Vegetarian dishes are becoming more popular, and it’s no surprise why they’re so good! With countless meatless options on the market, you can feel good about what you eat without sacrificing the flavor of your favorite recipes.
Just because you don’t eat meat or are looking to give it up for health reasons doesn’t mean you have to give up hamburgers, enchiladas, or any other classic meaty dishes altogether.
These easy meatless meals are so delicious that you’ll probably prefer them to their meaty alternatives (here’s looking at you, black bean burger).
If you’re looking for new meatless dinner ideas, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ve listed our top 28 easy meatless recipes that are so good. They’ll leave you and your guests eager for seconds.
If you’re in the mood for Chinese takeout, but don’t want to drive to the store to pick it up, then this is the perfect recipe for you and your loved ones to make at home.
Typically served with rice, the secret ingredient is garlic, which is just right and not overpowering.
If you don’t want to use rice as the side dish, you can use noodles instead.
Who doesn’t like a juicy bowl of ramen noodles? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone!
Ramen noodles are the perfect “lazy day” dish and only take a couple of minutes to prep.
Curry seasoning is the secret ingredient here because it gives this dish its Indian flair, but if you prefer an Asian flair, swap it out for some soy sauce.
This meatless dish has a lot of versatility, so you’ll never feel like you’re eating the same meal twice.
If you’re serving a lot of people, this simple meatless recipe is the one for you.
The secret ingredient in this dish is the black beans because they provide a little bit of crunch that you’d ordinarily get from the meat.
Taco blend cheese is usually recommended here, but you can use pepper jack or Colby jack cheese instead, as they both pair well with black beans and other traditional Mexican-inspired dishes.
Do you love hamburgers but are looking to swap it out for something a bit more healthy? If so, then this meatless recipe might become your new favorite.
Sweet potatoes are used as the base of the black bean burger, and like other recipes on this list, the black beans pack a bunch of high-intensity flavors.
The secret ingredient is the flax seeds, though, because they help bind all the ingredients together; plus, they have been shown to help improve digestive health.
If you don’t have flax seeds, you can easily substitute them for chia seeds.
This vegetable soup includes so many tasty vegetables like green beans, traditional beans, and carrots that have so much crunch and texture.
What makes vegetable soup stand out are the onions, which is why they’re the secret ingredient.
They get soft and mushy and add a lot of flavor to the broth.
If you don’t have broth, you can combine soy sauce and water to create your own. Pretty neat, right? It ranks as one of our favorite meatless recipes ideas.
Is Shepherd’s Pie a must-do for you every holiday season? If so, then you’ll love this easy recipe!
Mashed potatoes are traditionally used in this recipe, but you can swap it out for mashed turnips or mashed cauliflower if you prefer something a bit healthier.
The texture will be similar enough to the original recipe.
The secret ingredient of this popular meatless dish is the lentils, which can offer the same great flavor as the beef when soaked in beef broth.
If you’re like me, then you love the spicy and crunch texture of a stuffed pepper. But, if you’re looking for a meatless option, try using spinach and ricotta instead of meat and rice.
The secret ingredient here is ricotta cheese because it’s used as a binder the same way the rice was. Plus, it has a pretty mild taste, so it lets the spinach take center stage.
You don’t have to use green bell peppers here if you don’t want to.
Try swapping them out for red and yellow peppers or jalapeno if you’re feeling particularly spicy.
In our opinion, it’s one of the best meatless recipes!
Try using this recipe instead if you struggle to get your kids to eat their Brussel sprouts at dinner.
The garlic helps lower the intensity of the Brussel sprouts, and the potatoes offer a nice textural element.
The garlic is the secret ingredient, as it has the best flavor profile.
If you don’t have potatoes to dice or cube, you can swap it out for sweet potatoes, which taste so great when paired with Brussel sprouts (trust us!)
Do you love stuffed shells for dinner? If so, then try this easy spinach and ricotta recipe.
The ricotta cheese is so filling, and the spinach adds a little bit of saltiness to this dish that’s to die for.
The secret ingredient here is the type of sauce you use, as you can customize it to your preferred flavor profile.
You can use marina sauce or swap it out for spicy arrabbiata sauce or even alfredo sauce.
The possibilities (and flavor combinations) are endless.
Get the creaminess and cheesiness of an enchilada in this meatless Mexican dish.
The secret ingredient is lime juice, which adds a hint of sourness that pairs nicely with the strong cheese flavors.
This recipe is so tasty that you’ll enjoy every forkful.
Don’t stress if you don’t have black beans; you can swap them out for refried beans or speckled pintos.
This will change up the flavors a bit, but the consistency will be relatively the same.
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any bean you choose!
You’ve heard of adding onions and peppers to spaghetti, but mushrooms? Really?
While it seems like an odd pairing, they’re a great and flavorful combination. Mushrooms have an earthy taste to them, which pairs nicely with the acidity of tomato sauce.
If you don’t have traditional spaghetti, feel free to swap it out for another type of pasta like angel hair or rigatoni.
The secret ingredient in this dish is the mushrooms, so whether you choose white mushrooms or portobello, you’re getting a tasty treat the whole family will savor.
12. Eggplant Lasagna
Lasagna is a classic dish everyone loves, but why not swap out the meat for some eggplant for a healthier alternative?
Eggplant is used with many traditional Italian dishes because it pairs so well with pasta and tomato sauce.
Italian herbs are the secret ingredient in this dish, as they help build out the flavor profile.
If you don’t have traditional tomato sauce, you can use a can of diced tomatoes and mix a little water and let it all bake together to create a sauce.
You’ve heard of pork and chicken fried rice, but what about cauliflower?
While cauliflower is a great substitute for meat because it still has many crunches, it’s also a great substitute for rice if you want to decrease your calorie intake.
Riced cauliflower binds all the ingredients together, including your choice of protein, which is the secret ingredient.
This protein can either be chickpeas or tofu, even some fried egg, so whatever you’re in the mood for, this dish offers a lot of versatility.
Lettuce wraps are a great alternative to a bun. In addition to being healthy, they taste great, too. Meat is swapped out for tofu, but you can swap them out for chickpeas, too, if you prefer.
The secret ingredient is the mushrooms, which add a salty and earthy element to the meatless recipe.
But, you can experiment with a bunch of different vegetables, so get creative.
We think adding a few drops of soy sauce to this tastes great and gives it an Asian flair.
15. Lentil Bolognese
Bolognese is a tasty Italian dish, but the addition of lentils can make it even healthier.
Swapping out beef for beans will change the flavor slightly but is still a tasty substitute when mixed with marinara sauce and Italian seasoning.
The sauce is the secret ingredient, so if you want to use a jar of crushed tomatoes or something that’s pre-blended with basil, or four cheese, you can’t go wrong.
If you don’t have any sauce, you can dice up a few tomatoes and sprinkle it with cheese for a similar effect.
There’s nothing like a bowl of chili on a cold day. Beans are already a staple in chili dishes, so the dish still tastes the same even if it doesn’t have meat in it.
If you prefer, you can chop up some tofu and add it to the mix if you’re missing that meaty texture.
Add some sliced avocados and tortillas, and let them soak into the broth if you want to add a Mexican flair.
The secret ingredient is the cumin, which adds a little kick. If you don’t have cumin, you can add in some red chili flakes instead.
Move over, traditional tacos, there’s a new flavor profile in the town. As we mentioned before, cauliflower is a great substitute for different meats, which applies to chickpeas.
This combo is the perfect blend of salty and crunchy. If you don’t have cauliflower, you can use tofu because that also tastes great with barbeque sauce.
The secret ingredient is the cabbage, which is the perfect addition to the other veggies. Green and red cabbage taste great, so either works!
Are you in the mood for a sloppy joe this weekend? Try this recipe out for size.
Made with lentils instead of beef, you get all the flavors of a traditional sloppy joe without massive amounts of calories.
Red onions are the secret ingredient in this dish, as they give a much-needed crunch to this otherwise mushy sandwich.
If you don’t want to serve these on traditional buns, use some lettuce wraps instead. It’s one of our favorite meatless meals for meat lovers.
If you’re on the Keto diet, this recipe will be perfect for you!
This meatless recipe is pretty versatile as you can use whatever kind of cheese you prefer, including cheddar, Colby Jack, and even pepper jack.
If you don’t have cheese or can’t eat it due to digestive issues, you can combine nutritional yeast and dijon mustard and let it melt over the cauliflower for a similar effect.
Regardless of your dietary needs, who says you have to give up creamy mac and cheese?
The secret ingredient is the heavy whipping cream, which helps make this dish so creamy.
Alright, hear me out. This combo is a little odd but delicious! Potatoes and peas pair well together and the cauliflower adds some necessary texture.
What’s great about this dish is that it’s oil-free, so you can feel better about eating it.
The vegetable broth is the secret ingredient, which soaks into all the veggies.
If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can combine nutritional yeast with celery seed and Italian seasoning.
Even if you’re a vegetarian, you don’t have to give up meatballs with your spaghetti dinner.
These can be served as a complimentary side or by themselves as an appetizer.
The ricotta cheese binds all the ingredients together, and the spinach, when cooked, is very robust and complementary to the acidity in tomato sauce.
The secret ingredient in this meatless dish is spinach, as it adds a lot of flavors.
While this recipe calls for shredded cheese, you can add cheese slices as well and have them layered on top of the meatballs.
One forkful of this dish, and you’ll be in heaven.
The secret ingredient here is 100% the jalapeno ranch, which adds so much spice and flavor to the cauliflower.
This recipe calls for additional veggies like radishes and avocado, which blend so well with the other ingredients.
If you don’t have jalapeno ranch, you can substitute it for some sour cream to still get that creamy texture and top it off with some chives.
These meatballs are so good that you’ll forget they’re not made of any meat.
Lentils help bind everything together, although it’s recommended to add some additional veggies in there, like mushrooms and onions.
If you don’t have mushrooms, you can substitute them for some spinach, as it won’t have a powerful taste when cooked with everything else.
The secret ingredient is the barbeque sauce because you can customize it.
So, whether you want something hot and spicy or mild and sweet, there’s no wrong way to make this popular meatless dish.
In our opinion, it ranks as one of the best meatless meals.
Tikka Masala is a popular dish that can be altered to fit different dietary restrictions and preferences.
Swap out the chicken for chickpeas to automatically make this dish healthier without sacrificing any flavor.
The secret ingredient in this dish is ginger because it has a slightly peppery taste to it.
You can swap it out for some curry seasoning if you don’t have ginger, as this is a staple in most Indian-inspired cuisines.
Are you looking for a meatless meal that tastes great but is also quick and easy to make? If so, this is the recipe for you.
This is a popular Indian dish that packs a lot of flavors.
The secret ingredient is coconut milk, as it helps make the curry creamy.
If you don’t have coconut milk, you can swap it out for oat milk, if you prefer.
This dish also calls for various vegetables, so feel free to mix it up and add onions, green beans, asparagus, and anything else you’re in the mood for.
Are you looking for something quick to make after work? If so, you’ll love this recipe.
The best part about this dish is that you can be as creative as you want by adding your preference for vegetables.
Peas and carrots work just as great as asparagus and Brussel sprouts.
The secret ingredient is the heavy cream, but you can just half and half, too. If you don’t want to use egg noodles, try serving everything with quinoa instead.
Daal curry is an Indian delicacy that tastes great with jasmine rice.
If you don’t have rice, you can swap it out for some egg noodles or quinoa or just serve it over some naan bread.
The secret ingredient is the ground curry paste, which packs a lot of flavor and pairs well with the cooked lentils.
This recipe calls for turmeric and curry paste and can be quite spicy, so make sure you have lots of water handy while you dine. You’re gonna need it for this spicy recipe!
Meatless meatballs? Yup, it’s a thing! And don’t worry, it tastes great.
Mushrooms are used as the base of these meatballs, and when cooked, taste great with garlic and breadcrumbs.
If you don’t have mushrooms, you can swap them out for some black beans.
The best part about this dish, though, is the mushrooms, as they’re the secret ingredient to getting the right consistency.
Feel free to use either portobello mushrooms or whichever kind of mushroom you prefer in this tasty meatless recipe that will have you going back for seconds.
- ½ c of breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of butter
- ½ c of chopped onion
- 1 pound of mushrooms
- ½ c of cooking oats
- ¼ c of chopped parsley
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 oz of shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 c of pasta sauce
- 1 tsp of salt
- Ground pepper and oregano to taste
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and add mushrooms to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the liquid in the pan is
gone. Add butter, reduce heat and stir until mushrooms are golden brown.
- Once golden brown, add chopped onions for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add in garlic and stir for approximately 1 minute. Pour all ingredients into a bowl.
- Add oats into the mushroom mixture, and then gently fold in the cheese. Add bread crumbs, parsley, and an egg to bind everything together. Add in Italian seasonings and mix until combined pressed together.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. Let sit for approximately 4 hours or overnight, depending on your preference.
- Once chilled, preheat over to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mold mixture into balls with either your hands or a tablespoon. Place on parchment paper and bake 12-15 minutes.
- After baking, bring pasta sauce to a boil and stir in meatballs until fully coated. Let simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour and then transfer to a bowl to serve.