On busy weeknights, 30-minute meals are all that many of us have time to make. But it can be a challenge to come up with enough quick and tasty dishes to keep from getting bored. To expand your repertoire of speedy, satisfying recipes, here are some of our most popular 30-minute meals. An added bonus: All these lunch and dinner recipes are totally free of cholesterol and oil, meaning they’re as health-boosting as they are time-saving. Whip one up today!

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals

Chickpea Curry Stew with Kale

This luscious curry has a robust flavor profile; it’s hard to believe that curry powder, garlic powder, and a dash of cayenne are the only spices you need.

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30-Minute Chickpea Noodle Soup with Spinach

One pot, many noodles, and basic veggies such as carrot and celery create a comforting and super-quick noodle soup. Expect to make this again and again.

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Minestrone in Minutes

This hearty soup, featuring pantry stapes such as white beans, veggies, canned tomatoes, and dried herbs, is deliciously convenient.

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Caldo Verde

Pureed potato with kale and red beans form the heart of this popular Portuguese soup. Pro tip: Cube the potato before cooking for even speedier results.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

30-Minute Chili

There are loads of great-tasting plant-based chili recipes, but most rely on long simmering times. Not this one. Using tomatoes and beans from a can makes for a quick and hearty chili à la busy weeknights.

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Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew

This sweet, fragrantly spiced butternut squash stew is ready in 30 minutes, but it really only takes a few minutes of active prep time. Chop and simmer away!

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

This butternut squash mac and cheese is wonderfully quick to make and uses plant milk, nutritional yeast, and fresh thyme to get cheesy pasta flavors. Make plenty!

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Lemon Broccoli Rotini

Cooked in plant milk and vegetable broth with mushrooms, garlic, and onion, this one-pot pasta dish has extra hearty flavors, while tarragon, lemon zest, and juice take it to the next level.

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Budget-Friendly Lentil Bolognese

An Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) is a great time-saver in the kitchen, allowing you to cook most beans and legumes from dried in record time. (This is also helpful for saving money, as dried beans are cheaper than canned).

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Lentil Enchilada Pasta

Lentils give delectable heft to this simple tomato sauce. Serve with a generous helping of fresh greens and finish with avocado, nutritional yeast, and paprika.

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Simple Vegan Pita Pizzas

Comforting and fun to eat, these mouthwatering Mediterranean-inspired pita pizzas are a great option for busy weeknights. See also: Tex-Mex Pita Pizzas.

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Sweet Potato, Pear, and Blueberry Flatbreads

Our Oil-Free Homemade Pizza Dough and a smear of mashed sweet potato form the fluffy, luscious base for these fruity flatbreads.

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Garlic Hash Browns with Kale

Sick of the same old dinnertime entrees? Change things up by enjoying these crispy, oil-free, garlicky hash browns for dinner. Serve with steamed kale or a green salad and salsa.

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Quick Black Bean Tostadas

Toasted tortillas topped with flavorful black beans and fresh vegetables make a quick and delicious light meal. See also: Street Corn Tostadas and Southwest Chipotle Tostadas.

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Buffalo Cauliflower Pita Pockets

Sautéed frozen cauliflower, carrot, and chickpeas get a spicy makeover in these loaded pita pockets. Use the liquid from the can of chickpeas (aquafaba) for extra-silky texture. For a gluten-free option, serve in lettuce wraps.

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Jackfruit Barbecue Sandwiches with Broccoli Slaw

A homemade barbecue sauce packed with jackfruit chunks and tender cooked farro pairs perfectly with a broccoli-avocado slaw. Serve in a whole grain bun for a finger-licking good meal.

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Veggie Summer Rolls

Fill rice paper rolls with fresh crunchy veggies and vermicelli noodles for a light and satisfying supper. Don’t hold back; get creative! Leftover salads can make a good filling, too.

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California Burritos

Ready in just 20 minutes, these nutritious California-style burritos are a smorgasbord of texture and flavor with crunchy lettuce, soft avocado, salsa, and a well-seasoned corn and pinto bean mix.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Orange Black Bean Taquitos

These zesty orange and black bean taquitos are a family favorite. Serve with cooked brown rice or quinoa and a green salad.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Full-On Taco Bar

With a texture similar to that of ground meat, lentils work perfectly in vegan tacos. Serve with shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, and salsa, and you’ve got your own taco bar.

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Grits and Greens

Whether you’re new to grits or you’re a longtime fan, this simple tomato, kale, and pinto bean topping served over creamy grits has everything you need for a superb family meal.

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Burrito Bowl

This dish comes together quickly when you use leftover grains and whatever beans you have on hand. Top with avocado, tomato, fresh herbs, and serve.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Chickpea Avocado Salad

Garlic, lime, avocado, and cilantro combine beautifully with the nutty flavor of chickpeas. Serve over salad greens such as spinach, arugula, or mixed baby lettuce leaves.

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Quick Brown Rice Congee

A mix of mushrooms, green onions, and ginger have just the right amount of spice in this melt-in-your-mouth hot rice and tofu dish.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Couscous Bowls

The quick-cooking nature of couscous makes it ideal for an evening meal or a hearty lunch. Just add salad vegetables, chickpeas, and a drizzle of tahini sauce!

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Millet in Coconut Curry

The mild flavor of leeks sits comfortably with asparagus and millet in this luscious plant-based coconut curry, while lime juice and fresh ginger add a pleasant tang.

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Blueberry Spinach Salad Bowl with Orange Vinaigrette

The magic of this stunning salad is the zesty orange vinaigrette that ties together a medley of tasty ingredients: sweet potatoes roasted with orange juice and spices, juicy fresh blueberries, baby spinach, cooked wheat berries, and avocado.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Tex-Mex Polenta Bowls

This nourishing, comforting bowl features warming spices, creamy polenta, and black beans for extra heartiness.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Quinoa Primavera

Citrus-pickled shallots provide a tasty pop of flavor to complement this simple quinoa dish loaded with practical ingredients.

Top-down shot of two Couscous Bowls - one of our healthy 30-minute meals View Recipe

Southwestern Potato Bowl

Never underestimate the power of potato salad to be a meal on its own! Add beans, veggies, and a drizzle of hot sauce for a robust salad packed with crunch and flavor.

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More Vegan Recipes

Looking for more convenient vegan recipes? Check out 29 Easy Plant-Based Recipes You’ll Make Again and Again, which features our favorite low-effort dishes.

sweet potato quesadilla topped with guacamole - one of many plant based recipes

And if it’s healthy breakfast inspiration that you’re after, look no further than our roundup of Boredom-Busting Breakfasts.

Transform Leftovers Into Vegan Breakfast

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about the author

Lisa Esile, MS

Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. Lisa is the author of Reach your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway?.

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