4 Easy and Convenient Vegan Dinner Ideas for Hot Summer Weeknights That You Can Whip Up in 30 Minutes or Less
Summer brings with it a delightful array of produce. From bright yellowy squash to fresh green courgette and tart red tomatoes, summer is a celebration of all things vibrant.
But when it’s warm outside and the sun is just setting, you want to be enjoying the weather, not sweating in the kitchen.
So, we’ve compiled 4 easy and convenient vegan dinner recipes that only take a few minutes to prepare and leave you with plenty of time to sit back, relax and soak up the sun with your family. With these easy, one-pot recipes you can make the most of the season’s fresh produce without feeling like a human furnace in a hot kitchen. And the best part – minimal post-cooking cleanup!
1. Vegan Creamy Caprese Pasta
Zingy, bright, and creamy, this one-pot vegan Caprese pasta - with tart cherry tomatoes, fresh herby-sweet basil, and a delicate creamy sauce - truly celebrates the fresh flavours of summer.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
400g penne pasta
2 cups water
2 cups vegan milk of your choice
½ tsp salt
¼ cup nutritional yeast + 2 tbsp
320g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp pepper (optional)
Salt, to taste (optional)
- In a medium-sized pot, add water and milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and ½ tsp of salt. Stir and simmer over low-medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until pasta is tender and al dente and most of the liquid is reduced.
- Once the pasta is cooked, remove from the heat and add nutritional yeast, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, and basil. Mix until well combined. Check for seasoning, if required add more salt and pepper and serve!
2. Vegan Summer Squash and Courgette Saute
Summer squash is versatile, nourishing and its delicate flavour is refreshingly light on the palate. Pair this tender sunny squash with cool, mildly sweet zucchini, tart cherry tomatoes, and vegan parmesan for a sure-shot, summer stunner.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
½ tbsp olive oil
1 large courgette, diced into ½ inch thick discs
1 yellow squash, diced into ½ inch thick discs
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, ½ tsp
½ cup of vegan parmesan
For the Dressing:
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
A pinch of nutritional yeast
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried basil
- For the dressing, in a small bowl take balsamic vinegar. Add Dijon mustard, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, dried oregano, dried basil and mix till well combined.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat
- Once the oil is hot, add courgette and summer squash, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Then add cherry tomatoes, garlic powder, oregano and dried basil, and mix well to combine. If the pan is dry, add a few drops of water and sauté and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, till courgette and squash are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the dressing, top off with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
3. Mexican Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn
This one-pan Mexican quinoa with black beans and corn looks and feels like summer in a bowl. It’s almost unbelievably nutritious and an excellent source of gluten-free, plant-based complete protein (containing all 9 essential amino acids 😏). Tastewise it is delightfully moreish and refreshingly light, with an added umaminess from black beans.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 ½ cup vegetable broth
3 cups canned diced tomatoes
1 (1lb) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 tbsp paprika
½ tbsp cumin powder
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1 ½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili flakes
1 avocado (optional)
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent. Then add garlic and bell peppers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on high-heat, or until the peppers are tender.
- Add diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, quinoa and spices and mix well. Then add vegetable stock and cook covered for 20 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to ensure that quinoa doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once quinoa is cooked, add lime juice, green onions, parsley. Season with salt, pepper and red chilli flakes, add a few slices of avocado on top and serve hot!
4. Vegan Mushroom and Potato Curry
Curry doesn’t have to be a stressful affair. It might be hard to believe, but it’s true. And this 30-minute, one-pot vegan mushroom potato curry is a testament to that. It is a gorgeous medley of starchy potatoes and umami-rich mushrooms that lends the dish its rich texture and complex flavours.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 large potato, diced into ½ inch cubes
1 aubergine, trimmed and chopped into ½ inch chunks
250g button mushrooms, medium-thickly sliced
3 to 4 tbsp curry paste (as per your taste)
150ml veg stock
400ml reduced coconut milk
1/3 cup coriander, finely chopped
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Then add potatoes and mix. Cook covered for 5 to 6 minutes, on low heat or until potatoes begin to soften. Add aubergines, and mushrooms and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once cooked, add curry paste and mix well. The pour in veg stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until potato is fork-tender. Take off the heat, stir in chopped coriander and serve with rice or naan.
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