We know life is busy for everyone. Parents have work and kids have homework plus a bunch of after-school activities. Sometimes it may seem like families only see each other in passing. But on September 26th, let’s change that because it’s Family Day! Family Day is a national effort to promote family dinners, a campaign developed by an organization called Informed Families.
Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Kids is an effort to encourage parents to recognize the important role they play in their children’s development and behavior. When families stay connected through shared activities including eating dinner together, kids are more likely to succeed in school and less likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Other studies show that when families engage in conversation over dinner, the kids have a better vocabulary and reading abilities, plus better nutritional habits.
Dinner doesn’t have to be a lot of work and in fact, it can be fun. Not sure what to make? Check out these 25 Recipes You Can Feel Good About Making Your Kids. Then, turn off the TV and your phones sit down to these 20 awesome family-friendly vegan dinners.
1. Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese
Cheeseburgers and mac and cheese are two of the most common comfort foods. On their own, they’re delicious. And together? Well, try out this Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese and you’ll find out! It includes macaroni pasta smothered in rich, creamy, and yes, life-changing, cheese sauce. Not to mention, a hefty portion of ground beef-style crumbles. Indulge away!
2. BBQ Tofu and Squash Skewers
Having a barbecue? Ditch the heavy meat skewers for something a bit lighter but just as flavorful, like these BBQ-Seasoned Tofu and Squash Skewers! They contain mushroom, zucchini, and squash, all of which are marinated in a savory marinade. Serve with your favorite condiments or try out the tasty red pepper dip included in this recipe!
3. Mushroom and Pepper Fajitas With Spiced Cashew Cream Sauce
These Mushroom and Pepper Fajitas with Spiced Cashew Cream Sauce are going to become a favorite in your house. A medley of sautéed vegetables are tucked neatly into a corn tortilla, then topped with avocado, cilantro, and a spicy cashew cream sauce. Leave some of the zesty sauce on the side for dipping tortilla chips!
4. Pueblo Corn Pie
This Pueblo Corn Pie will become one of your family’s favorites. This layered casserole of cooked cornmeal topping a tasty bean chili is adapted from a Native American recipe. With beans, corn and lots of bold spices, this dish will satisfy your taste buds and your tummy.
5. Chinese Cabbage Salad With Tofu and Spicy Peanut Dressing
If you’re looking for a salad that’s crunchy, savory, sweet, and with a little bit of heat, then you have to make this Chinese Cabbage Salad With Tofu and Spicy Peanut Dressing. It’s bright, colorful, practically effortless to throw together, and flavorful. The peanut dressing contains no added sugar with a burst of citrusy flavor from fresh orange and lime juice.
6. One-Pan Thai Yellow Curry Macaroni
This One-Pan Thai Yellow Curry Macaroni is probably unlike any other mac you’ve had before. This dish is given its bright yellow color not from cheese but from curry paste. Along with mushrooms, onions, coconut milk, cilantro, peanuts, and lemon, this entrée is a mix of pad Thai and classic macaroni and cheese. Talk about delicious fusion.
7. Grilled Pineapple and Vegetables Rice Noodle Bowl
Made with grilled pineapple, zucchini, and red peppers then quickly stir-fried with mushrooms, edamame, rice noodles, and a sweet-spicy sauce, this Grilled Pineapple and Vegetables Rice Noodle Bowl is a quick and utterly delicious dinner. The combination of grilling and sautéing brings out the best in each of the vegetables, while the sauce is easily customized to your level of desired spiciness or sweetness. Those caramelized bits of pineapple, combined with the spice in the sauce knock this dish out of the ballpark.
8. Cheesy Potato Ravioli With Nettle Pesto
This Cheesy Potato Ravioli with Nettle Pesto puts a new twist on an old favorite. Soft, chewy homemade ravioli dough is stuffed with herby, cheesy potato filling and then served with a nettle pesto. The nettle pesto is versatile — it can be made with different herbs or into a thicker pesto, or you can add cashews, almonds, or any kind of seed. Serve with a few turns of black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and bread on the side.
9. BBQ Pulled Carrot Rolls
The best comfort foods are simple and making this appetizer is super-easy and super hands-off, like these BBQ Pulled Carrot Rolls. Shredded carrots are the perfect whole foods based replacement for pulled pork. Drenched in a tangy, sticky barbecue sauce, these pulled carrot rolls are a guaranteed hit.
10. Chickpea Paprikash: Hungarian Chickpeas in Paprika Roux
This Chickpea Paprikash is a recreation of chicken paprikash, a Hungarian dish made by simmering chicken in a paprika roux. This chickpea paprikash is out of this world and melts in your mouth! The chickpeas are so hearty and the flavors of combining both the smoke and sweet paprika add a rounded flavor of spice and sweetness. Serve over the pasta of your choice with fresh herbs and a dollop of vegan yogurt.
11. Mini Deep Dish Chickpea Flour Pizzas
These Mini Deep Dish Chickpea Flour Pizzas are perfect for family dinners in so many ways. First and foremost, they are irresistibly delicious. The chickpea flour crusts bake into crisp-soft pillows, a perfect complement to the layers of caramelized, broiled vegetables and gooey vegan cheese on top. It doesn’t hurt that these minis are incredibly easy, quick and convenient to make, too. Let everyone personalize their own mini pizza for even more fun.
12. Mexican Stuffed Baked Sweet Potato With Cashew Cheese
These Mexican Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cashew Cheese are vibrant, flavorful, and a breeze to make! Simply bake the potatoes until warm and tender, slice ’em open, and fill with your favorite fixings. This particular recipe is for a Mexican-style potato with avocado, tomato, chili, jalapeño, and some refreshing cashew cheese. Yum!
13. Pineapple Pizza Tacos
In need of a shortcut to a perfectly crispy and thin pizza crust? Try tortillas! These Pineapple “Pizza” Tacos are topped with roasted chickpeas, corn, juicy pineapple, creamy avocado, and a drizzle of Sriracha. It’s like having pizza night and taco night in one incredible dinner.
14. Walnut Portobello Meatball Subs
Walnuts, Baby Bella mushrooms, savory spices, and fresh parsley are mixed with fresh bread crumbs to create these amazing meatballs. If that wasn’t good enough, they’re stuffed into a toasted roll with balsamic-glazed vegetables. These Walnut Portobello Meatball Subs come together in about 30 minutes, so they’re perfect for a weeknight, weekend, or whenever dinner.
15. BBQ Burger With Eggplant Bacon and Cashew Cheese
When you’re craving the rich, bold flavor of a bacon cheeseburger, this soy-based BBQ Burger with Eggplant Bacon and Cashew Cheese is what you need. The patty is smoky from BBQ seasoning and tabasco and is then topped with fried eggplant bacon and a decadent cashew cheese sauce. Save this one for a weekend indulgence and serve with french fries and your favorite condiments.
16. Lentil Meat Loaf With Smoked Paprika Glaze
Who doesn’t love a comforting plate of meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy? This Lentil Meat Loaf with Smoked Paprika Glaze is flavorful, tender and moist without being sticky. The smoked paprika glaze adds a really nice touch, too. Serve it with your favorite sides for the perfect family dinner.
17. Chickpea Chorizo Tacos
This hot and spicy Chickpea Chorizo is like soyrizo, minus the soy! The chickpeas get their meaty “chorizo” flavor by crumbling them in a food processor with savory sun-dried tomato and being cooked in a skillet with a hot and spicy sauce. Load up your tacos with plenty of crisp lettuce, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, and some guac to balance the heat.
18. Tofu ‘Chicken’
Nobody would believe that this Tofu “Chicken” is actually made from tofu! It’s made from yuba, also called tofu skins, a sheet of tofu that can be found at Asian supermarkets. It’s seasoned and marinated in savory spices of all kinds and then steamed to give it a soft texture. It can be eaten as is, grilled, or roasted.
19. Creamy Cashew Tofu Alfredo
There’s nothing like a bowl of Creamy Cashew Tofu Alfredo to bring everyone to the table. When combined with cashews, garlic, non-dairy milk, and salt, tofu can be turned into a creamy alfredo sauce that’s perfect for pasta. Unlike firmer tofu, silken tofu blends up very well without a grainy texture. That means this sauce is silky and delicious as the dairy version. Win!
20. Cheesy Quinoa Meatballs
Trade meatballs in for something a little more wholesome (but just as filling) like these Cheesy Quinoa Meatballs. Fluffy quinoa is rolled in flax seed, diced onion, garlic, herbs, and shredded vegan mozzarella, and then baked in the oven until brown. Serve on top of salad, in a sub, or with marinara and pasta.
Lead image source: Lentil Loaf With Smoked Paprika Glaze