Vegan Meal Prep Dinner Ideas
5 from 1 vote

Any week is better when you have nutritious, home-cooked meals in the fridge, waiting to be reheated at the end of a long day. In this post, I share some of my favorite vegan meal prep dinner ideas, along with tips of freezing and reheating. Begin your week with the knowledge that dinner is taken care of!

Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite meal prep breakfast ideas and lunch ideas, it’s time to tackle dinner.

The value of a meal prep dinner

For a long time, dinner was the meal that I was least likely to meal prep.

At the time, I had more flexibility in my schedule. I thought to myself that if I could prepare something at the end of the day, I should.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Just because I can cook at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean that I should.

I don’t prepare great food when I’m tired. When I do that, I usually rush through the process, and my meals suffer for it.

There’s no bigger bummer of spending time, energy, and ingredients on a recipe—let alone on a weeknight—and having it not turn out well.

Decision fatigue isn’t my friend.

Like most people, I need to make a lot of decisions over the course of an average work day.

If I arrive at dinnertime without a sense of what I’m making, then I’ll probably stare into my fridge blankly. I’ll do this even if I have ingredients for a good meal in there.

The problem at that point isn’t what’s available. The problem is that I lack the motivation and creativity to come up with ideas.

Some nights I just don’t feel like cooking—and that’s OK.

This is most nights, actually. Especially weeknights.

There are many things I’d rather do after a long day than cook. They include catching up on my notes, communicating with friends, watching TV, and reading. Or getting out of my apartment for a while.

Other folks have family members they’d like to be talking to or kids who need to be put to bed.

If dinner has been meal prepped, then the entire weeknight is available for family, work, and much-needed rest.

The bottom line is this: if cooking feels like a relaxing, end-of-day ritual for you, then cook your heart out.

But if cooking on weeknights feels like a chore, you can still find a way to eat wholesome food all week long.

You can enjoy home-cooked dinners without feeling rushed or falling into food ruts.

Vegan meal prep dinners can be your solution.

There’s plenty of info in this post, and I’m sharing a lot of recipe ideas, too! I’ve broken things down into sections, so that you can navigate through it easily.

  1. Vegan meal prep dinner essentials
  2. Safe freezing and storage
  3. Storage
  4. How to serve vegan meal prep dinners
  5. Vegan meal prep dinner recipe ideas
  6. A cozy vegan meal prep casserole
A zoomed in image of a white bowl that has been piled with spinach, onions, chickpeas, and yellow turmeric-spiced rice.

My vegan meal prep dinner essentials

Here are the things that I need from my evening meal:

Balance

I’ll definitely sound like a broken record if I mention that I like my meal prep dinners to be power plates.

But if you’re a new reader and you’re wondering what a power plate is, it’s simple! It’s just a meal that intentionally includes a source of protein, a source of healthful fat, and a source of complex carbs.

Power plates are near and dear to my heart.

When I was in eating disorder recovery, learning to prioritize macronutrient balance was a big challenge—and later, a big victory.

I was resistant to dietary balance for a long time. My relationship with food became so much more grounded and positive when I started including all macronutrients with all meals.

I wrote a whole cookbook about power plates. It was a tribute to the process of learning to give my body the nutritional building blocks that it needed.

Now, when I do my weekly vegan meal prep, macronutrient balance is the organizational principle that I use to plan.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Comfort

Food is a source of comfort for me at any time of day. But I need for dinner, more than breakfast or lunch, to be cozy and comforting.

“Cozy” and “comfort” can look like so many different things. Sometimes a comfort food meal is a bowl of soup.

A bowl of red lentil butternut soup has been topped with crispy roasted chickpeas.

On other nights, it might be a nourishing grain bowl with seasonal veggies.

Sometimes very simple and wholesome food is what feels more comforting than anything else.

A white bowl has been filled with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, whole grains, and legumes. It rests on a white cloth.

And sometimes I need classic comfort food: something hearty, warming, and evocative of childhood favorites.

There are a lot of recipes from this site that I’d put into that category. But some highlights are my carrot mac n’ cheese, skillet lasagna or lasagna rolls, sweet potato lentil shepherd’s pie, quinoa broccoli bake, and loaded garlic kale potatoes.

Each and every single one of those options can be meal prepped.

Freezer potential

It isn’t essential that a vegan meal prep dinner be freezer-friendly, but it sure is a nice perk.

I’m happy to prep a simple vegan meal prep lunch recipe and have it last 2-4 days. But if I make a big, hearty casserole as a meal prep dinner, then I want it to last.

Most of my favorite vegan meal prep dinners can be frozen for this reason.

Since I live alone, I often freeze half the recipe as soon as I make it.

If you feed a larger family at home, but you’d still like leftover to freeze, you can double the recipe. Make it once, enjoy it anew at some point in the future, when you need a week off from dinner prep.

Safe freezing and storage

Which vegan dishes can be frozen?

I’m often asked about what is and isn’t freezer friendly. The answer is that a lot of cooked food can be frozen!

There are some foods that might lose some of their original texture after defrosting. I find that this is often true of cooked rice—though it doesn’t stop me from freezing leftovers of rice dishes.

Many fresh vegetables don’t hold up well to freezing, but they can easily be frozen after cooking. I routinely freeze my favorite braised cabbage, cooked sweet potatoes, sautéed kale or broccoli rabe, and steamed broccoli.

I also freeze sauces and dressings, hummus, pesto, cashew cheese and cashew cream, my 20-minute marinara sauce, vegan feta, vegan ricotta, and homemade vegan mayo.

If you love dessert as much as I do and want to include it in your meal prep, good news! So many desserts freeze beautifully.

This includes vegan cake, brownies, cookies, tofu whipped cream, silken tofu chocolate pudding, cashew chocolate pudding, cobbler, buckle, pie, and more.

Safe freezing and defrosting

After I took food safety as part of my training to become a dietitian, I shuddered to think about how many times I had defrosted food by leaving it on my counter overnight. Yikes!

Anyway, now I know that the safest way to defrost food is always in the fridge. Depending on the food in question, defrosting might take anywhere from 12-36 hours.

There are other safe defrosting methods. You can microwave food from frozen, using your microwave’s defrosting setting.

You can also safely cook frozen food directly from its frozen state.

I’ve been known to pop frozen cubes of my balsamic tofu right into the air fryer or oven for reheating.

Sometimes I defrost a batch of chili or soup just enough in the fridge to get it out of its container, then finish cooking in my pot.

If you cook food directly from frozen, keep in mind that the food should be consumed immediately after cooking.

Refreezing

One more word about freezing: occasionally I’ll thaw something, then realize that I don’t need it (yet) because I’ve prepared something else.

In these cases, it’s safe and totally OK to refreeze the thawed food. Just keep in mind that the texture of the food may change a bit as a result of the thawing and refreezing.

Also be sure to never consume, let alone refreeze, food that has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Reheating

The minimum safe temperature for reheating leftovers is 165°F.

You can make your food reach this temperature on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave—it’s all good. You just need to get it to at least that temperature.

Make sure to stir your food or rotate it while reheating, so that it heats evenly and through.

If you don’t have one, a probe thermometer makes it easy to tell whether food is adequately hot and safe to eat.

And you can find more basic tips on reheating, freezing, defrosting, and refreezing here!

Storage

If you don’t plan to use your freezer for some of your meal prep dinner leftovers, you’ll want to store them in airtight containers in the fridge.

The ones that I use most often are these 3 cup, rectangular containers and these glasslock, divided containers.

Most of the recipes I’ve linked to—or meal prep dinner ideas that I’ve mentioned—can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

How to serve vegan meal prep dinners

Some recipes need a side dish, accompaniment, or extra component in order to feel like a satisfying meal.

Vegetable sides

My usual vegan dinner meal prep routine is to prepare some main dishes for the week—stew, pasta, chili, casserole, stir fry, or whatever—and also to prepare some simple vegetable sides that I’ll be able to serve with these recipes.

This might be a big batch of steamed broccoli, bok choy, or roasted cauliflower. It could be sautéed, dark leafy greens, grilled strips of zucchini, roasted asparagus, or glazed carrots.

A wide-mouthed, glass jar is holding a vinaigrette salad dressing. It rests on a white surface.

Simple salads

I also often keep washed, ready-to-eat salad greens in the fridge, along with one of my favorite dressings. My Greek vinaigrette takes no time at all to make, and my balsamic Dijon tahini dressing is also a favorite.

With some leafy greens and one vinaigrette, it’s easy to whip up a side salad for a meal prep dinner at a moment’s notice.

Massaged kale salads are also easy to prepare in advance, as kale can withstand being dressed and stored for a few days without going soggy.

Frozen veggies

Sometimes, if I haven’t had much time to stock my fridge with produce, a vegetable side will simply be some frozen veggies.

I always keep frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets, green beans, and peas at home. It’s easy to microwave cook them and serve them with a little vegan butter, salt, and pepper.

Frozen veggies are a lifesaver for busy folks who don’t want to waste money on produce that might go bad if it isn’t cooked in a timely fashion!

Your meal prep dinner recipes may not really need a side dish. Some may be substantial enough and have enough veggies for that to be unnecessary.

But I always like to have enough veggies available for making my dinners more well-rounded and filling.

Toast, baguettes, focaccia, cornbread, etc.

Many of my favorite recipes, including soup and a lot of grain bowls or salads, are more complete with something bread-like, be it toast or cornbread or a sliced baguette.

I always have a bread, and usually a variety of types of bread, on hand. I pull them from the freezer or slice them from fresh to serve with recipes as needed.

Vegan meal prep dinner recipe ideas

With all of that said, let’s chat ideas!

There are truly so many kinds of vegan dinners that can be made ahead and enjoyed as you’re ready. But here are some of the ideas and recipes that I turn to again and again.

Pasta bakes

There’s no food that I love more than pasta. Pasta bakes are an easy way to prepare a big, generous batch of pasta, incorporating lots of veggies and/or protein and a great sauce.

Here are some of the ones that I return to again and again:

Vegan Pasta Bake with Ricotta
This delicious vegan pasta bake uses vegan ricotta cheese to create layers of creamy, comforting goodness. It's a cozy, baked pasta dish that you can make with homemade staples, and it's the epitome of wholesome comfort food!
A white, rectangular baking dish holds a vegan pasta bake with ricotta and roasted summer vegetables.
Get the recipe
Easy Vegan Pizza Pasta Bake
Get the recipe
Pizza Cauliflower Bake
Get the recipe
Vegan Eggplant Baked Rigatoni
A perfect dish to make with your late summer eggplant, your favorite pasta shape, and a jar of your favorite marinara sauce. Simple, vegan comfort food at its best.
A small bowl of vegan eggplant baked rigatoni
Get the recipe

Soup & stew

Throughout the year, and certainly in cooler months, soup and stew are an essential part of my dinner meal prep.

A hearty bowl of soup, plus a slice of good bread, is a great meal. Soups and stews can also be paired with salads or other veggie sides, of course.

Here are some of my all-time favorites:

Chickpea Miso Vegetable Stew
This creamy chickpea miso vegetable stew has a deep, savory flavor, thanks to the use of miso for seasoning. It's hearty and healthy, and you can make it with whatever vegetables you have!
A white soup bowl is filled with a miso vegetable stew. Small pieces of toast are in the soup and lying next to the soup bowl.
Get the recipe
Creamy, Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower Kale Soup
This turmeric spiced cauliflower kale soup is perfect nourishment for winter. It's got a rich, creamy texture, and it's so wholesome.
A bowl of golden hued cauliflower kale soup is served with flatbread. It's held in a gray ceramic bowl.
Get the recipe
Lentil Tomato Pasta Stew
This one-pot, plant-based lentil tomato pasta stew is so cozy, hearty, and comforting! It's also packed with nutrition from vegetables and legumes. Easy to make gluten free!
A round bowl of vegan lentil tomato pasta stew is accompanied by pinch bowls of herbs and plant-based parmesan cheese.
Get the recipe
Butternut Squash, Kale & Lentil Soup with Herbs
This butternut kale lentil soup with herbs is so warming and nourishing! It's a perfect vegan soup for fall and winter—or any time you're craving something wholesome and grounding.
Two bowls of butternut kale lentil soup are laid on a white surface. A piece of toast rests nearby.
Get the recipe
Vegan French Lentil Soup
This vegan French lentil soup recipe is so simple to make. It's also nourishing, filling, and perfect for serving with a slice of toast.
A cream colored soup bowl has been filled with a plant-based, French lentil soup.
Get the recipe
Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
This creamy vegan potato leek soup is the best, heartiest soup for cold weather! It's so easy to make, and it's as delicious as it is comforting.
Two white bowls of a creamy vegan potato leek soup rest on a white surface. They're topped with coconut bacon and greens.
Get the recipe
Spicy Cabbage Chickpea Soup
A warming, nourishing bowl of plant-based goodness, this vegan spicy cabbage chickpea soup is simple to prepare and features a spicy kick.
A bowl of spicy cabbage chickpea soup rests on a folded, gray linen napkin.
Get the recipe
Slow Cooker Black Bean Butternut Chili
This make-ahead slow cooker black bean butternut chili is perfect nutritious vegan comfort food. Made with protein rich beans and quinoa as well as filling butternut squash. It's a perfect recipe for your weekly meal prep, and it freezes well!
Get the recipe

A hearty grain bowl

If you make the components of a great vegan bowl ahead of time, then they can become satisfying and wholesome dinners through the week.

Substance is key for a dinner bowl. Some of my favorite, filling vegan bowl recipes include:

Quinoa Protein Bowl
Quinoa, kale, butternut squash, and edamame are brought together with a creamy sauce in this protein-packed vegan recipe. The meal has about 20 grams of protein and tons of nutrition. Easy to make ahead and perfect for busy nights!
An angled photograph of a protein rich vegan meal, made with quinoa, edamame, squash, and greens.
Get the recipe
Mashed Potato Holiday Bowls
These vegan mashed potato holiday bowls are the perfect way to celebrate a low-key, intimate Thanksgiving—or any winter holiday! They're homey, comforting, and can be made with either tempeh or chickpeas as a plant protein.
A bowl of vegan holiday food, including mashed potatoes, tempeh and gravy, green beans, and a little scoop of cranberry sauce.
Get the recipe
Chickpea Burrito Bowls
These vegan chickpea burrito bowls are easy to meal prep and so delicious! They feature chickpeas that have been seasoned with salsa for almost instant flavor. Top them with my creamy cashew queso sauce for a vibrant and filling meal.
A close up, overhead image of a vibrant and colorful vegan chickpea burrito bowl. It's topped with a creamy cashew-based sauce.
Get the recipe
Tempeh Vegetable Pasta Bowls
These easy vegan lemon pepper tempeh vegetable pasta bowls are hearty, healthy, and packed with protein! They're easy to meal prep for school, work, or work-from-home lunches.
A round, white ceramic bowl has been filled with a colorful tempeh vegetable pasta dish. It rests on a white surface.
Get the recipe
Turmeric Rice Bowls
Turmeric rice bowls are colorful, nutritious, and so simple to make! Once you make the turmeric rice, you won't be able to get enough of it. This is a complete plant-based meal that comes together easily.
Turmeric rice bowls have been created with chickpeas, turmeric spiced rice, pickled onions, and greens. They're served in two white bowls.
Get the recipe
Vegan Harvest Bowls with Tempeh & Roasted Root Vegetables from Power Plates
These vegan harvest bowls feature sweet and salty cider baked tempeh, roasted root vegetables, and a cooked whole grain. They're balanced, filling, and a beautiful celebration of the fall season. They're also one of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, Power Plates!
An overhead image of vegan harvest bowls, made with tempeh and root vegetables and drizzled with a mustard-based sauce.
Get the recipe

A hard-working whole grain + protein duo

Some weeks I don’t prepare a recipe or two so much as a few components that I can use in different ways.

One of the best ways to ensure a rotation of vegan meal prep dinners is to make a good, versatile whole grain dish, along with a versatile plant protein.

You can pair these dishes together with a vegetable for an easy, balanced dinner plate. You might also use them in other preparations through the week.

For example, balsamic tofu or quinoa with roasted cherry tomatoes and chickpeas can each be added to a lunch salad.

Here are some of my favorite, simple grain dishes from the blog:

Simple, Savory Mushroom Farro
This simple, savory mushroom farro dish is an easy, versatile, whole grain side dish for winter.
A dish of whole grain farro and mushrooms is on a white, fluted plate.
Get the recipe
Tomato Quinoa & Chickpeas
This recipe for tomato quinoa & chickpeas is so fast and easy to make! This is a perfect, nutritious side dish for home cooks in a hurry. You can add vegetables or other accompaniments to the recipe in order to make it a complete meal.
A round, white plate has been topped with grape tomatoes, baby spinach, and quinoa that has been seasoned with tomato.
Get the recipe
Butternut Squash Rice
This gingery roasted butternut squash rice with onions and peas has both savory and sweet notes. It's a perfect side dish for the fall months, and it's really easy to make.
A white, ceramic bowl holds a mixture of roasted butternut squash, rice, and peas.
Get the recipe
Farro Salad with Beets and Carrots
This carrot beet farro salad is full of whole grain goodness and nutritious veggies! It's a great make-ahead salad, which tastes better after a day or two in the fridge. Perfect for meal prep and packed lunches.
Get the recipe
Quinoa with Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Chickpeas
Quinoa with roasted tomatoes and chickpeas is the perfect, easy summer vegan side dish. It's easy to make, but it's so flavorful, thanks to juicy and sweet burst cherry tomatoes. Chickpeas add some plant protein to this versatile recipe.
Quinoa with Garlic Roasted Cherry Tomatoes & Chickpeas | The Full Helping
Get the recipe

And here are some of my favorite, multitasking proteins (these are also great to make for your meal prep breakfasts and lunches!):

Baked Balsamic Tofu
Baked balsamic tofu cubes are one of my favorite versatile, everyday plant proteins to keep in my fridge. I use them in salads, bowls, pasta dishes, in wraps, and even as a nutritious snack food. Learn how to prepare this easy and flavorful vegan staple!
Deep, reddish brown cubes of baked balsamic tofu are resting on a white surface.
Get the recipe
Favorite Lemon Pepper Baked Tempeh Cubes
Two ceramic bowls hold baked lemon pepper tempeh cubes, roasted broccoli, and white rice. Two serving forks are resting nearby.
Get the recipe
Baked, Crispy Tempeh Bacon
This is my favorite recipe for tempeh "bacon," a smoky, salty staple in my sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast plates, and more. This tempeh is versatile, easy to prepare, and a great source of vegan protein.
Two small baking sheets are lined with parchment paper and strips of vegan tempeh "bacon."
Get the recipe
Easy BBQ Lentils
These BBQ lentils couldn't be easier or quicker to make. I prepare them with my naturally sweetened, date BBQ sauce, and I use them as a staple in my vegan meal prep. They're a super versatile plant protein.
A sesame seed burger bun has been piled with BBQ lentils and a curly piece of bright green lettuce.
Get the recipe
Easy Slow Cooker Cuban Black Beans
Get the recipe
Best Brothy White Beans
These are the best brothy white beans! Turn a pound of dry white beans into a tender, savory, all-purpose vegan protein. This is a one-pot recipe that's versatile, simple to make, and freezer-friendly.
Two matching, white bowls are filled with beans, broth, and torn pieces of fresh bread.
Get the recipe

A cozy casserole

Oh, how I love a cozy casserole.

Casseroles are nostalgic, comforting, and filling. Sometimes they take a little time to make, but once you bake them, they are very generous with their leftover offerings.

I have many favorite casserole recipes. They’ve all become regular parts of my meal prep routine at home, and they’re often to be found in my freezer.

Here are some highlights:

Cheesy Vegan Quinoa Bake
This cheesy vegan quinoa broccoli bake is the epitome of comfort food, but it's made with wholesome, plant-based ingredients, including quinoa, beans, and broccoli. It's kid-friendly, freezer-friendly, and easy to make ahead.
A ceramic plate rests on a gray linen cloth. It holds a cheesy vegan quinoa bake.
Get the recipe
Vegan Chick’n Enchilada Breakfast Casserole
Get the recipe
Vegan Sweet Potato and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Vegan sweet potato lentil shepherd's pie is the perfect hearty and wholesome main dish for your holiday table. It's an untraditional version of the classic dish, made with layers of herbed lentils and pillowy mashed sweet potatoes.
A small, rectangular baking dish is filled with a vegan sweet potato lentil shepherds pie.
Get the recipe
Vegan Cauliflower Gratin
This cozy vegan cauliflower gratin is pure comfort food with a wholesome twist. Cauliflower is baked with a creamy, cashew-based sauce and crispy breadcrumbs. It's a perfect dish for sharing and an easy make-ahead option for the holidays.
A white, rectangular baking dish has been filled with a cauliflower gratin and topped with breadcrumbs. It rests on a white cloth against a white surface.
Get the recipe
Wholesome Vegan Lentil, Mushroom & Kale Lasagna
This wholesome vegan lentil kale mushroom lasagna is a non-traditional spin on classic comfort food! It's packed with nutritious legumes, vegetables, and leafy greens. It makes for a filling and complete meal, and it's easy to make ahead.
A slice of kale lasagna, topped with red sauce, is served on a small, round, white plate. It rests on a white surface.
Get the recipe

A stuffed vegetable

Stuffed, baked vegetables are a great means of crafting dinners that are both plant-forward and hearty.

I love stuffed vegetables through all of the seasons. In the fall, there are winter squashes, potato, and cabbage leaves for stuffing. In the summer, there are zucchini and eggplants and tomatoes.

Some of the stuffed vegetable recipes that I turn to again and again:

Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash
Get the recipe
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Rice, Lentils, and Currants
These vegan cabbage rolls are stuffed with a mixture of rice, lentils, currants, and spices. They're flavorful, filling, and a perfect dish to make for entertaining!
Two stuffed cabbage rolls are laid out, side by side, on a plate. One has been cut into and the filling is spilling out.
Get the recipe
Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins
These vegan quinoa and kale stuffed sweet potato skins are super nutritious and hearty. Plus, they're a smart way to utilize sweet potato skins, which are full of gut-friendly fiber!
Two baked sweet potatoes have been stuffed with a colorful mixture of kale, raw vegetables, and almonds.
Get the recipe
Bulgur Stuffed Eggplants with Tamarind, Currants & Pine Nuts
These bulgur stuffed eggplants with tamarind, currants & pine nuts are bursting with flavor and packed with nutrition. They're especially good for entertaining and serving to friends!
A sumptuous, plant-based stuffed eggplant with bulgur, currants, and pine nuts
Get the recipe
Rice and Tempeh Stuffed Peppers (gluten free)
Get the recipe

Pizza night! (Or frozen pizza night)

Frozen vegan pizza nights are a more regular occurrence around here lately than me making a homemade pie. But in either case, a couple slices pizza with a nice big salad is a great dinner.

And even though pizza may not immediately spring to mind as a make-ahead option, it works well for meal prep. Just be sure to reheat slices in the oven or air fryer before you eat, in order to preserve the crispiness of the crust.

Reheating pizza, by the way, has become the #1 reason that I use my air fryer.

If you feel like making from scratch, my favorites are:

Green Goodness Pizza
A vegan pizza made with herbed tofu and green vegetables rests on a marble surface.
Get the recipe
Vegan Butternut Red Onion Pizza
This is the plant-based autumn pizza of your dreams! Made with savory roasted butternut squash, sweet, caramelized red onions, cashew cheese, and zippy arugula. A perfect party appetizer or flavorful vegan meal.
An overhead photo of vegan butternut red onion pizza, garnished generously with fresh arugula and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Get the recipe
Easy Vegan Tortilla Pizzas
These easy vegan tortilla pizzas are quick, convenient, and satisfying. They're a great way to incorporate your favorite vegetables into a healthy lunch or light dinner. You can customize them based on what you have in your fridge and pantry!
Easy Vegan Tortilla Pizza | The Full Helping
Get the recipe

My favorite vegan store-bought ‘za is the veggie lover’s vegan pizza from SweetEarth.

Something stir fried

Stir fry dishes are quick to make and endlessly adaptable.

I usually stir fry rice as my grain, but you can stir fry noodles and other whole grains as well. Tofu is a great protein for stir fries, but you could also use tempeh, seitan, beans, or lentils.

The photo at the top of this post is a “pepper steak” style soy curl dish from The Vegan Week. It’s not quite a stir fry, but it’s close, and I always serve it over cooked rice.

Here are some other stir fried grain and protein dishes that I love:

Brown Rice Lentil Stir Fry with Peanut Butter Sauce
This quick, easy vegan brown rice lentil stir fry will become your go-to weeknight dinner! It's so easy to make, and it's a nutritious, complete plant-based meal. It's made with an addictive and versatile peanut butter sauce.
Get the recipe
Simple Broccoli Stem & Brown Rice Stir Fry
An overhead shot of a simple broccoli stem and brown rice stir fry, garnished with crushed red pepper flakes.
Get the recipe
Cumin Spiced Lentils and Rice with Every Day Lemon Tahini Dressing
This skillet meal of cumin-spiced lentils & rice couldn't be easier to make! It's flavorful, nutritious, and plant-based.
A round, white plate is covered with cumin-spiced lentils & rice, a serving fork, and a drizzle of pale-colored tahini sauce.
Get the recipe

Veggie burgers (+ fixings)

It’s fun to have a vegan burger night, and veggie burgers happen to be very good for meal prep.

As you meal prep the burger itself, you might also want to make some fixings and side dishes to serve it with. For example:

Veggie burger nights are enough of a routine occurrence in my home that pretty much always keep whole grain burger buns in my freezer.

I also tend to have frozen, cubed sweet or regular potatoes or frozen fries, just in case I’m too tired to peel and cut potatoes myself.

Here are some of the vegan burger recipes that I cherish:

Unfussy Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
These unfussy sweet potato black bean burgers come together easily, but they pack a lot of flavor! They're also full of healthful ingredients, including black beans, sweet potatoes, rolled oats, and pumpkin seeds. Great for meal prepping and freezing.
A plant-based burger is piled onto a simple burger bun with mayonnaise and ketchup. It's resting on a small piece of parchment paper.
Get the recipe
Artichoke, White Bean & Quinoa Burgers
These vegan artichoke white bean burgers are packed with Mediterranean flavor and healthful ingredients! They're also gluten free and super versatile.
An angled photograph of a vegan artichoke white bean burger, served on a bun with greens and a creamy dip.
Get the recipe
Quinoa Chickpea Za’atar Burgers
Middle Eastern inspired, plant-based burgers served with a tangy, bright tahini sauce.
A side angled photograph of a quinoa chickpea zaatar burger patty, served with lettuce wraps and tahini dressing.
Get the recipe
Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers
These sweet potato chickpea burgers are vegan, gluten-free, and so easy to make. They're also a versatile plant-based protein! Serve them traditionally, in a burger bun, or add them to bowls, wraps, and salads.
Get the recipe

Vegan meal prep tacos

Just as you can meal prep a burger night ahead of time, you can also meal prep vegan tacos ahead of time.

To do this, you’ll simply prepare whatever components go into the taco (proteins, grains, whatever) and any sauces that you might use for them.

You can also prep vegetables sides that you’d like to serve the tacos with. You might take some time to chop lettuce, tomato, or any other crunch element that you’d like to add right before you serve your vegan tacos.

Taco night classics in my apartment:

Vegan Tempeh Tacos
These vegan tacos are made with crumbled and marinated tempeh for a satisfying alternative to meat. They're full of bold and tangy chili lime flavor.
Tangy Chili Lime Tempeh Tacos | The Full Helping
Get the recipe
Vegan Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Bean Spread
Take your sweet potato tacos to new heights with homemade black bean spread!These vegan tacos are a terrific plant-based meal and quick to make. Top with homemade vegan feta or my go-to cashew cheese recipe, and enjoy!
Two tacos, prepared with plant based ingredients, have been laid out on a white sheet of parchment paper.
Get the recipe
Cumin Roasted Carrot and Lentil Tacos
These spice roasted carrot lentil tacos are a hearty, wholesome vegan meal! You won't miss the meat with these nutritious fillings.
Three vegan roasted carrot lentil tacos with avocado slices.
Get the recipe
Crispy Cauliflower Chimichurri Tacos
Vegan tacos made with crispy roasted cauliflower and a hearty almond chimichurri sauce. Rich in texture, flavor, and nutrition.
Crispy Cauliflower Chimichurri Tacos | The Full Helping
Get the recipe
Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos from Food52 Vegan (gluten free)
Get the recipe

A cozy vegan meal prep casserole

When I want to meal prep a vegan dinner that will be hearty, satisfying, easy to freeze/defrost, and supremely comforting, I make a casserole.

And there’s one casserole from this site that I’ve made more than any other.

A glass casserole dish is filled with baked whole grains and broccoli. It's being portioned with a silver spoon.

It’s the cheesy vegan broccoli quinoa bake that you saw among other baked dishes above.

This recipe has five star ratings and has gotten a lot of love in the years since I posted it. I’ve had readers write to tell me that it’s their go-to dish for family gatherings.

One reader said that she often bakes it when a neighbor has a new baby and needs a delivery of homemade food.

It’s not hard for me to understand why people love this recipe. I love it, too. It’s flavorful, nutrient-dense and rich in plant protein, and pretty easy to make. The leftovers keep really well and can be frozen.

Best of all, it’s filling, and it delivers—big time—on cozy vibes.

If you’re kicking off a vegan meal prep dinner routine and you want a place to start, this quinoa bake is a very good place. Here’s the recipe.

A cheesy vegan quinoa bake has been portioned onto a light gray ceramic plate.
A glass casserole dish is filled with baked whole grains and broccoli. It's being portioned with a silver spoon.
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Meal Prep Dinner Ideas: Vegan Quinoa Bake

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling time 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the quinoa bake

  • 4 cups chopped broccoli florets (360g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (600g)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (30g; optional, for topping; you can make your own by pulsing two slices of toasted whole grain bread in a food processor, or you can use a gluten free brand)

For the cheesy sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained (70g before soaking)
  • 1 cup cooked white beans or chickpeas (160g)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (40g)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water (300ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (30g)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Fill a medium sized pot with water and fit with a steamer attachment. Bring the water to a boil and steam the broccoli florets until crisp-tender (about 3-4 minutes). Remove them from heat.
  • Blend all of the sauce ingredients together in a high speed blender or a food processor until they're totally smooth.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, and sauté the vegetables until the onion is clear and soft (about 7 minutes). Add the quinoa and the broccoli to the skillet. Add the sauce and stir everything to heat it through.
  • Transfer all ingredients to an oiled 7×11 or 8×12 baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs, if using. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling gently and the breadcrumbs are golden. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

A gift to your future self

The subtitle of The Vegan Week is “meal prep recipes to feed your future self.”

I those words with all of my heart. Meal prep isn’t always easy to make time for. But when I do it, I know that I’m creating something that my future self will be grateful for.

This week happens to prove the point. I’ve been unusually busy, but I’m less stressed out than I usually am when my workload is really full.

Part of the reason is that it’s one of those lovely weeks where I have so much in the freezer that I can simply defrost, day by day.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinners have been taken care of. I’ve been able to reach into the fridge and have a time-efficient lunch break midday, thanks to meal prep lunches.

And it’s so nice wrapping up work, even if it’s late, knowing that dinner will be no more effort than reheating.

Hope these ideas give you a sense of the good nourishment that you might give to future you, too.

Till soon,

xo

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




    2 Comments
  1. I am a long time follower and have made countless of your recipes. I can’t wait to check out your latest cook book when it’s released. I know it will be fantastic! Thank you for making such great content. I turn to your recipes time and time again. Keep up the great work