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20 Easy Vegetarian Recipes So Good You Won’t Miss the Meat

They’re simple. They’re healthy. And they’re cheap and delicious. What’s there not to love about these easy vegetarian recipes?

If you’re trying to gain muscle and lose fat, then you probably know the importance of eating enough protein.

And you also know that eating meat makes it very easy to do this.

Is it necessary, though?

Absolutely not. You can get plenty of protein and build plenty of muscle eating little (or even no) meat.

You can also benefit in other ways from including vegetarian recipes in your meal plans.

For starters, vegetarian dishes tend to focus on fruits and vegetables, which helps ensure you’re getting the micronutrients you need in addition to hitting your macros.

Research shows that eating vegetarian a few times a week can also save you money, so there’s another good reason to get some “clean eating” into your life.

And last but not least, the right vegetarian recipes taste awesome.

From Creamy Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup to Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Pasta, Vegetable Pot Pie, Baked Zucchini Fries, and Brussels Sprouts Veggie Sliders, these dishes give their carnivorous counterparts a serious run for their money.

Enjoy!

Kale & Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Casserole

Serves 8

Most casseroles have ground or shredded meat to make a filling one-dish meal, but that’s not necessary if you lots of veggies, plus quinoa for protein.

This vegetarian casserole is filled with carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale – perfect for a hearty winter meal. And depending on what’s in your kitchen, you can use other delicious vegetables like cauliflower, parsnips, and mustard greens.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

251

Calories

8 g

Protein

42 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces

4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup dry quinoa

4 cloves garlic, minced

10 oz. chopped kale

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground chipotle

1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) grated mozzarella

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Roasted Asparagus, Green Onion & Blue Cheese Frittata

Serves 4

A frittata is a great way to fit protein into a vegetarian diet. Of course you’ll need eggs and milk for the main ingredients.

Then you can add all kinds of veggie fillings, like asparagus for vitamin K and folic acid. Add even more protein by using egg whites as the base, as well as a big handful of spinach.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

212

Calories

14 g

Protein

7 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 lb. asparagus

5 green onions, sliced

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

6 large eggs

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

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Creamy Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 6

This simple soup captures the delicious flavors of fall with apples, pumpkin, and a touch of maple syrup. Add more protein by serving it with kefir or cashew cream swirled right into the soup.

It’s great for a light lunch with whole-wheat crackers, or enjoy this pumpkin soup as an appetizer for a vegetarian meal like quinoa casserole or braised lentils and carrots.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

109

Calories

5 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1 cup apple, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

4 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

4 cups vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Vegetable Pot Pie

Serves 8

This comforting dish is lightened up and loaded with veggies, but you don’t have to sacrifice the real biscuit topping for a healthy pot pie.

This recipe uses the real deal, and you can pick up white whole-wheat flour, aka whole-wheat pastry flour, to add complex carbs. This is a classic yet nutritious dinner, and the best part is the price. Each serving is under $1, a fraction of the price of a frozen pot pie.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

327

Calories

10 g

Protein

46 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

Filling:

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic

1 medium onion

8 oz. button mushrooms

2 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup milk

1/2 lb. green beans

2 medium carrots

2 stalks celery

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 tsp. dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Biscuit Dough:

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

4 Tbsp. cold butter

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Lemongrass Tofu

Serves 4

Whether or not you like tofu has more to do with how it’s prepared than anything else. And who can resist any food once it’s been fried?

To make this dish even easier, don’t worry about making the fried tofu yourself to start. You can grab frozen fried tofu for convenience, or make it ahead of time to keep in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

227

Calories

17 g

Protein

8 g

Carbs

16 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced (or 1 bunch green onion)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks lemongrass, cleaned and chopped

1/2 tsp. dried red chili flakes

1 lb. fried tofu, sliced into strips

2–3 Tbsp. soy sauce

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Easy Vegetarian Chili

Serves 4

Canned chili is convenient, but it’s often flavorless and has unwanted preservatives like MSG. Make this fresh, fast chili instead, and in a half hour you’ll have a delicious bowl that can be doctored to suit your personal preferences.

Use any two cans of beans, like pinto and red beans, and for a real kick, add minced jalapeno to the pot along with the garlic. Top with cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or crushed tortilla chips.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

257

Calories

14 g

Protein

50 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 medium onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup chopped zucchini

2 stalks celery

1/2 cup frozen corn

2 can (15 oz. each) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) petite diced tomatoes

1 can (15 oz.) Rotel diced tomatoes with chili and cilantro

1–2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Veggie Enchilada Pasta

Serves 6

To make vegetable enchiladas from scratch, you have to prepare the chili sauce, cook the filling, and then assemble the tortillas before the whole dish can be baked.

Satisfy enchilada cravings with less work when you swap the tortillas for whole-wheat pasta. This one-pot meal can be made in under a half hour.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

413

Calories

16 g

Protein

64 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice

1/2 package taco seasoning

1 cup white wine

3 cups vegetable broth

16 oz. whole-wheat rotini

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

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Vegetarian Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Boats

Serves 2

Making a vegetarian lasagna is simple enough – just leave out the meat. But then you still have to layer everything together, which can be time-consuming.

When you use a spaghetti squash as the baking dish, it’s possible to make an easy low-carb pasta that offers several servings of veggies. And although this version is vegetarian, it’s high in protein from the spinach, mushrooms, and three kinds of cheese.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

559

Calories

34 g

Protein

56 g

Carbs

25 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 medium yellow onion, diced

8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced

3 cups spinach

1 cup marinara sauce

1 spaghetti squash, cooked

3/4 cup ricotta

1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) grated Parmesan

1 tsp. minced garlic

2/3 cup (about 3 oz.) part-skim mozzarella

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Avocado Egg Breakfast Pizza

Serves 4

This is called a breakfast pizza since there’s a fried egg on top, but it’s an awesome meal any time of day. And it’s easy to adapt if you’d rather use hummus instead of the quick homemade guac, or want to top your pizza with scrambled eggs and sun-dried tomatoes.

For a low-carb version, use cauliflower flatbreads, made from grated cauliflower with eggs as a binder.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

324

Calories

11 g

Protein

29 g

Carbs

20 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 avocado

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 lb. whole-wheat pizza dough, homemade or store-bought

4 large eggs

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

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Mushroom & Wheat Berry Sauté

Serves 1

If you love a good stir fry, try this healthy version with mushrooms instead of meat and wheat berries to replace the rice.

Since they’re an unprocessed grain, they take about the same time to cook as brown rice, but the texture holds up better if you make them a day or two ahead of time. To add more protein to this mushroom stir fry, chop up some baked tofu.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

318

Calories

10 g

Protein

44 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

2 Tbsp. mirin

1 cup cooked wheat berries

1/4 cup scallions (or herbs of choice)

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Slow Cooker Lentil Bolognese

Serves 8

For hearty vegetarian pasta, you’ll need more than tomatoes, onion, and peppers. That’s a quick way to make a basic marinara, but for something as filling as a meaty pasta sauce, adding lentils will do the trick.

Lentils add protein without contributing any fat, and you’ll also be getting more fiber and complex carbs to keep you full.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

137

Calories

9 g

Protein

23 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup French puy lentils (or brown lentils)

2 carrots, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 1/2 cups tomato puree

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock (or water)

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. dry oregano

1 tsp. dry rosemary

1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced

Salt to taste

Fresh parsley, for garnish

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Baked Zucchini Fries

Serves 5

French fries are technically vegetables, but too often the nutrition has been stripped out. Enjoy the snack you love with the healthy properties of veggies with homemade baked fries.

This version is made from zucchini, but carrots, butternut squash, and daikon radish would also work. Whatever kind you go for, make your healthy fries into a complete meal by topping them with chili.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

164

Calories

8 g

Protein

24 g

Carbs

4 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 lb. zucchini

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup (1 oz.) grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp. Italian seasonings

1 large egg

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Portobello Vegan BLT

Serves 4

To make a vegetarian sandwich with the flavor of a BLT, you don’t need some kind of soy bacon. Instead add savory flavor with mushrooms. Liquid smoke can also add depth.

Made from real smoke, using a small amount captures the flavor of a flame-kissed burger or smoky bacon. Look for a liquid smoke that doesn’t have other seasonings like salt, vinegar, or soy sauce.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

260

Calories

8 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 large Portobello mushrooms, sliced into strips 1/4” thick

1 large tomato, sliced

4 leaves lettuce

8 slices whole-wheat bread

2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 oz. liquid smoke

Salt to taste

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Brussels Sprouts Veggie Sliders

Serves 8

These vegan burgers aren’t trying to be like ground beef. Instead they’re their own awesome, low-carb slider.

Since you don’t have to make the patties – simply marinade the tempeh and bake – these easy veggie burgers are hard to mess up. But with the inventive Brussels sprouts bun, they look and taste amazing as a fun appetizer or light lunch.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

186

Calories

8 g

Protein

11 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 large onions, thinly sliced

Salt to taste

20 large Brussels sprouts

1 Tbsp. tamari

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

Dash of liquid smoke (optional)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

8 oz. tempeh, thinly sliced

5 tsp. grainy mustard

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Chickpea Cauliflower Minestrone

Serves 4

This classic Italian soup is loaded with vegetables, pasta, and beans. There’s so much going on – pasta, chickpeas, kale, carrots, and even some white wine – that you won’t miss the meat at all. Serve with pesto, fresh parsley, or grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

360

Calories

17 g

Protein

47 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 leaves kale, stems chopped, leaves torn

3 cups small cauliflower florets

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup white wine (or a splash of balsamic vinegar)

1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

6 cups vegetable broth

4 oz. gluten-free small pasta

1 cup (about 2/3 can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Greek Eggplant Salad

Serves 6

If you’ve ever gotten a big assortment of appetizers at a Mediterranean restaurant – the big plate with hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and more – then this roasted eggplant will taste familiar.

Luckily it’s easy to make at home with just a few everyday ingredients. For a low-carb vegetarian snack, enjoy this eggplant dip with cauliflower, celery, and carrot sticks. Or serve with lightly toasted pita bread.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

179

Calories

4 g

Protein

25 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 eggplants

1 large white onion, juiced

4 cloves garlic, mashed

Juice of 1 lemon

Handful of chopped parsley

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)

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Tofu Curry with Mustard Greens

Serves 4

This vegan soup is so hearty you’d never guess it’s missing meat. The only tip-off is the tofu, although eaters might not realize what it is since the tofu soaks up all the awesome flavor of the broth.

Vegan soups can sometimes be missing depth, but this one is well-seasoned and includes peanut butter for richness. For more comfort food that’s surprisingly nutritious,  pick up Vegan Soul Food by Bryant Terry.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

332

Calories

20 g

Protein

17 g

Carbs

23 g

Fat

Ingredients

16 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2” cubes

3 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. mustard seeds

1 cup white onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground

6 pods cardamom, toasted, seeds removed, and ground

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 can (14 oz.) chopped tomatoes with juice

1 Tbsp. chunky peanut butter

1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced

3 cups vegetable stock, homemade or store-bought

12 oz. mustard greens, stems removed, leaves cut into bite-sized pieces

2 bay leaves

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

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Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine

By Bryant Terry
Get the Book Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk

Rajma Chawal (Indian Red Beans & Gravy)

Serves 4

This is an easy recipe to try if you want to learn how to layer flavors in Indian cooking. Rice and beans is so basic, the only new steps to work out are how to get all that seasoning into the red gravy.

Whereas a lot of recipes with onion, ginger, and garlic start with chopping them and adding them to a hot skillet, this one has you grind (or food process) everything into a paste. Then it’s sautéed in oil and mixed with spices.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

249

Calories

12 g

Protein

35 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

Paste:

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1” fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 green chili, chopped

2 small tomatoes, roughly chopped

 

Gravy:

1 cup red kidney beans

2 Tbsp. oil

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

Salt to taste

1 1/2 tsp. red chili powder

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 tsp. amchur (dried mango powder)

1/2 tsp. garam masala

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

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Smashed Chickpea Pesto Sandwich

Serves 2

Think outside the deli, and it’s possible to make a nutritious and substantial vegetarian sandwich. This filling has chickpeas, parsley, and onion – not far off from a falafel, but easier to make since there’s no rolling or frying required.

And if you aren’t worried about keeping it vegetarian, this recipe can be served two ways. Quickly turn it into a chicken salad or tuna salad sandwich just by mixing in the meat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

241

Calories

11 g

Protein

30 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbsp. prepared pesto

2 Tbsp. finely chopped red pepper

1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

Zest and juice of 1/2 lime

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Cheesy Curried Cauliflower Pasta

Serves 4

This cheesy cauliflower pasta dish is infused with curry flavor, so it’s great Indian fusion food to try without the intimidation factor of a long list of spices.

The best part is this quick vegetarian entrée takes just a few minutes to prep, and you can save time by putting the cauliflower in food processor instead of grating it by hand. Make it an even easier weeknight meal by using leftover cooked pasta.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

366

Calories

16 g

Protein

37 g

Carbs

18 g

Fat

Ingredients

8 oz. penne pasta

4 cups water

1 cup (4 oz.) grated Parmesan

1 cup grated cauliflower

1/4 cup carrots, thinly chopped (optional)

1 cup onions, thinly chopped

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup cilantro (optional)

1/2 tsp. curry powder (or garam masala)

1/2 tsp. chili flakes

Salt to taste

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OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like my articles, then you'll love my bestselling books. They'll show you exactly what you need to do to build muscle and lose fat without hating your diet or living in the gym.

If you're a guy, check out Bigger Leaner Stronger, and if you're a girl, Thinner Leaner Stronger is for you.

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