Whether you’ve just gone vegan or you’ve been avoiding meat and dairy for years, it’s always good to have a few go-to recipes that you can throw together in a pinch. These simple vegan recipes use some of the staples that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. Many of them include very few ingredients, are easy to prepare, and can even be customized to your liking depending on what you have on hand. Best of all, these recipes are all made without any ingredients that harm animals—that means no meat, eggs, dairy, or honey!
Check out these simple vegan recipes that will help kick-start your creative culinary juices:
If you bought a giant container of hummus, this pasta dish is for you. The chickpea-based spread creates a smooth, high-protein pasta sauce.
Canned coconut milk mixed with reserved pasta water makes this vodka sauce luxuriously creamy without dairy. In the dairy industry, calves are torn away from their mothers shortly after birth. Mother cows have strong bonds with their children—so keep them together by choosing creamy coconut milk instead.
This delicious, super-simple pasta dish packs a garlicky punch, and there’s no need to worry about garlic breath when you’re practicing social distancing! While most packaged pasta is vegan, some brands may be made with eggs. Gentle hens are known to sing to their young before they hatch, but in the egg industry, chickens never get to meet their babies—so make sure that pasta is vegan before you buy it.
Vegan Baking Staples
Now is the best time to try your hand at homemade bread. Start your baking journey with this simple no-knead recipe.
Thankfully, cookies don’t have to be complicated. Here are some of our favorite three-ingredient recipes.
Flaky vegan biscuits smothered in rich vegan sausage gravy has to be the ultimate comfort food. We love crumbled Beyond Sausage with these, and you can use unsweetened oat milk to make the creamy gravy.
There’s nothing like fresh flour tortillas. We suggest filling these with homemade refried beans, vegan chicken, and grilled vegetables.
Rice, Oats, and Quinoa
Did everyone raid the store-bought vegan granola bars before you could get to them? That’s OK, because these tasty bars are made from ingredients that you may already have on hand. They’re also free of honey, which helps save bees, who work hard to make this essential food source for their own consumption.
You can use frozen or canned veggies for this easy fried rice recipe. Serve it with a vegan protein, like tofu, tempeh, or a plant-based meat such as Beyond Sausage.
This recipe uses only five ingredients, and it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. It’s a great option for busy parents trying to juggle working from home and homeschooling.
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Beans and Lentils
Crumbled Beyond Meat is delicious in this easy chili recipe. Serve it with tortilla chips, and top it with any garnishes you have on hand: green onions, cilantro, avocado, vegan cheese shreds, or vegan sour cream.
Taco Tuesday will never be the same once you try these homemade refried beans.
The hearty brown lentil, a plant-protein powerhouse, adds a peppery flavor to this simple soup.
If you have kids, this recipe is a perfect one for a homeschooling cooking lesson. Have them shape the nuggets and dunk them in breadcrumbs.
Potatoes (Including Sweet Potatoes)
You may not be able to go out to a fancy Italian restaurant, but it’s actually easier than you might think to make gourmet vegan gnocchi at home. Serve yours with a tomato or pesto sauce and pour a glass of your favorite vegan wine for a romantic evening.
Top vitamin-packed sweet potatoes with black beans, corn, salsa, and avocado for this healthy, savory breakfast.
Fresh dill gives this creamy vegan potato salad a bright, herby kick. If you bought vegan bacon at the store, toss that in, too. Vegan bacon is healthier than regular bacon, and it saves smart, curious pigs from slaughter.
You can use frozen or canned green beans in this curry, which is delicious with fresh basmati rice and homemade vegan naan.
Canned and Frozen Vegetables
Garnish this silky pea soup with fresh mint and croutons made from stale bread.
Jackfruit has a stringy texture that makes it perfect for recipes that traditionally use chicken flesh. Opt for this animal-friendly version—no cruelty there!
Tofu and Vegan Meat
If you shopped at Trader Joe’s, you may have grabbed these ingredients already.
Ready-made bruschetta mix is the secret ingredient in this easy tofu scramble.
For a simple lunch option, whip up this tofu “egg” salad.
This sweet-and-salty teriyaki tofu can be served on a bed of steamed rice with some sautéed greens.
This hearty casserole, which uses canned ingredients that you probably already have on hand, is topped with a layer of crispy, crunchy tater tots.
Mix in whatever toppings you want in order to personalize this vegan bread pudding.
Frozen bananas are the key to this creamy three-ingredient ice cream.
Whip up a decadent dessert with chocolate oat milk, chia seeds, and vegan dark chocolate chips.
Going vegan is the best choice that you can make for animals, the environment, and your own health—and if the world went vegan, there would be no COVID-19 or other deadly diseases that come from using animals for food!
— PETA (@peta) March 21, 2020