Vegetarian Dinner Recipes That Are Cheap and Easy
David Kaplan/The Daily Meal

50 Vegetarian Dinner Ideas for When You Don’t Know What to Cook

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Bye-bye, meat!
Vegetarian Dinner Recipes That Are Cheap and Easy
David Kaplan/The Daily Meal

There are many reasons to eat less meat: your health, your budget, the environment, to name a few. Whatever your reason for changing up your diet, there are plenty of flavorful vegetarian and vegan-friendly meals that are worth giving a try, whether you’re a vegetarian or not. Don’t worry about sacrificing for flavor because these 50 amazing dinner recipes won’t have you missing beef, chicken or pork in the slightest.

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

Have leftover summer produce in your garden you don’t want to waste? Put it together and make a classic ratatouille for a healthy, vegetarian-friendly meal that’s as beautiful as it is flavorful.

For the Ratatouille recipe, click here.

Kung Pao Tofu Puffs

Kung Pao Tofu Puffs
Photo by Clare Barboza

These kung pao tofu puffs are—dare we say—better than the chicken version. Recreate this favorite takeout meal at home and eat this flavorful tofu over rice or add it to a chow mein.

For the Kung Pao Tofu Puffs recipe, click here.

Easy Chickpea and Potato Curry

Easy Chickpea and Potato Curry
© Bartosz Luczak | Dreamstime.com

This easy weeknight dinner idea is vegetarian-friendly and packed with protein. Trust us; this easy chickpea curry will be your best friend.

For the Easy Chickpea and Potato Curry recipe, click here.

Butternut Squash Cavatelli

Butternut Squash Cavatelli
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

This butternut squash cavatelli is bursting with autumnal flavor, but it's good any time of year. If you want it to be particularly tasty, check out when squash is in season in our monthly produce guide.

For the Butternut Squash Cavatelli recipe, click here.

Quinoa and Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa and Lentil Stuffed Peppers
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

Stuffed peppers are a dinner staple but instead of using ground beef, this recipe has a savory filling made of lentils, quinoa and rice. Make extra and eat them throughout the week to make meal prepping a breeze.

For the Quinoa and Lentil Stuffed Peppers recipe, click here.

Balsamic Mushroom and Onion Grilled Brie Sandwich

Balsamic Mushroom and Onion Grilled Brie Sandwich
Courtesy of Bits and Bites

If you’re looking for massively flavorful sandwiches worthy of the dinner table, this grilled cheese with Brie, balsamic mushrooms and onions is perfect.

For the Balsamic Mushroom and Onion Grilled Brie Sandwich recipe, click here.

BBQ Tempeh Ribs

BBQ Tempeh Ribs
Photo by Lizzie Mayson

You read that right: ribs. Tempeh is cut into strips and then tossed in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce to create this amazing replication of beef or pork. This is a great meat alternative to serve at a cookout or tailgate.

For the BBQ Tempeh Ribs recipe, click here.

Sesame Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Sesame Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce
bhofack2 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Make this favorite Asian takeout dish at home in only 30 minutes. Prepare the peanut sauce ahead of time to make sure the flavors bloom. Enjoy this dish on its own or serve with marinated tofu on top.

For the Sesame Noodles With Spicy Peanut Sauce recipe, click here.

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Copycat

Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Copycat
Carolyn Menyes/The Daily Meal

This broccoli cheddar soup is one of the absolute best recipes for cheese lovers. Serve with a fresh baguette and an apple for the full Panera experience.

For the Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Copycat recipe, click here.

Queso Fresco Enchiladas

Queso Fresco Enchiladas
© Jose Carlos Rojas Villarreal | Dreamstime.com

The best part of any Mexican dish is all that cheese. These easy queso fresco enchiladas are loaded with the good stuff and pair wonderfully with more of our best Mexican recipes.

For the Queso Fresco Enchiladas recipe, click here.

Pesto alla Trapanese

Pesto alla Trapanese
lauraag/iStock via Getty Images Plus

This simple herby pesto pairs with any of your favorite pasta shapes, though it’s best served with telephone cord-shaped busiate or other long-cut pasta. Use this pesto to create a satisfying pasta dish that's ready in under 30 minutes.

For the Pesto alla Trapanese recipe, click here.

Healthy Egg Salad

Healthy Egg Salad
© Martin Rettenberger/Dreamstime.com

This healthy egg salad is perfect for a quick and easy meal. Just make sure you know how to cook and peel hard-boiled eggs first.

For the Healthy Egg Salad recipe, click here.

Mashed Potato Quesadillas

Mashed Potato Quesadillas
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If you’re looking for a great way to use your leftovers, these mashed potato quesadillas are everything you need.

For the Mashed Potato Quesadillas recipe, click here.

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili
© Rosemary Buffoni | Dreamstime.com

If you can’t find fresh veggies at your store, try this vegetarian three-bean chili. It is one of those delicious dinners that can be made almost entirely from canned food.

For the Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili recipe, click here.

Mini Naan Pizzas

Mini Naan Pizzas
Courtesy of Happy Money Saver

Get the whole family together to make these mini naan pizzas, which you can customize to your liking. Top them with mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives or whatever veggie tickles your fancy. And once you master this simple recipe, try these other recipes for pizza night at home.

For the Mini Naan Pizzas recipe, click here.

Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes

Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If you’re looking for one of the best ways to cook fresh tomatoes, you should add this recipe for Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes to your collection. Couscous and olives take these tomatoes from side to main.

For the Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes recipe, click here.

Air Fryer Coconut Tofu

Air Fryer Coconut Tofu
Katherine Martinelli / The Daily Meal

One of the best dinners to make in an air fryer, this coconut-coated tofu is the perfect protein to put in a hearty rice bowl with pickled veggies and a bit of mango. You can easily swap tofu for a cauliflower version if you want.

For the Air Fryer Coconut Tofu recipe, click here.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole
JohnHancockPhoto/Shutterstock

This easy broccoli casserole is full of butter, cheese and mayonnaise, so you almost forget it's loaded with green veggies. Use either fresh or frozen broccoli — both work well.

For the Broccoli Casserole recipe, click here.

Pupusas

Pupusas
Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune; Corrine Kozlak/food styling

Making pupusas is easier than you may think. Top these cheese-stuffed food truck favorites with chopped cabbage, vegetarian refried beans and salsa.

For the Pupusas recipe, click here.

Caprese Grilled Cheese

Caprese Grilled Cheese
© Bhofack2 | Dreamstime.com

A simple grilled cheese is one of those classic childhood dinners. This Caprese-inspired grilled cheese includes fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil to make this sandwich a little more adult, but it's still a lot of fun.

For the Caprese Grilled Cheese recipe, click here.

Loaded Taco Fries

Loaded Taco Fries
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If you’re looking for dishes you can make out of the freezer, use frozen french fries as a base for this spin on nachos. Top with cheese, salsa, beans, onions, jalapeños or anything else your heart desires.

For the Loaded Taco Fries recipe, click here.

Greek-Inspired Penne

Greek-Inspired Penne
Courtesy of West of the Loop

This Greek penne pasta dish with black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and feta cheese has something to discover in every bite. Be sure to reserve a bit of pasta water and add it to your sauce.

For the Greek-inspired Penne recipe, click here.

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
hsunny/Shutterstock

This simple black bean soup tastes exactly like the one you can find at Panera Bread. If you want to get creative with it, top this dish with avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese or pickled jalapeños.

For the Black Bean Soup recipe, click here.

Tofu Po' boy

Tofu Po' boy
Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune

A tasty vegan alternative to the classic Louisiana-style meat or seafood po’ boy, this recipe uses tofu instead. A good dose of hot sauce and a quality baguette makes this dish taste like NOLA.

For the Tofu Po' boy recipe, click here.

Ricotta Ravioli in a Butter and Sage Sauce

Ricotta Ravioli in a Butter and Sage Sauce
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

This rich ricotta ravioli in a butter and sage sauce rivals the kind of dishes you’ll find at America’s best Italian restaurants. Pair with some wine for a romantic dinner at home.

For the Ricotta Ravioli in a Butter and Sage Sauce recipe, click here.

Caramelized Onion Breakfast Tacos

Caramelized Onion Breakfast Tacos
Courtesy of Bits and Bites

These breakfast tacos feature eggs, black beans and perfectly caramelized onions. Despite their name, this recipe is one of the best tacos for any time of day.

For the Caramelized Onion Breakfast Tacos recipe, click here.

Spring Risotto with Ramps and Asparagus

Spring Risotto with Ramps and Asparagus
Annette Nielsen/The Daily Meal

This recipe is springtime in a dish when fresh asparagus and ramps are at their peak. Take real advantage of springtime’s bounty by adding in morel mushrooms. If you can’t find ramps, that’s OK, just swap in scallion greens or chives.

For the Spring Risotto with Ramps and Asparagus recipe, click here.

Cheese and Macaroni Pie

Cheese and Macaroni Pie
Carolyn Menyes/The Daily Meal

Zoodles and Asparagus With Lemon Cream Sauce

Zoodles and Asparagus With Lemon Cream Sauce
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If you feel like you’re eating too many carbs, consider making this healthy, veggie-forward zoodles and asparagus recipe.

For the Zoodles and Asparagus With Lemon Cream Sauce recipe, click here.

Impossibly Easy Quiche

Impossibly Easy Quiche
Thienne Johnson/Shutterstock

Of all the great ways to cook eggs, this quiche is one of the easiest. This recipe technically calls for breakfast meat, but you can sub a vegan sausage, more veggies or any of these unexpected ingredients that go great with eggs.

For the Impossibly Easy Quiche recipe, click here.

Tofu Avocado Bowl

Tofu Avocado Bowl
Bessapics/Shutterstock

Dry ramen noodle packages are one of those groceries with a long shelf life. If you want to use yours up and jazz them up as well, consider adding tofu, an egg and avocado into your bowl.

For the Tofu Avocado Bowl recipe, click here.

Black Bean Burger

Black Bean Burger
jenifoto/iStock via Getty Images

Burgers are some of the most-searched-for recipes online, but if you’re trying to cut out red meat, these black bean burgers are a great option.

For the Black Bean Burger recipe, click here.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

This roasted squash soup is great as an appetizer or a main dish. Serve with some crusty bread, dip and enjoy.

For the Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup recipe, click here.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce

Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Roasted spaghetti squash is one of those helpful ingredient swaps if you’re out of regular pasta or just trying to eat more veggies. Serve with jarred tomato sauce for a quick and easy dinner.

For the Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce recipe, click here.

Restaurant-Style Eggplant Parmesan

Restaurant-Style Eggplant Parmesan
Photography and styling by Peri Photography

Grandma was the best cook, and this made-from-scratch eggplant parmesan tastes like it just came from her kitchen. Enjoy it with your favorite pasta on the side.

For the Restaurant-Style Eggplant Parmesan recipe, click here.

Tomato Tart

Tomato Tart
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune

Tarts aren’t always filled with summer berries. This tart recipe uses fresh tomatoes and herbs enclosed in a flaky pastry crust for a savory summer dinner.

For the Tomato Tart recipe, click here.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho
Rixipix / iStock / Getty Images Plus

You don't have to turn on the stove to make this gazpacho. Follow this recipe for a traditional Spanish soup featuring bright tomatoes and bell peppers.

For the Gazpacho recipe, click here.

Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

An edible flower stuffed with cheesy goodness? Pass the fork, please! Grab zucchini blossoms from your local farmers market when they’re in season to make this classic Italian dish for dinner.

For the Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms recipe, click here.

Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini
rudisill/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Slices of eggplant rolled with ricotta cheese and covered in tomato sauce and more cheese? Sign us up! Feel free to add chopped spinach to the ricotta mixture to sneak in your daily dose of protein.

For the Eggplant Rollatini recipe, click here.

Lemon Grilled Portobellos With Burrata and Tomatoes

Lemon Grilled Portobellos With Burrata and Tomatoes
Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune

This stuffed, grilled mushroom is one of the best vegetarian dishes to serve at a cookout. Meat lovers and vegetarians alike will go nuts for these cheesy Portobello mushrooms.

For the Lemon Grilled Portobellos With Burrata and Tomatoes recipe, click here.

Entomatadas

Entomatadas

Courtesy of Mexican Please

This classic Mexican dish is perfect for any meal, even if you’re cooking for yourself. Customize it with your choice of beans or vegetarian protein as a filling.

For the Entomatadas recipe, click here.

Filet o' Tempeh

Filet o' Tempeh
Courtesy of Lauren Toyota

Filet-O-Fish, meet your plant-based counterpart, Filet o’ Tempeh. Skip the drive-thru and make this fan-favorite sandwich at home instead. You’ll probably forget about fast food after tasting this.

For the Filet o' Tempeh recipe, click here.

One-Pan Sweet Potato and Egg Hash

One-Pan Sweet Potato and Egg Hash
David Kaplan/The Daily Meal

This one-pan sweet potato hash is great when you're craving brinner. Since everything is cooked on a single sheet pan, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up a pile of dishes after eating.

For the One-Pan Sweet Potato and Egg Hash recipe, click here.

Char Roasted Broccoli Parmesan

Char Roasted Broccoli Parmesan
Courtesy of Genuine Foods

Chicken parm has nothing on this roasted broccoli parmesan bake. After all, broccoli and cheese is one of the all-time best food combinations.

For the Char Roasted Broccoli Parmesan recipe, click here.

Americana Impossible Burger

Americana Impossible Burger
Courtesy of Impossible Foods

Missing meat? Toss one of these plant-based patties on the grill or stove just like any other burger. Assemble it with your favorite toppings and enjoy.

For the Americana Impossible Burger recipe, click here.

Tomato Pie With Pimento Cheese Topping

Tomato Pie With Pimento Cheese Topping
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

This Southern-inspired tomato pie is a great way to use the fresh tomatoes in your garden before the season ends. If you don’t feel like making your own crust, you can use refrigerated pie crust instead.

For the Tomato Pie With Pimento Cheese Topping recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Empanadas

Pumpkin Empanadas
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

This savory seasonal empanada recipe is great as a dinner or an appetizer to bring to a party.

For the Pumpkin Empanadas recipe, click here.

Lentils and Poached Eggs

Lentils and Poached Eggs
Courtesy of Instant Pot

This hearty lentil and poached egg recipe is made using an Instant Pot. Get the most out of this popular kitchen gadget by using it to make Instant Pot breakfast recipes too.

For the Lentils and Poached Eggs recipe, click here.

Farro Salad

Farro Salad
Food styling by Joan Moravek / Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune

Farro gives your typical salad a much-needed upgrade. Make this salad Mediterranean-style by adding sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and an olive oil-based vinaigrette.

For the Farro Salad recipe, click here.

ELT Sandwiches With Basil Mayonnaise

ELT Sandwiches With Basil Mayonnaise
Kristen Mendiola / The Daily Meal; Shannon Kinsella / food styling