15 Delicious & Healthy Vegan Recipes for Weight Loss

Eating vegan can help you lose weight and improve your health. Signos gives readers 15 delicious recipes for weight loss.

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by
Rebecca Washuta
— Signos
MS, CNS, LDN
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Reviewed by

Rebecca Washuta
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
April 23, 2024
July 20, 2023
— Updated:

Table of Contents

If the word “vegan” conjures up bland tofu and boring salads, think again. Vegan foods have become increasingly popular over the years, and now you can find a vegan version of just about any dish out there. Vegan options are endless and exciting, from cheeseburgers to chicken parms and tacos to tuna salad. By omitting animal products, vegan recipes naturally incorporate more healthy plant foods, which can help support weight loss. 

How Can a Vegan Diet Help with Weight Loss?

Vegan diets restrict all animal products, so foods like meat, chicken, fish, milk, and cheese are off the table. Instead, a vegan diet focuses on plant foods like legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit. Plant foods contain fiber and are often lower in calories than animal products, both of which can help with weight loss. Additionally, phytonutrients found in plant foods have been found to reduce appetite, decrease fat absorption, and increase fat oxidation.1 In addition to weight loss, vegan diets have also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and improve cardiovascular health.2 

Benefits of a Vegan Diet for Weight Loss

Many animal products are high in saturated fats and calories, and overconsumption can lead to weight gain and metabolic disease. You can improve your health and waistline by eliminating these foods and focusing on a variety of whole foods. Below are some of the top health benefits associated with a vegan diet.

Lower risk of cancer 

Vegan diets have been shown to reduce overall cancer risk, especially for breast, colon, and prostate cancers.3

Reduces the risk of stroke

People consuming plant-based diets have lower rates of hypertension and atherosclerosis, the primary drivers of strokes.4 

Reduces inflammation

Diets rich in plant foods have been shown to lower c-reactive protein (CRP), a primary marker for inflammation in the body.4

Lowers cholesterol levels

Vegan diets are associated with lower LDL and total cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.5

Lower risk of diabetes

People focusing on high-quality plant foods have healthier blood sugar levels and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.6

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Vegan Weight Loss Foods to Keep in Your House

These vegan essentials are a must for your fridge and pantry:

  • Steel-cut oatmeal - Oatmeal is a great source of fiber. Top with nut butter for a satisfying blood sugar-friendly breakfast. Plus, many steel-cut oat varieties are gluten-free.
  • Chia seeds - These little seeds are high in healthy fats and fiber. Try making chia seed pudding or sprinkling them into your smoothies or salads.
  • Avocados - Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat that supports optimal cholesterol, and they are a good source of fiber which will keep you feeling full. 
  • Brown rice - Rice and beans are an excellent way to get protein when following a vegan diet. Brown rice has more fiber and nutrients than white rice, so opt for brown rice whenever possible. Short on time during the week? Using time on the weekend to meal prep batches of brown rice to use throughout the week, as this grain lasts in the fridge for four to five days.
  • Nuts - Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and macadamia, whichever is your favorite, keep them stocked. Nuts are rich in healthy fats and provide protein and fiber for a naturally balanced snack. Eat them by the handful, or use them to add some extra crunch to your salads. 
  • Legumes - Lentils, chickpeas, white beans, black beans, and other legumes offer a versatile way to get your recommended protein and fiber. Legumes are a key dietary component in “blue zones,” places where people have been found to live the longest and healthiest lives.7
  • Dark leafy greens - Greens like spinach, arugula, and kale are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that will help fill you up and optimize digestion
  • Berries - These low-sugar fruits are a great source of antioxidants and fiber. Pair them with nut butter or throw them in a protein smoothie for blood sugar-friendly bites. 

15 Diverse and Flavorful Vegan Recipes for Weight Loss 

Check out some of our favorite, delicious vegan recipes below to get inspiration in the kitchen when making your next vegan meal.

Vegan Breakfast Recipes for Weight Loss

Easy Vegan Breakfast Tacos

Mexican food for breakfast? Sign us up! These tacos are made with a spicy tofu scramble, beans, veggies, and creamy avocado - everything you need to kick off your day. Looking to make this low-carb? Throw all the ingredients into a bowl for a homemade burrito bowl.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 372, Carbohydrates: 51g, Fiber: 14.6g, Protein: 18.6g, Fat: 13.4g

Quick Homemade Oatmeal

Ready and minutes and packed with fiber, this oatmeal is the perfect breakfast when you’re low on time. Try toppings like nut butter, berries, and chia seeds to mix it up. 

Nutrition Info: Calories: 150, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 3g

Vegan Eggs Benedict

Eating vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorites! This plant-based version of eggs benedict uses tomato, avocado, and a dairy-free hollandaise. 

Nutrition Info: Calories: 424, Carbohydrates: 40.9g, Fiber: 10.6g, Protein: 9.4g, Fat: 27.1g

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

This crisp is healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast and delicious enough for dessert. The combo of rhubarb, strawberries, and oatmeal allows you to get a serving of fruits, veggies, and whole grains before leaving the house.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 210, Carbohydrates: 23g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 3g, Fat 5g

Strawberry Matcha Chia Seed Pudding

This thick and creamy pudding is as pretty as it is tasty. Chia seed pudding can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge so you can just grab and go.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 194, Carbohydrates: 24g, Fiber: 8.5g, Protein: 4g, Sugar: 12.7g, Fat 9.8g

Vegan Lunch Recipes for Weight Loss

Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushrooms are a great meat substitute when following a vegan diet. They provide a similarly rich and savory taste and are a good source of fiber and phytonutrients. This dish goes great over brown rice, whole-grain pasta, or zucchini noodles.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 215, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 6g, Fat 6g

Healthy Cabbage Soup

Cabbage is low in calories and high in fiber, so it’s a great choice if you're trying to lose weight. Hot liquids like soups can help reduce your appetite and keep you fuller. Plus, this soup is full of other vegetables, such as bell peppers and tomatoes.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 20, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 7g, Protein: 3g, Fat 5g

Easy Eggplant Stirfry

Ready in just 15 minutes, this Thai-inspired, spicy, and satisfying dish can be eaten alone or served over brown rice or whole-grain pasta. Try adding tofu or a peanut sauce for some extra protein. 

Nutrition Info: Calories: 161, Carbohydrates: 13g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 2g, Fat 2g

Mediterranean Cucumber Chickpea Salad

This low-carb, fresh, and colorful salad is filled with delicious cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and protein-packed chickpeas. Plus, it’s gluten-free! You can add vegan feta or choose kalamata olives for a savory kick. 

Nutrition Info: Calories: 170, Carbohydrates: 19.8g, Fiber: 6.1g, Protein: 5.4g, Fat 8.5g

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Perfect for summer, this salad is both sweet and spicy. The cucumbers give a refreshing crunch, and the creamy turmeric vinaigrette provides extra phytonutrients like curcumin (which is widely associated with aiding in weight loss).

Nutrition Info: Calories: 237, Carbohydrates: 20.8g, Fiber: 4.3g, Protein: 6.2g, Fat 16.2g

Vegan Dinner Recipes for Weight Loss

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Pasta

This creamy pasta dish will leave you feeling full and satisfied. It’s rich, savory, and packed with powerhouse veggies like spinach, artichoke, and shallots. Cashews are used instead of dairy for the sauce, increasing the fiber and healthy fats.  

Nutrition Info: Calories: 449, Carbohydrates: 67g, Fiber: 13g, Protein: 17g, Fat 16g

Farro with Confetti Vegetables

Loaded with whole grains and veggies, this easy dish will quickly become one of your favorites. Get creative with the veggies you use and opt for ones in season to optimize the nutrients. 

Nutrition Info: Calories: 181, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 8g, Fat 8g

Roasted Chickpea & Veggie Bowl

This dish is a crowd-pleaser made with spicy chickpeas and colorful roasted veggies. You can mix it up by substituting different vegetables and trying it with and without brown rice. Pair this with a green tahini sauce or a homemade pesto.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 502, Carbohydrates: 45g, Fiber: 15.2g, Protein: 12.8g, Fat 32.9g

BBQ Sweet Potato Chickpea Tacos

Roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas combine with crunchy cabbage for the ultimate fiber-rich plant-based tacos. Try adding tofu crumbles for some extra protein.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 485, Carbohydrates: 70.8g, Fiber: 11.8g, Protein: 13.3g, Fat 18.8g

Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl

This bowl is a great source of fiber and protein. With toppings like pico de gallo, avocado, and cilantro, you won’t be missing cheese or sour cream. Try squeezing some lime on top to keep your avocados from turning brown (and to get some added Vitamin C!) and adding cumin to up the spice level.

Nutrition Info: Calories: 50, Carbohydrates: 74g, Fiber: 20g, Protein: 20g, Fat 16g

Learn More About Health and Healthy Nutrition with Signos’ Expert Advice

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References

About the author

Rebecca Washuta is a licensed dietitian with degrees in neuroscience and nutrition and helped individuals develop long-term health habits and achieve various wellness goals.

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