Choosing the vegan way of life doesn’t mean missing out on romantic candlelit dining. Try these vegan dinner ideas for a romantic eat-in affair.
6% of Americans are vegan. The vegan diet is a plant-based diet, only eating ground-grown foods and avoiding animal products.
If your romantic partner is also vegan, you’re in luck. There are many ways vegans can have a romantic date night, including cooking a vegan dinner for two.
Here are 15 vegan dinner ideas for your romantic evening together.
1. Kale Caesar Salad
Kale is an extremely healthy vegetable. It’s high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. Here’s one problem with kale: it’s kind of gross. You can easily spice up kale’s bitter flavor in a delicious salad.
Caesar dressing is the perfect option. However, most Caesar dressings aren’t vegan; they’re usually made with animal products such as cheese and eggs.
However, you can make homemade vegan Caesar dressing that’s as good as the store-bought stuff.
Combine water, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, capers, white miso, salt and mustard in a blender.
For the salad, combine kale with other delicious vegan toppings such as carrots, nuts, and seeds. You can even make vegan parmesan cheese by combining cashews, salt, yeast, and garlic.
Do you prefer simple recipes? You can’t go wrong with spaghetti. The best part? Many marinara sauces are vegan — better yet, you can make your own!
For a simple marinara sauce, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and any herbs of your choice (basil and parsley are great options). You can also spice things up by adding roasted red pepper in addition or even instead of tomatoes.
Most packaged pasta is vegan. But you should always double-check. To be on the safe side, make veggie pasta with zucchini noodles instead of pasta.
Ratatouille is a French stewed vegetable dish. The best part? Classic ratatouille is completely vegan! However, ratatouille is a little complex and not for the beginner vegan chef.
Prepare the sauce, called pipérade. This sauce consists of bell peppers (either yellow or red), carrots, onions, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic.
Start by sautéing the ingredients, except for the peppers. Cut the peppers in half and roast them in the oven before chopping them up, removing the skin, and adding them to the sauce.
Let the sauce cook for at least a half-hour, ideally an hour.
After, blend all of the ingredients.
Now you can start cooking your veggies. You’ll mix these veggies in the sauce. There are two preferences: frying or baking the vegetables. The vegetables used include zucchini, onions, eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers.
4. Cabbage Rolls
Cabbage rolls are similar to enchiladas. They consist of vegan ground meat and other ingredients inside a cabbage shell. These are not only delicious but healthy, and also work if you’re on the keto diet. They’re also relatively easy to make.
You’ll need cabbage, vegan ground beef, rice, beans, tomato sauce, and spices such as garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, onions, and any herbs you choose (cilantro is recommended).
Start by preparing the cabbage. Core the cabbage and let it sit for five minutes in boiling water.
Remove the cabbage and take off the leaves. Place the cabbage back in the water if there are some leaves intact. Slice the vein of the cabbage off.
Prepare the stuffing. Start by preparing the rice as per instructions.
Cook the vegan ground beef with onions, beans, and herbs. Start sauteing the tomato sauce with herbs and spices. You can add a little bit of sauce in with the vegan ground beef mixture.
Start spooning the mixture into the cabbage leaves. Fold the leaves and roll them. Pour the tomato sauce over the rolls and cook them in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees.
5. Tofu Hearts With Pomodoro Sauce
This dish is perfect for a first date, a special occasion, Valentine’s Day, or just a cute dinner for your partner. You can easily make heart-shaped tofu. Take tofu blocks with a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make the tofu hearts.
To deep fry the tofu, mix flour, semolina, lemon juice, baking powder, garlic, salt, and warm water.
Combine the ingredients to make a paste. Dip each tofu heart into the paste and deep fry them in a boiling pot of sunflower oil for a minute or two.
These tofu hearts taste delicious in a Pomodoro sauce.
Put red pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth. Saute garlic for a couple of minutes and add red pepper paste with chopped tomatoes. You can add chile peppers for a spicier sauce.
Add water. Boil the sauce, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve the Pomodoro sauce over the tofu hearts.
6. Potato Lasagna
Lasagna is a classic Italian dish. But making this dish vegan is difficult. Fortunately, you can create potato lasagna that melts in your mouth.
You’ll need potatoes, vegan milk, cashews, flour, vegan butter, yeast, and water. Other ingredients include lemon, onion, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, basil, and tomato sauce.
Cut your potato into slices and boil for five minutes. Slice your veggies, sprinkle with garlic, olive oil, and any other seasonings you want. Bake them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
For the béchamel sauce, melt the vegan butter in a pan on the skillet and mix the flour. It should create a paste. Pour in the milk. You should have a creamy sauce. Add the yeast and onions.
Blend the cashews, lemon juice and water. Add the béchamel sauce from the saucepan into the blender and add all of that together.
Now you can put the lasagna together! Line a pan with potatoes. Pour some of the béchamel sauce over the potatoes. Add a layer of vegetables. Repeat the process until you used up your potatoes, vegetables, and sauce.
Pour tomato sauce over the lasagna and sprinkle pepper and basil on top. Cover the top of lasagna with foil and bake it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
7. Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon
This is a vegan version of the classic French beef bourguignon. Mushrooms have a similar meaty texture and you can make the sauce similarly.
For the main ingredients, you need mushrooms and potatoes or noodles. The classic recipe is served with noodles but potatoes are also another option. For more flavor, add in veggies such as onions, carrots, and peppers.
For the sauce, you need dry red wine, olive oil, flour, tomato paste, and flour. Additional seasonings include thyme, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Start by cooking the mushrooms in either olive oil or water. Cook them over medium heat for three minutes. Add in the veggies you want. Sprinkle the seasonings and continue sauteeing them.
Pour in the red wine and tomato paste. Combine melted vegan butter with flour and add to the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens. Serve with either potatoes or noodles.
8. Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower is high in B vitamins and fiber. If you cook it correctly, it makes a delicious main dish.
Roasting cauliflower is easy. Prepare a head of cauliflower by cutting off the stem and leaves. Season the cauliflower with teriyaki sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice.
Cover the cauliflower with foil and cook it for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees.
Serve the cauliflower with a side dish of your choice, such as a salad or another veggie.
9. Vegan Ravioli
Ravioli is a classic Italian pasta; however, it’s not vegan. Don’t worry, you can create a vegan spin on this dish.
To prepare the dough, you need all-purpose and semolina flour, water, and aquafaba (or drained chickpeas). Use vegan ricotta cheese for the filling.
Place the flour in a bowl. Drain a can of chickpeas for the aquafaba. Mix the aquafaba with water and pour into the flour. Knead the mixture to make the dough. Add more flour or more water to make the perfect consistency.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Set out, cover your counter or table with a little bit of flour, and roll the dough until smooth. Use a circle-shaped cookie cutter to cut the dough.
Take two dough circles. Spoon out some of the ricotta cheese and place it in the center of one dough circle. Place the second dough circle against the side of the other dough piece with the ricotta cheese.
Press the dough pieces together. Do this with the rest.
When all of the ricotta and dough pieces are finished, place the ravioli in a pot of boiling water. They will float when they’re done. Cook large batches separately.
Serve with tomato sauce.
What If You’re Not a Chef?
Not all vegans are good cooks. Fortunately, there are more vegan restaurants or restaurants with vegan options. Click here for restaurants that serve vegan food.
The Perfect Vegan Dinner Ideas for Your Date Night
Veganism is growing. That means there are many delicious vegan dinners and recipes for you to cook. Try cooking these vegan dinner ideas for your next date night!
For more health and nutrition tips, continue reading our blog.