Struggling to find surefire vegan recipes for kids? We get it! When you’re tired and busy, the temptation to turn to packaged meals is real. But what if you had a stash of nourishing vegan recipes that are easy to prepare and highly likely to be gobbled down by the whole family? This collection of vegan recipes for kids is a great place to start: Bookmark it for inspiration, print out your favorites, and add to them as you go.
With carrot, red bell pepper, and plenty of chickpeas, these five-star oil-free vegan patties are healthy with a capital “H.” A well-balanced trio of tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard elevate the flavor, while nutritional yeast adds a subtle cheesiness. The mix needs half an hour to chill and could be prepared earlier. Note: These freeze well, so double the recipe and freeze for another day. Cook once; eat twice! A reader shares, “I have made these burgers many times for my family, and everyone loves them! If you have a food processor, it’s a very easy recipe.”
One of our top-rating family recipes for years, this earthy soup hits all the right notes. Familiar veggies like potato, carrot, spinach, and onion combine with the meaty, rich flavor of brown lentils to create a nourishing soup that kids will gobble up quicker than you can say, Who ate all their spinach? Feel free to switch out ingredients for what you have on hand; for instance, frozen corn and mushrooms also work well. Pro tip: Be sure to take the time to season to suit your family. Salt as required, and go easy on the pepper. A squeeze of lemon juice will brighten the flavor of this and any other soup. A fan writes, “I’ve made this soup many times as it’s so easy, delicious, healthy, and filling!”
This vegan lasagna is remarkably easy to make and features layers of marinara sauce, an easy tofu ricotta, wilted spinach, and fuss-free no-boil lasagna noodles. This tastes even better the next day, so make an extra casserole, and you’ve got a ready-made meal for later in the week. Note: To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free lasagna noodles. Notes a fan, “My meat-eating husband and picky child both loved this recipe. Blended the spinach into the tofu to hide it from my kid.” Another writes, “I was really surprised at how excellent this turned out. It’s one of the best lasagnas I’ve ever had and definitely the best I’ve ever made.”
Tucked into lunchboxes, offered as an afternoon snack or after-dinner nosh, these enticing cookies are the solution to the always-hungry problem. The hearty oat base, peanut butter richness, and classic apple-raisin flavor are forever appealing. Plus, they freeze well, so you can always have some on hand. Note: If your child’s school has a no-peanuts policy, use sunflower butter instead of peanut butter. A satisfied fan writes, “One of my favorite recipes of all time—I make these cookies so often! Perfectly soft, with a wonderfully indulgent peanut butter taste. I use oat flour in place of the whole wheat flour and a mix of nuts in place of raisins.”
Remember the chocolate chip cookies grandma used to make that were half butter? Eek. Now you can get the same tantalizing flavor with these chewy vegan chocolate chip cookies, which use almond butter for a rich, creamy taste. Sweetened with apple sauce and your choice of dry sweetener (coconut sugar, date sugar, or cane sugar), they’re far healthier and will give your kids those unforgettable chocolate chip cookie memories. Note: These can also be made gluten-free using sorghum flour instead of wheat flour. Writes a fan, “My family loves these cookies! They are great with a cup of tea or coffee, in a lunchbox, or on a road trip (or plane trip!). We mix it up by subbing raisins for the chocolate chips.”
Are you sick of searching for whole-food, plant-based bread that doesn't cost a small fortune? This delicious whole wheat bread featuring mashed potatoes is the answer you've been looking for. It has five ingredients, and once you are practiced at allowing for the rising time, it's a cinch to make, no matter how busy you are. Shares a fan, "OMG. I've made it three times. I promise you it's foolproof. I'm not a baker. I even used instant potato flakes. Yummie. I think I will play with it next time and add seeds and nuts."
Sweet, moist, and light, these gluten-free cornmeal and oat flour muffins are a plant-based parent’s best friend. With just 20 minutes of prep time, you can have these in the oven in less time than it takes to drive to the store to buy another round of expensive store-bought snacks. This recipe is easy to adapt; for instance, you can reduce or eliminate maple syrup, use different flours, or substitute berries for frozen corn. The comments section is a wonderland of great ideas. Shares a fan, “Yum yum! Making these every week with variations—blueberries, raspberries, etc. This is a great recipe to have on hand!”
Sweet diced apple and tangy dill pickles pair with earthy potatoes and squiggly pasta in this supremely satisfying pasta-meets-potato salad—it’s almost like a kid designed it! Cannellini beans add extra oomph while being mild enough to fly under the radar, and finely chopped celery and kale add green goodness. Red onion adds a yummy sharpness, but if it’s likely to be spat out, serve it on the side for those who like it.
With cabbage, potatoes, and onion, this wholesome soup has no surprising exotic ingredients and an honest, earthy flavor kids respond to. Peas add a pop of sweetness to every mouthful, but if your crew is not into peas, try frozen corn or another vegetable such as spinach, mushrooms, or carrots. Feel free to use white or purple cabbage; both taste great. One reader writes, “Super filling and delicious. The purple cabbage color does fade a bit but is still a visual feast.”
Cool and refreshing, frozen grapes are as delicious as any store-bought frozen treat. Kids will enjoy skewering the grapes, and the scrumptious five-minute chocolate sauce is naturally sweetened with dates and made with pantry staples. Light and refreshing, this chocolatey fruit dessert doesn’t leave you feeling like you swallowed an anchor.
What better way to get the kids to eat this filling quinoa, corn, and black bean salad than in a crispy tortilla bowl? The Tex-Mex-style filling gets extra flavor from tangy pico de gallo while creamy avocado, lemony cilantro, and lime juice round out the flavors and make you feel like you're at a restaurant. Another option is to serve this in a bowl, topped with crispy tortilla strips. These are ready in 25 minutes: Now that's a recipe worth noting!
A tangy orange juice and balsamic vinegar dressing endears this grilled summer squash pasta salad to the younger palate. With creamy butter beans, tender green beans, juicy grapes, salty olives, and peppery basil, every forkful is a tasty one. The recipe calls for a grilled fennel bulb, which has a distinctive anise flavor. If you think this might be an issue, leave it off or serve it on the side.