20 Vegetarian Recipes That Are Ready in Under an Hour

broccoli rabe an avocado salad
Photo: Jennifer Causey

Cooking on a weeknight (or after any long day, for that matter) can feel daunting. Luckily, these vegetarian recipes can be whipped up within the hour. There's broccoli rabe and avocado salad with lemon dressing and herby eggs, creamy vegan pasta primavera, and shaking tofu. Some of the recipes here even have helpful make-ahead tips. Read on and save a few for your next busy night.

Note: Some of these recipes include cheeses that are often made with animal rennet. If you prefer not to use that type of cheese, you can omit it or swap in a vegetarian-friendly substitute.

01 of 20

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce
Constantine Poulos

Chef Missy Robbins’ riff on spicy pomodoro — one of Food & Wine’s 40 best recipes — replaces pasta with chickpeas and kale.

02 of 20

Vegan Mushroom and Fried Tofu Sisig

Vegan Mushroom and Fried Tofu Sisig
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Classic Filipino sisig is made with pork belly and chicken liver cooked with onions, chiles, and calamansi. Chef Kristine Subido offers a vegan option with fried tofu and king trumpet mushrooms at the center. It retains the contrasting textures and flavors of the original with a little crunch coming from the raw red onion plus salty, sour, and sweet flavors from soy sauce, sherry vinegar, lime juice, and sugar.

03 of 20

Broccoli Rabe and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dressing and Herby Molten Eggs

broccoli rabe an avocado salad
Jennifer Causey

“Spring is the season when warm and cold ingredients ought to mingle on one plate, and this salad brings all that to life,” cookbook author Andrea Slonecker writes. “To serve, keep the soft-cooked eggs and the roasted rabe on the warm side, rather than cold, and compose the salad on plates with a bit of artistic flare.”

04 of 20

Tempeh Tacos with Cabbage Slaw 

Tempeh Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Almond Butter Crema
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

These satisfying tacos are made with tempeh, a protein-packed fermented soy-based product that crumbles nicely. Flavored with all the classic taco seasonings, plus some fresh bell pepper and onion for flavor and color, the filling is piled onto charred tortillas and topped with a red cabbage slaw.

05 of 20

Squash and Black-Eyed Pea Coconut Curry

Squash and Black-Eyed Pea Coconut Curry
Eric Wolfinger

This quick recipe from cookbook author Meera Sodha combines garam masala-roasted acorn squash with a “very lightly simmered coconut curry” that includes plum tomatoes and black-eyed peas.

06 of 20

Charred Vegetable Ragù

Charred Vegetable Ragu
Victor Protasio

F&W's Kelsey Youngman makes this tagliatelle pasta with a meatless ragù when she wants comfort food on a weeknight. Charring the mirepoix under the broiler adds smoky flavor; it all comes together in an hour.

07 of 20

Shaking Tofu

Shaking Tofu
Greg DuPree

This recipe from food writer Andrea Nguyen is a vegetarian version of Shaking Beef, the Vietnamese dish named for the quick back-and-forth shaking of the pan that takes place during cooking. It comes together in just 35 minutes; if you want to save even more time, Nguyen says you can fry the tofu hours in advance and then heat it up with the sauce.

08 of 20

Za’atar Baked Eggs

Za'atar Baked Eggs
John Kernick

If you’re in the mood to have breakfast for dinner, give Gail Simmons’ za’atar baked eggs a try. They’re ready in 30 minutes and served with yogurt that’s mixed with finely chopped cucumber, lemon juice, sumac, mint, parsley, and za’atar.

09 of 20

Creamy Vegan Pasta Primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

This vegan-friendly pasta primavera from recipe developer Ann Taylor Pittman uses pine nuts and macadamia milk (make sure you buy the unsweetened version) to create a creamy texture, and nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan for umami flavor.

10 of 20

Vegan Caesar Salad with Chicories and Walnuts

Vegan Caesar salad with Chicories and Walnuts Recipe
John Kernick

Use a white or chickpea miso here for the creamy dressing; they’re fermented for less time than funkier red misos and won’t overpower the dish. (You can store the dressing in the fridge for up to three days if you want to make it ahead of time.)

11 of 20

Mushroom-Chickpea Pozole

Vegetable Posole Recipe
Caitlin Bensel

Celebrity chef Marcela Valladolid’s quick, vegetable-packed version of pozole features baby portobello and shiitake mushrooms. It uses chickpeas in place of dried hominy.

12 of 20

Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa and Fried Eggs

Vegetarian Chilaquiles Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

These chilaquiles from recipe developer Jasmine Smith are another terrific breakfast-for-dinner option. If you want to speed things up, you can use store-bought tortilla chips instead of frying your own.

13 of 20

Pineapple Black Fried Rice

Pineapple Black Fried Rice
Johnny Miller

This fried rice recipe from chef JJ Johnson is packed with edamame, mustard greens, pineapple, bean sprouts, and carrot.

14 of 20

Restorative Ginger and Turmeric Noodle Soup

Ginger Turmeric Noodle Soup Recipe
Jennifer Causey

F&W Cooks contributor McKinnon says this soup is “like a hug” in winter. Garlic oil and ginger-turmeric curry paste add flavor — the paste can keep in the refrigerator for up to seven days and can be frozen, too, so it’s easy to prepare in advance.

15 of 20

Double Drive-Thru Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burgers with lentils and tofu

These veggie burgers from chef Chloe Coscarelli are paired with a “tangy-sweet vegan take on Thousand Island dressing,” made with tofu, ketchup, yellow mustard, agave, garlic, sweet pickle relish, chopped fresh dill, and kosher salt. It can be refrigerated for up to one week.

16 of 20

Smoky Beans and Greens in Tomato Broth

Smoky Vegetarian Beans and Green Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

This soul-satisfying bowl of beans and greens hits the spot on a night when you're low on time and energy and the fridge seems a bit bare. Smoked paprika adds a welcome hint of smokiness, while the combination of tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes delivers an aromatic broth in record time. Use whatever cooked beans and leafy greens you have on hand.

17 of 20

Tofu Skin Stir-Fry

Tofu Skin Stir Fry
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Dried tofu skin is hardy enough to withstand braises, bold sauces, and stir-fries, mimicking the texture of shredded meat. In this recipe, dried tofu skin sticks are broken into pieces, rehydrated until pliable, and then stir-fried and with an umami-rich chile oil and soy sauce.

18 of 20

Vegetarian Kofta Pitas with Plant-Based Meat and Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

Plant-Based Kofta Recipe
Photo by Ellen Mary Cronin / Food and prop styling by Radin+Croney Collective

This version of kofta trades lamb for plant-based "beef," seasoned with tangy pomegranate molasses, fresh mint, and hot paprika to evoke the flavors of the classic. A tangle of tart, sumac-tinted onions and a drizzle of tahini-laced yogurt sauce make these plant-based pitas a hearty and flavorful meal.

19 of 20

Tofu Pad Thai

Mushroom and Tofu Pad Thai
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Chef Lara Lee's meatless pad Thai champions hearty, savory fresh oyster and shiitake mushrooms, which suffuse the dish with earthy flavor and combine beautifully with chewy noodles, golden-fried tofu, fresh, crisp bean sprouts, lightly spicy long red chiles, and crunchy peanuts. To make it vegetarian, use a vegan fish sauce, such as Ocean's Halo, and swap mushroom sauce for the oyster sauce.

20 of 20

Hina Auntie's Chana Masala with Puri

Hina Auntie’s Chana Masala with Puri
Gerard + Belevender

Toasting and grinding whole spices instead of relying on pre-ground spice powders adds unparalleled depth of flavor to this spicy chickpea dish from western India. Skip the puri and serve with rice or another flatbread if you prefer.

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