Meatless Monday: Healthy Vegetarian Recipes You Must Try
Black Bean Croquettes with Fresh Salsa
Staples like canned black beans and frozen corn transform into spicy croquettes in mere minutes. Serve with warm corn tortillas, coleslaw and lime wedges.
Caramelized Onion & White Bean Flatbread
Here we top pizza with herbed mashed beans, sliced plum tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions and some shredded Gouda for a tasty flatbread that will have you rethinking pizza toppings.
This creamy tortellini and vegetable pasta is a real crowd pleaser. To make it even quicker, use frozen chopped vegetables instead of fresh. Serve with: A green salad and whole-grain baguette.
Egyptian Edamame Stew
A riff on the Egyptian classic ful medames, a highly seasoned fava bean mash, this version is made with easier-to-find edamame. Edamame (fresh green soybeans) have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol. They can be found shelled in the freezer section of well-stocked supermarkets. This stew is great served with couscous, bulgur or warm whole-wheat pita bread to soak up the sauce.
Garden-Fresh Stir-Fry with Seitan
Seitan's toothsome texture and taste make it a perfect vegetarian stir-fry ingredient that even nonvegetarians will love. Make it a meal: Serve over rice noodles to soak up the rich sauce and mix up some lightly sweetened iced green tea to drink.
Moo Shu Vegetables
This vegetarian version of the classic Chinese stir-fry, Moo Shu, uses already-shredded vegetables to cut down on the prep time. Serve with warm whole-wheat tortillas, Asian hot sauce and extra hoisin if desired.
Red Curry with Vegetables
Red Thai curry paste, which flavors this dish, is a convenient blend of chile peppers, garlic, lemongrass and galanga (a root that's similar in flavor to ginger). It can pack a lot of heat, so be sure to taste as you go. Look for the curry paste in jars or cans in the Asian section of the supermarket or specialty store. Make it a Meal: Ladle the stew over rice to soak up every bit of the delicious sauce.
Don't confuse this with the flour or corn tortillas you use to make wraps. A Spanish tortilla is a potato-and-egg omelet found on numerous menus throughout Spain. Traditionally these are cooked in heaps of olive oil. Our version uses less oil, so it's lower in calories, and if you use precooked diced potatoes, it's faster too.
Sweet Potatoes with Warm Black Bean Salad
For a satisfying last-minute supper, it's hard to beat a sweet potato zapped in the microwave. The fragrant filling of beans and tomatoes adds protein. Be sure to eat the skin, which is full of fiber, as well.
Instead of having a greasy, battered coating, the tofu “steaks” in our revamped Parmigiana are breaded and lightly pan-fried in just a small amount of oil then topped with part-skim mozzarella, fresh basil and your favorite marinara sauce. This Italian classic will please even those who are tofu-phobic.
Vegetarian Taco Salad
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Pizza
This stuffed pizza is filled with crumbled tofu, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese and fresh basil. It's easy to make stuffed pizza at home. Just roll the crust thin, spread filling over half and fold closed. To use fresh spinach, cook 10 ounces until just wilted; finely chop and squeeze dry. Serve with: Marinara sauce for dipping and mixed green salad.
A tandoori-inspired spice rub and smokiness from the grill flavor these tofu “steaks.” While you're there, grill some vegetables, too, to serve alongside. Serve with: Grilled eggplant and cherry tomato skewers and brown basmati rice.
Zucchini, Fennel & White Bean Pasta
Turn humble pasta and beans gourmet by adding roasted vegetables, fresh mint and tangy, salty aged goat cheese. When making a pasta dish with beans, you can use some of the bean-cooking liquid to give the sauce silky body and help it cling to the pasta. If you're using canned beans, use some of the pasta-cooking liquid or just water.
Vietnamese Tofu-Noodle Lettuce Wraps
Here we toss rice noodles with crunchy vegetables, fresh herbs, tofu and a light, sweet, tart and salty Vietnamese dressing flavored with fish sauce and wrap the mixture in lettuce leaves. For a vegetarian version, use reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari in place of the fish sauce. Pass the mixture, lettuce leaves and sauce separately so everyone can make their own wraps.
Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers
We steam brightly colored bell peppers in the microwave to save time and then stuff them with orzo, spinach and feta. This basic recipe will work with almost any filling--try substituting different types of cheese, herbs or beans. Serve with whole-wheat pita bread and cucumber salad.
Barbecue Portobello Quesadillas
This smoky mushroom-filled quesadilla is reminiscent of pulled pork. A touch of chipotle chile pepper adds extra heat. Serve with coleslaw and guacamole.
Okra & Chickpea Tagine
This quick and easy okra and chickpea stew is full of Moroccan flavors. The name “tagine” refers to the two-part, cone-shaped casserole dish in which countless slow-cooked Moroccan dishes are prepared. You don't need to prepare this in a tagine dish--it works well in a large saucepan--but if you have one, here's a chance to use it.
Summer Vegetable Crepes
Crêpes aren't just for dessert--they make a quick and savory weeknight dinner. Here they're filled with ricotta cheese, green beans, zucchini and corn and topped with a chive-cream sauce. Don't skip the step of placing a piece of parchment or wax paper under each crêpe as you fill it--without it, the crêpes are tricky to roll. Serve with: A tossed salad.
Middle Eastern Chickpea Platter
This recipe combines the flavors of two Middle Eastern favorites--hummus and baba ganouj--in one easy dish. Serve it family-style, letting diners take their own favorite combination of ingredients. Serve with tabbouleh or a green salad tossed with lemon vinaigrette.
Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi
Currants add a surprising touch of sweetness to this simple sauté of chickpeas, spinach, squash and gnocchi. We prefer the texture of shelf-stable gnocchi, but if sodium is an issue for you, opt for frozen instead. Serve with a glass of chardonnay.
Sesame-Honey Tempeh & Quinoa Bowl
Here we toss tempeh with a honey-sesame sauce and serve it over quinoa and shredded carrots for a satisfying vegetarian meal. Serve with sesame breadsticks.
Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoky Pinto Beans
These easy sweet potato fritters have a crispy crust and a tender middle. The beans are flavored with smoked paprika, but sweet or hot would work well too. To give it a Mexican-inspired twist, use chili powder as the spice instead of the paprika.
Barley Hoppin' John
Traditionally made with rice, this classic Southern dish gets great toothsome texture here from quick-cooking barley instead. Serve with a green salad.
Ravioli with Arugula & Pecorino
Elevate frozen ravioli with sizzled garlic and shallots, shaved pecorino and fresh arugula. Serve with: Whole-grain baguette and a light-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir.
Szechuan Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry
This spicy vegetarian stir-fry is a great way to use green beans when they're bountiful and inexpensive at the supermarket. You can also try it with other vegetables, such as broccoli or peppers, just make sure to cut them into small pieces so that they cook quickly. Coating the tofu in cornstarch before you cook it gives it a light crust.
Mediterranean Couscous Cabbage Rolls
We love the subtle flavor of cinnamon with fresh mint in these vegetarian cabbage rolls stuffed with couscous, olives and feta cheese. Don't worry if your cabbage leaves tear a little when you pull them off the head; they will wrap up just fine. As a precaution you can cook a couple extra leaves and roll two partly overlapping if needed. Serve with roasted butternut squash tossed with olive oil, cinnamon and garlic. To double this recipe, use 2 large skillets and prepare one 4-serving recipe in each.
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chard & White Beans
Acorn squash's natural shape makes it just right for stuffing. This filling has Mediterranean flair: olives, tomato paste, white beans and Parmesan cheese. Serve with: Mixed green salad with radicchio and red onion and crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio.
Spring Turnip Frittata
Broccoli rabe and turnips are a fantastic pair in this frittata. If you're shy about the broccoli rabe's strong flavor, try this frittata with milder broccolini instead.
Vegetarian Tikka Masala
In this vegetarian tikka masala recipe, we combine crisp tofu pieces and vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce to make a healthy and flavorful dish. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of crushed red pepper. Serve with steamed brown rice for a healthier take on a classic takeout dish.
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
In this one-skillet supper, we toss dark leafy greens, diced tomatoes and white beans with gnocchi and top it all with gooey mozzarella. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
This healthy quinoa lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa (rather than noodles) along with vegetables, cheese and herbs. Though it tastes like comfort food, don't worry, this quinoa lasagna recipe is not too heavy--you'll still have room for dessert. To save time, use your favorite jarred tomato sauce in this vegetarian lasagna. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Broccolini
In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccolini, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation. Serve with a big Caesar salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Crispy Portobello Cutlets with Caramelized Onions & Blue Cheese
Portobello mushroom cutlets get steak-house treatment--caramelized onions and blue cheese--in this healthy vegetarian dinner recipe. Serve the mushroom “steaks” with a baked potato and creamed spinach.
Chard & Herbed Ricotta Galette
This free-form vegetarian galette, filled with caramelized onions, chard, plenty of fresh herbs and topped with rich goat cheese, can be served as an impressive vegetarian entree or as a side dish. This galette recipe is perfect if you're intimidated by working with dough. Don't worry about getting the circle perfectly round, as you're going to be folding it over the edges of the filling anyway.
Quinoa-Stuffed Delicata Squash
With its pretty striped skin and uniform shape, delicata squash is a beautiful vessel for serving up this healthy quinoa stuffing. Serve this recipe as a stunning side dish or a vegetarian main with a big leafy green salad alongside.
Falafel Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
Deep-fried falafel can be a total grease bomb. But these pan-seared falafel still get crispy in just a few tablespoons of oil with equally satisfying results. Be sure to use dried, instead of canned, chickpeas in this healthy recipe--canned chickpeas add too much moisture.
Cauliflower & Kale Frittata
Inspired by traditional Spanish tortillas made with potatoes, this healthy frittata recipe swaps potatoes for low-carb cauliflower. Serve it along with kale (or your favorite greens) for brunch or an easy breakfast-for-dinner.
Dan Dan Noodles with Seitan, Shiitake Mushrooms & Napa Cabbage
Sichuan peppercorns add a touch of floral heat to this mushroom-and-cabbage-loaded riff on dan dan noodles. Look for protein-rich vegetarian seitan--processed wheat gluten with a meaty texture-- near refrigerated tofu in large supermarkets or natural-foods stores. The actual weight of the seitan in a package varies depending on whether water weight is included. Look for the undrained weight on the label.
Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits
In this vegetarian white bean potpie recipe, kale and hearty white beans are topped with easy, homemade chive biscuits. If desired, add a little shredded Gruyère or Cheddar cheese to the biscuit dough.
Butternut Squash & Black Bean Tostadas
The butternut squash-and-black bean base in these healthy vegetarian tostadas has a mild, sweet-spicy flavor thanks to ancho chile powder. If you can't find ancho chile powder, other mildly spicy chili powder can be used. Serve with your favorite hot sauce.
Muffaletta sandwiches, named for a Sicilian bread brought by immigrants to New Orleans, are usually loaded with cured meats, pickles and cheese. Our healthy vegetarian recipe has a trio of smoky grilled veggies. Chopped olives and banana peppers deliver the signature flavor of the classic.
Tex-Mex Black Bean & Quinoa Bowl
Skip the tortillas and layer your taco fillings onto protein-rich quinoa in this healthy vegetarian bowl dinner recipe. Top with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a splash of your favorite hot sauce.
Thai Peanut Curry Noodles
Thai curry paste delivers a spicy kick-in-the-pants in this healthy peanut noodle recipe. If you haven't tried kohlrabi yet, here's your excuse to buy it. The bulbous vegetable is related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts, but has a milder, sweet flavor and fabulous crunch.
Mac & Cheese with Collards
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.
Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Pumpkin Cream Sauce
Pumpkin isn't just for pie! In this healthy gnocchi recipe, canned pumpkin serves as the base for a creamy sauce. For the best flavor, top with real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Save the leftover pumpkin puree for a smoothie or pancakes.
Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Shells
Our stuffed shells are filled with spinach, sautéed onions and part-skim ricotta and topped with prepared marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. The shells hold and reheat well, which makes them great for entertaining.