20 Easy Vegan Recipes That Prove Prepping a Healthy Meal Doesn't Take Forever

Jalapeño broccoli "cheddar" soup

Feasting at Home 

Spring is upon us, ushering fragrant herbs, peppery arugula, and starchy potatoes into produce aisles everywhere. Luckily, and contrary to popular belief, you don't need to spend hours in the kitchen washing leafy greens and chopping vegetables in order to prepare a healthy plant-based meal that makes the most of the season's bounty. In search of easy recipes that come together in 45 minutes or less, naturally, we turned to some of our favorite foodies.

Spanning sweet potato tacos topped with creamy avocado cilantro sauce, and stuffed eggplants complete with a crave-worthy romesco sauce, these are the vegan recipes we make on repeat because they're blissfully plant-based and most are mercifully quick to prepare. But the best part? They aren't just salads. Keep scrolling for 20 quick vegan recipes that prove prepping a plant-based meal doesn't have to take forever.

01 of 20

Golden Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Pasta

Golden Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Pasta

Half Baked Harvest

The Recipe: Golden Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Pasta

The Hero Ingredient: Red lentil pasta. Made from, you guessed it, red lentils, it's 100 percent vegan. It's also crazy-delicious when paired with Half Baked Harvest's nutrient-packed marinara sauce.

Pro Tip: "Since I wanted this sauce to be flavor packed, but not take all day to cook, I added sun-dried tomatoes into the mix," reveals Tieghan. "Trust me, these are a must as they give you that slow-cooked-all-day flavor."

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

02 of 20

Sweet Potato Tacos With Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Sweet potato tacos with creamy avocado cilantro sauce

The First Mess

The Recipe: Sweet Potato Tacos With Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce

The Hero Ingredient: Shredded sweet potato. The filling is so good even staunch carnivores will be helping themselves to seconds (and thirds) of these vegan tacos.

Pro Tip: "I like to get the sweet potato shreds as long as possible," says recipe creator Laura of The First Mess, "so I grate it with the long side of the vegetable striking the large holes of the box grater." If you're in a hurry, you can skip making your own barbecue sauce and opt for store-bought instead (no judgment) to save some time.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes to make

03 of 20

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash With Chickpeas and Garlicky Arugula "Cream"

Stuffed spaghetti squash with chickpeas and garlicky arugula "cream"

The First Mess

The Recipe: Stuffed Spaghetti Squash With Chickpeas and Garlicky Arugula "Cream"

The Hero Ingredient: Garlicky arugula "cream." Made with cashew butter, garlic, lemon juice, tamari, and handfuls of arugula, its consistency is decadently creamy without containing a drop of dairy.

Pro Tip: "To serve, place warm squash halves on plates and gently pull out some strands of 'spaghetti' to make a pocket of sorts" to make room for the chickpeas and cream sauce, advises recipe creator Laura of The First Mess.

Cooking Time: 50 minutes

04 of 20

Stuffed Eggplant With Sunflower Romesco

Stuffed Eggplant With Sunflower Romesco

The First Mess

The Recipe: Stuffed Eggplant With Sunflower Romesco

The Hero Ingredient: Romesco sauce. This recipe calls for sunflower seeds in lieu of traditional almonds for a sauce that's delightfully nut-free for anyone with nut allergies.

Pro Tip: "If you're starting from scratch with this recipe and finishing it to the end, no need to wash the food processor out after you make the romesco," advises recipe creator Laura of The First Mess. "You'll need it for the eggplant!"

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

05 of 20

Quinoa & Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Quinoa & Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Minimalist Baker

The Recipe: Quinoa & Vegetable Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The Hero Ingredient: Balsamic-lime marinade. A flavorful combination of balsamic vinegar, lime juice, and spices like cumin and chili powder lend smokiness to the dish (even if you're not firing up the grill to make them.)

The Pro Tip: "While your mushrooms finish in the oven or on the grill, you can prepare a sauce of choice," says Dana of Minimalist Baker. "I personally prefer the chimichurri for its vibrant color and big flavor. It complements the dish perfectly."

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

06 of 20

Creamy Vegan Carrot Risotto

Vegan carrot risotto

Strength and Sunshine 

The Recipe: Creamy Vegan Carrot Risotto

The Hero Ingredient: Carrots or carrot puree make Strength and Sunshine's risotto recipe creamy without any dairy. Add nutritional yeast as an option.

Pro Tip: Let the rice cook a little longer for thicker consistency, or remove from heat sooner for lighter consistency.

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

07 of 20

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Tagine

Chickpea and butternut squash tagine

Sweet Potato Soul

The Recipe: Chickpea and Butternut Squash Tagine

The Hero Ingredient: A variety of spices like cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon make this stewy recipe by Sweet Potato Soul warm and comforting.

Pro Tip: For a complete meal, writes Sweet Potato Soul, serve with "rice, couscous, freekeh, quinoa, or with pita."

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

08 of 20

Sweet Potato Black-Eyed Pea Curry

Sweet potato black-eyed pea curry

Sweet Potato Soul

The Recipe: Sweet Potato Black-Eyed Pea Curry

The Hero Ingredient: Coconut milk lends dairy-free creaminess. Spices like garam masala, cumin, and coriander add dimension.

Pro Tip: Follow Sweet Potato Soul's Instant Pot recipe directions if you're pressed for time.

Cooking Time: 55 minutes

09 of 20

Meaty Vegan Nachos

Meaty vegan nachos

Sweet Potato Soul

The Recipe: Meaty Vegan Nachos

The Hero Ingredient: A plethora of "meat" options mean you can go vegan and have your loaded nachos too. Sweet Potato Soul says if you don't use vegan ground “meat,” "you could use lentils, cauliflower walnut taco “meat”, or a combination of lentils and minced walnuts."

Pro Tip: For less spice, remove seeds from the jalapeños.

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

10 of 20

Vegetable Soup With Turmeric

Superfood veggie soup with turmeric

Root + Revel

The Recipe: Vegetable Soup With Turmeric

The Hero Ingredient: Okra extends a Southern spin to Root + Revel's nutrient-dense vegetable soup. Nori pieces also add an unexpected twist to a savory broth.

Pro Tip: While you can use any frozen vegetable really, Root + Revel recommends haricot verts, lima beans, cut okra, and corn.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

11 of 20

Green Chile Vegan Pozoloze

Vegan green chile pozole

 Hola Jalapeño

The Recipe: Green Chile Vegan Pozole

The Hero Ingredient: Pozole means hominy in Spanish, so naturally it's the star of Hola Jalapeños vegan version of this warming dish. Hominy, in other words, are the "toothsome pieces of field corn that make up the heart of this soup. In the United States we grind dry hominy into grits but in Mexico, they soak the dry hominy in a calcium hydroxide, or lime mixture to make it tender enough to eat whole," Hola Jalapeño writes.

Pro Tip: Opt for canned beans instead of dry beans to reduce cooking time.

Cooking Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

12 of 20

Vegan Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

Vegan chipotle mushroom tacos

Hola Jalapeño 

The Recipe: Vegan Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

The Hero Ingredient: Caramelized mushrooms in Hola Jalapeños vegan taco recipe are meaty, and topped with thinly sliced radishes, avocado, arugula, as well as a jicama slaw.

Pro Tip: Clean mushrooms using a wet paper towel first instead of washing them; then use a generous amount of olive oil when cooking.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

13 of 20

Vegan Ceviche Tostadas

Vegan ceviche tostadas

Brown Sugar & Vanilla 

The Recipe: Vegan Ceviche Tostadas

The Hero Ingredient: Lemon brightens the raw cauliflower, carrots, and quinoa in Brown Sugar & Vanilla's vegan tostada recipe. Herbs like mint and oregano add refreshing depth of flavor.

Pro Tip: Chop cauliflower as thin as you can, or pulse it in a food processor if you have one.

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

14 of 20

Vegan Migas

Vegan migas

Brown Sugar & Vanilla

The Recipe: Vegan Migas

The Hero Ingredient: Tofu in place of eggs makes this traditional Mexican breakfast vegan-friendly. To make Brown Sugar and Vanilla's version, you'll also need onions, corn tortillas, and the salsa of your choosing.

Pro Tip: Remember to drain the tofu, and crumble it so they resemble scrambled eggs.

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

15 of 20

Black Bean Enchiladas in Pipián Verde

Black beach enchiladas in pipián verde

Hola Jalapeño

The Recipe: Black Bean Enchiladas in Pipián Verde

The Hero Ingredient: Tomatillos add a bright, tangy, and savory element to this vegan enchilada recipe from Hola Jalapeño. Raw pumpkin seeds provide the nutty profile to the sauce.

Pro Tip: Fry tortillas "on one side until the edges are crisp, but still pliable, about 30 seconds, flip and repeat on the other side," advises Hola Jalapeño.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

16 of 20

Spicy Chili Paneer

Spicy Chili Paneer

Playful Cooking

The Recipe: Spicy Chili Paneer

The Hero Ingredient: Paneer is a type of fresh cheese, and using tofu instead makes this spicy, yet slightly sweet recipe from Playful Cooking a flavorful vegan option.

Pro Tip: When you're finished coating the tofu cubes, "Don’t discard the remaining corn flour mixture in the bowl," writes Playful Cooking. You'll use it to thicken the sauce just before completing the recipe.

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

17 of 20

Roasted Beet and Potato Salad

Roasted beet and potato salad

Sweet Potato Soul 

The Recipe: Roasted Beet and Potato Salad

The Hero Ingredient: The toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) might seem like an afterthought, but they add much-needed texture to a nourishing bowl of beets, potatoes, and beans in this recipe from Sweet Potato Soul.

Pro Tip: Stretch the lemon vinaigrette dressing by making a double batch; it should last you all week.

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

18 of 20

Oyster Mushroom Red Lentil Pasta Alfredo

Oyster mushroom red lentil pasta Alfredo

Sweet Potato Soul 

The Recipe: Oyster Mushroom Red Lentil Pasta Alfredo

The Hero Ingredient: Sweet Potato Soul favors arrowroot powder and soy milk to create the pasta's creamy consistency, instead of commonly called for cashews.

Pro Tip: "For meatier mushrooms," writes Sweet Potato Soul, "Place a lid or heavy plate directly onto the mushrooms, and cook on medium-low."

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

19 of 20

Jalapeño Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup

Vegan broccoli jalapeño "cheddar" soup

Feasting at Home 

The Recipe: Jalapeño Broccoli "Cheddar" Soup

The Hero Ingredient: Raw cashews or hemp hearts stand in for the creamy "cheese" in Feasting at Home's vegan version of classic broccoli and cheddar soup.

Pro Tip: For something extra, follow Feasting at Home's directions to make a finishing oil with olive oil, jalapeño, and cumin seeds.

Cooking Time: 38 minutes

20 of 20

Vegan Ramen With Miso Shiitake Broth

Vegan ramen with miso shiitake broth

Feasting at Home

The Recipe: Vegan Ramen With Miso Shiitake Broth

The Hero Ingredient: Japanese kombu, or sea kelp (different from nori, or seaweed) adds complexity and depth to the miso-based broth, writes Feasting at Home. Find kombu at your nearest Asian market. You can leave it out if needed, but it really elevates the dish.

Pro Tip: Rinse kombu before placing in your stock pot.

Cooking Time: 1 hour

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