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12+ Quick Vegan Meals for Dinner or Lunch (Easy Recipes!)

This list of 12+ quick vegan meals for dinner or lunch is basically a meal plan! It has "no-fail" recipes to keep you satisfied and nourished. This means you just throw the meals together however you want, and they have no "true" set ingredients or directions.

These quick vegan meals for dinner or lunch are my go-to's when I have just 15-20 minutes to throw something healthy together. While I do give you my recommendations for how to make them feel free to be creative. For example, you can choose gluten-free ingredients for things like pasta, or swap kale for spinach.

All of these recipes take 20 minutes or less and, to shorten the cooking time of these quick vegan meals for dinner or lunch, I use a lot of frozen foods, as well as some store-bought foods. However, I try to recommend the healthiest and cleanest products where something isn't fully fresh or homemade.

I also rely on an air fryer a lot, which takes at least 10 minutes off the time of cooking things in the oven.

(I prefer this specific type of air fryer as I have heard that it gets food the most crispy.)

Quick Vegan Meals for Dinner or Lunch (with No-Fail Recipes!)

Vegan & Gluten-Free Lentil Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles Recipe

This is one of my husband's favorite meals! It's not just vegan, but also gluten-free and low calorie. And the lentils provide so much depth of flavor.

Total time: ~20 minutes.

Servings: 4-6

How to Make It:

  1. Spiralize 6-8 zucchinis (or use store-bought zucchini noodles).
  2. In a large pot, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Add to the pot: spiralized zucchini noodles, a few (2-3) cups of ready-to-eat lentils (Trader Joe's sells them) and a jar of your favorite marinara sauce.
  4. Stir and cook over medium heat until noodles start to get soft, about 5-7 minutes. (Note: If you overcook them, they will get soggy and release water into the sauce.)
  5. Top with the desired amount of garlic salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and/or Italian seasoning.
  6. Optional: Top each dish with a small scoop of vegan ricotta cheese.

Ingredient Recommendations on Amazon:

Vegan & Gluten-Free Warm Kale, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Bowl Recipe

This bowl is nutritious, satisfying and comforting. I love to eat it on a cold night for healthy carbs and plant-based protein.

Total time: ~10 minutes.

Servings: 3-4

How to Make It:

  1. Saute a bunch or two of kale over medium heat in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft and a bit burned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic salt and pepper.
  2. In the meantime, defrost frozen sweet potato cubes in the microwave.
  3. Then, defrost one package (or 2-3 cups) frozen rice or quinoa in the microwave. (Variation: cauliflower rice or other quick-cook rice.)
  4. Drain and rinse a can of black beans.
  5. Add the rice/quinoa, sweet potatoes and black beans to the kale and mix them in.
  6. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and other desired seasonings (i.e., salt, pepper, red pepper flakes).
  7. Optional: Add a handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
  8. Serve in bowls and top with a scoop of your favorite hummus and/or drizzled tahini.

Ingredient Recommendations on Amazon:

  • I prefer this specific Soom tahini, which is also Amazon's Choice and used in a James Beard award-winning restaurant I frequent.

Vegan Pasta Primavera Recipe

Pasta primavera is our go-to of these quick vegan meals for dinner when we are really strapped for time. It's fast, one pot and can be adjusted to accommodate whatever pasta (including gluten-free) and vegetables you have on hand or wish to use.

Total time: ~15 minutes.

Servings: 4-6

How to Make It:

  1. In a large pot, boil water and cook about 3-4 cups of vegan pasta of your choice according to the package.
  2. In the final 3-4 minutes of cooking the pasta, add a few handfuls of greens and/or other frozen or fresh vegetables of your choice (i.e., broccoli, carrots, cauliflower).
  3. Drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  4. Stir in ¼ - ⅓ cup of olive oil. (Variations: marinara or other vegan sauce of your choice, such as Trader Joe's vegan pesto.)
  5. Top with seasonings of your choice: garlic salt, pepper, lemon pepper, red pepper flakes, basil, parsley, Italian seasoning and/or nutritional yeast.
  6. Optional: top with a handful of pine nuts.

Ingredient Recommendations:

Vegan Vegetable and Black Bean Tacos Recipe

Tacos are another vegan dish that can be easily customized to what you want to eat or what you have on hand. You can also choose gluten-free shells. And everyone likes them!

Total time: ~15 minutes.

Servings: about 4 (including 2-3 tacos for each serving)

How to Make It:

  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil (i.e., coconut or olive oil) to a pan.
  2. Add a bag of frozen or fresh chopped mixed vegetables of your choice and cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, add the desired amount of taco seasoning to the pan and stir.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, drain and rinse a can of black beans and add them to the pan.
  5. Optional: add a handful of frozen or canned corn to the pan.
  6. In the meantime, slice an avocado or two, or grab your favorite guacamole.
  7. When the vegetables are cooked through, squeeze lime juice over them.
  8. Scoop small amounts of the vegetable and bean mixture into soft or hard shell tacos of your choice.
  9. Top with the avocado slices or spoons full of guacamole.
  10. Optional: top with fresh cilantro.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Warm Kale, Brussels Sprouts and Beet Bowl Recipe

This is another bowl that is nutritious, satisfying and comforting. It reminds me of winter, and it makes for a great way to get in those rarer vegetables, like beets and Brussels sprouts.

Total time: ~10 minutes.

Servings: 3-4

How to Make It:

  1. Saute a bunch or two of kale over medium heat in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft and a bit burned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic salt and pepper.
  2. In the meantime, defrost about 1 cup of frozen beet cubes in the microwave.
  3. Then, defrost or air fry about 1.5 cups of frozen Brussels sprouts with some salt and pepper. (About 8-10 minutes on 390 degrees in the air fryer.)
  4. Defrost one package (or 2-3 cups) frozen rice or quinoa in the microwave. (Variation: cauliflower rice or other quick-cook rice.)
  5. Add the rice/quinoa, beets and Brussels sprouts to the kale and mix them in.
  6. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and other desired seasonings (i.e., salt and pepper).
  7. Optional: Add a can of chickpeas and/or a handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
  8. Serve in bowls and top with a scoop of your favorite hummus and/or drizzled tahini.

Ingredient Recommendations on Amazon:

  • I prefer this specific Soom tahini, which is also Amazon's Choice and used in a James Beard award-winning restaurant I frequent.

Vegan Asian Stir Fry with Crispy Tofu and Sauce Recipe

I make this stir fry at least once a week, whenever I feel like I ate poorly and need a really clean meal to detox. I use cauliflower rice to keep it extra clean.

Total time: ~20 minutes.

Servings: 2-3

How to Make It:

  1. Drain, press and cube one package of extra firm tofu. Air fry it for 15 minutes at 390 degrees.
  2. Steam or saute rice of your choice and vegetables of your choice.
  3. Place rice and vegetables in bowls.
  4. When the tofu is fully air fried, apportion the cubes and place them on top of each bowl
  5. Top with Asian sauce of your choice (i.e., teriyaki sauce. I prefer Trader Joe's Spicy Cashew Dressing).
  6. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Chickpea Crutons Recipe

I have always loved Caesar salad, but it's generally not vegan or that healthy. This is my take on a vegan, healthier option.

Total time: ~20 minutes.

Servings: 3-4

How to Make It:

  1. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Air fry for 15 minutes at 390 degrees.
  2. In the meantime, saute a bunch or two of kale over medium heat in one tablespoon of olive oil until soft and a bit burned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Optional: If you want some healthy grains to bulk up this salad, toss in a scoop of cooked quinoa. (I microwave frozen quinoa for convenience.)
  4. When the chickpeas are done, place them in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil and season to your desired level with garlic salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and nutritional yeast.
  5. Serve the kale on plates or in bowls with a scoop of chickpeas on top of each one.
  6. Drizzle your favorite store-bought vegan Caesar dressing. (I prefer Trader Joe's.)

Vegan Veggie Burger with Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Every vegan loves a good veggie burger, right?! This is how I like to make mine. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Total time: ~15 minutes.

Servings: 1-2

How to Make It:

  1. Air fry 1-2 handfuls of frozen cubed sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries for about 12 minutes at 385 degrees. (I prefer sweet potatoes because it's healthier. You can also try a spiralized sweet potato.
  2. Cook veggie burgers according to package. (I prefer Beyond Burgers.)
  3. Optional: Add vegan cheese towards the end of cooking the burgers to allow the cheese time to melt. Or, spread on some of your favorite guacamole on the burgers once cooked (It's easier to eat on a burger than avocado).
  4. Place the veggie burgers on rolls with desired accompaniments. (I usually add a few leaves of fresh spinach.)
  5. Once the sweet potatoes/fries are done, apportion them on a plate and top them with garlic salt and paprika. (It's healthier than ketchup.)

Ingredient Recommendations on Amazon:

  • I strongly prefer Violife vegan cheese, especially provolone, cheddar and mozzarella. It melts well and tastes really close to the real thing.

Vegan Loaded Black Bean Soup Recipe

This loaded black bean soup recipe is my favorite lunch! It has such a complex flavor profile for such a simple (and not totally homemade) dish.

Total time: ~15-20 minutes.

Servings: 3-4

How to Make It:

  1. Slow cook a box of store-bought vegan black bean soup until warm, about 15-20 minutes. (I prefer Trader Joe's.)
  2. While the soup in cooking, drain and rinse a can of black beans and add it to the pot.
  3. Add fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice. I like to add chopped pepper, scallions, corn and chopped spinach.
  4. Meanwhile, chop an avocado.
  5. When the soup is warm, scoop it into bowls and top it with the avocado and chili seasoning. (I prefer Trader Joe's Chili Lime Seasoning.)

Vegan Thanksgiving "Turkey" Dinner Recipe

Vegans shouldn't have to miss out on the comforting flavors of a classic Thanksgiving turkey dinner. I always feel "home" when I made this.

Total time: ~10 minutes.

Servings: 2-3

How to Make It:

  1. Add a few tablespoons of soy or tamari sauce to a frying pan. Add a box of unflavored seitan and cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, defrost or air fry your favorite vegan vegetables and potatoes.
  3. Cook a quick vegan gravy in a small saucepan.
  4. Arrange plates with equal portions of the dinner and season with garlic salt, pepper and rosemary.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cuban Black Bean Bowl Recipe

I came up with this bowl to satisfy my craving for Cuban food in a really healthy format. I love how all the unique ingredients come together to complete the flavor profile.

Total time: ~15 minutes

Servings: 3-4

How to Make It:

  1. Defrost or steam one fresh or frozen bag of cauliflower rice. Top it with lime juice and fresh cilantro.
  2. Meanwhile, drain and rinse a can of black beans, chop a mango, slice an avocado.
  3. Arrange the rice, beans and mango in sections in a bowl. Top with avocado and crushed plantain chips.
  4. Optional: Add sweet potato cubes (I use defrosted frozen cubes to keep it quick) or sauteed yellow and/or orange peppers.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Ginger Fried Tofu with Turmeric Cauliflower Rice and Greens Recipe

This is my go-to super clean recipe both for detoxing and reducing inflammation, with ginger and turmeric. It's about as clean as it gets!

Total time: ~20 minutes.

Servings: 2

How to Make It:

  1. Drain and press a package of firm tofu and cut it into 4 long slabs. Air fry it for 15 minutes at 390 degrees.
  2. In the meantime, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan with a few cloves of garlic and saute a bag of fresh spinach until wilted. Set it aside.
  3. In the pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and cook a bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice, garlic salt and up to a tablespoon of turmeric. Mix the spices thoroughly.
  4. Serve the cauliflower rice in a bowl topped with spinach.
  5. When the tofu is fully air fried, place two slabs on top of each bowl and spread minced ginger on top of each slab.
  6. Optional: Top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Those are my best quick vegan meals for dinner or lunch. This is the exact rotation of meals I eat during a busy week to stay healthy.

Best Vegan Cookbooks

I also wanted to also share some of my favorite vegan cookbooks, since this is a book pairings blog. You'll see some duplicate authors here -- that's because I really love them!

Love& Lemons and Minimalist Baker are both amazing food blogs, How Not to Die Cookbook excels in nutrition as a science and Chloe Coscarelli is the popular vegan chef who won cupcake wars!

If you enjoy vegan food, check out more of my simple vegan (and mostly gluten-free) recipes:

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