Refreshing, scrumptious and meal prep-friendly light vegan dinner ideas for the whole family! These 30+ filling recipes are made with simple ingredients in less than an hour and taste fantastic.
Everyone loves quick and easy vegan dinner ideas for busy weeknights! That’s why we selected our favorite recipes from around the web to share with you here.
They go far beyond your average salad, are actually filling and substantial while still on the lower calorie side.
Packed with essential nutrients and lots of flavors, these light vegan dinner ideas taste super fresh and can be prepared in bulk to eat over the course of a few days!
Even meat-eating family members will appreciate these savory vegan soups, fresh salads, crunchy oven-baked goodness and all the seasonal produce.
No need to cut back on comforting meals like pasta or pizza when choosing light vegan dinners throughout the week!
While you could just make a clean-out-the-fridge-style salad with a homemade oil-free vegan dressing or go for batch-cooked plant-based soups at night, this recipe collection goes beyond these meal ideas.
We hope you like our list of satisfying whole food plant-based recipes for easy and effortless weight management without sacrificing flavor!
This flavorful quinoa pasta salad is loaded with different textures and endlessly customizable! Featuring gluten-free pasta, protein-packed quinoa, chickpeas and fresh veggies, this delicious salad comes together beautifully thanks to the creamy vegan yogurt dressing.
This super healthy vegan frittata is made with chickpea flour and red lentils and packs 12 grams of protein per serving! All you need is 20 minutes of prep time and your favorite well-seasoned, oven-safe skillet. Enjoy with some greens on the side for dinner.
When it comes to light vegan dinner ideas, vegetable stir-fries are your friend! This super simple recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes, can be made with any seasonal veggies and enjoyed on its own or served with rice or noodles.
If you ever wanted to make vegetables the main star of your vegan dinner, try this raw vegan pad Thai! Colorful spiralized veggies are drowned in creamy and spicy peanut dressing — adding some tofu or edamame beans for increased satiety and protein is our top tip here.
Get ready to make any picky eater fall in love with healthy food – these collard green wraps are great vehicles to add more fresh vegetables to anyone’s diet in a very creative and delicious way. Filled with cooked millet, roasted eggplant, chickpeas, sliced veggies and a simple orange mustard sauce, these are a must-try.
This fresh and delicious vegan dinner idea comes together in less than 15 minutes and is super easy to make! Filled with four different kinds of beans, crunchy vegetables, sweet corn, ripe tomatoes and drizzled with a zesty red wine vinaigrette, everyone will love this colorful Mexican bean salad.
Almost nothing can beat a meal prep-friendly and veggie-loaded bean soup for a filling yet light vegan dinner! This easy vegan white bean soup with lemon is healthy, cozy and just right for a quick weeknight dinner. Try this one-pot recipe with a slice of bread!
Loaded with a flavorful sauce and colorful seasonal vegetables, this grain-free pizza only takes 10 minutes of hands-on preparation and rewards you with a crispy, low-calorie potato cauliflower pizza crust that can be dressed to your liking. Perfect with some homemade vegan pesto, seasonal veggies and chickpeas!
Uncooked spring rolls, or Vietnamese summer rolls, are among the best vegan light dinner ideas during the warmer months! Protein-packed thanks to the tofu and surprisingly filling, they are best dipped into creamy tahini or almond butter sauce and enjoyed immediately.
Sometimes, simple is best. This baked vegan tian with herbed millet might look really gorgeous and laborious, but it’s actually a weeknight-appropriate dinner that requires only 10 minutes of hands-on time. Sure to impress your family or guests, this recipe features plentiful summer vegetables on a bed of tomato sauce, flavored with delicious aromatic herbs.
Did you know that cauliflower is an awesome chicken replacement in many recipes? This flavorful butter chicken recipe tastes rich and hearty, is super satisfying and made with a whole lot of veggies! Serve over rice or enjoy with a salad.
This easy quinoa black bean salad is a hearty and refreshing salad that comes together in just 30 minutes! Quinoa and black beans are tossed with fresh vegetables like cucumber, bell pepper and carrot and topped with a zesty chili lime dressing. Perfect for meal prep, potlucks and as a light vegan dinner during the week!
Quinoa veggie bowls can be adjusted to meet any nutrient requirements from higher fat to higher protein, dressed up with delicious sauces and perfect for cleaning out your fridge! Using any fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand, this light vegan dinner comes together in under 30 minutes and is super versatile.
Baked and stuffed vegetables make for great nutritious and light dinners! These eggplant halves are roasted to perfection, flavored with cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika, and taste just fantastic. This recipe is also low in fat and high in protein thanks to the chickpeas and quinoa!
Meal prep-friendly, protein-packed and super flavorful — this cozy vegan lentil soup is a great choice for a light vegan dinner! Satiating thanks to the red lentils and filled with essential nutrients from lots of veggies, this bowl of comfort food goes a long way.
This vegan cobb salad is loaded with delicious toppings, well-rounded flavors and is super satisfying! Featuring smoky “bacon” flavored mushrooms, sweet corn, rich avocado, juicy tomato, zesty onion and a creamy, tangy dressing that’s to die for, it’s perfect for potlucks or summer nights.
30 minutes is all it takes to put together this beautiful vegan salad! Delicious roasted pumpkin, onion and pear meet salty tofu feta, lots of greens and a creamy vegan honey mustard dressing. Really easy to make and so scrumptious!
Here’s a lighter version of traditional spaghetti with meatballs for you! Spiralized zucchini, aka zoodles, are smothered in marinara sauce and topped with homemade black bean “meatballs”. Filling, flavorful and budget-friendly!
This vegan leek and potato soup is velvety, smooth and satisfying. It's made with simple ingredients and gets its vibrant green color from the leek greens. Stir in some vegan yogurt or cream to make it extra beautiful and delicious!
Asian noodle bowls pack so much flavor and are super healthy and versatile! This delicious creation features lots of raw veggies, protein-packed tofu as well as a flavorful Asian-stye sauce. This bowl is on the table in just 30 minutes and makes for great leftovers the next day!
These crispy buffalo cauliflower tacos are super flavorful and high in plant-based protein! Roasted chickpeas, baked cauliflower bites, fresh homemade salsa, leafy greens, avocado and creamy vegan ranch dressing are beautifully layered in your taco shell, ready to be enjoyed within 30 minutes.
This sweet potato and lima bean salad is the perfect example of how just a few starchy foods can create a light yet really substantial dinner which fills you up for hours on end. Roasted sweet potatoes, bell pepper, radishes, arugula and a 3-ingredient vegan mustard dressing make for a really flavorful combination!
These Chinese lettuce wraps are simple to prepare and enjoyed by vegans and meat-eaters alike! They are made with lots of veggies like white button mushrooms, green onions, garlic and chili which are seasoned with all the delicious things from soy sauce, ginger, and coriander to hoisin sauce and lime juice.
This flavorful vegan salad is loosely based on dolmas ingredients with grape leaves, raisins, pine nuts, parsley, mint, green onions and lemon juice. Combined with roasted cauliflower rice and flavored with coriander, it pairs well with a simple oil-free hummus for a light vegan dinner idea!
A picture-perfect comforting meal: creamy roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup with a kick of chili! This soup is made with minimal ingredients, topped with toasted cumin seeds and can be served with some toast. We love this simple yet delicious light vegan dinner idea!
If you happen to find fresh figs at the store, you need to try this vegan spinach salad with roasted pumpkin, parsley, quinoa and blueberries! Loaded with textures, flavors, color and nutrients, it’s everything we want a good vegan dinner to be. Plus, all of the components are totally customizable to your preferences or foods that are available to you.
Move over, traditional loaded baked potatoes with heavy dairy products! This lighter version comes with a whole lot of essential nutrients, plant-based protein, complex carbs and fiber. Made with quinoa, corn, kidney beans, bell pepper and onion, this vegan dinner idea is super flavorful and satiating!
This vegan lemon rice soup is hearty goodness in a bowl! It’s warm, comforting and naturally gluten-free — plus, it packs a nutritional punch for the perfect cozy dinner. Ready in under an hour and great for batch-cooking!
These gluten-free and vegan Mexican stuffed zucchini boats are packed with flavor! They are healthy, super easy to make and really crowd-pleasing. Top them with lots of salsa and some guacamole for the most delicious light vegan dinner!
Even though this colorful salad is totally grain-free (hello, cauliflower rice!), it’s nicely satiating thanks to the sweet potato, Brussels sprouts and pecans. Especially during Fall, this is a great go-to weeknight vegan dinner idea for the whole family.
Finally, one last light vegan dinner idea featuring more uncommon ingredients! From bitter greens like dandelions to golden beets and the ancient grain Kamut, this delicious salad is definitely something special and best prepared during Spring and Fall when dandelion is in season.
More vegan recipe ideas
If you liked this selection of light vegan dinner ideas, you need to check out the following goodness next!
Looking for light vegan dinner recipes that are perfect for summer? Our healthy Caribbean bowl is super tasty, great for weight loss, easy to make and full of fruity flavors. Try this colorful plant-based vegan dinner recipe from our Vegan Starter Kit eBook!
Vegan Caribbean Bowl
¾ cup quinoa, dry
1 medium sweet potato (260 g), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup lettuce, chopped (50 g)
1 tomato, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
¾ cup pineapple, canned & chopped (juice reserved)
1 cup black beans, cooked & drained
1 green onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp soy yogurt, unsweetened
3 tbsp pineapple juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp thyme
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Cook quinoa on your stovetop according to package directions. Once all the water is absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400° F (200° C) and arrange your cubed sweet potatoes in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for around 20 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.
Meanwhile, wash your fresh produce and divide everything between two serving bowls. Top with pineapple, beans, cooked quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the fruity dressing. Pour it over your Caribbean bowls and enjoy your light vegan dinner!
Some suggested food swaps include rice instead of quinoa, mixed greens instead of lettuce, white beans instead of black beans, coconut yogurt instead of soy yogurt and bell pepper instead of avocado.
You can also roast some cauliflower, chickpeas and onion in the oven alongside your sweet potatoes.
Top with crunchy nuts and seeds if you like!
Find more easy and healthy light vegan dinner ideas in the article above.
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.