Plant Based is a term that is popping up everywhere from articles to recipes to social media and even on some packages of food. What exactly is plant based? As we share in our article entitled “Plant Based vs Vegan: Going Beyond the Diet to Determine the Differences,” we defined plant based and highlighted the differences from the term vegan. We shared:

“What is the difference then between plant based and vegan?

The short and overly simplistic answer is nothing and everything. Depending upon who is using the term and why, these two things may be seen as one and the same and used interchangeably. However, based upon the decided upon meaning we set forth above, the difference is pretty significant.

Plant based is a term that encompasses a vegan diet without embracing the ethical concerns for animals, which is significant.

Plant based also typically refers to eating mainly a whole foods based diet with minimal processed food, while a vegan diet can range from eating only whole foods to eating all vegan processed foods and everything in between those two diets.”

As we’ve defined plant based and in the context of food, it refers to vegan food and recipes that are mostly focused on whole food based ingredients. Whole foods, minimally processed ingredients exclude the following:

  • oils
  • sugars
  • refined flours (some may include all flours in this)
  • artificial ingredients
  • colorings
  • preservatives
  • heavily processed foods such as chips, breads, cookies and baked goods (although some baked goods can be made from whole foods)

This list is not definitive nor is the term whole food well defined but this is generally what is accepted as whole foods, plant foods that are in their whole or unrefined state such as fresh and cooked fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds. So the following recipes we’ve collected feature a wide variety of plant based, vegan-friendly recipes that use minimally processed ingredients to make minimally processed food. Some recipes may include a touch of maple syrup or some whole grain flours or flours made from beans. Occasionally, they may include even cocoa powder (because sometimes cacao nibs don’t cut it). We consider these foods alright in small quantities and compliant with a plant based diet while also providing a bit of extra room to enjoy a wider variety of foods to keep you feeling nourished and satisfied. 

Plant Based Recipes for You to Try


plant based recipes

Recipe: Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Where to Find It: Abra’s Kitchen

Why We Love It: This recipe is so beautiful, so creamy, and has chocolate, so it’s pretty much perfect. This recipe is full of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, magnesium, and omega 3’s. This makes it an ideal way to start your day. 

Recipe: Flat Tummy Superfood Burcha

Where to Find It: Feel the Lean

Why We Love It: This recipe comes together super easily for an amazingly nutrient dense mix that can be used in a variety of ways. This burcha can top smoothies or smoothie bowls for an extra crunch. It can be soaked in freshly made nut milk for a thick porridge. Or you can add it atop your oatmeal for a crunchy boost. It’s packed full of fiber, omega 3’s, protein, minerals and antioxidants. This makes it a great option to consume regularly for great health.

Recipe: Wild Blueberry Mini Muffins

Where to Find It: Medical Medium

Why We Love It: Sometimes we just want a delicious, slightly sweet baked good for breakfast and these muffins hit the spot. They’re easy to make and come together quickly with everyday ingredients. This makes them a great make ahead for the week recipe. We love that they use all whole foods ingredients that are both gluten and soy-free and have very little sugar in the form of fruit and maple syrup. This makes them a great healthy option for people with almost any diet.

Recipe: Stuffed Breakfast Sweet Potatoes 5 Ways

Where to Find It: Emilie Eats

Why We Love It: Sweet potatoes are one of the most undervalued foods as they can be used in a wide variety of both sweet and savory recipes and are full of nutrients and fiber. Using sweet potatoes for breakfast is a great option as you can bake a batch ahead at the beginning of the week for a quick and healthy option. We are partial to the the Chunky Monkey version. But if you tend to stay away from chocolate, just substitute in raw cacao nibs for the chocolate chips for a chocolatey taste with an extra boost.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

Where to Find It: Running on Real Food

Why We Love It: This is such a delicious mix of textures and flavors and is a great option for a weekend breakfast. It’s chock full of vegetables and even a hearty dose of fat due to the avocado and protein due to the tempeh. This is a really great basic recipe. It can easily be modified by swapping out the sweet potatoes for regular potatoes and using beans instead of tempeh.


plant based recipes

Recipe: Mango Mojito Smoothie

Where to Find It: Medical Medium

Why We Love It: This is such a refreshing and delicious smoothie, you’ll want to drink it year round! Full of healthy foods containing vitamin C, antioxidants, chlorophyll, potassium and fiber, it’s quite healthy while also being quite tasty. If barley grass juice powder isn’t easy to find or appealing, you could substitute in fresh leafy greens such as spinach.

Recipe: Cold Buster Citrus Smoothie

Where to Find It: Seasonal Cravings

Why We Love It: This sweet recipe is as amazing for a cold as it is to just enjoy on a hot, sunny day! It’s filled with Vitamin C to help replenish your body and immunity. And it’s also got coconut water for extra hydration. 

Recipe: Cashew Date Shake

Where to Find It: Downshiftology

Why We Love It: This shake is creamy, sweet and simple to make. Date shakes are apparently a Southern California thing. And while we haven’t experienced one, it’s safe to say that if this shake is any indication of what they taste like, they must be good. This indulgent smoothie is all of fiber, minerals and potassium, so drink up and enjoy!

Recipe: Pineapple Blueberry Smoothie

Where to Find It: North South Blonde

Why We Love It: This smoothie is a unique combination and is truly a treat! It’s full of enzyme-rich pineapple, antioxidant-rich blueberries and omega 3 rich chia seeds, making it the perfect way to hydrate. We love the sweet and tart nature of it. It’s a great reason to keep frozen fruit in the freezer at all times.


plant based recipes

Recipe: Oil Free Roasted Pizza Chickpeas

Where to Find It: Rise Shine Cook

Why We Love It: These crunchy snacks are a great alternative to chips! We love how flavorful they are and how easy and quick they come together, especially if you get a craving for something salty and crunchy. A bonus to this snack is that it is so healthy and so cheap!

Recipe: Homemade Almond Butter Larabars

Where to Find It: Home Full of Honey

Why We Love It: These are awesome sweet snacks that take after one of our favorite store bought treats! They come together quickly and easily and are great for both kids and adults alike. This recipe can be easily modified as well, adding in cacao nibs for a chocolatey crunch  or coconut flakes for a tropical hint.

Recipe: Vanilla Maple Flax Energy Balls

Where to Find It: Running on Real Food

Why We Love It: These seed based energy balls are absolutely delicious and are a great nut free snacking option. We love that they use sunflower seed butter and sesame seeds in this sweet treat as we don’t typically see those in things that aren’t savory. We love that these are so mineral dense and full of omega 3’s too. Throw in freeze dried fruit or dried fruit such as berries to give a new and unique flavor.

Recipe: Oil Free Za’atar Sweet Potato Fries

Where to Find It: Healthy Midwestern Girl

Why We Love It: Fries are one of the best foods in existence, and this is a great way to enjoy them minus the oil. These fries are absolutely delicious and unique using za’atar seasoning. If you can’t find it or make it, try another spice mix like chili powder or garam masala for a unique taste. We recommend making extra if more than one person is eating these because, well, they’re amazing and fries go quickly.

Recipe: Carrot Cake Energy Balls

Where to Find It: Running on Real Food

Why We Love It: These little cake bites are so easy to make and contain ingredients that are easy to find, cheap and that you most likely already have on hand. We love how much they remind us of carrot cake with their moist and cake texture. We also love that we don’t have to worry about a sugar rush or crash thanks to the dates.

Dips and Spreads

plant based recipes

Recipe: Easy Baba Ganoush

Where to Find It: From My Bowl

Why We Love It: This recipe is typically loaded with oil but we love that this one simply uses tahini for a rich, fatty and creamy element. It’s absolutely delicious and a great way to try eggplant if you’re unsure of it or tired of making eggplant parm. We love spreading this one cucumber and zucchini slices for a hearty snack.

Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato Cheese

Where to Find It: Eat Plant-Based

Why We Love It: This cheese sauce is amazingly rich and flavorful but not overly processed or fatty like some others. We love that it uses sweet potato for extra nutrients, fiber and color while keeping the fat content low. It’s amazing to dip vegetables into or to serve over some baked potato slices with a lentil taco meat for a plant-based nacho dish. Try adding in jalapeños for extra spice or turmeric for a beautiful color and nutrient boost.

Recipe: Avocado Pesto

Where to Find It: Glue and Glitter

Why We Love It: This pesto is so creamy, so luscious, and so decadent you’ll never miss the oil! The combination of avocado and cashews makes this fatty and dense without making it too heavy. This makes it perfect for pasta, in wraps or served on vegetable noodles. It’s easy to change up too depending on what you have on hand, swapping out the cashews for walnuts or hemp seeds and throwing in roasted garlic instead of fresh for a unique depth and flavor.

Recipe: Savory Cashew Cream

Where to Find It: Radiate Food Vibes

Why We Love It: This easy recipe is a must-have staple to keep on hand. It goes well over chili, baked potatoes, nachos, tacos, or as a base for a creamy salad dressing. We love that it's just a few basic ingredients. In addition, it can be easily modified for extra spices and flavors to go with any dish.

Recipe: Oil Free Hummus

Where to Find It: Pure and Plant Based

Why We Love It: Hummus is one of those most have vegan foods that unfortunately typically contains an excessive amount of oil. This recipe is flavorful, creamy and without a doubt amazing and contains zero oil. This makes it the perfect whole foods option for any hummus lover. 

Recipe: The Best Guacamole 

Where to Find It: Gimme Some Oven

Why We Love It: For some reason, most store-bought guacamoles are either filed with preservatives or are never quite right. This basic recipe tastes amazing. It is a must-have staple for anyone who enjoys guacamole and wants a consistently good batch minus any extra weird ingredients.


plant based recipes

Recipe: The Best and Easiest Vegan Sloppy Joes

Where to Find It: Nora Cooks

Why We Love It: This recipe is actually just as easy as it claims to be. And it is made with cheap and easy to find ingredients. We love how delicious it is while also being whole foods based, which can be tricky when it comes to sloppy joes. This is amazing served in romaine leaves or collard leaves as wraps or inside a simple wrap if you’re trying to stay away from bread but want something a little more hearty.

Recipe: Homemade Baked Falafel

Where to Find It: Sweet Simple Vegan

Why We Love It: This recipe is so simple! Falafel can seem complicated or extremely unhealthy with frying and excessive oil. But this recipe is so easy to make. It is so healthy using just a handful of ingredients to create these flavorful balls. Add them to a salad with crisp romaine, fresh cucumber, tomato and onion and perhaps a dollop of tahini dressing or homemade cashew sour cream for a delicious and filling meal.

Recipe: Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich

Where to Find It: Minimalist Baker

Why We Love It: This recipe is so filling and a great way to get in more protein and fiber while also enjoying the flavor! We love that this feels so rich and delicious while being whole foods based. We used the tahini option in place of vegan mayo and served this inside romaine wraps with fresh cabbage and onion for a hearty and nourishing meal. 

Recipe: Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Where to Find It: The Garden Grazer

Why We Love It: This dish could not be any easier to throw together yet it’s truly nourishing and satisfying for vegans and non vegans alike. It’s filled with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and is low in fat. So that means that it is essential you top it with some guacamole, avocado or fresh cashew cream, just to make it extra delicious.

Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Burger

Where to Find It: Vegan Heaven

Why We Love It: This unique vegan burger recipe is so good. It isn’t filled to the brim with unnecessary binders or oils, which we appreciate. It’s filled with heart and nutritious ingredients and goes great with some quinoa or over a lettuce bowl with all the fixings of a burger, minus the bun.

Recipe: Mango Cashew Collard Wrap

Where to Find It: Veeg

Why We Love It: This mostly raw recipe is all about flavor and we can’t believe just how much of a punch it packs! It’s sweet, spicy, fatty and salty without any weird additives. This makes it a great go to when you want something light and refreshing that will fill you up. We highly recommend trying this in the middle of summer when it’s too hot to turn on the oven but you want something hearty and healthy.


plant based recipes

Recipe: 3 Ingredient Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Where to Find It: Detoxinista

Why We Love It: This recipe is surprisingly complex and delicious. We love how easy this is to make and uses ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. It can easily be changed by throwing in frozen raspberries or strawberries for a burst of tartness or topping it with cacao nibs for a delicious crunch.

Recipe: No-Bake Frosted Walnut Brownies

Where to Find It: Nutrition in the Kitch

Why We Love It: This recipe had us at whole foods based brownies. They’re gooey, fudge, sweet and amazing and we love that they come together relatively quickly. They’re extremely healthy with loads of fiber, omega 3’s, antioxidants and magnesium, so we don’t feel bad eating one, or three, at a time.

Recipe: 2-Ingredient Blueberry Ice Cream

Where to Find It: Vegan Heaven

Why We Love It: This recipe is so filling and a great way to get in more protein and fiber while also enjoying the flavor! We love that this feels so rich and delicious while being whole foods based. We used the tahini option in place of vegan mayo and served this inside romaine wraps with fresh cabbage and onion for a hearty and nourishing meal. 

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