10 Vegan Dinners That Prioritize Whole Foods

Pack more nutrients in your diet with these whole foods plant-based recipes

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6 Minutes Read

garlic broccoli stir-fry with chickpeas and rice A sweet and sour sauce pairs perfectly with the gingery, garlicky broccoli - Media Credit: ElaVegan

Plant-based whole foods are great for you. They provide fiber, minerals, vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. Eating a variety of plant foods is good for your gut microbiome too. Nutrition experts now recommend eating 30 different plants a week – including spices, herbs, nuts, and seeds – to boost the diversity of the good bacteria in your gut.

But can plants be the star of your dinner? Absolutely. The 10 recipes below center whole foods while going big on flavor and texture. Many are easily adaptable if you want to swap some of the veg or add extra to use up what you’ve got in the fridge.

Read more: 5 Nutritious Vegan Meal Prep Recipes

‘Superfood’ stir fry

superfood stir fry packed with edamame, kale, ginger, lemongrass, chili, and garlic
BOSH! Give this simple superfood stir fry a go for dinner tonight

This stir fry by BOSH! packs in 11 different plants including iron-rich kale and tenderstem broccoli. It features classic flavors including ginger, chili, garlic, and lemongrass, and can be topped with coriander, pickled ginger, and peanuts to add extra taste and texture.

Find the recipe here.

Lentil and broccoli summer Salad

Lentil and broccoli vegan summer salad served on a rectangular platter
Natlicious Food Legumes plus greens equals a heart-healthy salad you can make anytime

Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse, with one cup providing 15g of fiber and 9g of plant protein. In this recipe by Natlicious Food, they share the limelight with roasted broccoli. All are tossed in a punchy, summery dressing featuring orange juice, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

Find the recipe here.

Read more: 17 Vegan Lentil Recipes For Cheap, Nutritious Meals

Roasted squash and quinoa buddha bowl

vegan roasted butternut squash and quinoa bowl made with chickpeas spinach and an almond citrus sauce
Rise Shine Cook This gluten-free roasted squash and quinoa bowl is full of protein and fiber

A rich almond citrus sauce takes this nutritious buddha bowl by Rise Shine Cook to another level. Joining the squash and quinoa are roasted peppers and onions, chickpeas, and spinach to make a hearty, protein-rich dinner.

Find the recipe here.

Garlic broccoli stir fry with chickpeas

garlic broccoli stir-fry with chickpeas and rice
ElaVegan A sweet and sour sauce pairs perfectly with the gingery, garlicky broccoli

Gingery, garlicky broccoli is the star vegetable in this stir fry from ElaVegan. The delicious sweet and sour sauce is easy to make, and the whole thing can be whipped up in less than half an hour. It can be eaten as is or served with rice for an easy and filling weeknight dinner.

Find the recipe here.

Spiced harissa aubergine on butter bean mash

A plate of harissa aubergine served on butter bean mash
Yuki Sugiura Yes, you can make mash from butter beans!

This stunning dish by So Vegan would make a perfect date night meal. The aubergines are fried until tender and topped with a saucy lentil and tomato mix spiced with fragrant rose harissa. Butter beans take the place of more traditional potatoes in the mash, which makes the meal both lighter and even more nutritious. 

Find the recipe here.

Butter bean stew

A vegan butter bean stew
Natlicious Food Butter beans are a great source of plant protein

Butter beans are a perfect ingredient to take center stage in your dinner. Being larger than most other beans and with a naturally creamy texture means they bring a hearty, comforting element to any dish. Butter beans are rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium, and are a good source of plant-based protein. This stew by Natlicious Food also includes celery, leeks, carrots, and onions to up your veg intake. 

Find the recipe here.

Whole katsu cauliflower

roasted cauliflower in a creamy katsu curry sauce topped with pickled onion and cabbage salad
BOSH! This whole cauliflower covered in katsu curry sauce and pickle salad would be an excellent dinner party centerpiece

Cauliflower is truly the main event in this recipe by BOSH! First boiled to soften and then roasted to golden perfection, the cauliflower remains whole – until you devour it of course. The katsu sauce is far easier to make than you might expect and gives this dish restaurant-quality vibes.

Find the recipe here.

Split mung bean curry

A vegan split mung bean curry made to a plant-based recipe
Nuts & Twigs This plant-based curry is packed full of protein

If you’re not familiar with mung beans, they’re small green beans with a mild, slightly sweet flavor that pack a powerful protein punch. Not being quite mainstream, you may have to try health food stores to find some – but it’s worth it. This recipe from Nuts & Twigs also includes sweet potato and courgette and is full of flavorful spices.

Find the recipe here.

Roasted cauliflower and apple recipe

Roasted cauliflower and apple with cous cous
JAZZ Apple This roasted cauliflower dish is an easy and delicious weeknight meal idea

The sweetness of apple pairs perfectly with a kick of harissa in this recipe, while the cauliflower absorbs all the flavor. The cauliflower and apples go in the oven along with red pepper and onions. Perfect served with couscous, coconut yoghurt, and mint leaves.

Find the recipe here.

Roast pumpkin and kale salad

Warm pumpkin and kale vegan salad served in a large ceramic bowl, on a scenic recipe table with dressing on the side
Plant Baes Vegan salads never looked or tasted so good

This salad by plantbaes is a feast for your gut microbiome, packing in a full 13 different plants – almost half your weekly variety. With a mix of roasted and fresh veg and beans, there’s a variety of textures to get your teeth into. A sweet, lemony tahini dressing pulls it all together.

Find the recipe here.

Read more: 20 Easy Tofu Recipes To Up Your Daily Protein

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