Ever see those television cooking shows where accomplished chefs are challenged to cook without meat, dairy, or eggs? Time after time, these award-winning chefs quake in their boots, stumped as to how they will make a great meal with only plant-based ingredients. Watching these masters of cooking act like preparing a plant-based meal is the hardest thing in the world is enough to scare anyone into thinking that they themselves could never do it. But that’s wrong.

Eating plant-based dishes doesn’t mean you have to become a chef. On the contrary, cooking with veggie-centric ingredients is quite easy. Here are a few awesome plant-based recipes that are the perfect go-tos that a chef of any level (yes, the old warm-up-leftovers-in-the-microwavers are included here too!) should have under their belt!

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We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! 

The BasicsCheeze "Burger" Mac [Vegan]

In order to make delicious plant-based meals, you need to know your substitutions. Take a look at 10 Food Substitutions Every Plant-Based Eater Should Know, 10 Vegetables that Can Substitute for Meat, and The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Meats and Meat Substitutes.

My best recommendation is to learn how to make vegan versions of favorite foods. There pretty much isn’t any dish I used to eat that I can’t make in a vegan version. Check out A Guide to Veganizing Any Dish and How to Veganize Your Favorite Familiar Dishes. Then try your hand at these seven easy plant-based recipes everyone should know how to make.

1. Breakfastclassic breakfast links

Before I was started eating plant-based, I used to skip breakfast all the time except on the weekends. Then I would go to the local diner and indulge in a big breakfast filled with meat, eggs, and cheese. Once I was vegan, I missed those breakfast dishes so I had to learn to make them myself in plant-based versions. I would suggest learning to make whatever your favorite breakfast was.

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Tofu scrambles are one of the first dishes I learned to cook and now they are my easy, go-to, comfort food meals. One of the things I love about scrambles, besides how easy they are to make, is that they are a blank canvas for whatever flavors you like. For tips and tricks, read my Tips for Making Killer Tofu Scrambles. Don’t forget the side dishes like these Classic Breakfast Links, Gluten-Free Breakfast Sausage, and any of these 5 Plant-Based Replacements for Bacon.

If you love pancakes or waffles, they are easier to make plant-based than you think. Try these fool-proof Two Ingredient Pancakes or indulge in these “Bacon” and Maple Syrup Pancakes. For waffles, try any of these 10 Sweet and Savory Waffle recipes. Whatever your breakfast of choice is, make it as healthy as possible with lots of added veggies. See Veggies for Breakfast? How to Do It Simply and Deliciously for recipes and ideas. Even if you think you don’t have time for breakfasts, you do. Try these 5 On-The-Go Easy and Healthy Meals to Take With You.

2. Soupcheezy tomato soup

Knowing how to make a pot of hot, comforting soup is essential. Soup can be a quick meal, an elixir when you’re feeling sick or the perfect accompaniment to your favorite sandwich. Soups can be light or hearty, hot or chilled, broth-based or thick and creamy. Best of all, soup is a great make-ahead meal since you can make a big pot and then keep it in the freezer for later, last-minute meals.

Try these 15 Fresh and Raw Cool Soups for the Summer, The Best Quick Soups to Keep You Warm in the Winter, and 10 Nutritious Soups and Stews to Make in Your Slow Cooker. Whether you prefer a Chipotle Gazpacho, Soothing Miso Soup, Cheezy Tomato Soup, Creamy Vegan Not Clam Chowder, or Vegan Matzoh Ball Soup, knowing how to cook up a pot of your favorite soup is a must.

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3. PastaPasta Bolognese 2

Sometimes when I don’t have a clue what I want to make for dinner, pasta is the easiest and quickest choice. Making pasta is literally as easy as boiling water. Noodles are one of the most versatile foods – it comes in a bunch of different shapes, it can be gluten-free or grain-free, and depending on the sauce and seasonings you choose, the dish can be Italian, Chinese, Thai or even mac and cheese. The most important thing is knowing how to correctly cook pasta. Check out Pasta: How to Avoid 8 Common Cooking Mistakes for all the tips and tricks, Gluten-Free Pasta Options and What to Cook With Them, and 7 Wheat-Free Noodle Options to Use in Your Favorite Dishes.

Flavor those noodles with a sauce that will make them incredible. Here are 7 Vegan Variations of Pasta Sauce to Try and 21 Pasta Dishes to Make Your Summer Dairy-Free and Delicious. If mac and cheese is your perfect pasta dish, read How to Make the Most Decadent Mac and Cheese and then try these 12 Prize-Worthy Mac and Cheese Recipes that are Totally Vegan. You’ll impress your friends and yourself when you can whip up a dish of Pasta Bolognese, Lemon Butter Fettucine with Parsley and Pine Nuts, Cold Rice Noodles in Spicy Peanut Sauce, Indonesian Stir-Fried Noodles, Buffalo Mac and Cheese, or Cheese Burger Mac. You can find even more vegan pasta ideas, from stuffed shells to dairy-free lasagna in the Food Monster App (available for both Android and iPhone. With over 10 new recupes added daily, there are always new, creative, and easy ways to serve pasta!

4. BurgersSeriously Good Veggie Burgers [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a big, juicy veggie burger. It’s a good thing we can buy veggie burgers that are really amazing. See The 15 Best Vegan Burgers on the Market. But it’s also essential to know how to make your own veggie burgers that are delicious and won’t fall apart. Your options of what to make burgers with are unlimited but for a start, check out these 10 Vegetables You Can Make Burgers With and 10 New Ideas for Making Delicious Veggie Burgers. You want your burgers to be delicious so read How to Make Flavorful Veggie Burgers. No one wants a burger that falls apart when you bite into it so get the secrets in How to Make the Perfect Veggie Burger Patty – No More Falling Apart!

Once you have all the tips and tricks down, try these 25 Unique and Trendy Veggie Burgers and go Around the World in 10 Amazing Vegan Burgers with global flavors. Satisfy all your cravings with these Black Pepper Burgers, Double Black Bean Tofu Cheeseburgers, Black Bean Burgers with Cilantro Lime Sauce, Spicy Cauliflower Chickpea Burgers and Seriously Good Veggie Burgers. Get creative and try these 10 New and Different Ways to Top Your Burger.

5. Pizzaza

Pizza is another food that causes some serious cravings. It may sound intimidating to make your own pizza at home but it’s really easier than you think. You can make a traditional pizza with yeast dough or you can go yeast-free for a quicker pizza. Get these 10 Tips and Tricks for Rockin’ Vegan Pizza and learn How to Make a Yeast-Free Pizza Crust. Find out 5 Ingredients You Can Use to Replace Meat on your pizza and then try any of these 15 Incredible Veggie Pizzas.

Pizza is like a blank canvas; you can top it with whatever sauces and toppings you like. Try this Cheesy Pesto and Veggie Pizza, Bangin’ Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza, Mushroom and Leek Flatbread Pizza, Mexican Style Pizza, and Tempeh Burger Pizza.

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6. Stir-Fries and Chinese FoodTeriyaki-Stir-Fry (1)

One of the things I miss a lot is Chinese food. Since there is no place to get Chinese food near me, I learned to cook my own Chinese food at home. See How to Cook Your Own Vegan Chinese Dishes at Home, How to Make Great Vegan and Gluten-Free Chinese Food, and get the Secret to Making the Crispiest Tofu just like your favorite Chinese dishes have. Then forget about takeout and Make These 20 Chinese Dishes Instead.

Stir-fries are the easiest of all. One pot (or wok) and pretty much any ingredients you have on hand give you a flavorful, exotic yet easy to make meal. Get all the secrets in How to Make Delicious Stir-Fry Vegetables in 7 Easy Steps and Secrets to Sautéing and Stir-Frying Chinese Style. Then make this Ultimate Teriyaki Stir-Fry, Spicy Mushroom Stir-Fry with Garlic, Scrambled Tofu Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Cauliflower, General Tso’s Tofu, and Vegetable Lo Mein with Creamy Peanut Sauce.

7. SandwichesMaple-Sriracha Tempeh Bacon BLT With Creamy Dill Mayo [Vegan]

Making sandwiches may seem like a no-brainer but knowing how to make a really good sandwich is more than just putting some ingredients between two slices of bread. An incredible sandwich is an art form and each part of it can either make it an okay sandwich or a masterpiece. Read these 5 Steps for Making Incredible Sandwiches and 8 Creative Ideas That can Turn Your Veggie Sandwiches From Dull to Delish. Instead of making the same old sandwich time after time, try something new and healthy. Look at these Quick Ideas for Sandwich and Wrap Fillings and Sandwich and Burger Fillings That are Soy and Processed-Ingredient Free. Get new ideas on How to Lighten Up Sandwiches for the Summer and 10 Dairy-Free Spread Ideas to Transform Your Next Sandwich.

Once you are armed with new ideas and tips, try these 7 Super Sandwiches and make vegan versions of the most popular sandwiches like the Philly Cheesesteak, meatball hero, sloppy joes, BLTs and tuna salad sandwiches. Try this Super Fast Chickpea Sandwich, Beanball Sub Sandwich with Marinara and Greens, Sloppy Lentils, UnTuna Wraps, Maple Sriracha Tempeh Bacon BLT with Creamy Dill Mayo, and Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak.

Whether you’re trying to eat healthier or you’re considering switching over to a plant-based diet, it’s always good to have a few recipes in your pocket. These seven are a good place to start.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

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