These vegetarian dinner recipes aren’t just meat-free. They’re also delicious, healthy, inventive, and easy.
So whether you have a vegetarian friend coming to dinner, a teenager who’s just sworn off meat, or are trying out a plant-based diet, there are plenty of great options.
From flavorful sides to hearty mains, vegetarian cooking is easier than you think.
Say goodbye to boring veggie meatloaf or dreary soups. Say hello to creamy avocado alfredo, spicy mulligatawny, and fresh spring gnocchi.
And in case you thought veggie cooking was all about healthy foods, there are also a few ‘fast food’ options in there like crunchy fries and ‘takeout’ tofu.
With these nutritious and nourishing recipes, meat-lovers and plant-fans alike will go home happy.
So let’s start planning your next veggie dinner party!
1. Lentil Dal
Lentil dal is the ultimate Indian comfort food. It’s a thick, creamy, lentil-based stew that’s mildly spicy and very fragrant.
Make this foolproof recipe, and you’ll feel the cold weather blues melt away with every spoonful.
Your kitchen will smell of simmering spices, and that’s a very good thing.
2. Mediterranean Veggie Pasta
Colorful and healthy, this pasta bowl isn’t just vegetarian, it’s also gluten-free.
Juicy tomatoes, fresh spinach, and salty black olives are tossed in gluten-free spaghetti.
Serve with goat’s cheese or feta if you want even more flavor.
3. Mulligatawny Soup
Mulligatawny soup is a classic Indian lentil dish that dates back to the era of the British raj.
This vegan version is packed with veggies – potatoes, onions, carrots – along with fruity apple and aromatic spices.
4. Black Bean Soup
Spice lovers will swoon over this copycat recipe for Chipotle’s legendary black bean soup.
And it’s not just tasty, it’s also easy and economical.
If you have black beans and a well-stocked spice cabinet, you can make a bowl of this tastebud-tingling goodness.
5. Vegetarian Chili
My favorite thing about this vibrant veggie chilli is the detail.
It’s the little things that turn a meal from plain to perfect.
Here, a hearty bowl of bean-based chili is finished off with a dash of sharp lime juice and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
6. Beet Wellington
It’s beets not beef that make this main shine.
This pretty, plant-based roll wraps earthy beet in a flaky, buttery, pastry coating.
Serve with a balsamic reduction and prepare to wow even the most committed carnivores.
7. Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Shepherd’s pie doesn’t have to be carnivore comfort food.
This delicious version substitutes a whole load of tender root veg for the customary lamb filling.
The veggie mix is simmered in a rich gravy and topped with creamy, buttery mash.
You can also make this vegan with just a few tweaks.
8. Vegetable Soup
Nourishing and light, this veggie soup isn’t your average vegetable broth.
It’s full of flavor and a great way to use up any wilting veggies in the fridge.
9. Cauliflower Alfredo
Versatile and economical, cauliflower is great for bulking out veggie meals, providing extra nutrition and taste.
Here, it’s used to make a creamy alfredo-like sauce and poured over noodles for an easy, irresistible, vegan dinner.
10. Garlic Chili Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower
This dish has a touch of spice, a hit of garlic, and crunchy, roasted cauliflower.
Served over al-dente pasta noodles, this is an easy one-pot dinner that keeps things simple but satisfying.
11. Lentil Soup
High in protein and fiber, lentils are a great energy booster for plant-based eaters.
They’re simmered in a seasoned broth and finished with fresh greens, a splash of zesty lemon, and fragrant spices.
This vegan lasagna is a great way to get all the taste of the Italian classic, without the meat.
Made with tofu-cashew ricotta, red lentil marinara, and fresh spinach, it’s packed with protein and flavor.
13. Chickpea Noodle Soup
There’s nothing like chicken noodle soup when you’re battling a bug or the blues.
But you can easily skip the chicken and get the same soothing effect with this one-pot recipe made with chickpeas and fresh herbs.
Garlic, onion, and assorted veggies are simmered in a soupy broth.
Chickpeas and noodles are added for extra protein and bulk, turning this into a satisfying, warming stew.
14. Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Bookmark this one for the holidays, or any veggie get-togethers.
It’s sweet, creamy, and delightful – mixing soft sweet potato with crunchy pecans and tart cranberries.
Guests will gobble up this ooey-gooey delight, it’s the ideal way to enjoy dessert for dinner.
15. Green Bean Casserole
Green beans team up with crispy fried onions in this vegan-friendly recipe.
Fresh, tender green beans are soaked in a rich, creamy sauce, made from almond milk and flavored with garlic.
This is a hearty, comforting casserole that’ll remind you of family feasts, holidays, and other happy eating occasions.
16. Cauliflower Casserole
Cauliflower is baked with garlic, tomatoes, and lemon in this healthy and hearty casserole.
It’s a bright, tasty side that doesn’t require a lot of work. It can be enjoyed on its own with a simple salad or some crusty bread.
17. Green Beans and Garlic
Want a side you can pull together in minutes? Look no further than this tasty recipe.
Green beans are pan-fried until browned and tossed with garlic.
Super fast and super delicious, you can get this healthy side on the plate in minutes.
18. Mashed Potatoes
Okay, okay, we all know how to make mash. But do you know how to make Irish mash, aka colcannon?
The Irish have a new spin on the standard side, mixing fluffy potatoes with shredded greens, garlic, and lots of butter.
19. Broccoli Tomato Pizza
Made from cashew cheese, summer veggies, and sun-dried tomatoes, this vegan pizza ticks all the boxes.
It’s easy, delicious, and healthy.
It’s a homemade treat that’s perfect if you’re craving fast food on your plant-based diet.
20. Tomato Risotto
This silky smooth risotto is perfect if you’re holding an upscale dinner party for veggie friends.
It’s an impressive dish that also happens to be easy and quick, with just 20 minutes from prep to plate.
21. Colorful Beet Salad with Carrots and Spinach
This bright, light salad is the perfect light supper, simple snack or healthy lunch.
Carrot, quinoa, and spinach are tossed with chunks of earthy, sweet beets. It’s a heady mix of tastes and textures that delight with every bite.
22. Scalloped Potatoes
Whether you’re a meat-eater or a veggie, everyone loves scalloped potatoes. That’s just a fact of life.
And it’s easy to see why. Tender potato slices, coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce and baked until golden brown on top – what’s not to love?
23. Avocado Alfredo
Bursting with heart-healthy fats, avocado deserves its title as a superfood.
In this recipe pureed avocado provides the ‘cream’ in this creamy alfredo.
Flavored with garlic and parmesan, it’s decadent and delicious.
24. Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This is an effortless recipe that produces crispy, caramelized sprouts every time.
There’s definitely a knack for roasting Brussels sprouts. Don’t just dump them on a baking tray.
Check out this recipe for tips on technique, and make this subtle side the star of the show.
25. General Tso’s Tofu
Ready in just 30 minutes, this copycat recipe is the best way to whip up restaurant-worthy Chinese food from your own kitchen.
Spicy-sweet tofu is served in a sticky soy sauce in this tangy, tasty dish that’s not just vegetarian but also vegan.
Serve with jasmine rice and veggies like bok choy for a flavorful feast.
26. Spinach Salad
Rich in folate and iron, spinach is one of the healthiest greens.
Here it forms the base of a nutritious salad, flavored with a piquant and sweet maple balsamic dressing.
It’s high in protein too, with plenty of nuts and seeds.
Add a sweet kick from the addition of dried cranberries, and this isn’t just a side salad, it’s a one-bowl meal all by itself.
27. Spring Vegetable Gnocchi
Make the most of fresh spring produce with this scrumptious pasta dish.
Green peas, sweet shallots, and crisp asparagus are coated in a light but creamy sauce.
Served with soft, pillowy parcels of gnocchi, it’s the best way to usher in spring.
And you can make this one diary-free and vegan-friendly by using cashew cream in place of heavy cream.
28. Coconut Rice
If you’re serving Chinese food or an Indian curry, you’ll need a side that can hold its own against those unique flavors.
Coconut rice is a great choice.
It’s slightly sweet, perfectly fluffy, and the perfect backdrop to tangy stir-fries and spicy curries.
It’s also easy and vegan, consisting of jasmine rice simmered in coconut milk and topped with fresh chopped cilantro.
29. Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
These hearty mushrooms can be served as a side, as an impressive appetizer, or a light dinner.
High in B vitamins, potassium, and selenium, mushrooms are a great meat replacement in veggie meals.
They’re sliced, scooped out, and stuffed with a mix of seasoned breadcrumbs, and loads of fresh herbs.
Top with vegan parmesan and bake until bubbly!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a carnivore, a veggie, or anything in between, everyone needs a good fries recipe.
This easy version delivers perfectly seasoned potatoes that are crunchy and crisp on the outside while melt-in-the-mouth soft on the inside.
It’s also incredibly versatile, with lots of veggie-friendly suggestions for seasonings and tips on cooking times and techniques.
Just one word of warning – these fries are extremely addictive.
You may need to call a veggie friend to help before you eat the entire batch.
31. Garlic Broccoli Stir-Fry With Chickpeas
Tender spring broccoli is tossed in a fiery ginger and garlic sauce in this vegan-friendly stir-fry.
It’s like takeout, but better. Ready in just 25 minutes, it’s a healthy way to beat cravings and get a healthy, homemade version of your favorite Chinese food.
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