41 Easy Plant-Based Dinners Made With Pantry Staples You Already Have Stocked

Stuffing tacos with beans, avocados and veggies packs protein and fiber, two nutrients that will keep you full at supper.
Image Credit: vaaseenaa/iStock/GettyImages

With a properly stocked pantry and some fresh veggies on hand, you can score some serious points in the dinner game — every single night.


From a hearty Pot Pie Soup to a Couscous Verde Bowl, we've pulled together 40 plant-based dinners that feature common pantry items, along with a few other basics such as fresh or frozen veggies and lean proteins that you probably have on hand right now.

Video of the Day

These easy plant-based recipes prove there's no need to overcomplicate dinner — simply look to your pantry to get started.


Are You Getting Enough Protein?

Track your macros by logging your meals on the MyPlate app. Download now to fine-tune your diet today!

1. Supper Veggie Fried Rice

Easy-peasy veggie fried rice made from everyday pantry items (and frozen veggies, too).
  • Calories:​ ​295
  • Protein: 7 grams


The ingredient list for this healthier take on a fan-favorite features staples from your freezer and pantry shelves. From the freezer, we have peas and corn, and from the pantry, olive oil, onion and brown rice.

This recipe provides a 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice which counts as one whole-grain serving. We should for three to six servings of whole grains each day, according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To bump up the protein in this Supper Veggie Fried Rice, add tempeh, tofu or even some chopped nuts.


Get the​ ​Supper Veggie Fried Rice recipe and nutrition info here.

2. Mexican Tomato, Black Bean and Corn Pasta Soup

Canned tomatoes, black beans, broth and pasta — all shelf-stable ingredients — make up the bulk of this soup.
  • Calories: 492
  • Protein: 15 grams


Much of this soup comes together thanks to canned and dry goods — tomatoes, black beans, broth and pasta — yet it's still is so refreshing and light with the fresh avocado, cilantro and red onion. This soup provides 20 grams of fiber (which is pretty remarkable when it comes to soups), mainly from the veggies and beans but also from the avocado.


Avocados are hailed for their healthy monounsaturated fats, but a 1/4 of the fruit also provides 3.4 grams of fiber. That meets about 13 percent of the Daily Value (DV), per the USDA. They're also a good source of copper, pantothenic acid and folate.


Get the​ ​Mexican Tomato, Black Bean and Corn Pasta Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

3. Vegan Couscous Verde Bowl With Black Beans and Corn

Use up all the canned beans in your pantry for this delicious, four-ingredient dinner.
  • Calories: 311
  • Protein: 13 grams


A four-ingredient dinner that's vegan and takes less than 20 minutes to throw together? You're welcome. This dish is made with canned black beans, frozen corn, salsa and couscous — that's it.

Canned black beans are a member of the pulse family, along with peas, chickpeas and lentils. Pulses check all of the boxes: They're nutritious (high in fiber ​and​ protein), versatile, affordable and sustainable. Pulses cost about $0.10 per serving and are called a "nitrogen-fixing" crop, which means they can convert nitrogen in the air into a plant-available nutrient and therefore reduce the need for nitrogen fertilizers, which is great for our environment, per the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.


Get the Vegan Couscous Verde Bowl With Black Beans and Corn recipe and nutrition info here.

4. Bean and Farro Buddha Bowl With Cilantro-Apple Dressing

If you have beans and farro in your pantry then you've got everything you need for the base of this dish.
  • Calories: 431
  • Protein: 13 grams


This plant-based dish is a perfect marriage between pantry staples and fresh ingredients. The canned black beans, cannellini beans, farro and olive oil give this a hearty foundation while the apples, cilantro, radishes and avocado add refreshing balance.

Apples provide a sweet crunch to this otherwise savory dish, and they're also a source of fiber, polyphenols and carotenoids, according to an April 2018 review in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which concluded that eating apples can support weight-loss goals.

5. Pot Pie Soup

Think of this recipe as a pot pie deconstructed — and vegan-style!
  • Calories: 498
  • Protein: 15 grams

This plant-based pot pie soup is entirely vegan. The dairy-free broth gets its creaminess from cashews, and half of the veggies (corn and peas) come straight from your freezer.

Cashews are an underrated nut when it comes to nutrition. A May 2017 clinical trial published in the ​American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​ found a link between eating cashews daily and a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol levels. This is in line with a significant body of research supporting the heart-health benefits of tree nuts.

Get the Pot Pie Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

6. Beans and Greens Tacos

The greens in this dish comes from nutrient-rich kale.
  • Calories: 467
  • Protein: 15 grams


You can pull most of the ingredients for this dish straight from your cupboard shelves, as it calls for olive oil, canned kidney beans, spices, tortillas and an onion. The recipe also includes lacinato kale, aka dinosaur kale, which should be stored in the fridge.

A cup of kale has just 6 calories but the vitamin K offerings are off the charts, as in, meets more than 50 percent of the DV, per the USDA. Vitamin K is also crucial for building strong bones and reducing the risk for osteoporosis, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means your body is better at absorbing it if it's eaten with a source of fat. Fortunately, this recipe includes both olive oil and avocado, two very healthy sources.

Get the Beans and Greens Taco recipe and nutrition info here.

7. Simple Veggie Tofu Soup

The tofu amplifies the protein in this soup.
  • Calories: 331
  • Protein: 22 grams

This recipe includes "simple" in its name, and it delivers on the promise. It's made with veggie broth, frozen mixed vegetables, tofu and a few stalks of celery for good measure. It provides a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fat, but if you want to add more substance to the meal, enjoy the soup with a piece of crusty whole-grain bread.

We especially love that it's so high in plant-based protein. A plant-based diet is more sustainable, which is a win for the environment and also good for your health, particularly your weight, according to a February 2015 study in ​Nutrition.​ The controlled clinical study compared five diets — vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, semi-vegetarian and omnivore — and found that after 6 months, vegan dieters lost the most weight.


Get the Simple Veggie Tofu Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

8. Plant-Protein Powered Butternut Mac and 'Cheese'

This recipe has 11 grams of satiating fiber.
  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 22 grams

You won't miss the cheesy taste and flavor in this dairy-free, plant-based mac and cheese recipe. Nutritional yeast provides ample protein (as well as that cheesy feel) to bump up the nutritional value of this meal and maintain that mac and cheese texture.

Get the Plant-Protein Powered Butternut Mac and 'Cheese' recipe and nutrition info here.

9. Asparagus and Tofu Dinner Salad

This simple green recipe is ready in just 10 minutes.
  • Calories: 349
  • Protein: 19 grams

Tofu is high in protein, and you'll get an impressive 19 grams per serving from this dish, as well as rich fiber from the beans, asparagus and mushrooms. This is a great, veggie-packed dish that will make for tasty leftovers tomorrow.

Get the Asparagus and Tofu Dinner Salad recipe and nutrition info here.

10. Breakfast-for-Dinner Eggs

This recipe is done in 10 minutes flat.
  • Calories: 187
  • Protein: 14 grams

If you're not vegan, you can (and should!) enjoy eggs on a plant-based diet, as they are rich in both protein and choline. This low-carb breakfast-for-dinner dish has choline from the eggs, an important nutrient that a lot of plant-based diets are missing.

If you're not eating animal products, you could always sub in tofu and make this dish into a satiating plant-based scramble.

Get the Breakfast-for-Dinner recipe and nutrition info here.

11. Dijon Salmon Dinner

This recipe is low in both carbs and sugar.
  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 22 grams

If you're open to eating animal products, fish is a superb addition to a plant-based diet. Eating it a few times each week can help ensure you're getting enough protein and heart-healthy fats (like omega-3s, found in fatty fish such as salmon). Plus, this meal is ready in under 30 minutes, so it's a great weeknight dinner when you're pinched for time.

Get the Dijon Salmon Dinner recipe and nutrition info here.

12. Vegetarian Stir-Fry Rice Bowl

This dinner is made with filling, healthy fats and a whole lot of protein.
  • Calories: 536
  • Protein: 28 grams

Ditch takeout and whip up this plant-based protein-packed stir-fry dinner fast, in just 21 minutes total. The best part about this dinner is its meal-prep versatility: You can make a large batch at once and use this medley in a scramble for breakfast the next day or on top of greens for a lunchtime salad.

Get the Vegetarian Stir-Fry Rice Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.

13. Vietnamese-Inspired Edamame Pho With Egg and Basil

This dinner is warm and nourishing, with a generous serving size of 2 cups.
  • Calories: 393
  • Protein: 19 grams

Edamame and eggs pack in the protein for a fragrant, hot bowl of soup that will warm you up on a chilly evening in just 35 minutes This dish includes a nice hint of ginger, which has anti-inflammatory properties to promote improved health across a variety of conditions, according to a January 2020 study in the journal ​Nutrients.

Get the Vietnamese-Inspired Edamame Pho With Egg and Basil recipe and nutrition info here.

14. Instant Cajun Red Bean and Vermicelli Soup

In a rush? Pack this soup in a mason jar and eat it whenever you've got a moment.
  • Calories: 316
  • Protein: 13 grams

This Asian-inspired soup is portable and packed with aromatic flavors, like cajun and basil. Red kidney beans help pack this dish with 6 grams of filling fiber and 13 grams of plant-based protein to boost satiety.

Get the Instant Cajun Red Bean and Vermicelli Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

15. Green Toasts

This recipe has 27 grams of fat to fill you up until morning.
  • Calories: 524
  • Protein: 17 grams

Toast shouldn't be only reserved for breakfast, especially when it has enough nutrition to create a well-balanced meal on its own. This green machine toast recipe is plant-based and protein-dense, thanks to three essential green ingredients: pistachios, edamame and avocado. If you're watching sodium levels, go with unsalted pistachios.

Get the Green Toasts recipe and nutrition info here.

16. Instant Tofu, Asparagus and Brown Rice Noodle Soup

This recipe relies on reduced-sodium soy sauce to lower grams of sodium a serving.
  • Calories: 418
  • Protein: 24 grams

This simple recipe delivers 24 grams of protein, which will help keep you full. You can add sesame and ginger on top as a coating for flavor and those anti-inflammatory benefits.

Get the Instant Tofu, Asparagus and Brown Rice Noodle Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

17. Healthy Asian-Inspired Veggie and Soba Noodle Soup

This soup is light and aromatic for an easy weeknight meal.
  • Calories: 149
  • Protein: 5 grams

This plant-based soup is a great base for a protein-packed dinner. All you have to do is add in a protein of your choosing, such as edamame, tofu, tempeh or white beans. You can even top the soup with an egg or two.

Get the Healthy Asian-Inspired Veggie and Soba Noodle Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

18. Spicy Tempeh, Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Hash

This hash has antioxidants from the red pepper and sweet potato to improve heart health.
  • Calories: 269
  • Protein: 17 grams

This 30-minute meal is perfect for busy weeknights when you don't have much time to cook in the kitchen and want something quick to eat. Plus, it's relatively low in carbs with just 23 grams of net carbs per serving.

Get the Spicy Tempeh, Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Hash recipe and nutrition info here.

19. Shrimp and White Beans

This recipe has healthy fats from shrimp to boost satiety.
  • Calories: 434
  • Protein: 44 grams

In just 10 minutes and some ingredients you likely already have at home, you can put together a filling seafood dish (sub in a plant-based protein for the shrimp if you're not eating animal products).

A serving of this recipe has 44 grams of protein, which will keep you full through the morning. If you want, serve with cauliflower rice, which is low in carbs and has filling fiber.

Get the Shrimp and White Beans recipe and nutrition info here.

20. Zucchini Veggie Burger

This versatile homemade veggie burger recipe takes just 20 minutes to make.
  • Calories: 213
  • Protein: 7 grams

Make a big batch of these zucchini veggie burgers on Sunday and store them in your freezer. Then you'll have a variety of meal options for the week ahead. Enjoy a patty or two for dinner alongside veggies and a starch, like a baked sweet potato with avocado, sandwich between your favorite whole-grain bread or cut up a patty and toss in a salad. You can even have one with eggs for breakfast the following morning.

Get the Zucchini Veggie Burger recipe and nutrition info here.

21. Paleo Roasted Spaghetti Squash

This roasted spaghetti squash is high in fiber and antioxidants.
  • Calories: 195
  • Protein: 3 grams

Haven't discovered the wonders of spaghetti squash yet? It's time. You can use this spaghetti squash as a base for a hearty plant-based dinner by filling the squash with sources of protein or scooping out the spaghetti strands to then create a dinner salad. Top it with black beans and edamame. Or enjoy baked tofu on top of the spaghetti noodles and mix in some veggies.

Get the Paleo Roasted Spaghetti Squash recipe and nutrition info here.

22. Avocado Soup With Shrimp

This fun recipe is filled with 10 grams of fiber per serving.
  • Calories: 424
  • Protein: 23 grams

This creamy, chilled soup is made with avocado, which according to an April 2018 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is linked to protecting your heart health and improving your HDL cholesterol.

If you don't eat shrimp on your plant-based diet, feel free to swap for plant-based shrimp or try white beans.

Get the Avocado Soup With Shrimp recipe and nutrition info here.

23. Kale and Sweet Potato Baked Frittata Cups

These frittata cups are great for big-batch cooking.
  • Calories: 321
  • Protein: 20 grams

You can definitely enjoy eggs for dinner, and these egg cups are easy to take with you for supper on the go. Plus, sweet potatoes contain plenty of fiber to support gut health.

Get the Kale and Sweet Potato Baked Frittata Cups recipe and nutrition info here.

24. Thai-Inspired Peanut Sweet Potato 'Noodles'

A fun riff on pad thai, this recipe swaps standard noodles for sweet potato spirals.
  • Calories: 309
  • Protein: 4 grams

Use these sweet potato noodles in any Thai-inspired noodle dish for dinner and you'll be amping up your veggie intake in a wonderful way. For protein, add tofu, tempeh or edamame and fiber with green veggies, like broccoli, bok choy or Brussels sprouts. Plus, it's ready in just 15 minutes.

Get the Thai-Inspired Peanut Sweet Potato 'Noodles' recipe and nutrition info here.

25. Asparagus Tofu Salad

This recipe has 11 grams of fiber to keep you full for hours.
  • Calories: 476
  • Protein: 26 grams

Clean and simple, this salad is the perfect busy weeknight dinner recipe, as it's ready in 10 minutes. Plus, this collection of greens is great for your gut, as asparagus is a prebiotic, as explained in a March 2018 study in the journal ​Current Developments in Nutrition​.

Get the Asparagus Tofu Salad recipe and nutrition info here.

26. Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

This recipe has 6 grams of fiber, and it's also pretty cute.
  • Calories: 283
  • Protein: 10 grams

Ready in under an hour, this recipe is high in protein and antioxidants, and it has that nice warm cheesy texture on top to make it feel rich and creamy. If you'd like, you can omit the cheese and enjoy it as a cold dinner salad too — if so, meal prep in advance and it's ready for you when you get home.

Get the Quinoa Stuffed Pepper recipe and nutrition info here.

27. Saucy Braised Root Vegetable Entrée

This recipe takes a little over an hour to prep but is worth the wait.
  • Calories: 220
  • Protein: 9 grams

Make a big batch of this braised veggie entree and use it as a satiating side or base throughout the week. If you want more protein, you can add in tofu, beans or avocado. The protein- and fiber-dense edamame bulks up this dish, and soy protein (like that in edamame) may improve heart health and lower cholesterol, according to an April 2017 study in ​Nutrients.

Get the Saucy Braised Root Vegetable Entrée recipe and nutrition info here.

28. Beet and Carrot Buddha Bowl With Savory Dressing

This recipe is low in sugar, with just 5 grams.
  • Calories: 609
  • Protein: 20 grams

This buddha bowl is high in fiber and protein, thanks to the delicious combination of edamame, pistachios and nutritional yeast. Plus, according to a July 2020 study in the journal ​Nutrients​, pistachios, in particular, may promote weight loss. Go with unsalted nuts to keep sodium levels down.

Get the Beet and Carrot Buddha Bowl With Savory Dressing recipe and nutrition info here.

29. Avocado and Black Bean Burritos

These burritos take just 5 minutes to prepare, and they have a great texture.
  • Calories: 291
  • Protein: 13 grams

These burritos make a great plant-based dinner option that is ready for you when you get home after a long day of work. Why? Because you can totally whip up a batch of these burritos and store them in the fridge or freezer to cut down on dinner prep time.

Get the Avocado and Black Bean Burritos recipe and nutrition info here.

30. Easy Asian-Inspired Egg Bowl

This recipe is low in sugar and has great flavor.

This rice bowl gets an upgrade with eggs that creates a savory breakfast feel that works well as a dinner recipe too. Plus, it's ready in under 10 minutes, which means it's an excellent quick, weeknight staple that uses leftovers from the day before. Go for reduced sodium sauce if you're looking to cut back on salt.

Get the Easy Asian-Inspired Egg Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.

31. Pasta With Avocado Sauce

This is a good breakfast/dinner hybrid recipe.
  • Calories: 699
  • Protein: 23 grams

This light, citrusy pasta and egg salad is a good recipe for dinner when you want something fragrant and refreshing. Plus, you can make a large batch at once and stash it in the fridge for easy dinners and lunches throughout the week.

Get the Pasta With Avocado Sauce recipe and nutrition info here.

32. Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

This soup is great for big-batch cooking and meal prep.
  • Calories:104
  • Protein: 2 grams

This fragrant, herbaceous soup is high in antioxidants from the pumpkin and it's totally vegan thanks to rich, plant-based coconut milk. What's more, coconut milk contains MCTs, which is linked to promoting weight loss and fat loss, per a May 2016 study in ​Nutrients​. Bulk up the protein by adding in nutritional yeast, dairy-free cheese or top it with yogurt or avocado.

Get the Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

33. Vegetable Ramen With Zucchini Noodles

This soup is light, making it a nice pick for nights when you're not feeling ravenous.
  • Calories: 217
  • Protein: 11 grams

This lightened-up soup relies on veggies as noodles to lower its carb count. In fact, you can consider this dish keto-friendly, as it has only 15 net grams of carbs per bowl. Plus, there's a great variety of flavors in here, like ginger, garlic and even sake.

Get the Vegetable Ramen With Zucchini Noodles recipe and nutrition info here.

34. Caesar-Style Kale Salad

This kale salad is lower in fat and carbs than traditional Caesar.
  • Calories: 91
  • Protein: 5 grams

Jazz up the traditional Caesar salad by using kale, and make it more nutritious with a few ingredient swaps. If you are on a vegan diet, ditch Parmesan cheese and try nutritional yeast instead. This tangy salad calls for green tea, which according to a February 2019 study in ​Nutrients​, is linked to promoting longevity due to its polyphenol content.

Get the ​​Caesar-S​​tyle Kale Salad recipe and nutrition info here.

35. Veggie Wok Fried Rice

This fried rice is a lighter alternative to takeout but provides just as good flavor.
  • Calories: 507
  • Protein: 20 grams

This fried rice is far from greasy and is packed with protein, thanks to egg and mushrooms. Make a large batch and keep it on hand as a side, filling or salad base for a variety of meals throughout the week. For example, stuff into a whole-wheat tortilla for a quick, comforting meal.

Get the Veggie Wok Fried Rice recipe and nutrition info here.

36. Quinoa and Fruit Grain Salad

This fruity salad makes a sweet lunch the next day.
  • Calories: 504
  • Protein: 12 grams

Tofu and quinoa give this light, fruity salad a good dose of protein and fiber, with 12 and 6 grams per serving, respectively. Plus, the papaya adds a sweet, antioxidant boost to round out the meal.

Get the Quinoa and Fruit Grain Salad recipe and nutrition info here.

37. Lentil Pasta With Creamy Red Pepper Sauce and Spinach

This pasta has 11 grams of protein, thanks to the lentils.
  • Calories: 273
  • Protein: 11 grams

This dish packs protein thanks to lentil pasta, which has more of the macro than traditional white or whole-wheat pasta. The dish is brimming with veggies and requires just 30 minutes to make.

Get the Lentil Pasta With Creamy Red Pepper Sauce and Spinach recipe and nutrition info here.

38. Beet-Grapefruit-Walnut Salad With Mint Dressing

This flavorful salad has a burst of citrus from grapefruit.
  • Calories: 310
  • Protein: 5 grams

This salad has a refreshing zest and might be the ideal post-workout fuel: It has beets, which according to a small August 2016 study in ​Nutrients​, may aid in muscle recovery after a workout.

Get the Beet-Grapefruit-Walnut Salad With Mint Dressing recipe and nutrition info here.

39. Vegan Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese

This brunch-for-dinner recipe has 28 grams of satiating fat.
  • Calories: 474
  • Protein: 16 grams

Swap cream cheese for a vegan spread made of white beans and cashews, which bump up the fiber and protein count. And because it's more savory, you can totally enjoy this breakfast staple as a plant-based dinner instead. If you're not on a vegan diet, you can keep the smoked salmon too!

Get the Vegan Lox, Bagel and Cream Cheese recipe and nutrition info here.

40. Tamari, Bok Choy, Sorghum and Rolled Omelet Breakfast Superfood Bowl

Consider this savory breakfast recipe as an ideal dinnertime staple.
  • Calories: 290
  • Protein: 10 grams

Despite the egg, the ingredients in this breakfast bowl really do scream dinner. The whole thing takes about an hour and a half to prepare, so cook up a larger batch to benefit from leftovers. To bump up the protein in this deconstructed fried rice bowl, top with diced avocado.

41. Stuffed Avocado

This recipe is easy to take on the go and requires just 10 minutes of prep time.
  • Calories: 282
  • Protein: 14 grams

You'll want to add a squeeze of lemon to prevent your avocado from browning (and maybe keep the avocado in its skin until you're ready to devour). Tuna fish is the main source of protein here, but if you're vegan, you can swap out for tofu or beans.

Get the Stuffed Avocado recipe and nutrition info here.




Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...