If you're looking for some plant-based or vegetarian recipes, fear not! Here are 40 easy meatless meals that you can make within 30 minutes.
We've collected a list of soups, pasta, stews, and salads that will satisfy you and your family. Expect plenty of flavor, chewy texture, rich sauces, and 100% plant-based ingredients!
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Looking for a plant-based alternative to dinners with chicken or meat? These tasty and jerky-like recipes give you meat-free but easy and handy dinner ideas.
- Orange tofu
Orange tofu is an easy substitute for orange chicken. Make it in less than 30 minutes for an Asian-inspired everyday dinner that is better than takeaway.
2. Tofu pizzaiola
These easy tofu cutlets in marinara sauce are a simple yet tasty pan-fried tofu recipe, and they're ready in 20 minutes. Serve them with white rice, or with crusty bread or focaccia on the side to sop up the sauce leftovers.
3. Italian flatbread (piadina with filling)
Piadina is a thin yeast-free Italian flatbread that you can fill with cheese, pesto, and leafy greens and enjoy for a light lunch, snack, or dinner.
4. Tofu Cacciatore
We might use tofu instead of chicken, but this tofu cacciatore is rich, earthy, meaty, and packed with rich tomato flavor. Chewy and jerky-like, you never had tofu like this before!
5. Flatbread pizza
This flatbread pizza recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients. You'll get flatbreads that are soft but with a crunch, and topped with colorful veggies and luxurious pesto and cheeses.
6. Lemon tofu cutlets
This lemon tofu is inspired by an Italian recipe for lemon chicken. We replaced the chicken fillet with tofu slices and the result is a delicious meal that can be prepared in 15 minutes.
7. Vegetarian Meatballs
With these vegetarian meatballs you can have meatballs without the meat. This recipe is quick and easy to make with very simple ingredients. It's cozy, incredibly tasty, and with a rich Italian tomato sauce.
8. Marinated tofu cubes
Marinated tofu is one of the easiest foods to cook and serve on a bed of white rice. Our recipe is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, tasty, and you can make it in less than 30 minutes with simple ingredients.
9. Savory crepes with mushrooms
These savory crepes are gluten-free and they're made with chickpea flour and water with a chewy mushroom filling. Make this colorful vegetarian dinner with plenty of veggies and a delicious drizzle of white sauce on top.
10. Microwave stuffed sweet potato
Microwave sweet potato is ready in 5 minutes, healthy, and delicious. Eat it as is or load the potato with a colorful topping with beans and grains - it's a veggie-packed and tasty main dish.
11. Kung Pao tofu
Try this delicious Chinese-inspired Kung Pao dish in less than 30 minutes and get plenty of plant-based protein, sticky sauce, and fresh veggies. It's a colorful and plant-based alternative to kung pao chicken with delicious Asian flavors.
12. Lentil curry
Here's our lentil curry: an easy, tasty, and nourishing meal you can make in one pot with simple ingredients in 30 minutes. Serve with white rice, fresh parsley, and a dollop of yogurt for a comforting and aromatic meal for the whole family.
Vegetarian pasta ideas
Take your pick from this list of meat-free pasta ideas with plenty of added veggies and vibrant colors. These wholesome plates of pasta will nourish you and your family, and give you new ideas to cook easy and simple pasta meals.
13. Mushroom Alfredo
This tasty mushroom Alfredo is an easy 15-minute vegetarian meal with an irresistibly creamy and smooth sauce and sautéed mushrooms. Serve it with an easy side salad for added greens and crisp, a perfect weeknight idea!
14. Lentil bolognese
Here's an easy lentil bolognese with simple ingredients; it has a rich taste and meaty texture. You can make it for an everyday dinner or meal prep, as it keeps in the fridge for several days.
15. Pasta e Fagioli
Pasta and beans is an easy and comforting meal with simple ingredients and Italian flavor that will please everyone around your table, kids and adults alike. Serve it with a slice of toasted bread or bruschetta for an authentic and cozy dinner.
16. Chickpea pasta salad with avocado
This chickpea pasta salad is a quick and wholesome dish made with fresh and nutritious ingredients in less than 20 minutes. A creamy mustard dressing gives a glossy and tangy coating, and makes this pasta a meal-prep favorite!
17. Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo
You'll love this veggie-packed Alfredo because it's a million times lighter than the original Alfredo, but it's still tasty, fulfilling, and ready in 30 minutes. Serve it with a sprinkle of parsley and a quick salad on the side for extra greens.
18. Red pepper pasta
Here's a 20-minute vegetarian pasta recipe that is simple, and made with minimal effort for an everyday dinner. It's creamy, nutritious, and delicious and with camouflaged veggies that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
19. Cauliflower pasta with chickpeas
Try this white and refreshing vegetarian cauliflower pasta with fresh herbs and pine nuts. Roasted cauliflower florets meet delicious garlic and olive oil sauce, plenty of fresh parsley, and lemon zest, a light, and wholesome dinner idea.
20. Butternut squash pasta
This butternut squash pasta is creamy, restaurant-worthy, and with a velvety smooth sauce. It's so simple you can make it any day of the week, either as a vegan or vegetarian dinner.
21. Lentil pasta
Meatless and delicious pasta is not a problem with this Italian lentil pasta. It's a perfect main dish for dinner, is kids-friendly, and contains all the macros to keep you healthy and satiated.
22. Lemon pasta
If you like Pasta Aglio e Olio, you will love this lemon pasta! It takes only 20 minutes to make this delicious and refreshing pasta dish, and you need only eight simple ingredients.
23. Vegan mushroom pasta
Try this restaurant-worthy pasta with jerky-like mushrooms and authentic Italian flavor. Vegan mushroom pasta is a delicious recipe you can make with a few ingredients in about 20 minutes.
Meat-free soups and stews
Get fresh inspiration from these vibrant and wholesome soups and stews that are easy to make and fun to eat.
24. Tofu curry
Making a delicious tofu curry is easy. Here we'll show you how to put this Indian-inspired meal together in less than 30 minutes and make the best everyday vegan curry.
25. Easy chickpea curry
Here's a fun and easy way to cook with chickpeas. It's an easy and plant-based chickpea curry that you can make with simple ingredients in one pot in a little over 30 minutes.
26. Italian bean stew
This Italian bean stew is a comforting and tomato-packed dinner favorite. It's an excellent recipe for a quick weeknight meal, ready in just over 30 minutes, and great as a meal prep recipe.
27. Butternut squash soup with croutons
Make this easy butternut squash soup for a cozy family dinner, or make it ahead and serve it for a quick lunch in the coming days. It's a warm, creamy, and comforting dish.
28. Asian-style tofu soup
Here's a tofu soup that is quick, tasty, and easy. You can make it in 20 minutes, with simple ingredients and seasonal veggies and noodles any time of the year.
29. Pasta e Ceci
You'll love this pasta with chickpeas; it's easy to make in one pot in just 30 minutes with simple and affordable pantry staples. Sprinkle with parmesan or dairy-free parmesan for an Italian vegetarian or vegan dinner.
30. Chickpea soup
This rustic chickpea soup is easy to make, with minimal effort and a few simple and affordable ingredients. It tastes like home, it's cozy, and it'll transport you to the Italian countryside bite for bite.
31. Lentil soup
Meatless soup with plenty of plant-based protein is guaranteed with this red lentil soup. It's perfect for autumn or winter weeknight dinners as it's easy to make with a few pantry staples, and it only needs to simmer for about 20 minutes.
32. Tuscan soup
You can make this plant-based soup from scratch in less than 45 minutes and store it in the refrigerator for several days. If you love comforting and rustic Italian flavor, this Tuscan bean soup needs to go on your recipe list.
33. Cauliflower soup with roasted chickpeas
Here's a light and indulgent cauliflower soup that you can easily make at home. It has a creamy, buttery texture and a mellow nutty, and cheesy taste, although there's no cheese in it. Top it with roasted chickpeas for added protein and crunch.
Meatless lunch ideas
Try these ultra-quick recipes for easy and simple lunch meals. They're perfect for on-the-go and meal-prepping too.
34. Mashed chickpea tuna
You can make this mashed chickpea tuna in just 10 minutes, with simple ingredients, and without cooking.
35. White bean dip sandwich
White bean dip is an easy recipe and sandwich-friendly recipe you can make in 5 minutes. It takes just seven simple ingredients and a food processor!
36. Avocado-tahini toast
This is the creamiest, most delicious avocado spread to eat in sandwiches and on toast or serve as a dip. Top the toast with chickpeas or tomatoes for a colorful and vibrant lunch idea.
37. Chickpea Frittata
There are no eggs or tofu in this chickpea frittata, but plenty of flavors and roasted zucchini. Quick to make, it cooks for 8 minutes on a pan, or 18 minutes in the oven, a handy lunch idea.
38. Sauteed eggplant bruschetta
Italian sauteed eggplant is the best way to cook eggplant on the stove, with simple ingredients, and in just 20 minutes. Eat on a crunchy slice of bread with fresh basil, it's a simple but delightful lunch meal.
39. Tofu salad
This tofu salad is crunchy and wholesome and perfect for lunch. Low in calories, high in flavor and filling. Make this today and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
40. Chickpea salad
Want something quick and healthy but you're short on time? This chickpea salad is a quick, tasty, and nutritious main dish. Make it in just 15 minutes with fresh ingredients and a glossy mustard dressing.
More easy meatless meals
Get more vegetarian and vegan dinner ideas from these reader favorites, they're packed with veggies and easy to make:
For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.
40 Easy Meatless Meals
- 8 ounces firm tofu
- 1½ cups tomato puree or passata
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Drain the tofu from its water and pat it dry. Next, cut the tofu into ¼-inch thin slices.Fry it on a non-stick pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive for 5 minutes on each side.Season it with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add tomato puree, dried oregano, thinly sliced garlic, and the remaining salt and pepper.
- Spread the sauce and simmer on low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes until the tomato passata becomes a tasty pizzaiola sauce.
- Serve this Italian-inspired tofu in a pizzaiola sauce as a main dish with sautéed or microwaved spinach and some crusty bread on the side to scoop up the delicious pizzaiola sauce.
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