The 7 best vegan dinner recipes

29 January 2020

vegan stir fry

Feeding children can be tough at the best of times, let alone when you're working with all-vegan ingredients. Luckily, Mumsnet users have the best recommendations for quick, easy and healthy vegan family meals. Prepare to salivate.

What are you after?

Vegan pasta recipes
Vegan stir fry recipes
Vegan curry recipes

Vegan pasta recipes

vegan pasta

1. Vegan pesto pasta with roast vegetables

“Buy some vegan pesto. Roast some vegetables (peppers, squash, onions etc). Cook the pasta, stir through with pesto and roasted veg, then top with some pine nuts for added crunch.”

Ingredients

  • Vegan pesto
  • Vegan parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Pine nuts (optional)
  • 1x large butternut squash, sliced
  • 1x red onion, cubed
  • 2x courgettes, sliced
  • 3x peppers, sliced
  • 2x tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1x teaspoon of salt

How long will it take?

25 minutes

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas 6
  • Place vegetables on a baking sheet-lined baking tray and season with olive oil and salt
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Bring a pan of water to boil and cook pasta until al dente
  • Gently warm vegan pesto
  • Drain pasta, keeping half a cup of cooking liquid to one side
  • Toss the pasta and vegetables together in a bowl with half a cup of cooking liquid and vegan pesto
  • Top with some vegan parmesan cheese and a handful of pine nuts

Want to make the slicing and dicing a little easier? According to Mumsnet users, this vegetable chopper is a gift from the gods. “I couldn't use anything else now,” one user said.

2. Avocado pasta

“Avocado pasta is good. Throw avocado, garlic, basil and lime juice into a blender and it makes a lovely creamy vegan sauce.”

Ingredients

  • 300g spaghetti
  • 2x stoned, peeled and chopped avocados
  • 2x cloves of garlic
  • Lemon/lime zest and juice
  • ½ cup of basil
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How long will it take?

20 minutes

Method

  • Cook the spaghetti as instructed
  • Throw the avocados, garlic, basil, lemon/lime juice and zest into a food processor and blend until smooth. As it blends, slowly add the olive oil
  • Toss the pasta and avocado sauce
  • Top with chopped tomatoes and vegan cheese if you like

If you're in the market for a food processor, the holy grail (according to Mumsnett users) is the Kenwood Triblade System Hand Blender. One user said: “I've got lots of gadgets but my favourite is the Kenwood Triblade. It has lots of attachments so you can mash and use it as a chopper/mini food processor, whisk and stick blender.”

vegan lasagne

3. Vegan lasagne

“It's quick, super easy, very tasty, and goes down with omnivores as well as vegans.”

Ingredients

  • 100g lentils
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 1x tsp sugar
  • 1x vegan vegetable stock cube
  • 1x aubergine, sliced
  • 1x courgette, sliced
  • 1x red pepper, diced
  • 2x garlic cloves
  • 2x tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 10 egg-free dried lasagne sheets
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To make the sauce

  • ½ a peeled onion
  • 40g plain flour
  • 50g vegan butter
  • 500ml unsweetened soy (or almond) milk
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes / 1x tsp yeast extract
  • ½ tsp English mustard

How long will it take?

90 minutes

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas 6. Fry the onion until lightly brown, then add the courgette, aubergine, pepper and mushrooms and continue frying for around 10 minutes
  • Add the garlic and leave to simmer for a few moments, then add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, stock cube and sugar
  • Pour 400ml of water into the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes until it's thickened, giving it a regular stir
  • Meanwhile, put your milk and half the onion in a saucepan and gently heat. Melt your vegan butter in another pan
  • When the milk starts to gently bubble, take out the onion and stir in your flour and melted butter until smooth. After around seven minutes (stirring all the while so that it doesn't stick to the pan), add your yeast flakes/extract and mustard. Season with salt and pepper as you go
  • Layer a lined baking tray with the lasagne sheets, vegetables and sauce. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly

Related: how to live your life plastic-free

Vegan stir fry recipes

vegan stir fry

4. Broccoli and coconut stir fry

“When I lived in China you used to get garlic and chilli stir-fried broccoli. Delicious and vegan – a win-win.”

Ingredients

  • Lime juice
  • A sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • 1x tbsp brown sugar
  • 1x tbsp soy sauce
  • 1x clove of garlic
  • 1x tsp grated ginger
  • ¼ cup of peanut butter (check it's vegan)
  • 14oz light coconut milk
  • 800g thin-stemmed broccoli

How long will it take?

20 minutes

Method

  • Whisk together the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and chilli flakes
  • Heat oil in a large pan/wok and fry the broccoli for two to three minutes until tender
  • Add garlic and ginger, stirring together
  • Pour coconut sauce over the mix, cooking until fragrant
  • Serve with noodles or rice
vegan stir fry

Related: how to make vegan brownies

5. Multi-veg stir fry

“This veggie stir fry is delicious. I dare you to disagree.”

Ingredients

  • 225g pak choi or spinach
  • 225g asparagus (or French beans if out of season)
  • 225g carrots
  • 225g Peking cabbage
  • 1x tbsp water
  • 1½x tbsp groundnut oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ knob ginger finely grated
  • 1x tbsp vegan rice wine
  • 1x handful roasted cashews
  • 1x red chilli chopped (optional)
  • 2x tsp reduced salt soya sauce
  • 2x tsp sesame oil
  • 4x cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4x spring onions chopped

How long will it take?

25 minutes

Method

  • Chop the greens and carrots into thin, diagonal strips
  • Heat a wok/large pan on a high heat and add the oil. When it starts to smoke, add the spring onions, garlic, ginger, chilli (if using) and stir-fry for one minute
  • Add the carrots and asparagus and stir-fry for one minute
  • Add the water and soy sauce and cook over a high heat for two minutes
  • Add your remaining greens with the rice wine and the cashew nuts and stir-fry for three minutes (or until the greens are thoroughly wilted)
  • Add the sesame oil and serve immediately with rice or noodles

Related: the 10 essential kitchen accessories, according to Mumsnet users

Vegan curry recipes

Vegan curry

6. Chickpea and carrot curry

“This is so yummy.”

Ingredients

  • 225ml red lentils
  • 350ml onion peeled and chopped
  • 450g vegan natural yoghurt
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1x red pepper deseeded, sliced
  • 1x tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1x tin chickpeas drained
  • 1x tbsp tomato puree levelled
  • 1x tbsp oil
  • 2x tsp medium curry powder
  • 2x cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 2x small carrots, peeled and chopped

How long will it take?

45 minutes

Method

  • Fry the onion, pepper and carrot in oil for five minutes until softened
  • Add the garlic and curry powder and fry for one minute more
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except the chickpeas and yoghurt. Cover and cook for 25 minutes
  • Add the chickpeas and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve with vegan yogurt and chopped, fresh coriander

If you make a lot of curries, it might be worth investing in a rice cooker. Mumsnet users swear by the Russell Hobbs Rice Cooker and Steamer. “It makes the best rice,” one user gushed. “It's weird to think I used to hate homemade rice – now mine is so good I don't order it in restaurants for fear of disappointment.”

7. Thai sweet potato curry

“It's cheap, tasty and full of vitamins.”

Ingredients

  • 1x onion, chopped
  • 2x tbsp flavourless oil
  • 2x tbsp red Thai curry paste (make sure it's vegan)
  • 3x sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 200g frozen peas
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk

How long will it take?

Around 20 minutes

Method

  • In a large saucepan, fry the onion on a low heat until soft
  • Add the curry paste and fry for another minute
  • Tip in the sweet potatoes, give it a good stir, then pour in the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through
  • Five minutes before serving, stir in the peas

Need some more vegan dinner inspiration?

If the above wasn't enough to whet your appetite, Mumsnet users also have recommendations for the best vegan cookbooks.

Thug Kitchen, £14.99

Thug Kitchen, £14.99

A very sweary cookbook, it features healthy, delicious and oh-so-easy recipes that make a great gateway into a plant-based diet.

“Thug Kitchen is definitely my favourite.”

Shop now

Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats, £14.99

Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats, £14.99

Taking inspiration from West African and Caribbean food, these full-flavour recipes are quick and often one-pot.

“These recipes are so yummy and so easy. I'm a fan.”

Shop now

See Mumsnet users' top 10 vegan cookbooks

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