vegan recipes

Simple Vegan Recipes for Beginners

simple vegan recipes

Are you a newbie to veganism. Are you strapped for time, on a tight budget, or just not that good at cooking? Well, have I got good news for you. This page features simple vegan recipes for beginners, most taking less than 30 minutes to make. The truth is you don’t have to sacrifice flavour in the name of health, time or money, and the recipes below will show you how.

Warm Butternut Salad

I never crave salad in the winter, it’s too cold out for raw food! But adding warm veggies to kale and quinoa are a great way to still get in all your vegetables.

  • 2C steamed kale
  • 1C steamed or roasted butternut squash (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2C quinoa, cooked
  • pumpkin seeds to taste

Cook a single serving of quinoa and while that’s on the stove, steam your kale and prepare your squash. I used frozen squash, so I heated it up with water on a stove pan. If you’re using fresh squash, you’ll want to roast it in the oven. Top with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

Broccoli Potato Soup

  • 2 bunches of broccoli, rinsed and torn apart
  • 2 medium yukon potatoes, cubed
  • ½ yellow onion,diced
  • 4C vegetable broth
  • 3T nutritional yeast (optional)

1) Steam broccoli and potatoes set aside.
2) Saute onions in a thin layer of broth until translucent.
3) Blend everything in batches, using the rest of the broth, and heat in a pot and mix it all back together.
4) Alternatively, use an immersion blender with all ingredients in the pot.

Simple Japanese Cucumber Salad


This salad takes very minimal effort, but is delicious and so healthy!

  • 3 medium/large cucumbers (or lots of smaller ones, I suppose)
  • 1/4C rice vinegar
  • 1T sesame oil (optional)
  • 2T low sodium soy sauce
  • salt & pepper

1) Cut the cucumbers in half, lengthwise, and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Then slice the cucumbers, they’ll make a ‘U’ shape.
2) Mix together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Pour over the cucumbers. This works best if you place the cucumbers in Tupperware so that you can secure the lid and shake them to coat. But using a mixing bowl works fine too.
3) Let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour (I suggest overnight) then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Avocado Alfredo

This my go-to meal whenever I’m cooking for anyone else. My roommates, my mom, my grandparents– everybody loves it. The avocado makes the sauce creamy, and the lemon, garlic and basil give it tons of flavor. Combine with any kind of pasta or grain, the pictures above are zucchini noodles.

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of half a lemon, or one tablespoon lemon juice

Blend in a food processor until smooth. Makes two servings. Alternatively you can whip with a fork by hand, just shred the basil first. Toss with two servings of spaghetti, quinoa, zucchini noodles etc.

This recipe is very flexible, so feel free to adjust lemon, garlic and basil amounts based on personal preference.

Tapas: Skillet Chickpeas

Let me start by saying that I have gotten VERY into tapas lately. I mean, a socially acceptable reason to eat six different dishes for dinner? It doesn’t get much better than that. So here’s my recreation of Espinacas con Garbanzos.

  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1t cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 

Heat the oil and garlic over high heat for two minutes. Add the spinach, chickpeas and cumin to the skillet. Stir constantly until the spinach fully wilts and the chickpeas cook through. Top with salt and pepper. Enjoy on its own, or serve with crusty bread!

4 Ingredient Quick Chili

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1.5 cups of corn
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 cup of salsa, or half a 16oz jar

1) Cube and boil the sweet potato until cooked, set aside.
2) Mix black beans, corn and salsa in a pot on high heat. Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
3) Stir in your sweet potato, and enjoy! 

Easy Spinach Spaghetti


  • 2 servings whole wheat spaghetti
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups peas (I used frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and add to a stove pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook for one minute over medium heat.
  3. Add the spinach, stirring until it begins to wilt. This should only take a few minutes. Add peas and continue stirring for another minute, then remove from heat.
  4. Drain pasta, then add to stove pan with the spinach and peas. Stir over low heat, until evenly combined, and serve.

Note: Pasta can be replaced with any gluten-free variety.

Simple Barley Soup

Temperatures dipped below freezing this week. (Someone get the Starks, winter is coming.) But that means it’s perfect soup weather! Here’s my favorite last-minute veggie soup recipe.

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4C low sodium veggie broth
  • 1/2C barley

Saute onions and garlic in a large pot with a dash of water for a few minutes, just until the onions start browning. Add the chopped carrots and celery, and more water to keep them from sticking to the pot. Cook for a few minutes. Add barley and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until barley is soft. If you buy quick cook barley, it’ll be about 15 minutes. Regular barley will take about an hour. Enjoy!

Lemon Basil Chickpeas

This is going to be a staple lunch box meal for me once classes start in September. Flavorful, filling and only 250 calories per serving!

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of basil, chopped
  • handful of spinach, chopped

1) Combine avocado and lemon juice, either by hand or food processor, until smooth.
2) In a mixing bowl, coat chickpeas in the avocado/lemon dressing. Sprinkle salt and pepper if you’d like!
3) Fold in the spinach and basil until everything seems even. Divide into two servings, and I suggest letting it chill first. Enjoy!

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