Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Easy Plant-Based Dinners Packed with Protein

updated Jun 16, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Joe Lingeman, Lauren Volo, Shelly Westerhausen, Karen Biton-Cohen, Shelly Westerhausen

This week I’m stacking my meal plan with easy, plant-based dinners that skip the meat in favor of lots of vegetables, whole grains, and beans. The biggest concern with making vegetables the center of the plate — at least for me — is finding satisfying meals that are filling, so I’m not reaching for a snack in an hour. The key? Making sure there’s plenty of protein.

These five dinners get the job done by leaning on beans and legumes, whole grains, tofu, and seeds. Whether you’re cutting back on animal protein temporarily, following a plant-based or vegetarian diet, or simply in need of inspiration for wholesome dinners that are guaranteed to fill you up, here are five to try.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Monday: Slow Cooker Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

This stew is a favorite in our house, and I especially love it for clearing out the crisper, since most vegetables are fair game. I plan to cook the stew over the weekend and pop it in the fridge for Monday’s dinner and lunches throughout the busy week. (You can also freeze the stew — just freeze it before adding the coconut milk for the best results.)

Get the recipe: Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Credit: Lauren Volo

Tuesday: Tofu and Broccoli Green Curry

Thanks to a jar of curry paste and frozen broccoli, I can count on getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Instead of rice, I’ll serve it over some leftover cooked spaghetti squash. (To keep this meal plan vegetarian, look for a curry paste that’s vegetarian — I like Thai Kitchen brand because it’s shellfish-free.)

Get the recipe: Tofu and Broccoli Green Curry

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

Wednesday: Creamy One-Pot Butternut Squash Pasta with White Beans and Kale

This comforting and creamy pasta has been a favorite of mine ever since Grace Elkus shared it. It makes more than my small family will finish in a single meal, so we’ll use the leftovers for lunches later in the week.

Get the recipe: Creamy One-Pot Butternut Squash Pasta with White Beans and Kale

Thursday: Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil Curry and Spinach

This is one of our favorite cozy dinners on cold nights. I plan to double the spinach for an extra dose of veggies.

Get the recipe: Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil Curry and Spinach

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen/Kitchn

Friday: Roasted Falafel-Spiced Tofu with Whipped Tahini

On Fridays we’re usually ready for takeout, but this is just as easy and better than anything we could order. I plan to round out dinner with warm pitas and a simple Greek Diner-style salad.

Get the recipe: Roasted Falafel-Spiced Tofu with Whipped Tahini

Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan!

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