Have you ever stumbled upon vegetable meal prep recipes that look really good but seems difficult to make? I most definitely have! Their beautiful and colorful images of what the final recipe looks like grabs our attention and appetite. Some of the turn-offs about veggie recipes for me are long cooking times and unheard-of ingredients. I also think these are the reasons why I get asked for veggie recipes frequently from friends and coworkers.
Since nobody today has the whole day to cook, I’ve decided to put together a list of five quick, beginner friendly vegetable meal prep recipes.
This recipe is one of my favorites because it’s packed with flavor and is very flexible. It can be a main course on it’s own or it can compliment your favorite protein as a side dish. You can also add a variety of vegetables to make things interesting such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions and others. However, if keeping it simple is what you are going for, the recipe below will do just that:
Simple Potato Curry Recipe
- 4 medium red potato without skin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 package curry paste packet I used "100% Natural Chicken Curry Paste" by Kitchens of India
- 1 cup water
Peel potatoes and pre-heat cooking pan with oil on medium heat.
Chop potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces. Add to cooking pan.
Increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking potatoes until they start turning golden, about 10 minutes.
Mix curry paste and 1 cup of water to the potatoes. Bring mixture to a boil. Set heat to low and cover potatoes. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
180 calories per serving
2 – Quick and Easy Vegetarian Chili
The first time I made this chili, I could not believe how simple yet flavorful this recipe is. My spouse and kids aren’t vegetarians, but they love it when I make this chili. I always think I make enough for the work week, but it’s gone by Tuesday or Wednesday. This is definitely one of the best vegetable meal prep recipes for beginners oround.
Quick and Easy Vegetable Chili
Simple and delicious vegetarian chili recipe, also vegan if you don't add the cheese as a topping. If you prefer a spicier chili, I recommend using a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis instead.
- 1 1.25 taco seasoning mix comes in a small packet
- 1 ounce ranch dressing mix comes in a small packet
- 1 12 ounce vegeterian burger crumbles
- 1 onion, small chopped
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 15 ounce can of white beans drained
- 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans
- 1 8 ounce cheddar chesse, shredded for topping, optional
- 1 cilantro, chipped for topping, optional
For easy clean up, use a large pot and spray non-stick cooking oil.
In the large cooking pot, mix the onion, tomatoes, white beans, kidney beans, ranch dressing mix, and taco seasoning mix.
Set cooking pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and mix the vegetarian burger crumbles until heated through, another 5-8 minutes.
Serve and top with cheese and/or cilantro as desired.
425 calories per serving.
3 – Polenta and Pesto Lasagna
When i’m craving an Italian dish, this is my go-to vegetarian meal prep recipe. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to cook and has only a few ingredients making it beginner-friendly.
Polenta and Pesto Lasagna
An easy to make vegetarian version of the popular Italian dish. It is full of flavor and can be topped off with your favorite veggies such as fresh spinach, tomato slices, onions and bell peppers.
- 18 ounce package of polenta cut into about 1/4 inch slices. Bake or roast for a crispier taste.
- 12 ounces marinara sauce
- 1/4 cup pesto sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 fresh spinach optional
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and oil a baking dish that is about 11 x 7 x2 inches deep. Use aluminum paper to make cleanup a breeze.
Arrange one layer of polenta at the bottom of the baking dish. Then spread the pesto sauce over the polenta. Add 1/2 the marinara sauce as the next layer. Finally, insert another layer of polenta, add the remaining marinara sauce, and finish by adding the mozzarella cheese as the last layer.
Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes
358 calories per serving.
4 – Butter Bean Burger Patties
These are a great alternative to regular meat patties and can be made with your favorite type of beans. The bean burger patties are also high in protein, keeping you full longer. This is a great vegetable meal prep recipe to have in your kitchen for sandwiches, wraps, or by itself with some flavored mustard.
Butter Bean Burger Patties
Fabulous recipe for a high protein vegetable burger patty. Goes great in a sandwich and keeps fresh for a week in the fridge, making it meal prep friendly.
- 15 ounce can butter beans drained
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper finely chopped
- 6 saltine crackers crushed
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
In a mixing bowl, mash butter beans until it looks like paste
Add jalapeno, onion, crackers, cheese, egg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Divide mix into 4 equal parts and shape into burger patties.
Set skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to reach about 1/4 inch in depth of the patties. Fry patties 5 minutes on each side, or until golden.
300 calories per burger patty.
It’s amazing what a little olive oil, spices and cooking vinegar can do to your favorite vegetables. This is definitely my go-to vegetable meal prep recipe on Sunday! I call this a “freebie” recipe because this literally takes 5 minutes to setup, and I can usually cook something else while this is in the oven.
Oven Roasted Vegetables Recipe
Wonderful mix of vegetables roasted with vinegar and common household spices, it goes well as a side dish with your favorite protein and stays fresh in the fridge for a week. Perfect addition to your meal prep meals for the week.
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow squash chopped
- 6 brussel sprouts halfed
- 1/2 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp balsamic or any cooking vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 450 F and chop vegetables into roughly equal sizes.
For easy cleanup, add foil and/or nonstick cooking spray to baking pan.
Mix vegetables, olive oil and all spices in baking pan and place in oven.
Roast vegetables for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to roast vegetables evenly.
77 calories per serving
Need More Vegetable Meal Prep Recipes?
There are tons of vegetable meal prep recipes all over the web and on youtube. Don’t let the massive list of ingredients and cooking steps discourage you from trying to cook them. If it looks too complicated or time consuming, think again. I will let you in a little secret. Just because the recipe calls for it, it doesn’t mean it has to have it. Here is a minestrone recipe I found on the web. It calls for 12 different ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large carrot
- 1/3 pound green beans
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
- 1 cup elbow pasta
- 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons basil
I have no doubt that if this recipe was made as is, it would taste wonderful. However, don’t avoid cooking it if you are missing carrots, elbow pasta, basil or can’t find kidney beans. It’s okay, as long as you have most of the ingredients, give it a try.
I hope you enjoyed some of the quick vegetable meal prep recipes I have provided here. There is nothing wrong with taking the “adventurous” route when looking at recipes and asking yourself “what if I make this recipe like this instead…”. Happy meal prepping!