Big Batch Vegetarian Cooking for Quick Easy Meals

Easy vegetarian meal planning: Recipes to make ahead in big batch vegetarian cooking, for quick meals to freeze or fridge

Zoe's Vegetarian Chili

Question for Savvy Vegetarian:

I was wondering if you have vegetarian recipes you can recommend that we can make a big batch of ahead of time and freeze or store to eat as quick meals when we’re rushed for time? I’m not a big fan of eating the same thing day after day, so vegetarian meals that can be changed up to make new things would also be appreciated.

My husband and I became vegetarian a couple weeks ago. We really appreciate all the delicious recipes and advice! It’s been a real help as we’ve made our transition to a healthier lifestyle. Thanks so much! Sarah P.

Savvy Vegetarian Advice:

Hi Sarah! Many of our vegetarian recipes can be made ahead in big batches and frozen or fridged! That strategy is a big part of my vegetarian meal planning. I absolutely depend on having pre-cooked foods in my fridge for quick vegetarian meals: several kinds of beans, batches of bean soups, mung dhal, dosa mix, cooked brown rice and quinoa, leftover oatmeal, applesauce, etc. You can even make up big batches of dry pancake or muffin mixes. Muffins, quick breads and cookies freeze well too.

Please check out the Savvy Vegetarian soup recipes, grains and bean recipes, where you’ll find the most likely candidates for big batch vegetarian cooking. Vegetarian Chili is a good example. You can also cook beans and grains separately in large batches to freeze or fridge in small containers and use as needed for soups, stews, casseroles and salads.


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Making quick vegetarian meals is a lot easier if you have what you need on hand. Keep your fridge and cupboards stocked with basic ingredients you’ll use often.

Here are some examples:

  • Canned beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, olives, coconut milk, veggie bouillon cubes
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce, various cooking and salad oils, vinegars and condiments like mayo, mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, hummus, nut butters, miso
  • A full range of herbs and spices you like, and spice mixes like masalas and curry paste. Store in tightly sealed glass jars to keep them fresh.
  • For veggies, keep your fridge stocked with carrots and other root veg, green veg like broccoli and kale, celery, yams, sweet potatoes, peppers, potatoes, garlic, onion, squashes, salad fixings, parsley, and frozen veg like peas, beans and corn
  • Have a variety of fresh and frozen fruit on hand for snacks, lunches, desserts, smoothies. Don’t forget avocados!
  • Various flours and baking supplies like baking powder, baking soda, sugar, dried fruit, salt, etc.
  • A variety of raw beans, grains (e.g. rolled oats, quinoa, rice, barley), lentils, nuts and seeds, noodles and pasta
  • Packaged tortillas and breads to make sandwiches and wraps
  • Eggs and dairy if you eat them, tofu, tempeh, seitan, non-dairy milks, yogurts, sour cream etc

Keep a list of things you need posted on the fridge, and shop once a week to restock your fridge and cupboards.  Running to the store every day is a huge time waster.  Shop local and seasonal for variety and freshness. Fruit and veg in season are often cheapest, and most nutritious. Shop at your local farmers market or join a CSA if possible. Make up possible menus on the fly according to what’s available.

Here are a few examples of quick and easy vegetarian meals you can make using what’s in your fridge & cupboards:

If you have black beans in the cupboard or freezer, and some cooked quinoa on hand, you can quickly make up a big batch of quinoa black bean salad, which you can eat for several meals, or just enough for one meal, as you prefer. Or you can whip up some quinoa black bean stew. Add a tortilla, hummus, guacamole, and you’ve got a satisfying meal.


Quinoa Recipe Ebook

Make a big batch of mung dhal soup using celery and yam or winter squash. Freeze what you don’t eat in amounts big enough for a meal for both of you. Add rice and steamed veggies or salad for a quick meal. Frozen soups heat up quickly in the microwave or on the stove top.

Make a veggie wrap, burrito, or quesadilla using refried beans, hummus, quacamole, salad fixings, leftover cooked veg, eggs, shredded cheese, sour cream, or whatever you like.

Make a quick veggie stir fry, adding beans, tofu, tempeh or seitan, coconut milk, nuts and seeds or whatever you like and serve sauced or un-sauced over quick cooking noodles or rice.

Thanks for writing! All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian

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One Response to “Big Batch Vegetarian Cooking for Quick Easy Meals”

  1. Kathleen* says:

    Good recipes & great website…thanks for all your efforts in sharing your “vegexpertise”!

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