When I went vegan, my family didn’t join me, but as the primary meal planner, grocery shopper, and cook in the family, we all eat vegan at home. At first, it was tricky to find family-friendly vegan recipes that my kids and husband would love. My kids are not big fans of faux meats and plant-based cheeses, so the majority of my meals are made from whole food ingredients that are big on flavor. There are some vegan meats I do experiment with though like Beyond Meat, which has been a savior for veganizing some of my family’s Italian recipes.
I cook from scratch 5-7 dinners a week, so I have learned a lot about what my family will and won’t eat. Having a list of favorites to refer to simplifies my meal planning and takes the thinking out of what to cook at least once a week. I highly recommend creating one of your own and rotating the meals into your monthly meal plans. Below are 5 dinners that my non-vegan family loves.
This super easy meal is DIY and the kids love it. I cook a batch of sushi rice and either set out a sushi mat with nori or fill bowls with individual servings of rice. On a separate cutting board, I place piles of shredded carrots, cubed cucumber, sliced avocado, chopped baked teriyaki tofu, sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, and shelled edamame. I let the kids assemble their own bowl or roll, and then top with tamari. Easy and fun!
¾cup Go Veggie! Grated Parmesan cheese , plus more for serving
1 package of Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan cheese
2 28-ounce cans of your favorite marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour ¼ cup of marinara sauce in a casserole dish and spread it out to coat the bottom of the dish.
Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1½ cups of the sauce (until coated nicely).
Begin layering the rigatoni into the dish as follows: ⅓ of the pasta followed by ⅓ of each of the ricotta and shredded cheese, and ¼ cup of the grated cheese.
Pour about ⅓ of a cup of sauce on top of the cheeses and spread it to cover the cheeses. Continue to layer the ingredients in the same order 2 more times, reserving a bit of shredded cheese for the top.
Top with additional sauce and sprinkle any remaining shredded parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with additional marinara sauce and grated parmesan cheese.
Keyword dairy-free, dinner, family meal, Italian, meat-free, rigatoni, vegan cheese
Hungry for more vegan recipes from Stephanie Dreyer? You can read her other World of Vegan articles here, and you can get loads of family-friendly vegan recipes and mom tips when you subscribe to her newsletter here. Cover photo and sushi photo by Lana Lee Photography. Article edited by Amanda Meth.
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