30 Family-Friendly Vegetarian Meals That Are Perfect for Weeknights
You know you want to serve your family more plant-based meals during the week, but will they actually eat it? Sure! Browse through these quick and delicious vegetarian dinner ideas with the kids and let them pick what's for dinner. Then serve up a healthy meatless meal the whole fam will enjoy.
Black Bean Tacos
Mixing mashed canned beans with whole beans and seasonings makes an incredibly simple taco filling from your pantry. Top these speedy 5-ingredient tacos with lettuce, tomato and salsa or any of your favorite taco toppings.
Made with convenient canned beans, this quick and healthy Indian recipe is an authentic chickpea curry that you can make in minutes. If you want an additional vegetable, stir in some roasted cauliflower florets. Serve with brown basmati rice or warm naan.
BBQ Carrot Dogs
Shock everyone with this recipe for veggie dogs that actually taste like hot dogs. They're an amazing (and healthy!) vegan alternative to traditional meat hot dogs. Serve in whole-wheat hot dog buns and top with all your favorite toppings, such as sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and mustard, for the ultimate barbecue meal.
Tuck these tasty chickpea patties into whole-wheat pitas and top with tahini sauce (see associated recipe, below). Be sure to soak the chickpeas overnight for the creamiest mixture. The quick-soak method won't work for these pan-fried falafel patties.
Beefless Ground Beef
Crumbled extra-firm tofu is a great stand-in for ground beef for a meatless meal. This vegan substitute is perfect in lasagna, tacos, soup and more. We boost the flavor with garlic powder, paprika and tamari, but feel free to add your own flavorings.
Coconut-Crusted Tofu with Peach-Lemongrass Salsa
The crunchy-crisp tofu and our spicy-sweet salsa are inspired by that restaurant-chain classic, deep-fried coconut shrimp. Make it a meal: Stir fresh cilantro into basmati rice and serve alongside. Try sliced bananas drizzled with "lite" coconut milk for dessert.
You'll hop for joy when you see how easy it is to make a bunny-shaped pizza for family night. It's a classic cheese pizza, dressed up as a fun springtime treat. How cute!
Classic Mac & Cheese
No sneaky ingredients here, just delicious comfort food. You can enjoy this super-cheesy mac and cheese in the same time it takes to cook the boxed version. Whole-wheat noodles add fiber, while sharp Cheddar adds richness.
Two-Ingredient-Dough Margherita Pizza
You won't believe how quick and easy it is to make this healthy pizza. Thanks to a two-ingredient dough that combines self-rising flour and Greek yogurt, there is no need for a rise time. Just roll, top and bake, and you'll have a delicious dinner on the table in under half an hour.
Cheese Quesadillas with Peppers & Onions
These 15-minute quesadillas are a notch above basic with the addition of sautéed peppers and onions. Let the kiddos load them up with the toppings at the table.
Quick Stovetop Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Precut butternut squash in your grocery store's produce section makes this healthy mac and cheese recipe come together in a flash. For extra flavor, try smoked Gouda cheese.
This easy carrot soup recipe is a great way to use up a bag of carrots that were forgotten in your produce drawer. The carrots cook together with aromatics like onions, garlic and fresh herbs before being puréed into a silky smooth soup that's delicious for dinner. Use veggie broth for a meatless version.
Salsa-Black Bean Burgers
Salsa and some pantry staples give this vegetarian bean burger recipe tons of flavor. We use crushed tortilla chips to bind the burgers together, making them a great vehicle for using up those crumbs that inevitably fall to the bottom of the bag.
Rainbow Veggie Spring Roll Bowl
With tons of colorful vegetables, sesame rice noodles and a healthy peanut sauce, this noodle bowl is a hit with adults and kids alike. Assemble the bowls before serving or let everyone make their own. Serve with Sriracha hot sauce, if desired.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
This simple and healthy cream of broccoli soup recipe gets its flavor from a mixture of aromatic vegetables, including leeks and celery. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender) gives it a smooth, creamy texture.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta
If you've ever wanted to make a meal out of warm spinach and artichoke dip, this creamy pasta is for you. And here's what's almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Layering apple slices into grilled cheese sandwiches adds a little crunch to a favorite soup dipper. And creamy butternut squash soup with ginger, cumin and turmeric is a nice change of pace from grilled cheese's usual tomato soup partner. Serve the duo for a comforting and easy weeknight dinner for the family.
Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili with Black Beans
Black beans and tender, sweet butternut squash make this healthy vegetarian chili truly satisfying. Load up bowls and top with Greek yogurt, cilantro and minced red onion for game night or a Meatless Monday meal.
Crispy Baked Ravioli with Red Pepper & Mushroom Bolognese
Legend has it that toasted ravioli originated with a St. Louis chef dropping the pasta in hot oil instead of water. Here, we lighten it up by baking instead of frying and adding a serving of vegetables in the form of a vegetarian Bolognese-style sauce. More good news: this easy vegetarian dinner takes just 35 minutes to make.
Cauliflower Tikka Masala with Chickpeas
In this vegetarian riff on a popular Indian dish, we swap in cauliflower and chickpeas for the chicken in tikka masala. The cauliflower's nooks and crannies are particularly good at soaking up all the intense flavors of the sauce. Serve over rice for an easy healthy dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.
Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce
This vegan burger recipe is one you'll want to make again and again. Savory chickpea and zucchini patties are topped with a creamy, herb-flecked tahini ranch sauce, juicy tomato slices and peppery arugula for a satisfying and healthy homemade veggie burger. Serve them on buns or stuff them in pitas.
Rainbow Veggie Wraps
There's definitely a sushi vibe to these kid-friendly wraps, which are stuffed with vegetables, cheese and hummus and then rolled and sliced. Serve them with store-bought green goddess, a creamy herb-filled dressing, to take it up a notch with ease. They look impressive but they're easy enough for kids to assemble themselves for an easy lunch or dinner.
Beefless Vegan Tacos
Take taco night in a new direction with these healthy vegan tacos. We've swapped crumbled tofu for the ground beef, without sacrificing any of the savory seasonings you expect in a taco. You can also use the filling in burritos, bowls, taco salads and to top nachos.
Cauliflower Po' Boy Sandwiches with Avocado Mayo
Crunchy oven-fried cauliflower is a satisfying swap for the meat or fried seafood that typically packs this New Orleans favorite. Creamy avocado mayo and crisp cabbage slaw provide additional layers of flavor and texture.
Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Pozole
This healthy vegetarian take on the Mexican stew pozole gets tons of flavor from poblano peppers, ancho chile powder and dried herbs and spices, while cannellini beans provide substance, protein and fiber. Chewy hominy--corn that has been treated with lime to remove the tough hull and germ--is integral to the stew. Look for it in cans in the Latin section of your supermarket. Serve the stew with shredded cabbage, radishes, fresh cilantro and sour cream.
Spinach & Strawberry Pasta Salad
This simple pasta side dish combines sweet strawberries and creamy avocado with a tart balsamic vinaigrette. You can make the dressing ahead iand keep it separately, tossing with the pasta salad just before serving. Make this salad even more special by adding crumbled feta or goat cheese.
One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
This one-pot pasta with tangy tomato-basil sauce is a simple, fast and easy weeknight dinner. All of your ingredients go into one pot, and with a bit of stirring and about 25 minutes of cook time, you'll have a healthy dinner the whole family will enjoy.
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.
Vegetarian Sushi Grain Bowl
Skip the hassle of making sushi rolls at home and just go for this grain bowl. Start with a base of brown rice and add veggies, dressing and creamy avocado for a delicious and easy meal.
Air-Fryer Broccoli & Cheese Baked Potatoes
This side dish gives you the best of two potato favorites. Tender baked potato halves are topped with a creamy Cheddar cheese and broccoli filling, then they're air-fried to create crispy skins. Air fryers require a lot less oil than deep fryers, which leaves room for an extra sprinkle of cheese.