Let’s face it, there’s not enough hours in the day for any of us.
Whether it’s work, studies, childcare, or other commitments, we all have things to get on with. And food is our fuel! On a busy day, how many of us resort to an easy meal that’s not very nutritious? When we think of easy meals, we often think of a ready meal, or something we can bung in the oven. Maybe even something basic and not flavoursome. But easy recipes can be so simple and delicious too!
So whether you’re really busy, struggling to find food everybody will eat, or just bored of your go-to dishes, this post is for you! These dishes are full of flavour and nutrients, but without the long list of ingredients. Plus, most of them can be made in bulk for added ease!
Enjoy these easy vegan family meals.
Considering Nutrition – Easy Vegan Family Meals
When putting an easy meal together, don’t forget nutrition. You want something that is simple, delicious AND healthy. If we miss out key components of a dish, it can cause us to feel hungry afterwards, or even deficient in the long term. We all need our precious energy! Consider the following when creating your own meals:
- Does it contain a protein? This could be tofu, tempeh, lentils, chickpeas or a good quality fake meat substitute.
- Is there a filling carb? By this I mean sweet potato, pasta, rice, quinoa or other grains. These fill us up and provide slow-releasing energy.
- Are there veggies in there? The more colours the better for a wide range of nutrients.
- Can you sneak a healthy fat in? Consider avocado, extra virgin olive oil / coconut oil, olives or nuts.
Healthy Pasta Salad – who wants to make a beautiful, nutritious and filling lunch that’s perfect for work or on the go? Give this pasta salad a go! It’s quick to make, delicious warm or cold, and you can even add leftovers to it.
Shepherd’s Pie – surely everybody loves this dish? When made vegan it’s even more nutritious, packed with protein and veggies. The best bit is the beautiful mashed potato topping. If you’re feeling extravagant you could even sprinkle a little vegan cheese on top. This dish is best served with thick gravy – gorgeous! The most perfect easy vegan family meal.
Vegan Lasagne – it’s the most filling comfort food. Make a big dish full for some handy extra portions.
Lentil Ragu – spaghetti is a firm favourite with everybody, and lentils are packed with protein, so the perfect pair for a family! With a recipe like this, you can simply throw in any veggies or herbs you have to hand and experiment.
Chkn Risotto – we love risotto, it’s really filling and comforting! The best thing is, you throw everything into one pan so hardly any washing up.
Thai Tofu Curry – this recipe has so few ingredients, but a gorgeous taste! You can add less Thai paste too, if you have people in the family who only like mild spice.
Vegan Paella – ever since we visited Barcelona, there’s been a Learner Vegan obsession with paella. Now trust me, the paella we make back at home in the UK is NEVER going to match up with the amazing dish you can get over in Spain (do go and visit!). But it’s a very tasty and easy recipe nevertheless. The joy is you can throw in any veggies you have that go well with a tomato-based sauce.
Black Bean Burgers – these hold together well, and you can even swap out some of the herbs, to save buying them especially.
Tofu and Vegetable Quiche – a good vegan quiche is light yet filling, and can be paired with salad, new potatoes or couscous for a delicious meal.
BBQ Tofu and Squash Skewers – kids and visitors will love the novelty of these. No barbecue needed if it’s winter!
Macaroni Cheese – this recipe is simple to grasp and takes less than 30 minutes to create. We’re sure the whole family will love it, and you can even sneak hidden veggies in there if you have kids.
Masala Dal with Sweet Potato – this recipe really ticks all of the health and nutrition boxes. It’s a fantastic introduction to herbs and spices for younger kids, with the sweet flavour of mash underneath.
Spicy Coconut Noodles – noodles are definitely one of our go-to meals – they’re so versatile. This recipe is a little different, but so easy too. Leave the chilli out if you have sensitive children!
Sweet Potato Tacos – fresh and healthy. You can mix and match toppings to suit.
Delicious Lunches and Sides
Butternut Squash Soup – soup is perfect heading into this cooler weather – it’s warm, comforting and so simple even for the most amateur cook. You can also add a little chilli for a kick!
Chickpea Tuna – this is a filling I discovered a few months ago, and now I have it at least once per week. Taken from the lovely Tiny Vegan Tummies Instagram page, it’s really simple to make in bulk and use throughout the week. It goes great in a sandwich, wrap or on a hot jacket potato to make the perfect healthy lunch. To make it quicker, use nori sprinkles rather than chopping your own (the Clearspring brand is great).
Smoky Beans on Garlic Toast – it’s ready in less than 20 minutes, and less than 500 calories too! A fab twist on your average beans on toast.
Chickpea Nuggets – these look indulgent but are actually healthy. They’re a firm favourite with children and so easy to make! You can pair them with veggies and potato for a simple dinner, or keep them around for a snack.
Deconstructed Samosas – all the taste, but not deep fried and unhealthy! A lovely snack or side dish.
Crispy Baked Tofu – we make this ALL the time. It’s great in a salad, stir fry or curry. You can also keep it in the fridge and use it as a snack dipped in houmous.
One Pot Mexican Soup – such a great dish to use up leftovers. It serves really well with nachos to dip.
Strawberry Scones – these are the easiest vegan scones ever! You can add coconut, berries, raisins, or anything else you like. Delicious with jam and vegan double cream.
Vegan Pancakes – a lovely pudding option that is so fluffy! Ready in less than 30 minutes, these pancakes would also make a nice brunch.
Lemon Drizzle Cake – vegan lemon drizzle cake is refreshing and light – perfect for these hot summer days!
Chocolate Banana Cake – moist, soft but a little crumbly. We love to drizzle a little icing on top!
Easy Vegan Family Meals – Bonus Tips!
- Make extra if possible. You can then freeze in portions, and pull it out to defrost when you’re busy or feeling lazy. That way you have your very own homemade ready meal! This is also useful if you have teens at home who often make their own meals, as you know they’re getting nutrition.
- Check out Pinterest for unlimited meal ideas. It’s like your very own search engine – simply type in ‘Easy Vegan Family Meals’ and hit enter. I also have a great board full of thousands of easy vegan recipes for beginners.
- Buy staples such as pasta and rice in big bags. That way, you always know it’s there and don’t have to keep nipping out to the shops. Plus, it’s usually cheaper!
What’s your favourite family meal? We’ll see if we can veganize it for you!
P.S. My FREE ‘Easy Being Vegan’ pack includes a shopping list and an easy meal plan, giving you even more fantastic meal ideas. There’s also a personal action points for staying vegan, and my BONUS favourite egg and dairy substitutes. Grab it now!
And if you need a little extra ongoing support, join our community! We have a private Facebook group designed to help the vegan-curious, transitioning and new vegan on their journey. Meal ideas welcome, of course!