In a 2013 nutritional update to physicians published in The Permanente Journal, a group of medical doctors noted that according to current research, plant based diets “may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates.”
They concluded that physicians should consider recommending a plant based diet to all of their patients, particularly those with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
In a later 2019 study, researchers reported that diets higher in plant foods were associated with a 19 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and an 11 percent lower risk of death overall. And in a recent 2021 study, researchers found that postmenopausal women who ate high levels of plant protein had lower risks of premature death, cardiovascular disease, and dementia-related death compared to women who ate fewer plant proteins.
It’s not easy, however, to put this knowledge into practice. You may have a few whole food, plant based recipes at hand, but maybe they’re complicated or require too many ingredients. Perhaps you think that eating a whole food, plant based diet is too expensive. Maybe you just don’t have enough recipes to provide a variety of tasty plant based meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for you and your family.
We want to help. In this article, you’ll find 101 of the best whole food, plant based recipes available, including healthy plant based soups, main dishes, salads, desserts and snacks, and more. Choose those that interest you and give them a try. You may find that eating healthy can be tasty—and a lot of fun! Note that the 101 whole food, plant based recipes listed below are categorized for easy browsing but are not rated or ranked in any particular order.
You’re going to love these pancakes so much that you’ll forget they’re vegan. We’re talking bananas, oats, and milk—and they whip up in 15 minutes. Plus they’re versatile—you can add any of your favorite toppings, including berries, maple syrup, or nut butter.
When you’re getting tired of plain-old oatmeal, try this recipe. It will get your taste buds hopping and have you looking forward to breakfast all over again. It’s easy and fast—you can make it in 10 minutes. Plus it will keep you satisfied for hours.
Enjoy a creamier texture with this satisfying smoothie in a bowl. It includes raspberries, blueberries, bananas, almond milk, coconut flakes, and a few spices like cinnamon and vanilla. No one can rush through this breakfast!
It’s best to make this recipe ahead of time, but it’s well worth it. The key is choosing the best, super-sweet watermelon you can find. If you don’t want to bother shaping the watermelon balls, you can use seedless chunks instead. Includes raspberries, orange juice, almond butter, and chia seeds.
Despite the name, this is a healthy breakfast recipe! It embodies the flavors of carrot cake without the flour, sugar, and cream cheese. Instead, the spices, shredded carrots, pineapple chunks, raisins, coconut yogurt, and shredded coconut come together with the rolled oats for a delicious bowl full of goodness.
Made with vanilla, almond milk, chai tea, and nut butter, this is an easy and quick breakfast option packed with flavor. It seems both cold and warming and the same time, with the spices in the tea adding a festive feel.
Whether you need something to take to brunch or want a quick breakfast skillet at home, this recipe will be a hit. It’s easily made all in one pan and can be made ahead of time to save you time. You’ll need potatoes, vegan breakfast sausage, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, and seasonings. The cheese and the eggs are optional.
Start your day with this super nutritious, naturally sweetened breakfast pudding. The nut milk makes it creamy and the sweetness comes from the pure mango purée. You can top it with as many nuts, seeds, or other fruits as you like.
Get your veggies in the morning when you whip up this smoothie. It’s made with healthy ingredients like pears, spinach, avocado, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. It’s also high in fiber and great for maintaining healthy digestion.
Have a hankering for a muffin? These take only 10 minutes to make and can cook in 20. They’re gluten-free and plant-based, but they’re delicious too. Made with rolled oats, raisins, walnuts, ground flaxseed, apples, and bananas.
Sink your teeth in this veggie goodness to get your day started right. It uses scrambled tofu along with nutritional yeast and spices. Once it’s on your choice of bread (a gluten-free English muffin is recommended), then you can top it with the avocado.
Get a healthy protein punch with this breakfast bowl recipe. It contains healthy fats and complex carbohydrates so you feel energized and full all morning long. Made with kale, mushrooms, onions, tofu, avocado, brown rice, and salsa.
Get the kids into plant-based eating with this fun morning panini. It has no refined sugar or added sweeteners, but it’s packed with fiber, protein, potassium, and antioxidants. Includes a kid favorite: peanut butter!
Get more veggies into your morning by adding them to your oatmeal. You can make this in a large batch ahead of time and then enjoy it through the week. Includes grated zucchini, steel-cut oats, chia seeds, and ground cinnamon cooked together in a large saucepan.
Indulge yourself on the weekend with this fruity breakfast treat. Don’t tell the kids it’s packed with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Includes whole-grain bread, ground flaxseed, plant-based milk, frozen blueberries, and spices.
Forget dried-out, flavorless scones. These are moist and tasty because of the almond flour and blueberries. You can also use other berries like raspberries, cranberries, or strawberries. Takes about a half-hour to make and also includes oat flour, flax meal, chia seeds, plant milk, and vanilla extract.
If your garden is bursting with zucchinis, put them into this salad. Then add a few chickpeas and a simple ponzu dressing along with some toasted bread and you have a savory, filling lunch.
Light and refreshing, this salad includes a recipe for a creamy, dairy-free dressing that tops it off perfectly. It also includes walnuts which are great sources of healthy fats and makes this salad one that will keep you satisfied for hours.
Get ready for a taste of delicious Tex-Mex fare with this grain-free salad featuring quinoa, beans, and veggies. It’s quick and easy and requires minimal chopping, plus you can make everything in one pot. Expect to be satisfied—it’s packed with protein.
Don’t abandon salads when the weather turns cold. Try this one. The natural sweetness of the roasted beets combines with the tangy citrus to make it bright and flavorful. Also includes walnuts, olive oil, and baby arugula.
The key to this recipe is cutting the vegetables into nice, thin strips and then flash-cooking them. Includes snow peas, fresh ginger, whole-wheat angel hair pasta, scallions, and sesame seeds.
Radishes usually play second fiddle in salads, but not in this one. Here, they’re the star of the show. Navy beans, pine nuts, capers, and fresh mint round out the salad, then you top it with a radish green pesto that adds a rich, nutty complexity.
This sweet, warm potato salad is unlike any you’ve tasted before. The sweet potatoes are roasted with ginger, cinnamon, and cumin until tender, then they’re tossed with sesame seeds, dates, parsley, and a smooth peanut butter dressing.
Make this fast and easy recipe for lunch or dinner. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and delicious. Crunchy vegetables and warm, crisp-sauteed tofu are drizzled in an addictive creamy peanut sauce dressing. You can leave out the tofu if you like and add sauteed chicken, shrimp, or edamame.
Use this for lunch or dinner—it’s all about portion size. It includes crisp veggies like shiitake mushrooms along with black beans, romaine lettuce, and juicy tomatoes. Pile over a handful of tortilla strips.
Delicata squash is a type of winter squash that offers a unique taste and texture. Simple yet flavorful, this salad includes an oil-free maple miso dressing. You use kale as the base, and then top it with the roasted squash and tomatoes.
Say hello to your new favorite salad. It’s crunchy, fresh, and boasts a big zesty flavor. Enjoy as a side or light entrée, or top with chickpeas for a filling meal. Made with romaine lettuce, thinly sliced carrots, and chopped parsley.
This salad recipe is made with simple, wholesome ingredients including quinoa, chickpeas, and veggies with a tangy orange miso dressing. Perfect for lunch, picnics, or family gatherings. Cooking the quinoa ahead of time will make this a faster salad to make.
Prepare the brown rice first, then you’ll find this recipe takes little time to put together. It makes a perfect addition to any meal, but it’s hearty enough to be served alone, too. Includes grape tomatoes, black beans, jicama, peppers, onions, and avocado.
This is an easy-to-make soup that tastes great on crisp, fall days. All you have to do is combine all the ingredients and cook them on low for a couple of hours. Chop all the ingredients up small for a well-rounded taste in every spoonful. You can also swap out some of the veggies listed for alternatives you prefer.
If you’re watching your waistline, this is a great option for lunch or dinner. It’s low-fat, easy to make, and packed with healthy veggies. It also makes great leftovers.
Full of lots of hearty spices, this chili has a big flavor and a healthy punch. Perfect for fall and winter, it makes a hearty meal in itself even though it’s meatless. All the protein comes from the beans and quinoa.
If you’re in the mood for chowder, try this one. It’s made with dark-brown grains and is rich in nutrients. Simply combine the ingredients in a Dutch oven or soup pot and allow to simmer for about an hour. Stir in the almond and chickpea flour and you’re good to go.
Did the weather surprise you with a cold day? Whip up this fast and easy black bean soup. It uses affordable ingredients and is packed with plant-based protein and fiber. Pair it with a mild side like a piece of toasted, whole-grain bread.
Full of fresh veggies, including a whole head of cabbage, this soup makes a naturally healthy meal. Also includes green beans, carrots, tomatoes, and Italian herbs. Ready in about 45 minutes.
Reset your system with this light and creamy coconut soup. It’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and piled high with green veggies. It does include a lot of ingredients, like coconut milk, fresh ginger, garlic, scallions, baby spinach, glass noodles, and more, so prepare ahead of time.
An easy plant-based dinner, this stew is filled with chickpeas and sweet potatoes for a nourishing and flavorful meal. It takes ideas from Moroccan cuisine and translates them into an everyday stew recipe. Full of cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and cilantro.
Fresh sage and rosemary add a rich flavor to this vegan squash soup, perfect for chilly nights. Because the blended squash adds a creamy texture, you don’t have to use dairy or coconut milk. Makes enough to have leftovers later on.
Hearken back to your childhood with this comforting tomato soup. This remake on a classic includes crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, nutritional yeast (optional), and brown rice for a soothing and filling lunch or dinner. Easy to make—simply blend the ingredients (except the rice) in a blender or food processor and heat.
You say you don’t like broccoli? Try this recipe. It’s super creamy, comforting, and brimming with cheesy flavor, yet it’s made without cheese or cream. Only plant-based ingredients create the creamy texture and rich taste.
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup popular in the Peranakan cuisine of South Asia. It’s said to be the perfect antidote to colds and cold weather. This recipe includes lots of herbs and spices, coconut milk, rice vermicelli noodles, and rutabaga.
This Puerto Rican-style recipe is a twist on a basic vegan beef stew. It’s usually served for dinner and includes potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Pair it with a side of rice or some sliced avocado.
Enjoy a meatless lunch with this mashed chickpea salad sandwich. Ready in just 10 minutes, it includes capers, red onions, pickles, tahini, mustard, and a dash of maple syrup. It will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
You can make this classic recipe plant-based by using tempeh instead of hamburger. You can choose regular soy tempeh or tempeh made with grains or flaxseeds for extra fiber. Prepare these in about 40 minutes.
Less sweet than store-bought Mediterranean sandwiches, this recipe is fresh, crunchy, creamy, and a bit spicy. You can choose your bread—and may want to use no-flower and gluten-free bread. Also includes sweet red peppers, red onion, tomato, hummus, cucumber, and lettuce.
Combine your love of BBQ sauce with caramelized mushrooms and onions and you have a simple, scrumptious mushroom sandwich. Uses white mushrooms which are inexpensive and easy to find. They’re also really good for you!
Grab a simple but satisfying lunch. Just toast a bagel, then top it with a slathering of hummus and fresh, crunchy sliced veggies like cucumbers, peppers, and onions. You can easily tweak the recipe by adding in some avocado, sliced olives, tomatoes, or shredded carrots.
You’ll be surprised how much this vegan recipe tastes like the real thing. It’s easy to make and includes ingredients you probably already have. Press the tofu, remove any excess liquid, then crumble it into a bowl and add the veggies. Simple and tasty.
Warm-up your day with this open-face sandwich recipe. Made with sweet potato, onion, portobello mushroom, and red pepper, it’s healthy and nutritious. The smoky walnut sauce is what makes it shine, as when you drizzle it over the roasted veggies, you’ll be hooked.
Skip the bread and make a veggie wrap that is chocked full of plant-based nutrition. You can use any veggies you may have on hand, but peppers, onions, zucchini, carrots, and lettuce are suggested. Choose your tortilla—whole-grain is best.
Avocado fans will love this one. Loaded with veggies like tomatoes, carrots, and onions, it has a lovely dressing and simple fresh flavors. If you’re not a fan of bread, simply use a whole-grain or gluten-free wrap instead.
These meatless sandwiches are vegan and gluten-free, yet they’re super comforting. The sausage is made with beans, then you add peppers, onions, and vinegar for flavor. You can swap the hoagie roll for a wrap if you prefer.
Fabulous for packed lunches, these sandwiches are great for whenever you need a healthy meal in a hurry. It’s best to whip up the cream “cheese” ahead of time, which is made from soaked cashew nuts. Tastes great on rye.
You can grill or roast your veggies for this sandwich. To roast, slice your eggplant and mushroom, lay them on parchment paper, and slip them under the broiler for about 25 minutes. Use a hearty whole-grain bread lightly toasted for a satisfying crunch.
A vegan twist on a classic sandwich, this recipe uses eggplant transformed into plant-based bacon that goes great with lettuce and tomato. Crunchy, fresh, and flavorful, it’s the perfect option for those who don’t care to use tofu or tempeh.
Choose this recipe when you’re too tired to make anything complicated. You simply mash some avocado with some white beans and a few other ingredients, then roll it up in a tortilla and enjoy. Also includes soy sauce (or a vegan alternative sauce), lime juice, green chiles, baby spinach, Toma tomatoes, and spices.
A cheap and delicious vegan recipe, this one can be baked in the oven or cooked in a pan. Celeriac is a root vegetable with an earthy taste and a slight hint of celery flavor that’s extremely versatile. Once it’s cooked, you can stuff it into a bun along with some lettuce, tomato, and avocado.
This ultimate veggie sandwich makes a delicious lunch that you can feel good about. It doesn’t take a lot of prep time and it helps you get more veggies into your diet. You can also swap out the cream cheese spread with white bean hummus or basil pesto sauce.
Like most vegan recipes, this one doesn’t include meat. You use beans instead for the pulled-pork-like flavor. They’re high in protein and fiber and will help satisfy your meat cravings. Hearty and satisfying, this recipe takes about 45 minutes to make.
Packed with vitamin A, sweet potatoes are super nutritious and unlike white potatoes, will not spike your blood sugar levels. You can top these with your favorite green veggie and sauce to create an entire meal-in-a-potato! A few hemp seeds add a tasty crunch.
The crust in this recipe is gluten-free, so it’s great for sensitive stomachs. It also allows you to use lots of veggies as toppings and is a lot lighter than wheat crusts. Use a little marinara sauce and some mozzarella too if you like. Or you can skip the cheese and stick to the veggies and sauce alone.
Forget the usual restaurant-type cheese bomb on a plate. These enchiladas have no cheese and are packed with healthy veggies. They come together quickly and are bursting with flavor, including cumin and coriander.
A Buddha Bowl is a colorful bowl packed with grains, legumes, veggies, and flavorful sauces. We’re not sure where the name came from—some say the Buddha used to collect small bits of food from village residents when he visited—but they’re tasty and easy to make. Just combine your favorite ingredients with a sauce and go.
The squash is the hero in this recipe, which includes pine nuts, shallots, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. A gluten-free dish, it’s easy to make and works well as a weeknight dinner dish. Flavored with rosemary and lemon and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Go for the traditional spaghetti in this recipe, which also includes a tangle of olives, nuts, vegetables, and torn mozzarella. It’s a bright, colorful food and can be easily adapted based on what you have on hand. While the noodles are cooking, you simply combine the other ingredients, then when the noodles are done, toss the sauce in, and voila!
This recipe makes a fun and delicious easy dinner recipe. You can make it in less than 30 minutes. It includes pinto beans, onions, cabbage, radishes, one lime, cilantro, and some pineapple chunks. Pack them into your tortillas and enjoy.
Vegetable-rich, grain-free, and studded with roasted cashews, this meal can be ready in 30 minutes. It’s full of fiber and plant-based goodness and comes with a vibrant, flavorful sauce made with almond butter, maple syrup, lime juice, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce.
Skip meat for a night with this delicious, black-bean burger. It’s vegan and gluten-free and is packed with that good-for-you plant-based protein. They’re also fiber-rich and super filling. More good news: You can make them in 30 minutes, including prep and cook time.
If you’re in the mood for pasta, this is a healthy option to try. It uses whole-grain penne pasta along with lots of savory mushrooms, garlic, thyme, basil, crushed tomatoes, and unsweetened, unflavored plant milk. Go from kitchen to table in only 20 minutes.
If you have a pressure cooker in your kitchen, you can easily make this tasty and filling cauliflower rice. It’s perfect for those on the keto diet, or those simply interested in a filling, comforting meal. Includes grape tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, and walnuts.
Convert your friends who don’t like Brussels sprouts with this tasty recipe. You can leave out the tofu if you like—but it adds some satisfying protein to the mix and can help you turn this into a one-skillet meal. Includes shredded Brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, and pine nuts.
Bake up a tasty homemade pizza with this healthy recipe. You can make it on regular pizza dough or choose a gluten-free version instead. It’s the perfect option when you’re craving pizza but want something new, different, and healthier.
Perfect for busy weeknights or hurried lunches, this vegetable-packed recipe is fast and simple. The chutney’s sweet creaminess cuts through the savory pungency of the soy sauce-laden noodles, resulting in a delightful meal. To make it faster, prepare the chutney ahead of time.
Instead of regular pasta, this recipe uses sweet potato noodles which cook up quickly until tender and provide the perfect amount of sweetness to offset the cheesy cashew alfredo sauce. The perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something healthy but satisfying.
Enjoy a creamy and delicious dairy-free meal that’s easy to make with a handful of ingredients. These Cannelloni are no-boil, large pasta tubes filled with vegan ricotta and spinach, then topped with pasta sauce and baked until bubbly.
Yes, you can make a plant-based alfredo! With this recipe, you use cauliflower, non-dairy milk, garlic, and nutritional yeast to create the creamy sauce. Toss with pasta and breadcrumbs and bake until crispy. More nutritious with less saturated fat than the original kind.
When things are tight, choose this budget-friendly meal with easy-to-find ingredients. Zesty and nutrient-dense, it’s full of vegetables, legumes, and Cajun spices. Delicious and nutrient-dense.
Warm-up on a cold day with this comforting and cozy meal. It’s easy to make and customizable and includes only 10 ingredients starting with thinly sliced eggplant. Ready in about 45 minutes from start to finish.
Make sofritas at home with this recipe. It includes only a handful of ingredients and can be made in 20 minutes. It also has a juicy marinade—no dry or watered-down sofritas here!
If you’re not really into super spicy food, you’ll like these burritos. They’re mildly seasoned, though of course, you can increase the amounts of jalapeno peppers and chipotle powder if you like. Heat in a deep, non-stick skillet.
Easily customizable, this savory stroganoff is easy to make and typically takes only about 30 minutes. It has an earthy flavor and requires only a handful of ingredients. Perfect for those craving a quick and easy comfort meal. Made with mushrooms, vegetable broth, pasta, and vegan sour cream.
Traditional mac & cheese is not very good for you. With this recipe, you can enjoy the taste and the nutrition too. It’s made with pureed butternut squash, shiitake mushrooms, olive oil, cashews, elbow macaroni, and spices.
Sometimes only lasagna will do, and if you don’t have a lot of time, you can use this recipe. It doesn’t require you to pre-cook your sauce or noodles. Instead, you simply stir the ingredients together and start layering.
If you like thin-crust pizza, you’ll enjoy this recipe. It recommends that you choose whole-grain tortilla shells, bake them until crispy, then top with a layer of hummus and any other toppings you choose. Some good options include mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, olives, and the like. Then bake immediately and eat!
This earthy bowl of lentils is bursting with Middle Eastern flavors. Add some leftover roasted root veggies for an easy weeknight dinner. Heart-healthy and dairy-free, it’s high in fiber but low in saturated fat. Black beluga lentils or French green lentils are recommended.
These may look time-consuming, but they’re easier to make than you think, and they make a great, healthy appetizer to serve your guests at your next gathering. They will rave—these are packed with veggies but they include a savory and smooth peanut sauce.
Get your taste buds ready for a chewy, lemon snack. Vegan and gluten-free, it includes rolled oats, dates, lemon juice, and vanilla bean powder. You simply combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, then cool in the refrigerator.
Craving a crunch? These wings are tossed in batter, panko bread crumbs, and smothered in a buttery buffalo sauce that’s baked and meatless. Baking powder helps create a crunchier wing. Dip in a creamy vegan ranch dressing.
Skip the raw fish and use veggies instead in these handy sushi cups. No sushi mat is required as these are made in muffin tins. Makes cute, two-bite-sized appetizers.
These tiny stuffed potatoes look fancy on your snack bar and taste great as an appetizer. They’re made with chickpeas, small red potatoes, onions, and garlic, along with several other spices and lemon juice. Wrap them in baby kale leaves if you want to get a little fancier.
Enjoy this healthy parfait as a snack, for breakfast, or even for dessert. It’s that versatile. It includes homemade yogurt, but you can substitute store-bought yogurt if you like. Add in some fresh or frozen (and defrosted) berries, homemade granola (recipe included), and a bit of maple syrup to taste.
These bite-sized appetizers make for elegant show-stoppers. You start with the spinach artichoke dip, which includes cashews, potatoes, non-dairy milk, and freshly squeezed lemon. Once that’s made, you stuff it into the mushrooms and bake them in the oven for a delicious bite-sized treat. You can use fresh or frozen spinach.
This southern-style cobbler is simple and easy to make with only 7 ingredients. It’s so good for you it can serve just as well as an afternoon snack. It’s not overly sweet and includes lots of antioxidant-packed blackberries.
Forget the typical heavy cream and eggs you find in most pudding recipes and try cannellini beans instead. They provide a creamy texture without the heavy fat and are packed with protein, magnesium, and potassium. Also includes pumpkin, almond milk, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
Loaded with banana and coconut flavor, this makes a delicious treat or even a breakfast snack. It’s like a mix between a banana cream pie and a coconut cream pie and is perfect all year round. The chia pudding is made with almond and coconut milk, which helps keep it completely plant-based.
These take only 30 minutes to prepare and use vegan chocolate around a creamy peanut butter and banana cream center. Freeze in 3-ounce popsicle molds for about six hours, then release from the molds and spread with the chocolate.
Fill your chocolate craving with this plant-based dessert. The deep chocolaty flavor pairs perfectly with juicy raspberries. Made with almond milk (or another non-dairy milk), chia seeds, cocoa powder, sliced almonds, raspberries, and maple syrup. You can also use it for breakfast.
Hard to resist, these tasty bars give you protein, fiber, and B vitamins. They’re made with chickpeas but don’t worry—you won’t taste them. All you’ll notice is the delicious peanut butter and cocoa, with a hint of maple syrup and vanilla.
Cake doesn’t have to mean lots of unhealthy oils, fats, and sugar. Instead, try this gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar-free delicious option. It’s made with brown rice and coconut flour, cacao powder, date sugar, peanut butter, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, and blended beets.
Ditch the dairy while still enjoying a creamy and simple no-churn ice cream. It’s made with almond butter, which has a special talent for creating creamy and delicious ice cream. Also includes soft dates, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. You can add in some dried cherries or chopped almonds if you like.
At first blush, the idea of beans in brownies doesn’t sound very good. But give this recipe a try. Black beans make the ideal fudgy brownie dough—delicious and high in fiber, protein, and potassium. Also includes sweet potatoes, dates, cocoa powder, natural peanut butter, and maple or date syrup.