23 Delicious Vegan Dinners That Aren’t Salads
One of the biggest misconceptions about veganism is that it severely restricts the meals you can enjoy.
The top of mind meal suggestion for vegan eaters is a salad. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad, but I don’t want to eat it exclusively.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had someone tell me there’s a vegan option, only for it to be an overpriced bowl of boring lettuce. That’s not good vegan food.
Anyone who thinks a salad is the mecca of vegan dinners is missing out! There are so many ways to make plant based vegan dinners that are nutritious, satisfying, and completely delicious.
Whether you’re a vegan alum looking for a great new recipe or newly vegan trying to build up your recipe book, we’ve got your back! For anyone who needs rescuing from the salad abyss, here are 23 delicious vegan dinners that aren’t salads!
Vegan Chickpea Curry
I’m a huge lover of curry, but don’t always love how long it takes to make. That’s why this is the perfect vegan dinner.
It’s savory and delicious, and it only takes 25 minutes. You can thank curry paste and coconut milk for the quick fix. Plus, the chickpeas give it a nice protein boost.
Grain bowls are such amazing vegan dinners because they pack tons of flavor into one satisfying meal.
This one is a classic, and I actually use this recipe as a base for creating variations.
My favorite thing about this one is the spiced, curried chickpeas. The cumin and chili powder really make the flavors come alive. I make a grain bowl for dinner at least every other week.
Via Well and Full
These potstickers are a great choice for when you want something that you can sink your teeth into.
Sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce lend these the familiar flavor you love, while the insides are packed with veggies.
Wontons help these come together quickly and you can honestly sub for any veggies that you like.
Vegan Eggplant Parmesan
Here’s the recipe you’ve been looking for if you’re craving an Italian vibe. I’m always down for a good bowl of pasta.
Vegan parm and panko bread crumbs give this dish the crunch and classic flavor you remember, all while being completely plant based!
Via Minimalist Baker
Easy Spinach Pesto Pasta
Staying on the pasta train…I love this pasta so much. Whenever I go to a restaurant, I shed a little tear when I see pesto on the menu and know I can’t have it.
Traditional pesto has parmesan cheese in it, so it’s definitely not vegan.
Never fear pesto lovers, this recipe is here to make all your pesto dreams come true.
You just throw everything into a blender and voila! Plus, I like that this gives you options for subbing out pine nuts with cashews or walnuts. Pine nuts are really expensive, so being able to use a more affordable nut just means I can make this pesto anytime I want.
Via Yup..It’s Vegan
Avocado Egg Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
These remind me so much of the avocado rolls at Cheesecake Factory. The avocado makes these egg rolls so creamy and delicious, and they’re fried so you know they’re good.
This recipe is so simple but so satisfying. It’s definitely comfort food.
Via Savory Tooth
Spicy Vegan Jambalaya
This jambalaya is a great unique recipe because it isn’t standard dinner fare for me.
It’s also super customizable. I always omit the vegan Worcestershire because I rarely have it on hand, and I’ll use a different hot sauce since Sriracha isn’t my favorite.
I love making this dish and bringing it to friends’ houses because it’s different, unique, and super flavorful.
BBQ Cauliflower & Chickpea Tacos
Who doesn’t love tacos? This is such an amazing and unique take on tacos, and this recipe combines so many different and delicious elements.
From creamy lime slaw to the homemade barbecue rub, these tacos are bursting with flavor.
Via She Likes Food
20 Minute Vegetable Lo Mein
Skip the takeout and make this yummy vegan lo mein instead! I always have this issue when I try to make homemade Chinese dishes: the flavors never taste as authentic as they do in restaurants.
This recipe is pretty close though, which is why I like it. It’s also really fast. Dinner in 20 minutes? Um, yes!
Killer Vegan Chili
Chili is the ultimate hearty food. Although it’s summer right now, Fall is just around the corner and that means I’ll be breaking out all my soup and stew recipes!
This chili is hearty, delicious and savory. It is a very involved recipe, however, so I wouldn’t say it’s a great quick weeknight dinner. This is more of a make ahead recipe.
Even when I do make this ahead, I will often omit the liquid smoke and maple syrup because I don’t find them to be completely necessary. Keep in mind, the majority of the ingredients are spices, so don’t get overwhelmed when you look at the ingredient list!
Vegan Mushroom Wellington
Hands down, this is a classy dinner party show stopper. I mean, we’ve all heard of beef wellington, right? It’s a classic. Well, this is its hearty vegan counterpart.
This recipe uses vegan puff pastry and is stuffed with earthy portobellos. The filling portion of this recipe is really simple, so if you aren’t a mushroom person, you can sub with lentils or chickpeas instead.
The pastry does take some work, so this recipe takes some work, but it’s so impressive!
Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines because it’s so naturally vegan-friendly. It’s plant based but never sacrifices flavor.
This combines potatoes (who doesn’t love potatoes?) and a dynamite combo of yummy spices. And it takes under an hour to make!
Black Bean Green Chili Enchiladas
These enchiladas have a little bit of everything. They’re flavorful, creamy, and saucy.
These have a black bean filling and a delicious jalapeno cream sauce made with vegan cream cheese.
There’s also a fun tutorial video that you can follow along with to make sure these come out perfectly.
The California Burger
There are few things better than a good veggie burger. This checks all the boxes. It’s a black bean base with tons of veggies, oats, and spices mixed in for a perfectly flavored and textured bite.
The cherry on top is the delicious guacamole that you slather on top for a creamy complement to this plant based burger.
Via Catching Seeds
Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup
This is my favorite soup in the whole world. I could eat it every single week and never get sick of it.
On top of being vegan, it’s also Paleo. It’s under 10 ingredients and packed with veggies and nutrition.
Roasting the veggies give them a depth of flavor. Once you roast the veggies, all you basically do is blend them with the stock and nut milk, so on top of being so yummy, it’s also really easy.
This soup is also surprisingly filling!
Via Paleo Leap
Vegan Grilled Cheese
This recipe offers not one, but THREE variations of the cheesy classic you know and love.
Going vegan doesn’t mean never having classics like grilled cheese ever again. From jalapeno cheddar, to spinach pesto swiss and cranberry provolone, these grilled cheeses are taking a classic and amping it up.
It uses daiya cheese slices, but you can use a vegan cheese of your choice.
Via Peas and Crayons
The Best Crispy Falafel
On top of being vegan, this falafel is also gluten free. It uses oat flour instead of wheat.
This falafel uses scallions instead of parsley, but it’s still got that familiar falafel flavor. I also like that this falafel is shallow fried instead of deep fried so it’s healthier than a traditional falafel.
But don’t be mistaken, it’s still crispy and satisfying!
Via Rachl Mansfield
Vegan Sloppy Joes
Here’s another childhood classic that has been veganized for us by the food wizards on the internet.
These use lentils as the base, which lends a familiar crumbly texture. You take those lentils and smother them in tomato sauce and spices. The recipe calls for coconut sugar to add that little barbecued sweetness, but I prefer to swap it for maple syrup for some extra flavor.
Via Minimalist Baker
Vegan Black Pepper Tofu
Tofu gets a bad rap. That’s because people don’t know how to season things! Just like you would with meat, tofu needs to be marinated and seasoned. It’s a blank canvas, so it will take on whatever flavor you want, which is why it’s such a good vegan base for meals.
This tofu is marinated in a delicious tamari and black pepper sauce and then pan fried for a crispy outside.
Via Lazy Cat Kitchen
Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Buffalo Pizza
I’m obsessed with pizza. I mean, who isn’t? Okay, so this isn’t a traditional pizza, but it is still super delicious.
The cauliflower gives this pizza some bite and the buffalo sauce makes it the perfect choice for dinner while you’re watching the game.
Via The Savory Vegan
The Best Vegan Lasagna
Lasagna is a dish that I don’t make very often but am always blown away by. This particular recipe also happens to be gluten free by using brown rice lasagna sheets.
You could very easily sub out for regular pasta sheets though. This lasagna is smothered in vegan ricotta (made with tofu and not cashews, so it’s affordable), and yummy tomato sauce. It’s also packed with veggies and you can basically throw in whatever you want.
Vegan Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese
This mac and cheese dupe doesn’t taste exactly like the real deal, but it’s definitely still yummy and satisfying. Plus, it’s way more nutritious.
It uses cauliflower, carrots and lemon juice to make a great sauce. Panko bread crumbs make each bit crunchy in this mac and cheese bake.
Via Vegan Yumminess
Cucumber & Avocado Easy Nori Rolls
Anyone down for a little homemade sushi? These cucumber and avocado rolls are easy, simple, and classic. They’re only 8 ingredients, most of which are veggies, and you just layer and roll them up.
They’re great to make for a date night or to bring as leftovers for busy work lunches.
See? There are plenty of ways to eat your veggies that don’t involve the word “salad.”
Definitely, eat your salads, but realize that being vegan doesn’t come at the cost of satisfaction or flavor. You can still indulge in comfort food classics, as well as learn some new delicious vegan dinner recipes.
Impress yourself and your friends with how yummy these vegan dinners can be!
Obsessed and can’t wait for more vegan recipes? Check out one of my favorite vegan cookbooks, But I Could Never Go Vegan. Get tons of cheesy, savory recipes that will make you a plant-based diet convert.