Kid-Approved Vegan Meals: 15 Easy Recipes for Busy Parents

As a busy parent, finding the time to prepare nutritious and kid-approved meals can often feel like a culinary obstacle course. It’s all too common to face the dual challenge of catering to picky eaters while trying to keep mealtime healthy and stress-free. But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! 

Our list of kid-friendly, plant-based meals is designed to please even the fussiest of young palates. These recipes are easy to whip up on a hectic weekday and packed with nutrients to keep your little ones happy and healthy. Let’s make mealtime a breeze with these delightful vegan dishes with simple ingredients that everyone in the family will love!

Vegan Mac and Cheese 

vegan mac and cheese in a ceramic baking dish

Comfort food is a great way to start out on your plant-based journey for kids! Almost every kid loves mac and cheese. The best part is that they won’t even know it’s vegan!

This photo is courtesy of Orchard Street Grocer in NYC, where you’ll find the best vegan mac and cheese! But if you don’t live in NYC, try this kid-approved vegan mac and cheese from Divas Can Cook!

  • Made with cashews or nutritional yeast for a creamy texture
  • Nutrient-rich and dairy-free
  • Comforting and familiar taste for kids
  • ​You can turn leftovers into a tasty snack for lunch

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

  • Combines the richness of peanut butter with sweet bananas or apples
  • Easy to make and perfect for a quick lunch
  • High in protein and healthy fats

Vegan Pizza

Vegan Pizza with plant based sausage

Check out our list of the best vegan pizza toppings!

  • Use a whole grain or cauliflower crust for extra nutrients
  • Topped with colorful vegetables and dairy-free cheese
  • Customizable with favorite toppings

Lentil Sloppy Joes – Make the Filling in an Instant Pot

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Check out the School Night Vegan recipe blog for an awesome kid friendly plant based meal! Make a big batch of the filling, so you can freeze it and quicky use it for another meal!

  • Red lentils serve as a wholesome, plant-based meat substitute
  • Packed with fiber and protein
  • Served on whole wheat buns for a filling meal
  • Can serve with tortilla chips or potato chips

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Here’s a super easy recipe from Last Ingredient for these roasted sweet potato / black bean quesadillas! You can make these for an easy vegan dinner recipe or an after-school snack!

  • Filled with creamy mashed sweet potatoes and protein-rich black beans
  • Use dairy-free cheese for a vegan twist
  • Serve with a side of guacamole or salsa

Chickpea Nuggets

Chickpea Nuggets as a kid friendly plant based meal

You can buy a version of these vegan nuggets in any frozen food section of the grocery store. Then all you need to do is bake them, and place on a bun!

  • A fun plant-based alternative to traditional chicken nuggets
  • High in protein and kid-approved
  • Can be dipped in ketchup or vegan ranch dressing

Vegan Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes

Check out Nikki Vegan for an easy banana vegan pancake recipe!

  • Made with plant-based milk, suitable for dairy-free diets
  • Served with fresh fruits and natural maple syrup
  • Soft and fluffy, perfect for breakfast or brunch

Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu

Vegetable Stir Fry with Tofu

Check out this super simple tofu stir fry (by Well Plated) when you are in a rush. The sauce only has 2 ingredients, so the prep time and cook time is fast! Be sure to use brown rice since it has more nutrients than white rice!

  • Includes a variety of colorful vegetables and firm tofu
  • Cooked in a kid-friendly sauce like teriyaki
  • Quick and easy meal packed with vitamins
  • You can add green beans or any other frozen veggies to make this a super easy meal

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

What kid doesn’t love spaghetti? It’s one of these easy go-to meals for a busy week night! Add some cannellini beans for a healthy protein-packed meal!

  • Features whole wheat spaghetti for added nutrition
  • Rich, veggie-packed tomato sauce
  • A timeless favorite that’s easy to prepare
  • Use a spaghetti that’s made with whole grains

Smoothie Bowls Are An Easy Breakfast

Smoothie Bowls

Try this Minimalist Baker recipe for a smoothie bowl, it won’t take more than 5 minutes to prepare! A smoothie bowl can also be a great after-school snack!

  • Made with fruits and hidden greens like spinach
  • Topped with granola, coconut, and additional fruits
  • A fun and nutritious way to start the day

Vegan Tempeh Tacos

vegan tempeh Tacos

The Best of Vegan recipe blog has an easy tofu scramble taco recipe for you to try! Great for a quick plant-based protein meal!

  • Scrambled tofu seasoned with turmeric and nutritional yeast
  • Wrapped in soft corn tortillas
  • Garnished with diced tomatoes and avocado slices

Veggie-Loaded Pasta Salad

Veggie-Loaded Pasta Salad

The Food with Feeling site has an awesome recipe for vegan pasta salad. You’ll keep coming back to it!

  • Made with whole grain pasta and a variety of fresh vegetables
  • Tossed in a light Italian dressing or homemade vinaigrette
  • Perfect for picnics or as a refreshing side dish

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie - kid friendly plant based meals

Rainbow Plant Life has a super easy vegan shepherd’s pie. I love how the meal prep time is 15 minutes. You just need to bake it for over an hour, so you can do other things while the oven does the work!

  • Layer of savory lentils and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes
  • Baked until golden, providing a comforting and hearty dish
  • Can be made in advance and reheats well

Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk

kid friendly meals pumkin coconut soup

This soup from the Simple Vegan Blog will be your kids go to meal in the fall! They’ll be begging for you to make this on a regular basis! If you don’t have pumpkin you can substitute butternut squash.

  • Creamy pumpkin soup made with coconut milk for richness
  • Seasoned with mild spices suitable for children
  • Served warm with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds for crunch

Fruit and Veggie Sushi Rolls

watermelon sushi and poke

Photo courtesy of @EatYourForkingVegetables

Try these watermelon tuna poke bowls from an Edible Mosaic!

  • Sushi rolls filled with julienned vegetables and fruits
  • Fun to make with kids as a hands-on kitchen activity
  • Served with a light soy sauce or tamari for dipping
  • Add some shiitake mushrooms for more flavor!