I am not a vegan myself, as I still eat some dairy and eggs, but I like to cook fully plant-based meals whenever I can. (I’ve got to do my part to help the environment, you know?)

However, when you first learn how to cook, the more intense, in-depth recipes can sometimes seem a little daunting and turn you away from trying something new.

So, although there are thousands and thousands of fantastic vegan dinner ideas all over the internet, I wanted to create a non-intimidating list of super simple, low-effort recipes that can be made by anyone.

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or a full-blown meat-lover, these recipes can still be fun to try out whenever you’re in the mood for something quick, yet tasty.

Table of Contents:

  1. Buddha Bowl
  2. One Pan Quinoa
  3. Loaded Vegan BLT
  4. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  5. Veggie Stir Fry
  6. Barbecue Tempeh

Buddha Bowl

This has become one of my go-to recipes when I’m looking for a protein-packed meal to cook in a short amount of time.


  • firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed
  • chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • broccoli, chopped
  • cauliflower, chopped
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • nutritional yeast


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread chickpeas, broccoli, and cauliflower on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  4. Massage until evenly coated.
  5. Cut tofu into 1 inch squares.
  6. In two small bowls, fill one with olive oil and the other with nutritional yeast and garlic powder.
  7. Coat the tofu squares in olive oil, and then in the seasoning mix.
  8. Lay squares out onto a lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake both pans for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

One Pan Quinoa

There are a few different variations for how you can make this recipe, but this has been the easiest one for me:


  • olive oil
  • garlic, minced
  • onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 1 c. vegetable broth or water
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Sauté garlic and onions, until translucent.
  3. Add in quinoa and vegetable broth.
  4. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add in black beans, corn, and fire roasted tomatoes.
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Cool and enjoy!

Loaded Vegan BLT

I have never snapped an actual photo of any of the vegan BLTs that I’ve made– because I inhale them much too quickly– but here’s an (almost-vegan) close second, using the same Lightlife smoky tempeh strips.


  • olive oil
  • 2-3 Lightlife smoky tempeh strips
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread
  • 1/2 avocado
  • tomato, sliced
  • onion, sliced
  • lettuce leaves/spinach
  • lemon juice
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. 
  2. Fry tempeh strips for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
  3. Toast two slices of your favorite bread while the tempeh is cooking. 
  4. Slice an avocado in half, and scoop half of it into a small bowl.
  5. Mash the avocado and season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and a splash of lemon juice.
  6. Spread the avocado onto both pieces of your toast. 
  7. Layer with tempeh strips, tomato slices, lettuce, and onion. 
  8. Enjoy!

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

There are so many different ways to stuff and bake sweet potatoes. Recently, I’ve been on a spinach, quinoa, and chickpeas kick, but your options are endless.

The directions are simple too: cook your “stuffing” on the stove over medium-high heat with olive oil, all while your sweet potato roasts for 20-30 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees.

Veggie Stir Fry

I always resort to making stir fry when I want to use up the extra vegetables in my fridge, but don’t feel like making a boring salad.

Stir fries are pretty self-explanatory, and made up of four simple parts: grains, vegetables, protein, and lots of spices/sauce.

My typical stir fry usually consists of sautéed onions and garlic, broccoli, bell peppers, tofu, and brown rice. Sauté everything together with some olive oil and soy sauce, add some spices (my favorites are rosemary and paprika), and dig in! You can have this meal started and finished in under 30 minutes.

Barbecue Tempeh

I eat barbecue tempeh sandwiches almost twice a week– they’re so delicious and absolutely filling!

And, the recipe cannot get any easier:


  • tempeh
  • barbecue sauce
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • bell peppers, chopped


  1. Crumble the tempeh into a medium bowl.
  2. Marinate with barbecue sauce for at least 10-15 minutes.
  3. Drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Sauté onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
  5. Add in the barbecue tempeh mix.
  6. Eat plain or layer on a bun with extra toppings to make a sandwich!