50 Vegetarian Recipes for Meatless Mondays — or Any Other Time
50 Vegetarian Recipes for Meatless Mondays — or Any Other Time
Meatless Monday is more than a catchy slogan; it is a lifestyle change that has helped people around the world rethink their dietary habits. By eliminating meat just one day a week, you can decrease your risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, improve blood pressure, and, from an environmental perspective, decrease your carbon footprint.
Even the most steadfast carnivores can skip one night of steak a week for a plate of vegetables, which is why we have rounded up 50 vegetarian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon snacks that are anything but bland and boring. With options like shakshuka, creamy broccoli rabe soup, portobello and eggplant schnitzel, vegetarian dumplings, nachos, and more, your part-time foray into vegetarianism might just become a full-time habit.
Take this hiatus from meat to focus on cooking vegetables — the right way. Give those greens, that cauliflower steak, or those flavorful spring herbs the starring role they deserve. Broiled, grilled, boiled, braised, roasted, sautéed, and even fried, vegetables are versatile, delicious, and nutritious.
For more ways to add more vegetables to your diet every meal of the day, read on for our roundup of 50 delicious, vegetarian recipes to eat on Meatless Monday — or any other time.
Breakfast and Brunch
Asparagus on Toast
Because my grandmother liked asparagus so much, my grandfather took special care with his plants. Now I am carrying on the tradition. For this recipe I like young asparagus. I cook them in a skillet even when I am working over a grill to make sure the smoky flavor doesn’t overwhelm, only heightens. I top the asparagus with gribiche, a French sauce that is traditionally an emulsion of hard-boiled egg yolk and oil perked up with pickles and herbs. I like a rough-chopped version and prefer to use the whole egg. I quick-pickle my own carrots (which is very easy) and put them in the sauce, but if you prefer another pickle, don’t hesitate. — Chris Fischer
Avocado Toast With Chives
Avocados make a great cream cheese substitute because they bring a smooth consistency in addition to a healthy dose of fiber, potassium, and vitamin B. Give your breakfast a boost by spreading avocado on toast, then topping it with sautéed tomatoes and onions as well as fresh chives, garnished with chive blossoms. This recipe comes to us from Melissa of Foodista.com. — Meatless Monday
Blueberry Cobbler Overnight Oats
This healthy breakfast option tastes like your favorite dessert. Just combine the nutritious oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and blueberries before you go to bed and wake up to a delicious morning treat.
Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Toast With Poached Egg
Looking for a new way to spice up brunch? Try this Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Toast topped with delicious eggs. — Andy Boy
Marmalade and Banana French Toast
A delectable banana and marmalade topping sets this French toast apart from the pack. — Lauren Gordon
Mini Breakfast Egg, Tomato, and Spinach Flatbread Pizza
An easy and impressive brunch idea — just scramble eggs, spoon onto flatbread, sprinkle with toppings, bake until bubbly, and serve! — American Egg Board
Nutella Breakfast Pizza
This kid-friendly recipe is perfect for all those busy weekend breakfasts when you’re looking for a quick, tasty, and fairly healthy treat to feed the little ones. This recipe is courtesy of Tiffany at A Thrifty Mom. — Hannah Hoskins
Oatmeal, Chia, and Fresh Fruit
Skip the sausages and heavy breakfast sandwiches. Instead, try this simple and healthy blend of chia seed and oatmeal to start your day off with your healthy foot forward.
Open-Faced Scrambled Egg Sandwich With Spinach and Feta
Make soft scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes and top with feta for a breakfast sandwich you’re going to want to make again and again. — Milagros Cruz
The name doesn’t really roll off the tongue on a hungover morning, but this recipe, which uses a combination of eggs and spicy tomato sauce — similar to the Mexican huevos rancheros, though with a distinctively North African/Middle Eastern flavor — offers a memorably fiery blast-off to a day that might otherwise have proved drab and dull. Shakshuka is usually thought of as an Israeli breakfast dish, but in fact is eaten widely in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Yemen too. The only slightly unusual ingredient is the smoked paprika, which gives the tomato sauce a wonderful smoky richness. This version is quite spicy; if you prefer a milder dish, you can halve the quantities of jalapeño, pepper, and paprika. — Milton Crawford
Stuffed French Toast
Impress yourself and your friends by serving this easy, decadent, yet healthy breakfast. Stuffed French toast is generally loaded with unhealthy fats and calories. This recipe, though, is made with fresh fruit, almond butter, whole grain bread, and toasted walnuts for a warm, gooey morning treat. — Pam Braun
Tomato Basil Quinoa Muffin
Railtown Cafe/Alex Abley
Not much of a sweets person, but still looking for that savory, vegetarian start to the day you can take on the go? These muffins are just the thing you need, with plenty of healthy, protein-rich quinoa and herbaceous flavor. Your taste buds will have just the morning treat they deserve.
Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito
The great thing about serving burritos at your brunch is that you can lay out each individual dish of ingredients and encourage guests to build their own. A vegetarian burrito just makes it all the more accessible for your friends and family. — Lauren Gordon
Everyone needs a midday pick-me-up to make it through the rest of the workday, which is why we have rounded up a few of our favorite, nutrient-packed vegetarian lunch recipes that you can enjoy at home or take with you to work.
Apricot and Brie Grilled Sandwich
Just because you are going meat-free doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in comfort food. These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches contain just the right amount of sweet and savory. While we love apricot jam, feel free to modify this recipe with your favorite jam or preserve.
Asian Noodle Salad Jars
Fresh vegetables, soba noodles, and a spicy peanut dressing are layered up in a mason jar for the perfect healthy, wholesome lunch to take with you to work. — Hannah Hoskins
Baked Chickpeas With Toasted Walnuts, Rosemary, and Chile
Looking for a light but filling lunch option? Nosh on this mix of protein-packed chickpeas, toasted walnuts, and fragrant rosemary. Carry this healthy salad to lunch in a jar layered with fresh mixed greens for the perfect traveling lunch.
Creamy Broccoli Rabe Soup With Quinoa
A spin on a traditional creamy broccoli soup, this recipe calls for broccoli rabe instead. Topped with crispy quinoa, this relatively guilt-free soup will leave you begging for more. — Andy Boy
Farro and Beet Salad With Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Ancient grains are an excellent way to work more whole grains into your diet. Paired with a blood orange vinaigrette, this farro salad is a nutty and bright choice for a meatless lunch.
Grilled Tofu Sandwich With Peanut Dressing
There's a trendy Cambodian-inspired sandwich shop in Manhattan called Num Pang that makes a pretty mean tofu sandwich. Such was the inspiration behind my very own version. Mine traces its roots back to Indonesian cuisine, though, with a peanut dressing that's common on dishes like gado gado. Also, just as an aside: While writing this recipe I suddenly realized this would have been really good with some cucumbers and cooked bean sprouts instead of lettuce. Just a thought. — Will Budiaman
Korean Braised Tofu
When I was growing up in Korea, this dish was one of the regulars in my home-packed school lunches (dosirak/bento), which usually consisted of rice and a few side dishes. I like it braised, but you can omit braising and simply pour the sauce over the pan-fried tofu. — Hyosun Ro
Mushrooms can add that umami flavor without adding meat to a dish, which is why we are absolutely in love with these mushroom quesadillas for your Meatless Monday lunch. Just add a side of pico de gallo for dipping and you are all set for an excellent lunch.
Peanut Butter Vegetable Pasta Salad
The peanut butter gives this pasta salad just the kick it needs to go from good to great. The rich, creamy peanut dressing coats the noodles and provides plenty of the complex, salty peanut butter flavor to a bowl of noodles and vegetables.
"Grilled vegetables are the main attraction of this pizza. The range of colors and textures makes for a beautiful pizza, and with a sauce of only crushed cherry tomatoes, this is one of our healthiest and tastiest pizzas. Just what the doctor ordered!" — Craig Whitson and Tore Gjesteland, authors of Passion for Pizza: A Journey Through Thick and Thin to Find the Pizza Elite
Purple and Blue Salad
Executive Chef David Feau of Wally's Beverly Hills
Soft Tofu and Vegetable Soup
I love soft, silky tofu, and this spicy soup is surprisingly addictive. The mushroom stock gives this stew, or jjigae, a deep earthy taste and complexity. The sweet zucchini and the creamy egg cut the spiciness as well. This is one of my favorite jjigaes and it is so good for you; perfect for a cold winter’s evening. — Judy Joo, host of Cooking Channel’s new series Korean Food Made Simple
Vegetarian dinners can be just as filling as meat-filled ones, just be sure to balance yours vegetable-based protein sources with fiber-rich vegetables, whole-grain carbohydrates, and plenty of flavor-boosting ingredients, like fresh herbs and spices, just as you would on any other night.
BBQ Seitan Sandwich
Bust out the barbecue sauce, 'cause it's almost summer! For non-meat-eaters, seitan is a great replacement. It's savory and the texture is much more pleasant than that of tofu. This sandwich is super easy to make and you can experiment with different toppings. — Jane Bruce
Butternut Squash Lasagna
Creamy butternut squash is layered with flat lasagna noodles, and then topped with a rich, nutmeg-scented béchamel sauce. The best thing about this vegetarian dinner is that you can assemble it ahead of time, and then just warm it up in the oven before dinner.
Cacio e Pepe
Perfect in its minimalism, cacio e pepe, directly translated as cheese and pepper, is a real crowd-pleaser, great for a family meal or a dinner that doubles as lunch the next day. For that buttery taste with less fat, this version combines olive oil and butter in a 2:1 combo. A key to this dish is using freshly ground pepper, so get out your pepper mill and grind away. — Valaer Murray
Portobello and Eggplant Schnitzel
Who doesn’t like crispy, crunchy schnitzel for dinner? This recipe swaps the traditional veal or pork for thick slices of portobello mushroom and eggplant. The whole dish gets drizzled with a brown butter lemon-caper sauce before serving.
Roasted Tofu Stir-Fry
Tofu acts like a blank canvas in both texture and flavor. Having worked at a Chinese restaurant for 10 years, I learned the secrets for transforming tofu into an incredible delight. The first trick is to cut the tofu into small cubes and then roast it — this is to give the tofu a crisped exterior so it's ready to soak in the flavors of the sauce it's cooked with. — Erin Swing
Smoky Chipotle Vegetarian Chili
Chili is the ultimate gift to cooks in small kitchens. It requires only one pot, the result is a hearty, filling meal that can feed a fleet, and, in the case of this recipe, it’s also extremely cheap. Though the dish has long been hailed as a meat-lovers’ favorite, we've found that if done correctly, the familiarity of the flavors is what makes people want to eat it all night long. In this vegetarian version, the chipotle compensates in flavor for the absence of slow-cooked beef brisket by giving the dish a down-home, rich smokiness. — Big Girls Small Kitchen
Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers
Grilling and barbecuing don't have to be all about burgers, steaks, and hot dogs; vegetarian burgers are easy to make and easily customizable. Vegetarian burgers can be made using virtually any mix of beans and vegetables; whatever you have on hand will work. This recipe uses chickpeas, onions, and cumin; after the patties are grilled, they're super smoky and flavorful. — Kristie Collado
Vegetarian Mushroom Tacos
Everyone loves tacos. This is a delicious, vegetarian option, similar to what you might see on a menu at your favorite taco place. The citrus in this gives it a subtle tanginess that really makes this a delightful dish! — Nathan Cyphert
Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant
This vegetarian version of a stuffed eggplant uses tofu and Asian flavors to create a hearty meal that satisfies even the biggest carnivores. Serve with aromatic jasmine rice for a healthy, no-fuss dinner. — Valaer Murray
Veggie Stir-Fry With Peanut Sauce
Looking for a quick and easy dinner idea for Meatless Monday? Try this simple vegetable stir-fry with a rich and creamy peanut sauce.
Healthy, vegetarian snacks are the way to go on Meatless Mondays when you find yourself craving a small bite between meals. This collection of vegetarian snack recipes are so good, you just might find yourself reaching for them every day of the week.
Crispy Fried Okra With Amchoor, Chile, and Cucumber Raita
This Indian-inspired fried okra recipe is seasoned with a blend of pungent spices, and then gets dipped into a cool, cucumber raita before eating.
Crispy Tofu Bites With Sweet Chile Sauce
Make this vegetarian appetizer for any dinner party. Your friends won't believe how delicious these crispy tofu bites taste in a sweet, tangy sauce. You can also make this dish vegan by using soy milk instead of regular milk. — Nasoya
Easy Vegetarian Dumplings
As a lover of dumplings who is constantly on a diet, believe me when I tell you this recipe changed my life. I had a total Dr. Frankenstein look-what-I've-created/it's-alive-moment the second I bit into this delicious dumpling. A healthy dumpling I don't have to order or question the contents of? I. Am. Sold. Hopefully, you will be too! You can definitely play with the ingredients to make sure they align with your tastes though I recommend definitely using the slaw mixture, as it soaks up the sauces rather nicely! — Lauren Gordon
By now, you’ll not be surprised to learn that the secret to great Israeli-style hummus is an obscene amount of tehina, as much as half of the recipe by weight, so it’s especially important to use the best quality you can find. Unlike Greek-style hummus, which is heavy on garlic and lemon, Israeli hummus is about the marriage of chickpeas and tehina. In fact, there are no other ingredients, just a dash of cumin. The only lemon and garlic involved is in my Basic Tehina Sauce. There are countless variations, but I’m not talking about black bean, white bean, or edamame hummus. Those might be perfectly nice dips, but since hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, that’s what we use. Remember to leave time for dried chickpeas to soak overnight. — Michael Solomonov
Kale Chips With Parmigiano-Reggiano
The spicy, tangy flavor of these kale chips that are dusted with chili powder and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese outdo any store-brought kale chips you may have tried in the past.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
This lightened up version of your favorite spinach and artichoke dip is made with plain Greek yogurt. Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or crudité for a guilt-free snack.
Truffle Deviled Eggs
This deviled egg recipe is so easy it can barely be called a recipe. Truffle salt lends the earthy flavor of truffles, but you won’t have to spend a lot of money on this easy passed appetizer. Learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs every time. — Julie Ruggirello