5 Quick and Easy Dishes for Vegetarians and Vegans


Jade Huynh

Fried tofu cooked with onion, peppers, sweet & sour sauce, and garlic.

Jade Huynh, Staff Writer

Interested in new and easy dishes? These recipes listed are for those of you who don’t have a lot of time on your hands or maybe you don’t feel like using too many ingredients. The dishes listed should not take longer than 35 minutes and will serve about three to four people.

Stir Fried Tofu with Bell Peppers

What you need:

  • 1 packet of tofu
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ yellow onion
  • pepper
  • sweet-and-sour sauce
  • rice/brown rice

Some prefer white rice, but if you’re in need of more protein, try swapping out your white rice for some brown rice! Remember to cook rice before you start cooking so you can eat your dish right away. Both types of bell peppers are not needed, the different colors are mostly there to bring color to the dish. The sweet-and-sour sauce brand doesn’t matter, I prefer the Lee Kum Kee brand if you have no idea what to use.

  1. Rinse tofu and bell peppers.
  2. Slice tofu so they’re about a 1/2 inch in width.
  3. Slice half an onion and set aside. Now slice bell peppers and cut the slices in half.
  4. Lightly drizzle oil onto pan and preheat. Place tofu on the pan until one side is lightly golden and flip over. When ready, set aside.
  5. Use the same pan and drizzle some more oil onto pan. Toss both bell peppers and onions in the pan and saute until onions are a dark golden color and lower the heat.
  6. Now cut the tofu into squares and add it back into the pan with the bell peppers and onion.
  7. Sprinkle pepper and mix.
  8. Open a bottle of sweet and sour sauce and pour.
  9. Mix until the sauce is evenly spread.

You can eat it alone or serve over white or brown rice.

Alfredo Pasta w/ Onion

Since this is a vegetarian dish, there is no need to cook meat, making this dish faster to make.

What you need:

  • pasta noodle of your choice
  • onion
  • garlic
  • classic Alfredo sauce
  • cilantro
  • pepper
  • salt
  1. Combine 1 tablespoon butter, 1 clove garlic (add more if needed), and Italian seasoning. Saute onions in or separate with oil until transparent. Remove from skillet and set aside. Saute mushroom if prefered, with pepper and salt.
  2. Boil water and lightly salt. Add pasta and cook until ready; drain and rinse.
  3. Now cook the Classic Alfredo Sauce and let it simmer. Add 2 pinches of salt.
  4. Cook for two minutes. If you want it to be more creamy, add in cheese and mix until thoroughly melted.
  5. Stir in onions and mushrooms.
  6. Add cilantro to the top and serve over cooked pasta.

Fried Rice

Now there are many variations of fried rice, but here’s something more quick and easy to try out.

What you need:

  • 1-3 cups of cooked rice
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter
  • broccoli
  • 1-5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a white onion or 2 stalks of green onion
  • pepper
  • salt
  • tofu
  • soy sauce
  1. Cook rice before you start cooking.
  2. Cut broccoli branches until they’re in small groups. Boil broccoli so they can soften for 15 minutes. As they’re cooking, move onto the next step to save time.
  3. Dice garlic (1-5 depending on preference). Set aside.
  4. Cut tofu into small squares.
  5. Dice half an onion. If you are using green onion, cut the trimmed green onions crosswise into slices. Slice the onions so they are no bigger than a little less than half an inch. No need to saute.
  6. Heat pan and drizzle in oil. Saute onion, broccoli and garlic until garlic and onion are golden. Set aside.
  7. Rinse pan and reheat. Depending on rice measurements, put one or two tablespoons of butter and spread. Add in one or two cups of rice and mix until rice is evenly spread in butter. Add more butter if needed.
  8. Toss in the sauteed broccoli, onion and garlic and mix evenly.
  9. Add more pepper if needed and drizzle on soy sauce.

Pad Thai:

What you need:

  • pad thai noodles (flat rice noodles)  
  • pad thai stir fry sauce
  • tofu
  • cilantro
  • bean sprouts
  • egg (optional)
  1. Cook pad thai noodles.
  2. Boil fresh bean sprouts.
  3. Slice tofu into rectangles.
  4. Lightly drizzle oil onto a pan and place the tofu on to fry and cook until golden.  
  5. Take the pad thai sauce, tofu and bean sprouts and mix.
  6. Optional: Scramble two eggs lightly salted and coat with pepper.

If you have salty taste buds, toss in more salt. If you have sweet taste buds, toss in sugar, but no more than a tablespoon.

Macaroni and Mayo

What you need:

  • mayonnaise
  • olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery  
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Fusilli noodle
  1. Cook fusilli noodle with salt and a dash of olive oil. Set aside when done.
  2. Slice one stalk of celery thinly.
  3. Dice tomatoes, white onion and bell peppers.
  4. Coat a thin layer of olive oil and pepper with half a lemon. Mix until it’s evenly mixed.
  5. Toss in mayo until noodles are thinly coated and mix evenly. Toss in vegetables and mix.
  6. Squeeze half a lemon and mix in pepper.
  7. Top it off with cilantro and lightly sprinkle with salt.

Vegan Wraps

What you need:

  • lettuce
  • beans
  • cucumber
  • humus or mayo
  • brown or white rice
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • tortilla wrap
  1. Chop up lettuce.
  2. Slice cucumber, avocado and tomato.
  3. Warm up beans in a pan and add salt and pepper.
  4. Add butter to a pan and lightly toast tortilla wrap.
  5. Take tortilla wrap off of pan and lightly spread hummus or mayonnaise.
  6. For a third of the wrap, add beans and rice leaning towards one side of wrap, but not touching the side. Don’t overfill or it will be hard to close.
  7. Add other vegetables but leave room on top, bottom and sides.
  8. To wrap, fold the bottom up. On the side that has the most food, fold over the wrap and fold.

There you have it, a quick and easy wrap. If you want more flavor, add ketchup to rice and stir fry a bit so it will mix.

Really under a time crunch? Here are really quick and simple dishes you could make that everyone has heard before.

  • Grilled cheese sandwich (replace with vegan cheese)
  • Instant mac and cheese (replace with vegan cheese)
  • Smoothies