To help get you started with healthy food for the new year, I’m sharing my top 20 vegetarian dinner recipes for winter time. These rely on cold-weather produce like carrots, cauliflower, and winter greens, for budget friendly and sustainable meals. Most are great for meal prepping and to have as leftovers so you can get more than one meal out of cooking once.
I hope this can inspire you if you’re on a journey toward healthier eating, or are moving toward a more plant centred diet, or just need a few ideas for weeknight dinners this winter. These recipes are easily adaptable and with the exception of one or two, can all be ready in about half an hour.
1. Vegan Lentil and Potato Stew
Very budget and pantry friendly, this hearty root vegetable & lentil soup/stew is made with a handful of inexpensive ingredients and jazzed up with a hit of mustard at the end. I often make this with frozen greens. Get the recipe here.
2. Black Bean Rice Burgers with Rainbow Toppings
Baked black bean burgers filled out with brown rice (leftover, if you have it) and sunflower seeds are surprisingly solid for a veggie burger. Topped with a rainbow of winter veg, these only take about 40 minutes to make total – really! Get the recipe here.
3. Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, and Chickpea Curry
The best comfort food, especially served with a batch of spelt naan or rice. A couple handfuls of greens are stirred in right at the end of cooking, for a boost of colour and nutrition, and there’s a big hit of fresh ginger and turmeric along with the dried spices. Get the recipe here.
4. Moroccan Quinoa, Carrot, and Chickpea Salad
This, I think, has been the recipe I’ve made most often so far this winter. 15 minutes start to finish, packed with protein from chickpeas, quinoa, and lots of seeds, plus raw vegetables that we often forget about in winter. This is especially good if you often have extra quinoa lying around. Get the recipe here.
5. Beets and Greens Tart
This cozy, quiche-y tart is made with a chickpea and oat flour based crust, then layered shredded potatoes, beets, and rucola in the filling. Serve with a little honey drizzled overtop and bask in that gorgeous colour. Get the recipe here.
6. Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup
Creamy, dreamy, with blended white beans for added protein, this is the cauliflower soup of my dreams. With really simple ingredients, seasoned with rosemary, and topped with the best easy rye bread croutons. Get the recipe here.
7. Sweet Potato Lentil Hummus + A Vegan Mezze
This sweet potato hummus is on the milder side, with roasted garlic and mellow red lentils. A cold-weather mezze might seem like a strange choice for a weeknight meal but who can say no to hummus, crackers, veg and fruit? It’s fun, colourful, and flexible – plus everything can be made long in advance, and then all you have to do is pop some stuff on a platter and go to town. Get the recipe here.
8. Spicy Roasted Carrots with Tahini Lentil Salad
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Lentils, rucola, and roasted carrots are topped off with a creamy, zesty tahini dressing and pomegranate for a 30 minute weeknight dinner. This serves two (double it for a family) and is a full meal in itself. Get the recipe here.
9. Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Refried Beans
No summer tomatoes or peppers here! These are winter tacos, filled with roasted cauliflower, easy refried beans, and seasoned swiss chard. Topped off with vibrant pickled onions, which are perfect to have a big batch of in the fridge all winter long. Get the recipe here.
10. Chickpea Noodle Soup with Parsley and Lemon
Brightening up winter a bit here with these very moody photos – a touch of fresh parsley and lemon zest does wonders in this plant forward take on the classic soup. This goes a long way if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, and makes a nice big batch. Get the recipe here.
11. Winter Salad with Beets, Orange, and Pomegranate
… and roasted chickpeas and hemp! A base of spinach in this salad means that it doesn’t mind sitting in the fridge for a day or so even after being mixed. The ginger balsamic vinaigrette is what makes this salad, and it’s a nice option if you’re looking for a lighter dinner or lunch. Get the recipe here.
12. Quinoa & Swiss Chard Patties + Avocado Tahini Dip
Good hot, cold, and everything in between, and so adaptable – I’ve even made these with the greens from celery stalks. I hardly ever buy avocados now, and if you’re in the same boat, the tahini dressing from the spicy roasted carrots up at number 8 makes a great alternative to serve these with. Get the recipe here.
13. Moroccan Chickpea, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Lunch Bowls
Just as good hot or cold, this recipe came together with what’s usually hanging around in my fridge and freezer in the winter. If you’re starting from scratch, it still only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish, and most of that is oven time for the sweet potato. Get the recipe here.
14. Carrot, Red Lentil, and Spinach Soup
This is another one that I make all the time, but throughout the year. You’re just using pantry staples here – carrots, dried red lentils, canned tomatoes, and frozen spinach. Some basic spices liven things up, and served over brown rice, it’s hard to go wrong. This has been a blog favourite since it was published. Get the recipe here.
15. Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Grain Bowls
Cauliflower, pumpkin, chickpeas, and whole garlic cloves are roasted together with plenty of spice for this healthy grain bowl, then served on a base of lamb’s lettuce (or any type of greens) and bulgur. Topped off with a roasted garlic vinaigrette, this is another easy 30 minute meal. Get the recipe here.
16. Red Lentil Falafel in a Naanwich
Naanwich notwithstanding, this is a great weeknight meal. If you don’t want to make/eat naan, no worries – I make these easy falafel in a whole host of ways. They make a perfect main with simple roasted potatoes and a side of raw vegetables, or as a filler for wraps, or on top of a salad. (Though if you’re into it, the naanwich is excellent.) Get the recipe here.
17. Cauliflower, Pomegranate, and Pistachio Salad from Ottolenghi Simple
Although this salad isn’t a meal on its own, it can be if you roast a cup of chickpeas alongside the cauliflower! True to its name, it’s a simple recipe, ready in about 30 minutes and easily adaptable. Try pepitas in place of pistachios, add a handful of raisins, or toss in some greens with the herbs. Get the recipe here.
18. Winter Root Vegetable Pizza with Spelt Sourdough Crust
No sourdough starter? Try these toppings on a pizza dough made with this spelt naan recipe. Instead of tomato sauce, the base here is a sweet potato hummus, which adds a slightly cheese-like flavour. Topped off with mushrooms, red onion, fennel, beets, and a little dressed kale. Not a classic pizza, maybe, but a very good winter alternative. Get the recipe here.
19. Cold Weather Detox Salad with Crispy Lentils
Crispy, spicy roasted lentils, orange slices, and pomegranate mix in with wintery greens and red cabbage for a seriously delicious salad here. With a bright orange ginger vinaigrette, this is a cold-weather favourite and the lentils are a nice break from chickpeas. Get the recipe here.
20. Spicy Sweet Potato Pancakes
Latkes minus eggs – chickpea flour is used as the binding agent in these spicy pancakes, with sweet potato playing the starring role. It’s a healthier version of traditional latkes and makes a tasty, easy light dinner that everyone loves. I like serving a batch of these with a big salad and some hummus. Get the recipe here.