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50 BEST Plant-based Recipes

March 13, 2019 by Ginger Hultin MS RDN

“Plant-based” is trending right now and for good reason. Is it vegetarian? Is it vegan? Good news! It can be either. Or neither. You can be perfectly plant-based even if you eat a little meat here and there but plant foods take the main stage with this dietary pattern. While I enjoy working with clients on ALL diets, the foundation of my practice is plant-based. To celebrate, I’ve got 50 BEST Plant-based Recipes gathered for you from my fellow dietitian nutrition expert friends. If you or someone you know need support with eating more plant based, or just eating better in general, make sure to contact me!

You may wonder why I’m calling it plant-based rather than vegetarian or vegan….and there’s some controversy there. The reason why is because there is no true definition. And as much as I support my vegetarian and vegan friends and community, I still want to be inclusive of all diets and I think that any way you eat, if plants are the foundation of the diet, you’re on the right track.

50 best plant-based recipes

I developed a working definition of plant-based that I use for a couple different organizations I’m in and to help settle people who are uncomfortable with the lack of definition. I actually like that it’s a bit open to interpretation because that’s the benefit of it. You can eat meat and be plant-based….but the focus is on plant-foods and I strongly believe that even reducing meat intake has benefits to human health as well as the environment.

a living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses
verb past tense: based
have as the foundation for (something); use as a point from which (something) can develop
So to me, a plant-based diet is one founded in plant-foods and there’s some wiggle room there to either be 100% plants (vegan) or more flexitarian and include small amounts of meat as you continue to move towards more and more plants. As a registered dietitian, I’m here to help! As are so many of my friends. Dietitians are pretty amazing at making food taste great so here are 50 BEST Plant-based Recipes from nutrition experts around the country.

Featuring Tofu!

50 BEST Plant-based Recipes

Many of these recipes are focused on lots of flavor as well as affordability. Tofu is a wonderful protein that has the added benefit of antioxidants – something meat can’t offer.

Farro Buddah Bowl with Crispy Bakes Tofu by Jessica Fishman Levinson

Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir Fry by Kelly Jones Nutrition

Tofu Zoodle Stir Fry by Champagne Nutrition

30-Minute Almond Butter Tofu Bowls by Jamie Vespa

Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl by Sharon Palmer

Sheet Pan Teriyaki Tofu by Ginger Hultin

50 BEST Plant-based Recipes

Think beyond a simple salad with greens and boost it with a flavorful homemade dressing, a protein source like quinoa, edamame, nuts/seeds and beans like these unique recipes that take salads to another level.

Waldorf Salad with Creamy Spiced Dressing by Champagne Nutrition

Vegan Nicoise Salad with Chickpea Salad & Lemon Mustard Dressing by Jessica Spiro

30 Minute Loaded Quinoa Taco Salad by Jamie Vespa

Vegan Power Bowl with Maple-Dijon Dressing by Amy Gorin

Quinoa and Edamame Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette by Jennifer Hunt


50 Best Plant-based recipes Did you know that you can make vegan “cream” soups in a variety of ways that don’t involve any dairy? I love thickening with ground oats or by using potato. There are many options that make warming soups hearty without the heaviness from meat and dairy.

Cream-Free Potato Leek Soup by Alyssa Lavy

Root Vegetable and Bean Soup by Toby Amidor

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili by Liz Weiss

Thai Honey Nut Squash Soup by Jenny Passione

Spicy Lemongrass Coconut Squash Soup by Ginger Hultin


50 best plant-based recipes

Get creative with vegetarian sandwiches and wraps. Instead of purchasing a store-bought veggie burger (which is also fine of course), you can easily make your own for some fun in the kitchen. Get creative with fillings to boost flavor plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in sandwich meals.

Pressed Vegetarian Picnic Sandwich by Jessianna Rose Saville

Easy Black Bean Burger Recipe by Jill Stern Weisenberger

Simple Vegetarian Egg and Veggie Breakfast Sandwich by Champagne Nutrition

Savory Mains

50 best plant-based recipes

No meat needed for these mains! When thinking about a meatless main, make sure that you have a good protein source like tofu, tempeh, beans or lentils and then pile on the veggies and whole grains and make sure to use a hearty dose of herbs and spices for flavor and depth.

Vegetarian Rice & Beans Casserole by Jenna Braddock

Cajun and Coconut Black Eyed Peas with Quinoa and Pineapple Salsa by Chrissy Caroll

Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut and Kale by Champagne Nutrition

Easy Skillet Tempeh with Caramelized Onions and Grapes by Laura Yautz

Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs by Kara Hochreiter

Mini Eggplant Pizzas by Alexandra Fucarino

Instant Pot Lentil Stroganoff by Rebecca Clyde

Tacos and Burritos

50 best plant-based recipes

So many international cuisines do plant-based well. Mexican-inspired dishes are no exception – beans, chiles, and plenty of veggies take the main stage in these no-meat comfort food dishes.

Sunflower Tacos in Collard Leaves by Mandy Enright

Roasted Brussels Sprout Tacos with Garlicky Black Bean Spread by Kim Hoban

The Ultimate Veggie Burrito by Kalee Lundmark

Radish and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Crema by Lizzie Streit


50 best plant-based recipes

Plant-based sides are easy 🙂 Beans, whole grains and veggies are all fair game to serve on the side of a veggie or meat main-dish. These types of sides also make perfect leftovers to pack for lunch the next day.

Sweet Maple Roasted Green Beans with Pumpkin Seeds, Cloves, and Nutmeg Alyssa Lavy

Coconut Herb Rice Salad by Ginger Hultin

Garlicky Sautéed Baby Kale by Kelly Jones

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Creamy Garlic Dill Sauce by Laura Yautz

Vegan Spiced Baked Beans by Ginger Hultin

Dips and Apps

50 best plant-based recipes

Party dips can be so simple to take for entertaining or even serve as an after school or work snack. Many of these recipes are savory, quick and delicious. Enjoy your plant-based party dip any time of the week.

5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Hummus by Stephanie Van’t Zelfdren

Kalamata Olive and Basil Tapenade Dip by Ginger Hultin

Grilled Eggplant Dip by Jessica Ivey

50 best plant-based recipes

Smoothie can be naturally plant-based and vegan if you’d like. There are so many non-dairy milks to choose from now. My favorite is soy because it has such a high protein content and offers additional antioxidants. Oat is a second runner up for me. What type of non-dairy milk do you enjoy?

Matcha Avocado Smoothie by Elizabeth Ward

Wild Blueberry Vanilla Matcha Smoothie by Ginger Hultin

Green Pea Smoothie with Mint by Lizzie Streit

Calming Smoothie for Runners by Ginger Hultin


Coconut Lemon Curd Overnight Oats

There’s no need for sausage or bacon at breakfast – there are so many other protein sources to choose from. Go veggie for breakfast but also think beyond the carbs. How can you balance this important meal? These recipes show you how to do plant-based breakfast right.

Crunchy Sunflower Seed Granola by Elizabeth Shaw

Vegan French Toast by Kara Lydon Evancho

Smashed Chickpea Scramble by Julie Harrington

Coconut Lemon Curd Overnight Oats by Ginger Hultin

Sweet Bites
50 best plant-based recipes

I’m all about the bars and balls for on-the-go snacking and for fueling pre-and post workout. These are all dairy-free but are still packed with protein and flavor. You can make these at home in minutes and they keep well for later, too.

Healthy Energy Bites with Dates, Cashews, Apricots and Coconut by E.A. Stewart

Chickpea Walnut Blondies by Tara Rochford

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares by Bracha Kopstick

Vegan Chocolate Haystack Cookies by Champagne Nutrition

Coco-nut Cookie Bites by Judith Scharman Draughon

No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Pistachio Squares by Jennifer McDaniel

I hope you enjoyed my 50 BEST Plant-based Recipes round up featuring a variety of dishes from so many of my professional dietitian chef friends. Make sure that you’re working with a dietitian if you’ve got questions about plant-based nutrition or recipe ideas for your family. We’re here to help 🙂


  1. Brittany Poulson on September 18, 2019 at 11:41 am

    SO many delicious recipes here – making it easy to get more plants in our diets!

  2. LINDSEY PINE on September 23, 2019 at 10:20 am

    I want to make everything on this list!!!

  3. STEPHANIE VAN'T ZELFDEN on September 23, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Great roundup! Thank you for featuring my recipe for 5 Ingredient Sweet Potato Hummus!

  4. Sarah Remmer on September 26, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    So many great recipes! By the way, your new website looks awesome!

    • Ginger Hultin on October 1, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      ah thank you so much Sarah!

  5. Shannon Garcia on September 30, 2019 at 11:39 am

    What a great round up of recipes! I want to make so many on this list!

    • Ginger Hultin on October 1, 2019 at 3:21 pm

      Its such a great round-up from wonderful, talented dietitians – I agree!

  6. Stacey Mattinson on October 2, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Mm these look AMAZING!!

  7. Heidi Moretti on October 2, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Looks really pretty, even for omnivores:)

  8. Mary on January 26, 2020 at 10:48 am

    These party foods look amazing! Thank you so much for posting them and
    have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving with your family.

    • Ginger Hultin on February 1, 2020 at 8:39 am

      Thanks so much Mary! Back at you –

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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

Integrative nutrition specialist helping clients navigate complex health conditions to reduce inflammation and feel better.

Thanks for visiting! If you're struggling with a cancer diagnosis, autoimmune condition, gut health problems, or even a medical mystery, nutrition can make a HUGE difference in your day-to-day life. I run a virtual, concierge private practice where I partner with my clients over time to help them improve their health through nutrition. Be sure to visit the blog for easy, plant-based, anti-inflammatory recipes and our "Resources" page for a variety of self-paced programs, books, e-books, and nutrition podcast episodes.

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