5 Dinner Recipes to Make in Under 20 Minutes + Bean and lentil cooking time chart

After a very busy day you come home exhausted, hungry and don’t feel like cooking something special. However, you still want to enjoy a healthy whole-food plant based meal. 

So for you, here are five delicious whole-food plant based dinner recipes that take under 20 minutes to prepare. These dishes may be made more quickly with the use of a microwave oven, but I personally never use and don’t even own a microwave oven. If you would like to further quicken processes, you may use a microwave oven if you desire.

Another note: The cheapest way to make the bean recipes is not by buying frozen beans, but preparing frozen beans yourself. Once a month you can make a bean cooking day where you soak overnight all types of beans and then boil them separately (bring to boil and simmer for several hours depending on the skin of the bean, see bean cooking time list below). Then allow them to cool and place them in BPA free storage containers or sealable bags in the freezer. You can buy these in any big supermarket or at IKEA. 

1. Pasta and Butter Beans

Supermarket list: Whole grain or brown rice pasta, coconut oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1-2 packets of fresh button mushrooms, almond paste, black pepper, salt, parsley.

Recipe: Boil whole grain pasta according to package instructions. This should take no more than 10 minutes. If you prefer gluten free pasta, use or brown rice pasta instead.

In a pan fry 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil and 1 onion chopped with 2 cloves of garlic (crushed). Add 1-2 cups of fresh button mushrooms cut the size of the butter beans (either cut mushrooms in quarters or halves). Add 1 jar or butter beans to the mixture. Stir and add 2 table spoons of almond paste, black pepper and some salt. After two more minutes of stirring, the dish is ready to eat. Garnish with parsley.

2. Three-Bean Chili

Supermarket list:  

Frozen kidney beans, frozen chickpeas, frozen cannellini beans, carrots, two cloves of garlic, 2 onions,1 jar of diced tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, pine nuts.

Recipe: Place 1 cup frozen kidney beans, 1 cup of frozen chickpeas, and 1 cup of frozen cannellini beans together in a pot with boiling water. Bring to mixture to boil. After boiling for 2 minutes, drain the water and place beans aside. In the same pot, stir fry with a little water 1/2 cup diced carrots, two cloves of garlic (crushed) and 2 diced onion. After carrots become a little soft, add 1 jar of diced tomatoes and the bean mixture. Simmer everything for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of water. Simmer again for 2 minutes adding some paprika, salt, and pepper. Another 3 minutes of cooking, and it’s ready. Garnish with pine nuts.

3. Vegan Asian stir fry

Supermarket list: 

Fast cooking brown basmati rice, 2 onions, 3 garlic cloves, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, salt, bean sprouts, carrots, celery, green onions, broccoli, snow peas.

Recipe: Prepare fast cooking brown basmati rice according to the instructions on the packaging. This takes 15 minutes and the rice is ready to eat. 

In a wok add two chopped onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil, a dash of black pepper, and salt. Stir fry. Add bean sprouts, 1/2 cup carrot sticks, 1/2 cup celery sticks, 1/2 cup green onions, 1/2 cup broccoli, and 1/2 cup snow peas, Stir fry for a few minutes until broccoli is tender and your meal is ready to serve.

4. Gnocchi Dish

Supermarket list: 

Frozen gnocchi, frozen peas, 3 garlic cloves, coconut oil, 1 small tablet of tomato paste, black pepper, paprika, cilantro.

Recipe: Cook frozen gnocchi according to the package instructions (the non-frozen type is full with additives). This should take about 4 minutes in boiling water. Add a cup of frozen peas to the boiling water and after brining the water back to boil and the gnocchi is floating, they are ready. 

In the meantime, fry 3 chopped garlic cloves in 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add one onion chopped and fry for one minute. Add a small tablet of tomato paste, black pepper and paprika. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain the gnocchi but do not wash, add to sauce and garnish with some cilantro.

5. Scrambled Tofu

Supermarket list: 

3 garlic cloves,  coconut oil, 1 tomato, 400 grams of tofu, 1 bell pepper, turmeric, salt, pepper, whole grain bread. Serve with salad so also buy salad ingredients (cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce etc). 

Recipe: In a pan, fry 3 garlic cloves (chopped) with 1/2 tbs coconut oil. After 1 minute add 1 chopped tomato, and 1 chopped bell pepper.  Add turmeric, salt and pepper. After 2 minutes add 400 grams of tofu that you hand shred into the pan. Stir for two more minutes and its ready. Serve with whole grain bread and salad. 

Bon appetite!

Bean and lentil cooking times before freezing:


10-15 min

30 min

60-70 min

1.5 hours

3 hours





Black-eyes peas


Brown lentils*




Chick peas


Green lentils*






Broad beans


Butter beans






Red lentils*




Split lentils*


White beans


Yellow lentils*


* = no soaking necessary


Feel free to comment below and let me know what you liked best about these recipes.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’d be honored if you would share it with your family, friends, and followers by clicking the Like, Tweet, and Share buttons. If you are serious about improving your health no matter what your age or circumstances, and are ready to finally achieve optimal health and lose the weight you’ve been struggling with, then click HERE to check out my online Guerrilla Diet Bootcamp for Healthy and Lasting Weight Loss.

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Thank You, 🙂

Galit Goldfarb


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