20 Flavorful (and Easy) Vegetarian Recipes to Make on Busy Weeknights

Plant-based recipes don't have to take a ton of time. Get your veggies in with Easy Vegetarian Chili, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos, Korean Spicy Cold Noodles and more!

20 Flavorful (and Easy) Vegetarian Recipes to Make on Busy Weeknights

Simply Recipes

When it comes to weeknight cooking, I can say for certain that sometimes I just don’t know what to make. Recipes can sometimes feel too complicated or I’m tired from a busy day and cooking is the last thing I want to do.

If you have ever felt the same, then, "Welcome! You are my people." I’m here to tell you you’re in for a treat because what I have in store for you is 20 easy (veg centric) recipes that will get you through those busy weeknights. Dinner will be on the table in about an hour or less, each recipe is loaded with flavor (think spices, citrus, sauces), and you’ll feel good while eating it.

If you’re looking for something that warms up your body and soul try our Easy Vegetarian Chili, Red Lentil Dal, or our Farro, Mushroom, and Spinach Soup. If noodles are on your mind (they’re always on mine) then Korean Spicy Cold Noodles, Pressure Cooker Pasta Primavera, or Noodles with Mushrooms and Lemon Ginger Dressing might just be up your alley.

I've included sandwiches and hearty salads too. You’re bound to find something you (and your family) will love. Let’s dig in!

  • Easy Vegetarian Chili

    Best Vegetarian Chili with Mushrooms
    Alison Bickel

    This vegetarian chili recipe is both pantry friendly and an easy weeknight meal! Loaded with kidney beans, mushrooms, warm spices, and fire roasted tomatoes—you’ll want to add it to your dinner rotation.

  • Eggplant Caponata Pasta

    Eggplant Caponata Pasta
    Sheryl Julian

    Traditionally eggplant caponata recipes fry chunks of eggplant, but we’re going for easy peasy. So, this version uses roasted eggplant and roasted red onion, which add a lovely sweet and charred flavor to the classic pasta dish you know and love.

  • Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew with Ras el Hanout

    Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew
    Sabrina Modelle

    Sweet potatoes and canned chickpeas are seasoned with ras el hanout—a Moroccan spice blend made with cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and crushed red chili. The spiced veggies are combined with tomatoes to create a hearty and comforting stew suited for any night of the week.

  • Easy Tabbouleh

    Side view of a tabbouleh salad in a tan bowl.
    Lori Rice

    Tomato season has come and gone (yet again), but that won’t stop me from enjoying this Easy Tabbouleh recipe. When tomatoes are out of season you can sub them for canned roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. Trust me, both of these options make for a mouthwatering grain salad. Serve this alongside some flatbread and hummus for a complete weeknight meal.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • Weeknight Pasta with Zucchini, Eggplant, and Peppers

    Pasta Primavera with eggplant, peppers and other vegetables in bowl
    Elise Bauer

    A pasta dish ready in only 30 minutes? Sign me up! This weeknight version is made with eggplant, bell peppers, and carrots in a quick tomato sauce. This dish also racks in the bonus points because it's so versatile. You can swap out the veggies in the dish for whatever you have on hand.

  • Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

    Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos
    Elizabeth Stark

    Looking for a healthy and simple vegetarian dinner option? Look no further than these corn tortillas filled with cumin dusted sweet potatoes and black beans. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings: thinly sliced avocado (or guac), cilantro, salsa verde, and cheese. Oh, did I mention, you’ll be enjoying dinner in about 30 minutes?

  • Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Bolognese

    Cauliflower Bolognese on a plate with spaghetti and a fork.
    Sally Vargas

    This vegetarian bolognese hits the jackpot with roasted mushrooms and cauliflower. It’s a magnificent you-won’t-miss-the-meat pasta sauce that will have you going back for seconds and thirds. My little secret is doubling the bolognese and freezing it for later—so next time you’ll have dinner on the table in mere minutes.

  • Easy Tomato Soup

    Best Tomato Soup Recipe - bowls of tomato soup on table with bread
    Alison Bickle

    I don’t know about you, but I can most certainly say in my house tomato soup is ALWAYS in the dinner rotation. And, with a mouthwatering grilled cheese to round out the meal, you’ll probably end up making this twice in one week.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • Korean Spicy Cold Noodles

    Korean Spicy Cold Noodles
    Elise Bauer

    This traditional Korean noodle dish is made with buckwheat noodles, carrots, cucumber, and Asian pear. A spicy chili sauce to ties it all together. This is a super customizable dish—you can use whatever combination and assortment of veg you have on hand. And, if buckwheat noodles aren’t available feel free to use somen noodles, Korean wheat noodles, arrowroot noodles, or sweet potato starch noodles.

  • Chickpea Salad Sandwich

    Side view of chickpea salad sandwich on a plate with chips.
    Sally Vargas | Art Banner Credit: Elena Resko

    Dinner is only 15 minutes and one can of chickpeas away. Pop open a can and make this simple vegetarian take on a chicken salad sandwich. Serve this with a pile of chips and dinner is ready in just 15 minutes.

  • Noodles with Mushrooms and Lemon Ginger Dressing

    Mushrooms Noodles Lemon Ginger Dressing
    Jaden Hair

    Noodles are always on my weekday dinner menu because, "Who doesn’t love carbs?" For this recipe you can use any noodle you might have on hand—spaghetti, linguine, udon, or soba—combined with sautéed mushrooms and drizzled with a tangy lemon ginger dressing. Dinner on the table in just 30 minutes is a weeknight dream.

  • Red Lentil Dal

    Red Lentil Dal
    Elise Bauer

    Red lentil dal is an Indian stew made with red lentils, aromatics, spices, and tomatoes. If you have yellow lentils in your cupboard, you can also use those. This dish will warm you up during cold winter nights. Serve with rice or naan.

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  • Farro, Mushroom, and Spinach Soup

    Farro with Mushrooms and Spinach
    Sally Vargas

    One pot meals during weeknights are my favorite. This hearty soup made with farro, spinach, and mushrooms is both filling and delicious. It’s like a warm hug that wraps you up—comfort food at its finest.

  • Roasted Winter Squash with Cilantro Chimichurri

    Roasted Winter Squash with Cilantro Chimichurri
    Elise Bauer

    I’m a huge fan of roasted winter squash drizzled in a sauce. Vinaigrette, pesto, or chimichurri, I’ll take any (and all) of them! Here delicata squash is simply roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then drizzled with a herbaceous cilantro chimichurri. The flavors will be like a party in your mouth. (I promise!)

  • Three Sisters Casserole with Cornbread Topping

    Vegan three sisters casserole
    Megan Gordon

    Look no further than this Three Sisters Casserole with Cornbread Topping for the perfect meatless main. Squash, corn, and kidney beans are seasoned with savory spices like cumin, coriander, and paprika. Cornbread topping is then dolloped over the filling and everything goes in the oven—when it comes out you have a hearty casserole bursting with flavor. You can even make this casserole ahead of time and freeze it (making weeknight dinner even more of a breeze). 

  • Pressure Cooker Pasta Primavera

    Pasta Primavera in the Pressure Cooker
    Coco Morante

    Sometimes the quickest way to get dinner on the table is to bring out the kitchen gadgets. The pressure cooker is here to save the day with this veggie packed pasta dish. The broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots steam in the pressure cooker in just 10 minutes, and then the pasta takes an additional 20 minutes to finish the entire meal. It’s a convenient, easy dish to whip up on busy weeknights.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • Frittata with Potatoes, Red Peppers, and Spinach

    Potato Frittata
    Lisa Lin

    I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner. This frittata has some of my favorite veggies: potatoes, red peppers, and spinach. In this case let the recipe be your guide, and add any vegetable and spice combination you’d like. Take the brinner theme all the way and enjoy a glass of OJ with it too.

  • Enfrijoladas with Black Beans, Avocado and Cotija

    Mexican Enfrijoladas topped with avocado and cotija.
    Sally Vargas

    Are you looking for a gluten-free and vegetarian dinner? Then you’re in luck! Corn tortillas are dipped in a black bean sauce and topped with thin slices of avocado, cotija cheese, and cilantro for a nourishing and delicious weeknight meal option. Enjoy it as a stand-alone meal or with a side salad.

  • Radicchio Salad with Citrus

    Horizontal overhead view of citrus salad on a white plate. Supremed orange and grapefruit, radicchio, croutons and feta cheese crumbles are visible.
    Aaron Hutcherson

    Sometimes what I need after a long day is a salad (no oven, no stove, and a very low maintenance). But the salad has to fit this bill: Hearty, flavorful, and filling. This Radicchio Salad with Citrus is all of those things and more. Bitter radicchio and arugula is accompanied by sweet citrus, crunchy walnuts, homemade croutons, and salty feta cheese to create a salad that’s worthy of a standalone dinner option.  

  • Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

    Vegan Cauliflower Fried Rice -- bowl of low carb fried rice with peas, eggs, and tofu
    Jessica Gavin

    Here, cauliflower rice is used to make fried rice with tofu, onions, carrots, bell peppers, and peas. You don't have to stick with the vegetables in this recipe. Fried rice is a great way to use up what you have on hand. Weeknight meals should be that simple (and with this recipe, they are!)