17 Easy Flexitarian Dinners for Weeknights
Adding more plant-based meals to your routine has so many benefits—a plant-focused diet can support your heart health, facilitate weight loss and even help you live longer. These recipes will help you add some more plant proteins to your weeknight meals, but without forsaking meat and fish altogether. This mix of vegetarian, vegan and veggie-loaded options are sure to please. Recipes like our Roasted Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette and Buttermilk Fried Tofu with Smoky Collard Greens are simple, delicious and come together in no time.
Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
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.
Roasted Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
In this quick vegetarian dinner recipe, you can skip boiling the gnocchi--they'll cook through while roasting on the sheet pan with the rest of the ingredients. If you can't find Meyer lemons, use 1 small regular lemon in Step 2 and use 4 teaspoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons orange juice in Step 4.
Black Bean-Quinoa Bowl
This black bean and quinoa bowl has many of the usual hallmarks of a taco salad, minus the fried bowl. We've loaded it up with pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and avocado plus an easy hummus dressing to drizzle on top.
Buttermilk Fried Tofu with Smoky Collard Greens
Dipping tofu in buttermilk makes the coating stick for a crispy pan-fried tofu, reminiscent of fried chicken. Spicing up the collards with paprika coats them with smoky flavor while keeping this dish vegetarian. And this quick, easy and healthy dinner comes together in just 25 minutes, so it's great for busy weeknights.
Roasted Vegetable & Black Bean Tacos
These hearty vegan tacos are quick and easy to make, perfect for busy weeknights. They are so tasty no one will miss the meat or dairy.
This mushroom melt has both Gruyère and Swiss cheeses that work together with earthy mushrooms to create a delicious ooey-gooey vegetarian grilled cheese. Balsamic vinegar helps lighten the sandwich, and the thin slices of rye bread help keep the sodium in check.
3-Ingredient Refried Bean & Pico de Gallo Tostadas
Making your own tostadas is easy. Use store-bought corn tortillas, brush them with olive oil and bake to crunchy perfection! Here we topped the tostada with refried beans and fresh pico de gallo for an easy 3-ingredient meal.
Quinoa Power Salad
Make this satisfying salad in the evening and enjoy one portion for dinner, then pack the remaining portion for lunch the next day. Loaded with protein- and fiber-rich ingredients like chicken, sweet potato and quinoa plus power greens, this meal is nutrition-packed!
Greek Salad with Edamame
Edamame adds protein to the classic Greek salad: romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, feta and olives. Serve with toasted pita brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with dried oregano or za'atar.
Jackfruit Barbacoa Burrito Bowls
Jackfruit, a tropical fruit with a dense, chewy texture, is a blank canvas that takes on flavors well. In these vegan burrito bowls, the jackfruit is simmered in a warm and spicy chile sauce that's so good you'll never know you're eating a plant-based protein instead of pork or beef.
Sheet-Pan Caprese Pizza
This light and flavorful caprese pizza is ready when the tomatoes are just heated through and the mozzarella cheese is slightly melted. If you want a little more on this pizza, it'd be delicious with a few slices of prosciutto. Chef tip: let your dough come up to room temperature before you stretch it--it'll make it much easier to work with.
Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
To make this 20-minute vegan curry even faster, buy precut veggies from the salad bar at the grocery store. To make it a full, satisfying dinner, serve over cooked brown rice. When shopping for simmer sauce, look for one with 400 mg of sodium or less and check the ingredient list for cream or fish sauce if you want to keep this vegan. If you like a spicy kick, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce at the end.
One-Pot Beans & Rice with Corn & Salsa
This one-pot dinner is like a deconstructed burrito bowl--especially when topped with salsa, sliced avocado or a dollop of Greek yogurt for a cool, creamy accent. You can also enjoy it as a meal on its own, or as a vegetarian taco or burrito filling or a side dish on taco night.
This fast vegan version of poke (the traditional Hawaiian salad of diced raw fish tossed in a soy-sesame sauce) swaps in extra-firm tofu for fish while loading your bowl with vegetables and crunchy toppers like pea shoots and peanuts. Serve over brown rice instead of the zucchini noodles to add a hearty boost of fiber.
Sheet-Pan Balsamic-Parmesan Roasted Chickpeas & Vegetables
A tangy, balsamic dressing and nutty Parmesan cheese combine to coat tender roasted vegetables and chickpeas in this springy vegetarian dinner. To keep it vegetarian, serve it over quinoa or, for meat-eaters, serve with roasted chicken or pan-seared fish.
Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu
You won't miss the scrambled eggs and fish sauce in this vegan version of the Thai favorite because the flavorful sauce hits just the right balance of sweet, spicy and umami.
Mexican Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
We've taken some key burrito ingredients--black beans, corn and spicy pepper Jack cheese--and piled them into roasted portobello mushroom caps for a delicious and satisfying vegetarian dinner. Serve these with pico de gallo or any of your favorite burrito toppings!