Plant-Based Recipes Fit for Dinner

By: The Local Palate

In this (post-holiday) season’s jargon of diets and elimination fads, we spurn the notion that better-for-you eating means restriction. We prefer more sustainable habits that can become part of our daily—or weekly—routines. In search of lighter meals, we love what plant-based recipes offer: They ensure we get our daily vegetable intake (arguably a challenge in the colder months), it keeps the grocery bill low (that beef is pricey!), and plant-based meals take less of a toll on the environment.

But, don’t think our barbecue, mac and cheese-loving selves will settle for boring salads or black bean burgers. These plant-based recipes yield flavorful comfort foods and elegant main dishes that command the dinner table. 

Plant Based Recipes We Can’t Get Enough Of

Rosemary and Mushroom Quiche

For the record, not all plant-based recipes are vegan. Plant-based emphasizes vegetables, grains, and fruits along with limited meat, dairy, and seafood, whereas vegan completely eliminates all meat and animal byproducts. So, go ahead, reach for those eggs, cream, and gruyère to make this savory, veggie-loaded quiche.

Collard Green Field Pea Salad with Molasses Vinaigrette

Often-over-stewed collard greens get a crunchy update in this wintry salad. The molasses used in the tangy vinaigrette makes this recipe suitable for vegans, too.

Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Feta

We dig the whole-roasted cauliflower trend. The textural variation from the crisp, charred exterior and moist, tender interior makes the lone vegetable exciting enough for a main course. The whipped feta and cranberry-almond relish adds richness and a sweet nutty flavor.

Smoked Mushroom Gumbo Z’herbs

Louisiana communities traditionally enjoy this greens-laden gumbo during Lent. The recipe calls for eight different types of greens, but feel free to riff with what you have on hand, particularly anything starting to wilt in the fridge.

Instant Pot Green Curry and Vegetable Medley

For a one-pot dinner with deep flavor, we reach for this thirty-minute curry. You won’t miss the meat in this dish thanks to the rich flavor from buttermilk, curry powder, and the hearty texture. It can be vegan by subbing coconut milk.

Rigatoni with Cauliflower Ragu

For a vegetarian sauce that brings meaty heft, try this cauliflower-loaded ragu. Decidedly pescatarian, it pulls big flavor from anchovies and sheep’s milk cheeses. File this away for wintry nights when you crave a big bowl o’ carbs.


The Future Is Plant-Based

Food writer Alicia Kennedy discusses the history of plant-based eating and its important future in her new book, No Meat Required

In the Field

Vegan Is the New Black

Southern Black chefs embrace a centuries-long history of veganism and vegetarianism within their communities.

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