, remove excess water by wrapping the tofu in a kitchen towel and weighing it down with a cast iron skillet or other heavy item. Asian condiments like rice vinegar and ginger add plenty of zing.

Nutty Tofu Bowls 

Thai Peanut Butter Ramen

Antonis Achilleos
Antonis Achilleos

You probably have everything you need in your kitchen right now to make this tasty 20-minute meal. Feel free to add in little extras—sliced tofu, peppers, or julienned carrots—to make the meal even more substantial.

Thai Peanut Butter Ramen

Red Lentil Curry

José Picayo
José Picayo

Indian curries are a popular vegan dinner idea. And bonus: You only need to do 10 minutes of prep and let the meal simmer for a few minutes more.

Red Lentil Curry

Tofu and Mushroom Larb

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

This Laotian recipe puts mushrooms front-and-center for a hearty vegan dinner idea. If cilantro is a divisive ingredient in your family, add a bit more mint to take its place.

Tofu and Mushroom Larb

Cauliflower Piccata

<p>Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen</p>

Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Herby, lemony piccata is a traditional Italian-style dish usually made with meat—but hearty cauliflower steaks make a perfect stand-in. Make a little extra of the pan sauce, and stir it in with pasta, too

Cauliflower Piccata

Quick Nutty Noodles

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

This tasty noodle dish requires only five minutes of prep, and features the bold, peppery flavors of watercress and radishes. The nutty almond butter and sesame oil dressing balances it out.

Quick Nutty Noodles

Vegan Paella With Summer Squash

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Spanish paella normally features an array of seafood and sausage. But our vegan version subs in an array of colorful veggies to give it a colorful, rainbow look that's dinner party worthy.

Vegan Paella With Summer Squash

Skillet Polenta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

CAITLIN BENSEL
CAITLIN BENSEL

This vegan recipe is the ultimate in simplicity—fast to create, only one skillet to clean, and delicious, too. It's also a recipe that utilizes a ton of pantry essentials, so it's great for those days when your fridge looks extra bare.

Skillet Polenta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Papaya and Jicama Aguachile

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

If you're looking for a light summer dinner, this one is it! The spicy chile-and-lime sauce is the perfect foil for creamy avocado and sweet papaya, and fresh mint adds a flavorful finishing touch.

Papaya and Jicama Aguachile

Related: 101 Healthy Summer Dinner Ideas That Are Perfect for Hot Days

Spicy Coconut Noodles

Beatriz da Costa
Beatriz da Costa

This easy, spicy noodle dish features a Thai-style coconut and chile-paste sauce. Feel free to add in more veggies or sliced tofu to make it dinner ready.

Spicy Coconut Noodles

Toasted Israeli Couscous With Corn and Herbs

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

This delicious salad is like summer in a dish, with fresh off the cob corn and herbs in the mix. (Feel free to make it all year long, though, using frozen corn instead.)

Toasted Israeli Couscous With Corn and Herbs

Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf With Cranberries

Gentl + Hyers
Gentl + Hyers

Tart cranberries brighten up the earthy flavors of wild rice and mushrooms in this delicious pilaf. It's a perfect vegan option for holiday dinners that even those indulging in turkey or ham will pile on their plate.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf With Cranberries

Mushroom and Corn Tacos

Greg DuPree
Greg DuPree

Meaty mushrooms and corn take the place of ground beef in these vegan-friendly tacos. You can DIY your own salsa with our quick and easy blender salsa, or use your favorite store-bought options.

Mushroom and Corn Tacos

Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

Jasmine rice and a meaty mix of tofu and mushrooms makes the perfect filling for crunchy leaves of lettuce. The secret to giving this its very ground beef-like vibe? Grating the tofu and mixing it with a flavorful sriracha and sesame sauce.

Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

Roasted Root Veggie Quinoa Bowls

<p>Victor Protasio</p>

Victor Protasio

This dish is like fall in a bowl, with a mix of fall-favorite root veggies and a tasty vinaigrette. Think of this dish as a great way to clear out what's hiding in your fridge, as you can swap carrots for the butternut squash or parsnips, or try cauliflower in lieu of Brussels sprouts. And if you don't have quinoa, couscous or another grain will do!

Roasted Root Veggie Quinoa Bowls

Chickpea Veggie Burgers

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

If the processed veggie burgers aren't your thing, you can whip up a flavorful option easily at home. Harissa adds a ton of flavor to the burgers, which can be topped off with all your favorite fixings. (We love it with a generous smear of avocado.)

Chickpea Veggie Burgers

Superfood Lentil Salad

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Pretty much every superfood on the planet makes an appearance in this good-for-you recipe that's also really good, too. We like to add grilled tofu to make it truly dinner-worthy.

Superfood Lentil Salad

Cauliflower Tartine With Romesco Sauce

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Spanish-style romesco sauce—a peppery mix of vinegar, almonds, roasted peppers, and tomato paste—adds bold flavor to this open-faced sandwich. Use good, crusty sourdough, and keep the knife and fork handy, as it could get messy eating this tasty mix with your hands.

Cauliflower Tartine With Romesco Sauce

Meatless Meatball Subs

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

There are few people that can resist a meatball sub. This vegan option features a meaty mix of eggplant and mushroom in lieu of pork and beef, but the same bold tomato sauce. Opt for vegan parmesan or a little nutritional yeast in lieu of the parmesan sprinkle.

Meatless Meatball Subs

Summer Squash Farro Bowl

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Consider this the perfect summer edition of a grain bowl. Avocado. and summer squash are topped with an array of fresh herbs.

Summer Squash Farro Bowl

Roasted Butternut Squash With Tahini Sauce

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Sesame tahini is a building block of hummus, and makes for a creamy sauce that adds a bit of umami to roasted butternut squash.

Roasted Butternut Squash With Tahini Sauce

Related: If Hummus Is Your Go-To Dip, Here Are 9 Reasons to Validate Your Obsession

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Coconut and Kale

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

Stuffed potatoes are a perfect easy dinner idea. If you're looking for the perfect vegan filling, try this blend of coconut and kale, with warming curry and serrano chile to help pack in the flavor.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Coconut and Kale

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Victor Protasio
Victor Protasio

If you want all the creaminess of Alfredo without the actual cream, we have you covered. Cashew milk, cauliflower, garlic, and nutritional yeast are blended together to give you the same creaminess and flavor without a drop of dairy.

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

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