11 Plant-Based Meals for When You Don’t Want to Cook

It’s getting close to dinner time, and you’re just not in the mood to turn on the stove and deal with a pile of dirty dishes. Or maybe you’re running late to work and still need to pack lunches and get in a few bites of breakfast. We’ve all been there. We may even be there right now.

And although it’s tempting to pick up some fast food or grab a granola bar, the food prepared in your own kitchen is typically better for you and your wallet, especially when you’re making meals for more than one mouth.

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There are tons of recipes out there that are delicious, good for you, and can be prepared with minimal effort. What are these mysterious easy-breezy meals, you may ask? Well, we’ve got a list of perfect plant-based dishes for when you don’t want to cook. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, we’ve got all the bases covered. Use these recipes as jumping off points. They’re all pretty simple and can be customized to fit your — and your family’s — personal food preferences.

2-Minute Cinnamon French Toast

This recipe from Lemon and Zest is what we picture when we think of a cozy homemade breakfast. Coat chunks of bread in a creamy, vanilla-cinnamon-maple mixture and microwave for around 90 seconds. And there you have it, quick-and-easy vegan French toast.

For the 2-Minute Cinnamon French Toast recipe, click here.

Artichoke Panzanella Salad

A Panzanella salad is a great way to use up bread that’s on its way to going stale. Combine canned artichokes with chopped tomatoes, sliced red onion, cucumbers, and cubes of bread, and then mix the whole thing with some balsamic vinaigrette or some olive oil and serve.

For the Artichoke Panzanella Salad recipe, click here.

Breakfast Sweet Potato

Have you ever microwaved a sweet potato? It takes a little more than 6-7 minutes, depending on the power of your appliance. Once it’s good and tender, pluck it out of the microwave, slice it down the middle, and slather it with your favorite nut butter, chia seeds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

For the Breakfast Sweet Potato recipe, click here.

Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wrap

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can make your own Buffalo sauce or just use a pre-packaged one from the store. Simply toss the chickpeas, black beans, and maybe some diced tomatoes/avocados in the sauce and add to a lettuce wrap.

For the Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce Wrap, click here.

Burrito Bowl in a Hurry

This burrito bowl hardly takes any cooking at all; it’s really more of an assembly process. Use any leftover grain (rice, quinoa, couscous, frozen cauliflower rice) and add your favorite toppings. We recommend thawed frozen corn, guacamole, seasoned beans or tofu, salsa, and crunchy tortilla strips.

For the Burrito Bowl recipe, click here.

Microwave Chili

Chili doesn’t need hours of simmering on the stove top to develop deep flavor. This 5-minute microwave chili from Jack Monroe of BBC Good Food is a quick mid-week meal that you can make completely plant-based by swapping out the butter and sour cream from vegan alternatives.

For the Quick Microwave Chili, click here.

Navy Bean Bruschetta 

Traditional bruschetta is made with diced fresh tomatoes, but this version boasts a bit more protein thanks to a base of navy beans. A quick and uncomplicated snack/appetizer for any occasion.

For the Navy Bean Bruschetta recipe, click here.

Overnight Oats with Coconut Milk and Chia Seeds

These need to be readied the night before (hence the name), but the preparation process doesn’t require much effort at all. Just mix the oats, coconut water, coconut milk, chia seeds, salt and one tablespoon of honey in a mixing bowl and separate into jars. Then store in the fridge for a satisfying grab-and-go breakfast.

For the Overnight Oats with Coconut Milk recipe, click here.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Roll-Ups

This kid-friendly recipe is a good snack for people of all ages, and you can customize it based on your preferences or what foods you have on hand. The classic PB&J is always a winner, but you can branch out with different nut butters, jams, seeds, and fresh fruits.

For the Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Roll-Ups recipe, click here.

Quick and Easy Hummus

To make hummus requires four ingredients — chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt — and a food processor. Yep, that’s it. Enjoy.

For the Quick and Easy Hummus recipe, click here.

Unchick’n Caesar Wrap

A wrap is an excellent way to transform random ingredients into a meal. The foundation of this plant-based Caesar wrap is plant-based chicken strips or baked tofu, but you can dress it up with everything from romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, or whatever else you may have in the refrigerator.

For the Unchick’n Caesar Wrap recipe, click here.


Click here for more Meatless Monday recipes. When posting pictures of recipes to your social media network, tag @MeatlessMonday use #MeatlessMonday to show the plant-based community your creation.