May 23, 2023

8 Plant-Based Recipes Your Kids Will Love

Nutritious recipes to incorporate more veggies in your child’s diet

If you have been around kids, you might know that it can be challenging to get them to eat veggies.

Some strategies to help kids enjoy vegetables may be to make them more visually appealing, offering incentives for eating them, hiding them into their foods, and involving them in the food preparation process.

Photo by Conscious Design

Visit activeplantbased for professional help and plant-based nutrition training.

A lot of the recipes below feature vegan cheese. Here is an array of different plant-based cheeses you can easily and quickly make at home.

Spinach and vegan cream cheese stuffed shells

You will need

  • 30 large pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups cooked spinach, chopped
  • 225 grams vegan cream cheese Read: Make your own healthy vegan cream cheese.
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • A small pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Optional: red pepper flakes for topping


Preheat oven to 190°C. Cook the shells according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, plant-based milk, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Mix until creamy and smooth. Add in the spinach mixture and mix until combined.

Stuff each shell with the cream cheese mixture. (Vegan cream cheese isn’t a healthy option and should certainly not be incorporated into a healthy diet regularly. Here is how to make your own, healthier version.) Place in a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until shells are hot and bubbly. Most children love pasta so this one could be a recipe for almost every kid out there.

Veggie lasagna

You will need

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 225 grams vegan cheese, shredded

For the marinara sauce

  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoom red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optionally; fresh basil


Preheat your oven to 190°C.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and carrots and cook until softened, about another 5 minutes.

Time to make the marinara sauce.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, oregano, mix and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with some basil, if desired.

Now, in a medium-sized baking dish, layer 4 of the lasagna noodles. Top with half of the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with half of the vegan cheese. Layer 4 more lasagna noodles on top and repeat the layers. Top with the marinara sauce and add some extra cheese if you wish.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until top is bubbly and golden brown.

Cauliflower mac and cheese

You will need

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1–2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper and other herbs if you desire
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • cooked macaroni noodles
  • shredded vegan cheese

Start by steaming a large head of cauliflower until they are fork-tender. Place the steamed cauliflower into a blender with nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, oregano, pepper, salt and almond milk.

Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the sauce over cooked (boil according to package instructions) macaroni noodles and mix to combine. Sprinkle some vegan cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180°C.

If you have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen, try out these recipes.

Vegan Cauliflower Pizza

Pizza is fun to make. You can try getting your kids involved in the making for a fun and creative activity.

For the cauliflower dough you will need

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion or garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


Finely grate the cauliflower and mix with the other ingredients until a dough forms. You shouldn’t need to add any liquid as the olive oil and the moisture from the cauliflower should be enough to help bind the ingredients together.

Then place the dough on parchment paper before rolling it out onto a pre-heated baking sheet. Bake at 200°C 10 minutes.

Make your own tomato sauce by blending together a can of diced tomatoes, one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of dried oregano, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of dried basil, and some salt and pepper to taste.

For the toppings, you can add sweet corn, sweet onion, thin-sliced zucchini, olives or your child’s favourites.

Top with vegan cheese and bake for 10 more minutes at 180°C.

Photo by Leeloo Thefirst

Carrot cake

You will need

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of aquafaba (the liquid found in canned chickpeas)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, aquafaba and vanilla extract.

In a third bowl, mash together the grated carrot, raisins, pecans, and ground cinnamon.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything is combined.

Grease a medium-sized cake pan and pour the batter in. Bake at 175°C for 35–40 minutes and enjoy!

Crispy veggie burgers

You will need

  • 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of cooked black beans
  • 1/4 cup of corn
  • 1/4 cup of diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup of grated carrot
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • some salt and pepper to taste


Start by combining all the ingredients listed above in a large bowl. Mash the ingredients together until they are well combined and form into 4 patties.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a little olive oil. Place the patties in the skillet and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown.

Serve on buns with your favourite toppings, like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and enjoy.

And if you are in a bit of a rush, try out these recipes:

Zucchini carrot eggplant fries

You will need

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 eggplant
  • cooking oil
  • salt
  • your favourite spices


Start by cutting the vegetables into long, thin strips.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Then add the vegetables to the pan, sprinkle with salt and cook for 3–4 minutes until they start to get golden and crispy. Make sure to stir them so they don’t stick or burn.

Finally, season with your favourite spices and enjoy!

Zucchini and carrot noodles

You will need

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • your favourite seasonings


Start by using a peeler to create thin, noodle-like strips from the zucchini and carrot. You can also use a greater for thin strips.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and carrot noodles and cook for 3–4 minutes or until softened. Finally, season with your favourite seasonings and enjoy!

You can make a tomato sauce to go along. Pine nuts and flaxseeds are also a good addition to this dish if your child likes them, too.

Hopefully, these recipes inspire and make it a little easier to incorporate healthy eating habits into your and your child’s lifestyle.

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