Meatless Monday recipes are all about eating less meat. We’re sharing some delicious vegetarian dinner recipes for the entire family to get the juices flowing.
Attention meat lovers: We know it can be hard to come up with ideas (beyond tofu). If you check out a few of these recipes, you might just find yourself adding one or two of these meatless dinner ideas to your weekly meal plan 🙂
All the meatless dinner ideas below are vegetarian dinners of course, but many are also vegan (which we’ve noted).
What does Meatless Monday mean?
Meatless Monday, according to Wikipedia, is an international movement that encourages people to reduce their meat consumption for their own personal health and the health of the planet.
It was founded in 2003 and follows the nutrition guidelines developed by the USDA
Needless to say, ‘Monday’ is the international campaign pitch. You can certainly eat delicious recipes without meat any day of the week!
Quick & Easy (30 minutes or less)
Easy Veg Gnocchi Recipe in 20 Minutes (Indian-Style)
In 20 minutes with a few store-bought items, this easy gnocchi recipe delivers deep, rich Indian flavors with a creamy tomato-based sauce. Soak it up with Naan for a simple, but decadent Indian style pasta. Vegan.
This spaghetti squash recipe with roasted vegetables is all about healthy, low cal and satisfying. The shortcuts below will get this veggie comfort food on the dinner table in under 30 minutes. It's a simple recipe and delicious way to pack in those veggies. Vegan.
This light Mediterranean pasta is inspired by Mediterranean flavors of garlic, olives, lemon, basil and tomatoes. Red pepper flakes will give it some heat if you like that. It's a great weeknight vegetarian meal in under 30 minutes.
This vegetable strudel recipe wraps a savory medley of sweet potatoes, onion, peppers, apple, spinach & goat cheese in a flaky buttery puff pastry. It's a wonderful make-ahead vegetarian meal for a special occasion or any day. And easy with a great shortcut.
A delicious meatless meal, these vegetarian stuffed portobello mushrooms, filled with fresh veggies, fresh herbs and cheese, are a wonderful change of pace. When I talk about 'stuffed' in this recipe, I mean STUFFED!
Old Fashioned Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach
Mac and cheese might be old school, but face it, as the ultimate comfort food, it's hard not to get the occasional craving. Give in. This spinach mac and cheese is creamy, cheesy and delicious. With a great way to sneak in some added nutrition.
If you're a peanut lover, you will love Tofu With Peanut Sauce. Even if you don't like tofu. The spicy peanut-y little pillows are packed with flavor and delicious in veggie bowls and appetizers. Vegan.
This is a vegetarian spaghetti squash recipe with bold Mexican flavors. We top the 'spaghetti' with a rich sauce of black beans, onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, salsa, spices and cheese for a great meatless recipe for a weeknight meal.
The pillowy gnocchi in this easy gnocchi gratin is transformed with a rich, velvety white cheese sauce. Serve it as an appetizer, side or main dish using fresh store-bought gnocchi for a great shortcut.
These two popular dinners are made with plant-based meat.
Best Vegan Bolognese (Instant Pot or Stovetop)
I'm pretty sure you couldn't tell the difference between a traditional steaming bowl of pasta with meat sauce and our quicker vegetarian Bolognese sauce made with plant-based ground beef in an Instant Pot. No kidding – same rich flavor, texture and deliciousness. Vegan (with no cheese)
There's nothing like Fall soups to help ease the transition from summer. Root Vegetable Soup – loaded with squash, sweet potato, turnip, celeriac, carrots, barley and onions – is the perfect segue into Fall. Nutrient-rich, low calorie and, most importantly, absolutely delicious. Vegan
I love it when comfort food and 'healthy' come together in one dish. Like in this full bodied nutritious vegetarian split pea soup. It's loaded with vegetables, well seasoned and satisfying. Smooth or chunky. Your choice. If you are too lazy to chop vegetables (like me), use a food processor for a great shortcut. Vegan
“If the average American cut just a quarter pound of beef a week from their diet, about one hamburger, it would be the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road for a year.” -Sujatha Bergen, Natural Resources Defense Council Health Campaigns Director (in Huffington Post article)
Brian Kateman, author and founder of the Reducetarian Movement, believes that cutting back on meat is more effective than cutting out meat completely. He says that even a 10% reduction can have big effects on personal health, carbon footprint, the lives of 70 billion farm animals and global warming.
Benefits to Your Health
The Mayo Clinic agrees with cutting back on meat rather than cutting it out cold turkey. It suggests trying 1-2 meatless meals a week to start. And when you do eat meat, cut back on portions to about 3 ounces (the size of a deck of cards). The Clinic and most public health researchers believe that reducing meat, particularly red meat, has an impact on lowering the risk of heart disease and chronic conditions like stroke or diabetes.
Reducing vs. eliminating meat consumption
If you are interested in eating less meat, then you may be surprised that you are part of a movement called Reducetarianism. Apparently, 30 – 50% of people are interested in cutting down on meat.