Today we have got three delicious recipes which are meal prep friendly, they are vegan, and they also are perfect for a weeknight family dinner. So for those of you who do have kids out there, these are the perfect easy vegan dinner recipes which are definitely sure to feed your family. And if you don’t have kids, you’re still gonna enjoy these recipes. They’re easy to make, they’re delicious, and they’re plant based.
Quinoa mac and cheese
Otherwise, let’s go ahead and dive in to our recipes. Our first family dinner is my quinoa mac and cheese. It starts by boiling some butternut squash, so it’s three cups of butternut squash that you just add into a small saucepan and then you can top that with water and just cover it by an inch of water.
And then bring it to a boil and let these just simmer for about 15 minutes until they are fork tender. Then you’re gonna drain them and transfer them to a blender. To the blender you’re gonna add your nutritional yeast and a little bit of almond milk and then we will blend that up until it is smooth and creamy and this is going to be our cheese sauce. If you want to taste it and adjust by adding like salt, pepper, or maybe a little lemon juice that’s totally fine. And then once you have that smooth just set it aside and we’re going to be using cooked quinoa as our base.
I’ll link it down for you below but it’s just four cups of cooked quinoa which is about a cup, maybe a little bit more of uncooked and then you’ll top that with the cheese sauce. Then just add a coup of shredded vegan cheese or whatever kind of cheese you want, stir it all together until it’s completely combined and we’ll transfer that into a baking dish and just kind of smooth it over, press it down, make sure that it’s kinda evenly spread out through that dish. And to finish it off I just like to sprinkle on a little bit of extra vegan cheese, kind of adds a little nice cheesiness on top and then we’re just gonna bake this for about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted, everything is warm, and the cheese on the inside is melted too so it’s really nice and cheesy.
And you can let it cool for a little bit and then serve it up. This also makes a really fabulous meal prep recipe. You can just pop it in the microwave and reheat it. And like I said earlier, you can definitely adjust the taste of the sauce. This is a five-ingredient recipe which is why the ingredient list is paired down but if you wanna add more flavor go ahead and adjust the sauce a little bit. But really this is such a yummy, kid-friendly meal, so delicious, packed with plant-based protein, packed with fiber, and secretly sneaking in some butternut squash which you can’t beat.
The next recipe we have is a Tuscan stew and we’re gonna use butternut squash again, you could also use potato, we have white beans, we have fire roasted tomatoes, we have onion, kale, garlic, and we’re gonna start by sauteing our garlic and onion in a large stockpot with a little bit of olive oil, just kind of cook that until it softens maybe two to three minutes or so.
Then you can add in your seasoning, so we’re gonna use Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir to get the spices nice and toasty. Then you’ll add in your butternut squash and if you don’t wanna use butternut squash you can also use regular potato, which might be more kid friendly or sweet potato.
I love fire roasted diced tomatoes. It adds a really nice smokiness and diced tomatoes are just so good in this recipe. So add that whole can in there and then we’re also gonna add in a can of cooked white beans. If you don’t have white beans you could also use kidney beans, you could use chickpeas, you could use lentils if you wanted. Give it a quick stir, top it with some broth, water, and quinoa. And quinoa again is gonna add a really nice texture, also gonna increase the protein count a little bit. Give it a quick stir and then you will bring this up to a boil.
Once it’s boiling you can cover it and simmer it and it will cook for about 30 minutes. Once it’s been cooking for about 30 minutes you’re gonna add in two to three maybe four cups of kale. You could also use spinach or chard or whatever kind of green you wanted. And if you do do this with kids I would recommend just copping it up finer than I did here because it was a little bit hard to eat and little kiddos might not like that. So chop it up a little bit finer if you are serving this for kids and just give it a quick stir and you’ll cook it again for another five minutes or so until the kale is completely wilted. Then remove it from the heat and to finish it off I like to stir in some nutritional yeast, some extra salt if you need it, as well as some lemon juice, which really kind of brightens up the flavor and really brings out all of the deliciousness in this soup.
So again, this is one of those recipes that definitely serves a crowd. It might not be like the most kid friendly but I feel like it’s still kid friendly because it doesn’t have a lot of spice, it has good flavor. You could just chop up the vegetables a little bit more finely to make it easier for them to eat. And like I said, again it’s meal prep friendly, it freezes well, and it just tastes really good and it’s so warm and cozy.
And then our final recipe today is my quinoa pizza and this is a veggie-loaded quinoa pizza with a twist at the end. So to start we are going to add our quinoa into a small bowl or Pyrex dish. Top that with enough water to cover it by at least one inch. I like using hot water because you don’t have to soak it as along. And then just let this soak for at least eight hours if you’re using cold water. You can get away with like one hour if you’re using hot water and you have a really high-powered blender.
Then you will drain it and rinse it in a fine mesh strainer and add that quinoa into a blender. Follow that with some hummus, some water, olive oil, baking powder, and some salt and you will just blend this up until it is smooth and creamy. And the texture is kind of gonna be like a thick pancake batter. It’s really smooth, you wanna make sure that you just blend, blend, blend, blend, blend until it gets smooth. And it will be kind of like pourable almost but here is what it looks like. And then from there you are going to just pour this batter directly onto a parchment-lined backing sheet. I have a circular pan that came with my toaster oven which is what I bake in. If you don’t have a circular pan, which most people don’t, you can just use like a regular square baking sheet and just spread it out in a square pan and just form it into either circles or you can do it into a big rectangle pizza.
Spread it out in an even layer and then we’ll pop this in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Once you have that you can take it out, flip it over directly onto the pan, and cook it for another 10 to 12 minutes. From there we are going to add on our toppings. So I love this tomato sauce. It’s their Tuscan pepper spicy tomato sauce. It’s so good with pizza. It’s also really good with pasta but it’s awesome on pizza.
So we’re gonna use some of this past sauce as our base and just spread it out in an even layer, top that with a little layer of cheese, and then just use whatever veggies you want. I did some sliced tomato as well as some finely chopped up cauliflower florets. Also did some red bell pepper. And then for us we don’t necessarily like the same thing on our pizzas. I love zucchini, Matt does not like zucchini. So I did half and half, which is my little twist at the end. This is a great thing to do if you have family members who don’t like eating the same thing. So we did half of the pizza with zucchini, which was for me, and the other half had meat crumbles from Beyond Meat and it was just like the perfect combo for us. And then I like to sprinkle on a little bit of extra cheese on top so that the toppings really make sure that they stick on there nicely.
You’ll pop it back in your oven for about 10 minutes or so until the cheese is melted and the toppings have cooked and are nice and soft. And then you can just let it cool and slice it up. I let it cool for about five minutes before I slice it and you’ll see when I pick up a piece and show you, but it holds onto all of your favorite toppings.
And like I said, this is a really great option for kiddos because it’s super healthy, really high in protein, it’s naturally vegan which is awesome, really easy to make, you don’t have to worry about mixing and rising and all that stuff. And then if you do want to customize it’s also really easy to do that so you could do the half and half, you could do a quarter, you could make them into personal sized pizzas. Basically you can just have fun with the batter and form it into whatever shapes you want or whatever sizes you want, top it with whatever you want.
So you can really have fun with it. And then if you have kids that are old enough to cook also you can get them involved by having them help with the toppings. So either way, pizza is always a win in my book, I love it. I love this recipe. It’s one of the most loved and made recipes on my site and if you guys haven’t tried it yet you have to because it is so, so yummy. And there you have it my friends.
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipes. I can’t wait to see which ones you end up making for dinner. Like I said, these are easy vegan dinner recipes which are perfect for your family.
These recipes are sure to be kid friendly I promise. There’s things like pizza, I mean how can kids say no to pizza, right? And they’re all really healthy which is a bonus. And if you don’t have kids, don’t worry, they’re still definitely friendly for you as well. You are going to love them.