We’re celebrating because it’s the best month of the year; No Meat May! For those of you who are new to veganism or thinking of taking the journey, there are a so many reasons do so. By stopping your meat intake, you’ll help to save the planet, end factory farming and improve your health. Luckily, there are endless amounts of plant based recipes to make. Here, we share five easy vegan dinners to make with pantry staples that you’re 99% guaranteed to already have!
1. Pineapple Fried Rice
Fried rice is perhaps one of the quickest and easiest meals to make. Taking inspiration from Thai cuisine, we’re presenting you with a scrumptiously sweet Pineapple Fried Rice! This delicious and colourful recipe can be made even more fun by serving the meal in the halved pineapple you cut up for the meal.
The best part of this easy dinner is that it’s completely customisable. You can add a range of vegetables from peas and carrots to broccoli and capsicum. We recommend including tofu for a heavier meal, and sultanas for a bit of sweetness.
In order to make sure you can serve the dish in the pineapple itself, cut the full half out and leave the shell rather than skinning the pineapple.
You can enjoy the leftovers later in the week for lunch or dinner.
2. Tofu Burrito Wrap
This meal can be enjoyed at any time of the day, but is the perfect dinner meal if you’re feeling a little lazy. Besides, we can’t be chefs every night!
This easy dinner idea was cultivated by vegan influencer Alexander Robinson. One night, Alex found himself with very little food in the house. He had some tofu, but didn’t know what to do with it! As he came across the idea for scrambled tofu, he knew exactly what to do. The ultimate vegan tofu burrito.
First, start with the tofu. Crumble up 125g of tofu per serve into an oiled pan – it works best if you use your hands – and let it brown. In a separate bowl, add 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and mix in 1 teaspoon of turmeric, pepper, salt and paprika to taste.
Add plant-based milk to the mix until it becomes watery, then pour over your cooking tofu. Optionally, you can also add a tablespoon or two of pasta sauce for a richer flavour. We love Coles’ Mum’s Sauce as it helps support sick kids in Australia!
Most importantly, remember not to leave the sauce mixture in the pan for too long or it will dry out. Coat the tofu, then take it out of the pan immediately.
Once the tofu is cooked, it’s burrito-making time! Lay out a tortilla wrap and add your tofu with whatever ingredients you have lying around. We recommend spinach, tomatoes, steamed broccoli, and quinoa for some extra carbs.
“Choose one leafy vegetable and two other colourful ones,” says Alexander.
Wrap it all up and voila! Dinner time!
3. Vegan Lentil Curry
As we approach the winter months, it’s important to have some warm dinner staples prepared. One of our favourites is a hearty curry that you can serve with your choice of rice or other grain.
Curries are completely customisable to taste and preference, making them very easy pantry staple meals; you can use almost any spices you like!
This recipe from Loving It Vegan is easy to follow and includes ingredients you should already have. If you don’t, buy them! You’ll use these ingredients for an abundance of recipes in the future. You can thank us later.
This particular curry includes cumin, coriander powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and mild curry powder. Remember, these are all optional!
Additionally, this recipe uses brown lentils which are a thicker option for if you want a chewier meal. If you’d prefer the lentils to be less noticeable and blend in with the curry more, we recommend using red lentils.
Here’s a tip from The Vegan Company. The secret to any good vegan curry is to use coconut cream! Using cream as opposed to milk creates a thicker, more filling meal.
4. Chilli Con Veggie
This incredibly versatile dish is another winter-warmer you shouldn’t have to go without. Chilli Con Veggie can be eaten by itself, made into a delicious vegan nachos, or can even be used as pasta sauce with any type of pasta you have in your pantry.
This dinner idea is more on the heavier meal side, perfect if you’re feeling hungry! Our go-to recipe is from Taste, who deliver some of the most delicious vegan and vegetarian meal ideas.
Their very easy chilli con veggie is made with mushrooms, capsicum, a range of spices, chopped tomatoes, and a range of beans including kidney beans and cannellini beans. You can use whatever beans and spices you have at home to accommodate to your own taste. You can also add ingredients such as sweet potatoes to make the dish even more filling.
Start with the veggies, add the spices and then your liquids and heavier veggies. As easy as 1, 2, 3!
5. One Pot Creamy Garlic Pasta (With Mushrooms!)
This list wouldn’t be complete without a pasta recipe, especially with winter coming up. Because let’s face it, what’s winter without eating as much pasta as you want?
One huge misconception about veganism is that we can’t enjoy creamy dishes. Well, that is absolutely incorrect as this delicious One-Pot Creamy Pasta recipe proves. The recipe is on the plainer side, however we recommend adding vegetables such as spinach and mushrooms, as well as some tofu for protein.
Most importantly, you will definitely already have these ingredients in your pantry, and as with the other dishes in this piece, you can customise it to your liking!
Check out the delicious recipe above and remember, the possibilities are limitless with this one!
Looking for more inspo? Here are five books that are packed with easy vegan dinners using pantry staples.
What are your favourite vegan snacks to make at home? Let us know!
Written by Talya Jacobson. Images credited.
About the Author
Talya is a journalist and a professional photographer from Sydney, Australia. She works as a freelance writer and photographer, with a strong belief in vegan lifestyle and a love for food, music and lifestyle.
She is a lover of all animals, dreams of getting a little Border Collie pup one day soon, and is very excited to be a part of the growing global vegan movement.
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