Top 15 Plant-Based Recipes of the Year
Wow, the past year has definitely been interesting! The COVID pandemic had us cooking in our homes more than ever, plus it had us eating a more plant-based diet. I heard from so many of you who were craving, healthy, delicious, plant-based recipes that warmed your hearts, minds, and souls. You were challenged to cook at home with your kids, manage on a budget, plan meals out of your pantry with food shortages, and eat during isolation orders. So, it’s only natural that some of my recipes became superstars over the past year! I collected these delicious recipes, which were my all time most popular recipes on my site, most pinned on Pinterest, and most liked on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. From my Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl to my Turmeric Mango Carrot Smoothie, these recipes were your favorites to make and eat, and they were also mine. If you haven’t given them a try, then go ahead! Here are my top 15 plant-based recipes of the Year. Enjoy!
15 Most Popular Plant-Based Recipes of the Year at The Plant-Powered Dietitian
1. Greek Veggie Balls with Tahini Lemon Sauce. Get creative by rolling up savory little bites filled with beans, lentils, whole grains, and vegetables as an addictive alternative to meat-based balls. These Greek Veggie Balls are delicious as an appetizer at a party, served with pasta and a sauce, or showcased as the main event at your next meal.
2. Mofongo with Caribbean Vegetable Stew. If you’ve ever tried the classic Puerto Rican dish Mofongo, you likely know that it’s pure comfort food bliss. A mound of mashed plantain cooked in olive oil and seasonings, slathered with a flavorful sauce is just so good! In this traditional, hearty dish, I created a Caribbean style stew, packed with sofrito, vegetables, and red beans. It’s colorful and downright delicious served over the plantains.
3. Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas and Greens. The creamy beans cooked in a flavorful broth, pungent greens, and sweet onions provide a flavor bomb that is equally powerful in nutrition. This Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas and Greens recipe can be cooked up in 40 minutes with only 8 ingredients (many you probably have in your pantry and fridge right now)—no soaking required!
4. Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl. This delicious, Greek-inspired Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl is a nourishing one-dish-in-a-bowl for lunch or dinner, or the perfect salad accompaniment for a family-sized meal. Packed with nutrients and flavors, this will soon be your go-to recipe of the week. This bowl offers the rich, warm flavors of tomatoes, edamame, olives, onions, quinoa, cucumbers, and greens, all drizzled with a flavorful Mediterranean vinaigrette.
5. Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing. This vegan Tofu Kale Power Bowl with Tahini Dressing is packed with the nutrition power of baked tofu, kale, sweet potatoes, peas, peppers, hemp seeds, and tahini. It’s the perfect lunch to get you through the day, satisfied and primed for your best performance.
6. Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup. This recipe for Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup—which is completely vegan—calls upon the flavors of mirepoix—the classic French trifecta of onions, carrots, and celery. In addition, the soup has mushrooms, barley, and seasonings that give it a rich, comforting flavor, as well as strong nutritional profile.
7. Borscht with Beets and Beet Greens. This rustic borscht is based on the humble, rugged vegetables of sustenance, beets and cabbage. In my vegan, gluten-free recipe for Borscht with Beets and Beet Greens, I reserve one of the most nutritious parts of the beet—the greens—to add a touch of pungent, green flavor to this gorgeous, fuchsia-colored soup, packed with powerful phytochemicals in every bite. It also helps reduce food waste to use those beet tops!
8. Lentil Walnut Bolognese with Spaghetti. Tomato products provide just the right amount of pizzazz to pasta recipes, such as this hearty, plant-based Lentil Walnut Bolognese with Spaghetti dish. In this super easy, one-dish meal, you swap out a traditional meat-based sauce for a tomato-forward, lentil and walnut Bolognese sauce, smothered over spaghetti noodles. Savory and delicious, your whole family will love it. Plus, it’s easy on the pocketbook and makes great leftovers the next day!
9. Light Aperol Spritz. If you’re looking for the cocktail du jour, then look no further than the Aperol Spritz. Cool and refreshing, this drink is a bit lighter in sugar and alcohol than many cocktails, and it is so refreshing.
10. Turmeric Mango Carrot Smoothie. You won’t believe the gorgeous orange color of this exotic vegan turmeric, mango, carrot smoothie, which is oh-so creamy (thanks to cashews). Plus, it’s an antioxidant powerhouse, compliments of its potent ingredients. This smoothie is also a good source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
11. Pomegranate Avocado Quinoa Salad. This Pomegranate Avocado Quinoa salad is perfect for the cooler months, when pomegranates and avocados are at their very best. Combined with hearty greens and nuts—it’s like a meal in one. This 100% plant-based (vegan), gluten-free salad is packed with flavor, satisfying protein, slow-digesting carbs, and healthy fats, as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds. Plus, it is just so good.
12. Sesame Roasted Tempeh. This plant-based, vegan superstar is a traditional food from Indonesia, made from fermented soy and grain, and it’s packed with nutrients, including protein and fiber. This simple solution is perfect for making up your own batch of roasted tempeh each week so you can sprinkle it into salads and wraps, and munch on it as a high-protein snack.
13. Burrito with Refried Beans and Corn. I always say that people make plant-based eating too complicated! It can be just as easy as this Burrito with Refried Beans and Corn: whole grain tortillas filled with six ingredients and a side of prepared salsa. This simple burrito—which relies upon frozen and canned ingredients—can be prepared in about 15 minutes for a busy weeknight, weekend brunch, or healthy work lunch.
14. Vegetable Stone Soup. This vegetable soup, filled with summer produce, lentils, barley, and herbs, is inspired by the classic Stone Soup recipe. Topped with home-made whole grain croutons and fresh herbs, it can be the centerpiece of your meal. Cook it up in a slow-cooker to make it even easier.
14. Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl. This dish boasts a rich Thai flavor profile, thanks to hearty additions of red curry, coconut, and peanut butter. Thanks to the brown rice noodles, greens, and tofu—it’s packed with plant-based protein, fiber, and even calcium! The ingredients in this dish are also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help protect your health. Plus, the recipe is completely gluten-free, as well as vegan.
Check out some of my other favorite recipe collections here: