10 Easy + Tasty High Carb Low Fat Vegan Recipes (HCLF)

by Alena
Nov 7, 2020
collage of four high carb low fat vegan recipes like bean burritos, pasta, rice and baked vegetables

You’re interested in following a high carb low fat vegan diet but are unsure what to eat on a daily basis? There are many meals we’ve recreated over the years to make them fit into the HCLF eating pattern — and we’re going to share the best ones with you today.

There are a lot of high carb foods we all consume on a daily basis, from rice to bread, pasta, potatoes or bananas. We love them because they are satiating and energizing, budget-friendly and simply tasty!

But there are also unhealthy foods you can eat on a high carb low-fat vegan diet which is why carbohydrates in general are often demonized. We’re talking white sugar, white flour, pastries, sugary soda and all types of desserts.

While this article does put a focus on macronutrient ratios, we want to emphasize that not all high carb foods are healthy and that choosing whole foods over refined foods is more important than the amount of carbs or fat you’re eating.

Eating a predominantly HCLF vegan diet is just one way of avoiding animal products and living a vegan lifestyle (which is grounded in an ethical position, not a fad) — you can eat high carb, low carb, raw foods, junk foods or whatever-foods as a vegan.

We personally recommend a low fat vegan diet for easy weight loss due to calorie density and a whole foods vegan diet for general health and longevity. In any case, your plant-based diet should make sure you meet your recommended nutrient intake — the rest is personal preference.

Let’s take a closer look at what a high carb low fat vegan diet is, which foods to choose or avoid and what easy beginner recipes we recommend!

What’s a HCLF Vegan Diet?

A high carb low fat vegan diet is a subset of a plant-based diet which usually focuses on eating a certain percentage of overall calories from the macronutrients carbohydrates, protein and fat.

Sometimes referred to as the 80/10/10 diet (as in 80% of calories from carbs, 10% of calories from protein and fat respectively), this way of eating encourages one to base their meals on healthy carbohydrate-rich foods, such as:

  • Grains like oats, rice, pasta, millet, bread
  • Root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets
  • Fruit such as bananas, apples, mangoes, pineapple or dates

While it’s almost always the case that those on a high carb low fat vegan diet avoid all oils, the amount of higher fat and higher protein vegan foods may change from “absolutely no nuts and seeds” to up to 10-15% of the overall daily calories.

A diet higher in carbohydrates with moderate amounts of protein and fat is often recommended for athletes as well as those suffering from certain chronic diseases like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

If you’re up for trying some delicious and healthy high carb low fat vegan recipes, keep on reading!

The Best High Carb Low Fat Breakfast Ideas

We wanted to focus on the best savory high carb low fat main meals which you can make for lunch or dinner because that’s what our readers have been requesting the most.

Probably because many common breakfast foods are often already high carb and can easily be made vegan!

Here are some of our favorites from around the blog!

Easy High Carb Low Fat Vegan Recipes

Not sure what to have for lunch or dinner on a HCLF vegan diet? Most of the recipes on our blog fit the description of “high carb low fat” — here are our favorite everyday beginner choices.

Homemade Bean Burritos

woman with white shirt holding two bean burritos filled with avocado and tomato
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Take some carbs and fill it with some more carbs is the way to go! These delicious and filling bean burritos feature brown or white rice, beans of your choice and delicious veggies.

It’s a simple meal prep-friendly recipe that’s highly customizable and decently high in plant-based protein. For some wholesome fats, you can add sliced avocado or some vegan cheese — alternatively, top your scrumptious filling with our low-fat vegan cheese sauce.

Why & How We Love Them

Creamy Mac and Cheese

close-up of a bowl with whole food plant-based mac and cheese with broccoli and a spoon
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Any day is a good day for pasta — especially if that means comforting and secretly healthy plant-based mac and cheese. 

Low in fat and made with potatoes, carrots, cashews and some nutritional yeast, it’s certainly different from the boxed version, but not a teeny bit less delicious.

Yes, you can enjoy this delicious comfort food on a high carb vegan diet — either on its own, with steamed broccoli, green salad or freshly baked garlic bread.

Why & How We Love It

Whole Grain Pizza Rolls

woman in jeans jacket holding a tray of freshly baked healthy vegan pizza rolls with almond ricotta and taking one to eat it
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The only thing that’s better than pizza are pizza rolls. Fun, tasty and easy to make, these little vegan pizza pinwheels are a must at any party and will convince any picky eater to consume more veggies.

These are about the healthiest pizza rolls you can make, too! Featuring whole grain flour and a whole bunch of veggies in the flavorful sauce, they are high in essential nutrients, fiber and super tasty.

Perfect for meal prep or to pack in your lunchbox, serve at a party or bring to a picnic!

Why & How We Love Them

Pea & Mushroom Risotto

finished vegan mushroom risotto arranged in bowl with spoon next to a towel
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Rice is one of the staple foods on a high carb low fat vegan diet — it’s tasty, filling, versatile and cheap! You can use it for Asian, Mexican or Italian recipes, such as this easy one-pot pea and mushroom risotto.

No oil, no dairy, no problem — this 30-minute weeknight dinner is perfectly creamy, comforting and healthy at the same time.

We love using seasonal veggies as our risotto add-ins, from asparagus to peas, broccoli, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes. It’s really easy to customize!

Why & How We Love It

  • Super budget-friendly and approachable
  • Weight loss-friendly and satisfying
  • Epitome of comfort food
  • Gluten-free, savory & undetectably vegan
  • Use leeks, lots of vegetable broth and nutritional yeast for the best flavor

One-Pot Pasta Marinara

Finished instant pot one pot pasta served on plate
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Let’s make some more veggie-rich pasta! This one-pot marinara requires only 10 minutes of hands-on time and is so easy to put together.

Using the vegetables of your choice (or even beans, for that matter), some tomato paste or sauce and your favorite short pasta, this high carb low fat vegan dinner is highly customizable and really family-friendly.

Plus, if you happen to have an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker, this recipe will be even more fuss-free! 

Why & How We Love It

  • Easy & convenient vegan dinner
  • Kid-approved and family-friendly
  • Budget-friendly with accessible ingredients
  • Super flavorful and herb-infused
  • Be generous with Italian herbs & top with nutritional yeast

Collard Green Wraps

white plate with a few rolled vegan collard wraps filled with millet next to a yogurt dip
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Who doesn’t love a colorful, portable lunch? Our meal prep-friendly plant-based wraps are the perfect grab-and-go meal, made with crunchy collard greens, millet, roasted veggies and satiating chickpeas.

Instead of using flour tortillas as a vehicle for your veggies, you can turn things around and use collard greens with some starchy goodness inside!

These vegan rainbow wraps are Moroccan-flavored and come with a low-fat vegan yogurt dip but you can use any fillings you like!

Why & How We Love Them

  • Ultimate healthy grab-and-go lunch
  • Easily customizable with endless variety
  • Different layers of texture and flavor
  • Gluten-free & weight loss-friendly
  • Use orange zest and try sweet potatoes or tempeh in your filling

Sweet Potato Bean Salad

two hands holding a spoon each and mixing freshly prepared rocket, bell pepper and sweet potato salad
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Heavenly roasted sweet potato cubes, satiating lima beans and crunchy fresh veggies on a bed of greens — that’s how you make a kickass high carb low fat vegan salad bowl!

While this recipe features lots of vegetables, we made sure to include enough satiating high carb whole starch foods in the form of beans and sweet potatoes, rounding up the flavor with some sweet mustard dressing made with dates.

You need to try this crunchy and cozily spiced rocket salad!

Why & How We Love It

  • All the different textures & flavors
  • Really pretty and bursting with color
  • Creamy, crunchy and everything in between
  • Perfect for meal prep and to-go lunches
  • Super easy to make with any veggies on hand

Cauliflower Buffalo Tacos

five homemade buffalo cauliflower tacos being drizzled with vegan ranch
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More Mexican goodness in our list of easy and tasty high carb low fat vegan recipes! Crispy buffalo cauliflower meets crunchy chickpeas for a plant-based protein punch, beautifully layered on a bed of greens and drizzled with creamy tofu ranch.

These scrumptious and crowd-pleasing tacos are bursting with flavor and are made with all the whole food plant-based goodness you want in a good dinner.

They are naturally gluten-free, oil-free and every meat-lover digs them!

Why & How We Love Them

  • Family-friendly vegan dinner
  • Chewy, crumbly and so flavorful
  • Undetectably meat-free and dairy-free
  • Savory, smoky & so satisfying
  • Try fillings like sweet potato, grilled tempeh, black beans or jackfruit

Easy Baked Ratatouille

white table with cast iron skillet containing baked vegan tian next to a bowl of herbed millet and the plate with both of these foods
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Another recipe featuring the lesser-known healthy grain millet as its satiating component is this easy baked ratatouille. Best prepared when Summer veggies are in season, this colorful high carb low fat dinner can be made in the oven or as a simplified stovetop version.

It’s nutritious, low in calories and loaded with fresh aromatic herbs. If you’re looking for a fun-to-make vegan recipe that is sure to impress your guests, this is it!

You can serve it alongside any grain like rice, pasta, quinoa, potatoes or bread.

Why & How We Love It

  • Accessible, easy & customizable
  • Dairy-free, nut-free & soy-free
  • Combines big flavor with simplicity
  • Rich in veggies & whole foods
  • Make it with beets, potatoes and onion during Fall & Winter

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

woman in beige clothes standing by a table with a large white bowl containing a vegan Mediterranean quinoa pasta salad and mixing it with a spoon
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Let’s round this up with one more pasta recipe which we definitely had to add to this list of the best high carb low-fat recipes! No matter if it’s a hot Summer day, picnic or potluck time or you just want to meal prep a few days in advance, this Mediterranean pasta salad ticks all of the boxes.

Loaded with color, flavor and nutrients, this crowd-pleasing and scrumptious vegan pasta salad features cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, quinoa, artichokes, olives and a creamy vegan yogurt dressing.

No wonder it’s usually the first to be gobbled up at any party!

Why & How We Love It

  • Light, refreshing & chock-full of fresh veggies
  • Satiating and gluten-free if wanted
  • Easy HCLF vegan beginner recipe
  • Meal preppable lunch to-go option
  • Try it with grilled eggplant, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes or asparagus

More Healthy Vegan Recipes

If you like what we shared in this post, feel free to browse our blog for more HCLF vegan goodness and enjoy the benefits of this healthy and accessible diet.

Just make sure that you focus on wholesome high carb foods, don’t cut out healthy fats completely and eat your veggies! Check out these recipes next.

If you’re new to this lifestyle, feel free to join our free vegan transition course, grab a 7-day meal plan or start with our printable vegan grocery list.

Which of these recipes did you like the most and what are your go-to HCLF vegan meals? Share with us in the comments below and Pin the recipes here. You can also tag us on Instagram if you’ve made any of these — we’d love to see your creations.

Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

2 thoughts on “10 Easy + Tasty High Carb Low Fat Vegan Recipes (HCLF)”

  1. We are so excited about starting this new way of eating healthy. Thanks for all the tips and information to help us get started. ?


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