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Easy Meatless Recipes For Every Meal of the Day

Eating less meat and more plants is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Going meatless even one or two days a week (just start with Meatless Mondays) helps promote a healthy weight and reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

If you're new to vegetarian cooking, or you're looking for new and creative meatless meal ideas, start here! These 40+ easy and delicious meatless recipes will inspire you to get creative with plants in the kitchen. They'll also delight your tastebuds from breakfast through lunch, dinner, and everything in between.

Does Meatless Mean Vegan?

If you're confused about terms like meatless, vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based, you're not alone. These terms have different meanings.

  • Meatless meals don't contain meat, chicken, or fish. However, they can contain eggs or dairy. And they always have plant ingredients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes/beans, nuts, or seeds.
  • Vegetarian meals usually don't contain meat like beef, pork, or lamb or poultry like chicken or turkey. But β€” You can be a pescatarian vegetarian and eat some fish; a lacto-vegetarian and eat some dairy; or an ovo-vegetarian and eat some eggs. Or you can be a combination of these.
  • Vegan meals don't contain any animal foods at all. They're free from meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.
  • Plant-based meals or diets can range from vegan to a diet focusing on lots of vegetables and other plant foods.

As a dietitian, I recommend a "whole-food, plant-forward" diet. It's one in which your meals and snacks are home cooked with whole, real ingredients. And most (or all) of those ingredients are plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

If you crave meat occasionally, stick to small amounts of good quality meat or poultry. Choose lean, grass-fed beef and organic, pasture-raised poultry when you eat meat. And I'm a fan of fish at least twice each week (especially fatty fish like salmon).

But try to make most of your meals heavy on plants with small meat, chicken, or turkey portions most of the time. And one or more days each week, skip the meat entirely and eat only plants with some good-quality dairy or eggs if you like.

The best diet depends on your health goals and personal beliefs about the environment, animal welfare, sustainable farming, etc. There is no one best way to eat.

These Meatless Recipes don't have any meat, poultry, or fish. Some are vegan, but many contain dairy or eggs. All are made with whole ingredients, and I promise you'll still get plenty of protein to satisfy everyone in the family.

Try a few of these meatless recipes out. I hope you find some new favorites for Meatless Monday or any other day of the week.

High Protein Vegetarian Breakfast Ideas

It's easy enough to make breakfast meatless. But to ensure it's healthy and filling, aim for meatless breakfasts that are high in protein and made with whole grain carbs. These high protein vegetarian breakfast ideas will keep you full and satisfied for hours.

Freezer Friendly Egg Muffin Cups
These egg muffin cups are packed with vegetables and whole grain wild rice. They're an easy meal prep idea that's ideal for breakfast or even a snack.
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A white plate stacked with egg muffin cups
Shakshuka With Rice and Greens
A classic Mediterranean dish, Shakshuka (also called eggs in purgatory) features eggs cooked in a spicy, flavorful tomato sauce. It's great for a quick dinner too!
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Orange Spice Buckwheat Pancakes
Buckwheat is a rich, nutty, gluten-free whole grain full of protein and fiber. These delicious pancakes also get an extra boost of protein from kefir, Greek yogurt, and eggs.
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Wild Blueberry Kefir Smoothie Bowl
Unsweetened kefir, a type of yogurt drink, makes this vegetarian breakfast bowl gut-healthy and satisfying. Top it with nuts and chia seeds for even more protein power.
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Immune Boosting Wild Blueberry Kefir Smoothie Bowl|Craving Something Healthy
Vegan Breakfast Hash
This hearty vegan breakfast hash has just a few ingredients and is ready in under 25 minutes. It's packed with crispy potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, and peppers.
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Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake
Start the day with a healthy protein breakfast. This quinoa breakfast bake is made using quinoa, dairy free milk and seasonings. It’s an absolutely nutritious meal that is effortless.
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Easy Baked Eggs in Avocado
This easy, low carb vegetarian breakfast features eggs baked in avocado slices. Prep a few and you'll have breakfast for the week.
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Meatless Lunch Ideas

With these delicious meatless lunch ideas you'll never have to eat another sad salad again! Try these meatless meal ideas for lunch or a light dinner.

Mediterranean Lentil and Barley Salad
This flavorful Mediterranean salad is packed with fiber and protein from lentils and barley. It tastes even better the next day, so make a batch and eat it all week.
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Mediterranean Lentil and Barley Salad
Falafel Sandwich with Maple Dijon Tahini Dressing
These crispy falafels are so easy to make at home. They are perfect with a quick maple Dijon tahini dressing. Put them inside a pita bread and you have a delicious lunch.
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Simple Garden Spring Rolls
These vegetarian spring rolls are loaded with fiber and nutrients that a healthy body craves. Serve them with peanut sauce for a tasty and satisfying lunch.
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Warm Ancient Grain Bowl
This harvest bowl is full of warm roasted veggies. It's topped with flavorful marinated tofu, creamy avocado, and crisp kale.
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Chickpea Avocado Sandwich
This vegan chickpea and avocado sandwich is packed with protein and full of cilantro, celery, dill, green onion, lime and more! The perfect lunch recipe!
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7-Layer Dip Mexican Avocado Toast
The beloved flavors of 7-Layer Dip … in a delicious Mexican Avocado Toast recipe! Loaded with layer after layer of big flavors and great nutrition, this turns typical breakfast avocado toasts into a perfect meatless option for lunch, dinner, or even game day
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Vegan Kale Salad with Orange Tahini Dressing
This easy vegan kale salad recipe is packed with tasty, nutritious ingredients. It features a mouth-watering miso and tahini dressing made with orange juice.
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Meatless Dinner Ideas

If you're used to eating meat for dinner, try going meatless just one day a week. That's the concept behind Meatless Mondays. After a while, the idea of a meat-free dinner will become second nature. Especially when you have a supply of hearty and delicious Meatless Monday recipes like these.

Work on gradually expanding Meatless Monday to a few other days of the week with these easy meatless dinner ideas.

Grilled Vegetable Parmesan Casserole
A lighter and meat-free version of everyone's favorite Italian casserole dish. This one is packed with eggplant, sweet peppers, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms.
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Carrot Zucchini & Black Rice Fritters
Veggie fritters like these are easy to prep ahead. Keep them in the freezer for a quick meatless dinner.
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white plate with 3 vegetable fritters and a half of a lime
Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto
This healthier version of risotto features brown rice for more protein and fiber. It's packed with delicious fall and winter flavors but if you use frozen squash you can enjoy it year-round.
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Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps
The easiest meatless dinner idea ever! These stuffed Portobello mushroom caps take just minutes to make.
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Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps | Craving Something Healthy
Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables with White Beans
Perfect for those nights when you really don't feel like cooking. Grill up a pan of seasonal vegetables and pair them with canned, creamy white beans and a flavorful vinaigrette dressing.
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Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables with White Beans | Craving Something Healthy
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Simple, stuffed acorn squash is healthy, flavorful, and perfect for a cozy night. It's easy to make and can be tailored to your liking. Whip up a batch of this yummy goodness and enjoy!
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Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean & Rice Skillet
This easy, one pan, Southwest Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Rice Skillet is a hearty and healthy vegetarian dinner the whole family will love.
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Vegetarian Stuffed Tomatoes with Feta and Mushrooms
These vegetarian stuffed tomatoes are filled with mushrooms, spinach, onion, garlic, and feta cheese and baked to perfection in the oven.
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Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers are filled with beans, corn, cheddar and pack a lots of Mexican flavor! This delicious gluten-free high-fiber meal is easy and delicious!
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Chickpea Burgers
No one will miss the meat (or guess that they're vegan) when you serve these delicious veggie-packed chickpea burgers.
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Meatless Pasta Recipes

Pasta is a staple for a meatless dinner, but don't just limit yourself to noodles and sauce. These meatless pasta recipe will delight your taste buds.

One Pot Pappardelle Primavera
This delicious and bright vegetarian pasta recipe is full of all the veggies in a light, lemony cream sauce.
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An overhead shot of a pan of one pot pappardelle pasta primavera
Stovetop Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
Hatch chiles add some subtle heat to this easy stovetop mac and cheese. But you can also substitute any mild or hot chile pepper. This meatless recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make.
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One Pan Penne with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
This pasta with creamy sun dried tomato sauce is simply divine. And it cooks in one pot.
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One Pan Penne with Artichokes Spinach and Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce | Craving Something Healthy
Lentil Bolognese
Serve this protein and fiber-packed lentil Bolognese over any type of pasta. It has all the flavors of your favorite meat sauce but without the meat.
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Meatless Soup and Stew Recipes

A hearty vegetarian soup will satisfy even the biggest appetite. And leftovers are perfect for another meatless dinner or lunch. These meatless soup recipes are so healthy and packed with vegetables.

Creamy Sweet Potato Black Bean Soup
This fast and easy soup is so easy to make. It's full of flavor and makes for a healthy and hearty dinner.
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Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
This creamy soup is inspired by the flavors in African peanut stew. It features apples, squash, Mediterranean spices, and just a touch of peanut butter for a pop of flavor.
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Heart Healthy Mediterranean Vegetable Lentil Soup
Packed with vegetables and lentils, this flavorful soup is heart healthy too! Make a big pot and enjoy it all week.
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Five Things You Can Do For Better Heart Health |Craving Something Healthy
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup with Butternut Squash
This spicy vegetarian tortilla soup with butternut squash is perfect for fall! Garnish with your favorite soup toppings, like fried tortilla strips, cilantro, avocado and radishes.
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Vegan Mushroom Stew
Filling and delicious vegan mushroom stew full of flavor and lots of veggies. It's a great recipe to make for lunch or dinner, serve on its own or with your favorite side.
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Smoky Vegetarian Chili
A hearty meatless chili recipe with the smoky flavors of ripe fire-roasted tomatoes and two types of beans that do all the heavy lifting. They'll never miss the meat.
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Moroccan Carrot Lentil Soup
Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup is a meatless soup recipe packed full of flavor! Cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika and cinnamon complement the red lentils and carrots, creating a creamy, filling soup.
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Vegetarian Snacks

The healthiest snacks come from meatless recipes too! Try these easy vegetarian snack ideas. They all have significant health benefits.

Lemon Coconut Flaxseed Protein Balls
These yummy protein bites are full of luscious, lemony flavor. And they're so good for you too!
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lemon coconut flax bites on a white plate with cut lemons in the background
Creamy Whipped Feta Dip
This easy, high-protein dip is full of lemony flavor. Try it with vegetables, crackers, or pita bread.
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overhead shot of white feta dip with a plate of crackers nearby
Baked Honey Nut Clusters
Keep these baked honey nuts on hand for a healthy snack or as a topping on oatmeal or yogurt.
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Chocolate Bliss Balls
Healthy chocolate snack balls are made using a few ingredients combined with a natural sweetener and no oil. A perfect pick-me-up snack.
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Chia Avocado Healthy Chocolate Mousse
A light snack with avocado, chia seeds, coconut milk, and dark chocolate that tastes super decadent.
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Fall and Winter Fruit Salad
This fresh fruit salad is perfect for special occasions and also makes for a delicious healthy snack. Made without added sweeteners.
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No Bake Fruit and Nut Bars
Keep these bars in the freezer and pack one in your gym bag for a healthy snack after a workout or hike.
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Hope you try all of these meatless recipes!  Let me know which is your favorite - and if you need more ideas, please check my Pinterest Boards!

Eat well!

8 Comments

  1. Focaccia with Caramelized Onion and Tomato isn't onion high fodmap supposed not to included in the diet for IBS sufferers?

  2. Everything looks Amazing thanks fo posting such beautiful tempting looking meals. It definitely takes the guess work of what to eat meatless..

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