20 Kid-Friendly Vegan Dinners

Looking for family-friendly, plant-based meal ideas that aren’t more spaghetti? Or burritos? Or nuggets? Me too! I love to test new recipes on my family regularly…and this roundup includes our favorite kid-friendly vegan dinners that the whole family enjoys!

Vegan Chili (+ Topping Bar!) by Plant-Powered Livin’

Chili is not only a delicious comfort food that is simple to veganize; it can also be a fun meal idea for kids by offering a topping bar so everyone can customize their own bowls.

This Killer Vegan Chili recipe is meaty, satisfying, packed with flavor, and omnivore-approved! Not to mention it is SO EASY and quick to make.

Kid note: I try to include at least 3 toppings that they enjoy to engage them in the meal. Examples include avocado, crushed tortilla chips, vegan yogurt or sour cream, vegan shredded cheese, corn bread, and tomatoes.

Other adult toppings include cabbage, onions, hot sauce, and salsa.

Shepherd’s Pie by Minimalist Baker

kid-friendly vegan dinner ideas

Looking for plant-based comfort food? Look no further than Vegan Shepherd’s Pie! Buttery mashed potatoes atop a mild lentil and vegetable stew, Minimalist Baker’s Shepherd’s Pie is definitely a kid favorite!

While this dish takes a bit of time to prepare & cook (about an hour), it is well worth it…your family will taste the love. And will likely yield leftovers!

My son even requested to make this for Christmas dinner this year;)!

Semi-Homemade Dumpling Soup by Plant-Powered Livin’

Easy Vegetable Gyoza Soup in white bowl.

This dumpling soup is a great way to pack in veggies to your diet while still enjoying your favorite store-bought potstickers or gyoza (our favorite is Trader Joe’s). While it is almost too simple for a recipe, I have mastered some preparation hacks that are worth sharing.

Tofu California Rolls by Plant-Powered Livin’

rolling sushi

Sushi-making intimidated me for years…it wasn’t until the sheer boredom of COVID lockdown that we attempted it at home, and boy are we excited to add this to the repertoire! Not only is it easy to customize rolls, its a SUPER FUN activity!

We tend to keep the kids’ rolls simple, often using a combination of avocado, cucumber, sweet potato, mango, and carrot. However, as my kids get older, they are finally digging my slightly-spicy tofu sushi rolls! Adjust spice level accordingly.

Split Pea Soup by Healthier Steps

Split Pea soup topped with fried jalapeno pieces and herbs in white bowl. Salad on side.

Yum! This Split Pea Soup by Healthier Steps is so delicious that my daughter has been asking for it on repeat. Ten minute prep and into the Instant Pot…the dish is ready in under an hour (she also has a stovetop version).

In this photo, toppings include the wildly addictive Trader Joe’s Crispy Jalapeños, sriracha, and fresh parsley. Kids may prefer bread or croutons.

Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joe’s by Vegan Richa

Lentil Sloppy Joe's shown messy on an English muffin with slaw and hot sauce.

These vegan Sloppy Joe’s are a nostalgic delight for parents, and the slightly sweet, very messy sandwich is a hit for kiddos too! And Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot Version makes it so quick and easy to prepare.

Vegan Potato Chowder by Plant-Powered Livin’

Vegan potato chowder with chickpeas and tomatoes.

Creamy, hearty, and heart-warming, this vegan potato chowder with tomato and chickpea is comfort food at its coziest. And an easy sell for kids, especially with some hearty bread.

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Curry by Vegan Richa

Sweet potato curry, one of my kid-friendly vegan dinner ideas.

Sweet potatoes, red lentils, coconut milk, and curry paste are the stars in this Thai-inspired dish. A family favorite, it is sweet and savory and sooooo nutritious!

Vegan Frito Pie by Plant-Powered Livin’

Frito pie served in frito bag!

One of the most fun, kid-friendly vegan meals we have served to a crowd of omnivores are vegan Frito Pies! Essentially a meaty vegan chili over Fritos with all the chili toppings. In fact, kids love to eat it right out of the bag instead of making it into a casserole like this recipe shows…either way, they are fun, festive, and DELISH!

Simply folllow this Killer Vegan Chili recipe and follow “Frito Pie” note below recipe!

Apple Lentil Dal by Dreena Burton

Vegan family-friendly apple dal.

Another Dreena Burton favorite from her Plant-Powered Families cookbook, this simple lentil dish is perfect for kids…with surprising sweet apple goodness in every bite! It is a good introduction to lentils too for kids and adults alike, as it is mild yet delicious.

Potato Leek Soup by Loving It Vegan

Potato leek soup with green onions and croutons on top, asparagus on the side, and a cute green bean napkin! Cute green photo.

“DEEEEELECTABLE” was my daughter’s response after tasting this potato leek soup by Loving It Vegan. In fact, she has asked for it on repeat ever since! So simple, creamy, and wholesome, this soup is made with coconut cream (I have used coconut milk too). It is truly a quintessential kid-friendly vegan meal!

Carrot Lentil Soup by Plant-Powered Livin’

Close up of carrot lentil soup in pretty patterned bowl topped with croutons and red pepper flakes.

Looking for an easy, nourishing weeknight meal? This simple carrot and lentil soup recipe is packed with other superfoods, too, like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and coconut milk. Plus, it’s made with quick-cooking red lentils, so it’s ready in about 30 minutes! Or in even less time if you follow the Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup recipe version!

Coconut Curry Chickpea by Vegan Richa

Vegan family-friendly coconut chickpea.

Vegan Richa’s chickpea coconut curry dish is one of our favorite kid-friendly vegan dinners. Flavorful, yet mild, and so easy in the instant pot. If you’ve never used dried chickpeas, this is the perfect recipe to try them. They are far superior to their canned counterpart: tender and velvety in texture. I love to add fresh spinach as well.

Vegan Butter Chicken by Holy Cow Vegan

Vegan butter chicken with tofu.

Who knew that a tofu dish could be so impressive and kid-approved!? But this butter chick’n recipe by Holy Cow Vegan is SO GOOD…the sauce is smooth, creamy and flavorful, and we didn’t even have the fenugreek!

Instant Pot Jamaican Rice and Peas by Healthier Steps

Jamaican rice and peas in instant pot.

If your family digs rice and beans, this Jamaican-inspired version by Healthier Steps is a must-try! Essentially it is a one-pot red beans and rice dish using ginger, coconut milk, and other aromatics. It is flavorful, yet mild, and one of my go-to recipes when bringing a kid-friendly vegan dish to a gathering as it works well as a side or main.

And she has a recipe available both for Instant Pot or standard stove pot.

Note: Sub a milder pepper instead of the scotch bonnet just to be safe with kids.

Pumpkin Chickpea Curry by Vegan Richa

Kid-friendly vegan dinners- pumpkin chickpea curry.

Another favorite by Vegan Richa, this pumpkin chickpea curry makes the house smell DIVINE and the whole family has seconds every time! If that’s not an endorsement for a kid-friendly vegan meal, I don’t know what is;)

Vegan Grilled Cheese by the Pretty Bee

Souped-up grilled cheese for adults, with caramelized onions and greens and tomoatoes. Kids get just cheese.
Adult grilled cheese with carmelized onions, tomatoes, and sauteed kale

Grilled cheese makes everyone smile! To make it family-friendly, simply start with a basic recipe like this one by Pretty Bee. And then simply add more adult ingredients (like caramelized onions and greens) to the parent versions!

Pick your favorite vegan cheese (my favs by style here) and get started!

Vegan Alfredo by Vegan 8

For a gourmet meal (really, we eat this for holiday dinners!), look no further than this scrumptious The Best Vegan Garlic Alfredo Sauce by Vegan 8. The cashew-based sauce is velvety and creamy with a healthy dose of black pepper and lemon (and I always add more!).

Serve alone with pasta, or with roasted veggies (like broccoli or asparagus), sautéed mushrooms, or alongside Garlicky Roasted Cauliflower.

Lasagna Soup by Vegan Richa

Lasagna soup topped with pesto in white bowl.

Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot Lasagna Soup is one of our go-to family-friendly, vegan meals for casual entertaining. Packed with nutritious ingredients like red lentils and veggies, this is not only healthy and hearty, it is also quite customizable. First, choose any combination of veggies. Then, get creative with toppings to suit anyone’s palate…and impress your guests!

Our favorite toppings are homemade ricotta, pesto, homemade parmesan, and shredded mozzarella for the kids. And of course garlic bread for dipping.

Note: Cooking times vary; I often double or triple the recipe and need to cook it longer than the 3 minutes (sometimes up to 10 minutes plus time for natural release). So allow time to add more time if necessary.

Superfood Soup by Plant-Powered Livin’

Superfood soup with lentils, sweet potato, kale, and more.

Savory and sweet with gingery notes, umami undertones and a bright finish, this Superfood Soup is full of flavor! The sweet potatoes are a kid-friendly way to introduce kids to green lentils, too.

Note: Lessen the ginger amount to 1 teaspoon for sensitive eaters.

I hope some of these kid-friendly vegan meal ideas resonate with your family! If you try one of these, please let me know what you think in comments below!

For more kid-friendly ideas, check out:

Or head to my Kids Tips page for all the kid-focused content!



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