33 Plant-Based Recipes That Aren't Salads - foodiecrush .com (2024)

There’s no need to go fully vegan or vegetarian to take advantage of the benefits of a plant-based diet. From mains to sides, these 33 plant-based recipes and flexitarian dishes are healthy and delicious, and are a great way to incorporate more veggies into your diet.

The two main reasons we as humans eat are a) for health and b) for taste. Food is what makes life possible, and that much better, and so much more tasty and delicious. Eating for health doesn’t have to mean sacrificing all of the things that make food so enjoyable. With so many popular elimination diets out there right now (that often contradict each other), balancing this issue can seem complicated. But it doesn’t have to be.

Instead of focusing on what to cut out, I’ve been keeping it positive by simply incorporating more fresh whole foods and vegetables into my diet. Mediterranean and Asian cuisines are perfect examples of how healthy grains and veggies can be made into some of my favorite and most flavorful dishes.

  • It’s good for the environment! Not to go all Food Inc. on you, but did you know that the meat industry puts out more carbon emissions than the entire travel sector? Yikes!
  • Eating seasonally also is better for the environment dues to less transport, PLUS you’re supporting local sellers.
  • Eating fresh whole foods and vegetables bypasses preservative-filled foods.

These reasons and so many more are why we should all think about eating more plants, like the plant-forward recipe ideas I’m sharing below. These recipes serve as carb-light, nutrient-heavy lunch and dinner options that are heartier and tastier than your standard salad. Cheers to eating more veggies!

1. One-Pot Skinny Pasta Primavera

from FoodieCrush

There isn’t a better springtime dish than pasta primavera- it’s all in the name! This easy one-pot dish is loaded with fresh seasonal veggies and herbs.

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2. Mediterranean Style Baked Cod

from Olive and Mango

Fast and easy, this one-pan Mediterranean style baked cod makes for a simple, healthy dinner during the week. Tender, flaky cod is roasted with a colorful medley of olives, artichokes, and tomatoes, which (bonus, yield some very delicious pan juices).

3. Spiralized Zucchini, Quinoa, and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Bell Peppers

from FoodieCrush

Spiralized zucchini and quinoa replace rice for a healthier take on one of my family’s savory stuffed peppers.

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4. Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas

from Cookie and Kate

These satisfying vegetarian enchiladas are stuffed with black beans for protein, broccoli, bell peppers, and spinach, then topped with a delicious homemade red sauce.

5. Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms

from FoodieCrush

Smooth butternut squash puree and shiitake mushrooms lend their flavors for a lighter lasagna.

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6. 30 Minute Vegan Stir Fry Sesame Noodles with Chickpeas & Basil

from Ambitious Kitchen

This 30 minute vegan, veggie-studded stir fry features a homemade stir fry sauce and gets a healthy dose of plant-based protein from chickpeas.

7. Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Herbed Ricotta

from FoodieCrush

Grilled veggies pair with a creamy, herbed ricotta spread for a melt-in-your-mouth bite.

8. Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera

from Pinch of Yum

This bright green bowl of healthy goodness includes tender-crisp asparagus, peas, and pesto, quinoa, and chicken that requires minimal prep thanks to the crockpot!

9. Hummus Veggie Wrap

from FoodieCrush

Stuff this wrap full of your favorite crispy veggies and a generous dollop of hummus.

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10. Grilled Eggplant with Chimichurri

from FoodieCrush

Smoky, sweet eggplant is fired up on the grill and topped with a tangy, garlicky chimichurri for perfectly tender eggplant with just the right bite. This dish can be a side or a main, just as easily.

11. Green Goddess Cream Cheese Veggie Sandwich

from FoodieCrush

A truly heavenly green goddess, this stacked up sandwich has all the elements of a good deli, and is loaded with greens.

12. Sweet Potato & Chickpea Buddha Bowl

from Platings + Pairings

Quinoa, chickpeas, & veggies topped with a tangy mojo sauce will power you through the day.

13. Italian Chicken Wrap

from FoodieCrush

Skip the dry, pre-made pinwheel deli sandwiches found in the grocery store for these wraps loaded with lean chicken and fresh mediterranean veggies, like red onion and kalamata olives.

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14. Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry

from Minimalist Baker

The secret to magically crispy tofu isn’t lots of oil! This tofu is baked and tossed in an easy, 5-ingredient peanut glaze and served over cauliflower rice with sautéed veggies. It’s remarkably crispy, vegan, and gluten-free.

15. Curry Lentil Soup with Butternut Squash and Greens

from FoodieCrush

Lentils pack the protein while butternut squash and curry provide creamy, delicious flavor. Top with fresh greens for a meal that checks all the boxes.

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16. Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan and Chives

from FoodieCrush

This creamy mashed cauliflower with Parmesan and chives is the perfect side for when you’re looking for an easy way to incorporate more veggies into your meal.

17. Chopped Grilled Vegetable Bowl with Farro

from FoodieCrush

This colorful bowl is easy to whip together, filling, and packed with all of the mediterranean flavors I love.

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18. Creamy Orzo Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash

from Vikalinka

This vegetarian dish features creamy, comforting orzo pasta studded with roasted butternut squash, nutritious kale, fresh sage, and Parmesan cheese.

19. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

from FoodieCrush

Cilantro, heirloom tomatoes, and lime give these protein packed burritos fresh flavors and texture.

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20. Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

from FoodieCrush

Mexican flavored ground beef taco meat fills these stuffed zucchini boats topped with melted cheese and all the taco toppings for an all-in-one, easy dinner. Feel free to sub ground turkey or plant meat (such as Impossible Beef) for the ground beef, if you prefer.

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21. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Gimme Some Oven

This Eggplant Parmesan is lightened up a bit with baked (instead of fried) panko-crusted roasted eggplant, and layered with marinara, cheeses and fresh herbs for a super satisfying vegetarian dinner.

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22. 30 Minute Greek Shrimp Grain Bowls

from Dishing Out Health

You can make these healthy Greek Shrimp Grain Bowls with zucchini, peppers, and lemon-garlic yogurt in just 30 minutes. They lend themselves well to meal prep or easy weeknight dinners and are full of bright and wonderful Mediterranean flavors.

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23. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

from Crowded Kitchen

These roasted cauliflower steaks are bursting with amazing savory flavor from a zesty garlic-lemon marinade. Cooking them in the oven lends more flavor and gives them an irresistibly caramelized and crisp exterior with a tender interior. Serve over mashed potatoes or parsnip purée for even more veggies on your plate!

24. Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Broccoli and Tomato

from FoodieCrush

Perfect to meal prep for a quick dinner or lunch on the go, this power bowl is fresh and flavorful.

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25. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Chickpeas

from Alexandra Cooks

Inspired by cacio e pepe, spaghetti squash is baked and then pulled with a fork to create noodles. It’s topped with brothy, garlicky chickpeas and sharp Pecorino for a warm and cozy dish that’s hearty and healthy.

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26. Teriyaki Salmon Bowls with Ginger Sesame Greens & Coconut Rice

from Gather & Feast

These super delicious, savory bowls are perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Salmon is baked in a homemade teriyaki sauce and served over coconut rice and a mixture of bok choy, Chinese broccoli, and snow peas (but this recipe is easily adaptable to use other greens or veggies, and you could easily swap jasmine rice for cauliflower rice).

27. Thai Coconut Cauliflower

from FoodieCrush

Cauliflower is so buttery and pairs so well with basically any other topping, that I almost forget its still a vegetable.

28. Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

from The Modern Proper

This bright and filling salad is loaded with roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, black beans and kale, and tossed in a creamy lime-cashew-cilantro dressing.

29. Grilled Zucchini with Feta and Pine Nuts

from FoodieCrush

Make the most of your garden with this grilled zucchini dish that is anything but boring.

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30. Buddha Bowls with Turkey Meatballs or Crispy Tofu

from FoodieCrush

These easy, healthy quinoa buddha bowls are loaded with a long-lasting rainbow of veggies—sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and broccolini—that are roasted then layered with make ahead/leftover proteins and straight from the pantry quinoa.

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31. Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado Crema

from Pinch of Yum

For these insanely delicious tacos, chunks of cauliflower are breaded in a two-ingredient batter, are baked, not fried, then tossed in a hot and tangy buffalo sauce. The cool avocado crema, crunchy shredded cabbage and cilantro are refreshing complements that tie everything together.

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32. Mediterranean Zucchini Boats

from FoodieCrush

Zucchini boats make the perfect vegetable vessel for ground turkey sausage, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, and Parmesan cheese for a Mediterranean spin on everyone’s favorite stuffed zucchini recipe.

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33. Kale Salad with Quinoa and Shrimp

from FoodieCrush

Hearty and nutritious, with pops of antioxidant sweetness, this kale and quinoa salad with baked garlic shrimp puts all things super into the epitome of a super, superfood salad.

More Healthy Recipe Roundups to Check Out

  • 10 Healthy and Hearty Salad Recipes That Make a Meal
  • 20 Easy Healthy Cauliflower Recipes to Make for Dinner Tonight
  • 30 Healthier Spring Pasta Recipes to Make Now
  • 30 Super Savory Salads to Make Now
  • 31 Healthy Lunches to Make Now
  • 31 Quick and Healthy Veggie Side Dishes in 30 Minutes or Less

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33 Plant-Based Recipes That Aren't Salads - foodiecrush .com (2024)


Can you eat eggs on a plant-based diet? ›

Eggs can and should be part of a plant-based diet, and these five suggestions showcase how easy it is to incorporate the incredible egg into your plant-forward dishes.

Can you eat pasta on a plant-based diet? ›

Yes, pasta can be part of a vegan diet. Traditional pasta is typically made from wheat flour and water, and these ingredients are plant-based and considered vegan. However, when choosing pasta, it's essential to check the ingredients label to ensure there are no added non-vegan components, such as eggs.

Can you eat cheese on a plant-based diet? ›

Following a plant-based diet means saying goodbye to all animal products — including lean meat and dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream.

What foods can you eat on plant-based diet? ›

Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans.

What is the downside of a plant-based diet? ›

Some studies have shown that those on a plant-based diet are found to have lower plasma vitamin B12 levels and higher levels of vitamin B12 deficiency than those who consume animal products. Vitamin B12 is an important cofactor in DNA synthesis, and deficiency can lead to anemia and severe neurological dysfunction.

Can you eat bananas on a plant-based diet? ›

Let's start, then, with a vegan diet grocery list that can be the baseline for all vegetarian diet foods list: Fruits: apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, bananas, etc. Choose in-season fruits, and opt for frozen fruit for smoothies.

Is popcorn OK on plant-based diet? ›

Can I eat popcorn on a plant based diet? Yes. Corn is a plant so you can eat it on a plant based diet. Keep in mind, however, that it might come with a topping that isn't plant based, such as butter.

What is the best bread for a whole food plant-based diet? ›

Multigrain breads, whole grain breads, and breads that use sprouted grains, such as ezekiel bread are packed with health benefits and are great for a plant-based diet. Breads made from refined flours do not contain the fiber and protein that whole grain, multigrain, or sprouted grain breads offer.

Can I eat bread on a plant-based diet? ›

At its core, a bread recipe contains four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, and yeast — a type of microscopic fungus used to help bread rise. Therefore, the simplest form of bread is vegan. However, some types include additional ingredients like sweeteners or fats — both of which can be of animal origin.

Can you eat shrimp on a plant-based diet? ›

The straight forward answer here is no, vegans don't eat fish or seafood. In fact, neither do vegetarians – if you're interested in cutting out or reducing your dairy and meat intake, then you might be interested to learn more about the pescatarian diet.

Can I eat chocolate on a plant-based diet? ›

While dark chocolate is usually vegan-friendly, milk and white chocolate typically are not. Milk Chocolate, as the name implies, contains dairy, making it not vegan, unless it is made with a nondairy milk like oat milk or almond milk. White Chocolate also frequently contains dairy products.

Is Sweet Potato a plant-based protein? ›

Medium protein (2 to 6 grams of protein per serving): Artichokes, broccoli, brown rice, cauliflower, chard, coconut, dried figs, oatmeal, peas, spinach, sweet corn, sweet potato, and yams.

Is peanut butter OK on a plant-based diet? ›

The bottom line. Most types of peanut butter are free of animal products and can be enjoyed as part of a vegan diet. However, some varieties are made in facilities that also process animal products or contain refined sugar that was produced using bone char or non-vegan ingredients like honey or fish oil.

What meat can I eat everyday? ›

5 of the Healthiest Meats
  • Sirloin Steak. Sirloin steak is both lean and flavorful – just 3 ounces packs about 25 grams of filling protein! ...
  • Rotisserie Chicken & Turkey. The rotisserie cooking method helps maximize flavor without relying on unhealthy additives. ...
  • Chicken Thigh. ...
  • Pork Chop. ...
  • Canned Fish.
Jan 6, 2020

Does plant-based mean no eggs? ›

It will not contain any animal products, including meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, eggs and honey. All the ingredients must come from plants, like grains, vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts and seeds. Although not technically a plant, mushrooms are welcome in a plant-based menu.”

Can you eat eggs and cheese on a plant-based diet? ›

Plant-based diets come in many forms.

Eating habits that are vegan (no animal products at all) or other vegetarian types (which may include one or more of choices like dairy products, eggs, and fish) are plant-based diets. But not all plant-based diets are vegetarian.

Can I eat chicken on a plant-based diet? ›

A plant-based diet is not a vegetarian or vegan diet; you can eat poultry, beef, eggs, fish, and dairy products, however most of your nutrient intake is coming from plant-based food sources.


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