When you’re trying to keep the mess to a minimum and you’ve only got one pot to work with, you really have to make each ingredient count. In one-pot vegetarian dinner recipes, that’s pretty easy: You simply load up on all the protein- and fiber-packed plants you can to ensure your meal is both delicious and satiating.
Since vegetarians don’t eat meat, protein typically comes from sources like beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, tofu, and tempeh. And you’ll get more than enough fiber from pretty much every plant you put on your plate; they’re chock-full of it. Aside from the perks of eating vegetarian meals—like improving your heart health, reducing your risk of diabetes, and lowering your risk of certain cancers—eating a wide range of plants also keeps your meals exciting and flavorful.
From tempeh chili mac to pesto zoodles topped with pine nuts, these one-pot vegetarian recipes make for a healthy dinner without a big clean-up.
Delicious one-pot vegetarian dinner recipes with plenty of fiber and protein
1. Vegetarian Dal
When you make chef Palak Patel‘s vegetarian dal, you’ll get everything you love about the traditional Indian dish… plus even more veggies.
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 cups vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, spinach)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of one half a lemon
4 cups of water
Kosher salt to taste
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Heat oil over medium-high heat, add cumin seeds until they sputter in oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and saute for 3-5 minutes.
2. Add tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes, then add spices, red lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, and water. Season with salt. Cover the lid and simmer on low approximately 30-45 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, spinach, and cilantro.
2. One-pan pesto zoodles
This veggie-loaded zoodle dish gives you a boost of protein thanks to the pine nuts. And the pesto flavor? To-die-for.
1 cup of pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, chopped
1 tbsp chopped capers
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
Zest of 1 lemon
4 medium/large garlic cloves
½ cup of chopped basil leaves
1 carrot, peeled
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1. Roast pine nuts
2. Heat pan to under medium and add olive oil and onion. Wait for the onion to become translucent.
3. Add chopped capers, cilantro, lemon zest, and garlic.
4. After about three minutes, add another ½ tbs of oil.
5. Add zoodles, and toss through sauce very well.
6. Add basil. Once basil wilts a little, add peeled carrot.
7. Go back up to medium heat. Squeeze lemon juice in, and add a pinch of salt.
8. Cook until the carrot is fully cooked.
9. Plate noodles and serve topped with pine nuts, salt, fresh cracked pepper, a spritz of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.
3. One-pot vegan shepherd’s pie
Aside from this meatless shepherd’s pie recipe being super comforting, it’s also filled with fiber from all the veggies and protein from the lentils.
2 cups brown lentils
2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, small diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Paprika, cumin powder, garlic powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper cracked, as needed
Kosher salt to taste
Mashed potatoes ingredients:
4 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup Oatly milk
4 tablespoon vegan butter
1 cup vegan parmesan, optional
1. Heat pot over medium heat and add oil with mushrooms, onions, carrots, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes until just tender around 10 minutes. Season with salt, stir in crushed garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.
2. Add sprigs of thyme and spices with tomato paste and cook until the oil begins to separate. Add vegetable broth.
3. Mix in the lentils and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid evaporates.
4. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Season as needed.
5. Place peeled and cut potatoes into cold water in a saucepan along with salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are cooked through. Drain.
6. While the potatoes are warm, oat milk, butter, and cheese. Season well with salt.
7. Spoon potatoes over meat mixture and score the top with a fork to allow the potatoes to get crispy.
8. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.
This dish has everything you could want in a satisfying dinner: wild rice, hearty veggies, plenty of savory spices, and a little cheese.
Get the recipe: One-pan wild rice and cheesy broccoli casserole
5. One-pot pasta recipe
It doesn’t get easier than this one-pot pasta recipe. When you combine the dry pasta, pasta sauce, water, and veggies together, it all cooks evenly in under 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: One-pot pasta recipe
Grab a large pot and fill it with quinoa, black beans, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, and spices. In under an hour, you’ll be left with a delicious and filling vegetarian chili.
Get the recipe: Sweet potato and quinoa chili
This pasta has it all. Aside from being quick, easy, and budget-friendly, it’s also super-flavorful and filled with protein from the tempeh and beans.
Get the recipe: One-pot vegan chili mac
This crunchy casserole is dairy-free, gluten-free, and made entirely of pantry ingredients and frozen staples.
Get the recipe: One-pot Mexican casserole
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