53 Vegetarian Recipes We Love
You don't have to be a vegetarian to love a meatless meal.
By now the evidence is strong: Fruits and veggies are some of the healthiest items on your plate (and should fill half of it, according to government recommendations).
That's where vegetarian meals come in handy. Tasty, flavorful, and meat-free, what's not to love? Here are some of our faves.
*Some of the recipes contain chicken broth, so substitute veggie broth for a truly meatless meal.
Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy
The takeout classic gets an upgrade with radishes, cashews, and chili.
Ingredients: Baby bok choy, dark sesame oil, spring onions or scallions, low-sodium soy sauce, sugar, Fresno chili, chopped cashews, small radishes, sesame seeds
Try this recipe: Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy
Super Green Salad
Shaved asparagus looks very elegant. But if your spears are really thin, don’t bother.
Ingredients: Kosher salt, asparagus spears, edamame, English peas, extra-virgin olive oil, almonds, garlic, lemon zest, basil, mint, tarragon, lemon, Manchego cheese
Try this recipe: Super Green Salad
Arugula Salad with Shaved Artichokes
Artichokes—which are rich in magnesium and folate—are related to thistles and sunflowers.
Ingredients: Cider vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt and black pepper, ramps or scallions, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, spring garlic or garlic, lemon, artichokes
Try this recipe: Arugula Salad with Shaved Artichokes
Greek-Style Baby Potatoes
Poaching potatoes in olive oil makes for a luxurious side to serve with a light main dish.
Ingredients: Red bell pepper, olive oil, baby new potatoes, bay leaves, Castelvetrano or other large olives, flat-leaf parsley leaves, Kosher salt and black pepper
Try this recipe: Greek-Style Baby Potatoes
Radish and Turnip Sauté
This dish uses radish and turnip greens. (Or you can sub in mustard greens.)
Ingredients: Radishes, butter, unsalted butter, extra-virgin olive oil, turnips, turnip greens, cider vinegar, Kosher salt and black pepper
Try this recipe: Radish and Turnip Sauté
Spring Beets with Rhubarb Vinaigrette
One cup of rhubarb packs 10 percent of your daily calcium.
Ingredients: Rhubarb, red wine, honey, red wine vinegar, shallot, thyme, kosher salt and black pepper, beets, olive oil, goat cheese, pistachios
Try this recipe: Spring Beets with Rhubarb Vinaigrette
Coastal Carrot "Fettuccine"
Fabulous Lemon Basil Millet Burgers
The luscious sauce gets its creaminess from cashews, not dairy. Drizzle any leftover sauce over steamed vegetables, or use it to liven up a roasted sweet potato.
Try this recipe: Fabulous Lemon Basil Millet Burgers
Recipe adapted from Eating Clean ($25; amazon.com). Copyright © 2016 by Amie Valpone.
Golden Bell Pepper Soup
Sunrise Nori Wraps with Spicy Tahini Drizzle
The miso in this dish is made from chickpeas instead of soybeans (find it in natural-food stores). You can sub in classic white miso paste.
Try this recipe: Sunrise Nori Wraps with Spicy Tahini Drizzle
Recipe adapted from Eating Clean ($25; amazon.com). Copyright © 2016 by Amie Valpone.
Mixed Greens With Roasted Figs and Pistachios
Simple to make, just toss the figs with olive oil and place on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. Cool, and cut in half lengthwise.
Then just toss the ingredients and enjoy! This recipe contains about 244 calories per serving, plus 97 mg of calcium and 6 grams of fiber.
Try this recipe: Mixed Greens With Roasted Figs and Pistachios
Sweet Potato-and-Ginger Soup
Crunchy Zucchini Rounds With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Each mouthful of this savory starter promises a ton of flavor for very few calories (86 for three zucchini rounds).
Try this recipe: Crunchy Zucchini Rounds With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers
Not only does this recipe contain 6 grams less fat than a Burger King hamburger, but it also contains 2 grams more protein. Talk about filling and flavorful!
Ingredients: Dried lentils, bay leaves, olive oil, onions, carrots, smoked cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper, eggs, stone-ground mustard, whole-wheat buns, tomato, arugula
Try this recipe: Smoked Cheddar and Lentil Burgers
Creamy Polenta With Artichoke, Caramelized Onion, and Olive Ragoût
You'll never miss meat in this sophisticated dish full of Italian herbs and spices. Plus, polenta, an Italian version of grits, is a good source of iron, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Ingredients: Butter, cornmeal, frozen corn, fresh Parmesan, fat-free sour cream, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, onions, red bell pepper, garlic, Hungarian sweet paprika, white wine, artichoke hearts, ripe olives
Try this recipe: Creamy Polenta with Artichoke, Caramelized Onion, and Olive Ragout
Take your favorite vegetarian ingredients on a vacation to the Southwest. Chili powder, salsa, and cilantro add flavor to hearty potatoes, beans, and corn. Plus you'll get 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber.
Ingredients: Baking potatoes, chopped onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, black beans, frozen corn, salsa, cheddar-jack cheese, cilantro
Try this recipe: Black-Bean-and-Corn-Topped Potatoes
Orecchiette With Chickpeas and Broccoli Rabe
Ready in a little more than 20 minutes, this recipe is an excellent Friday night dinner option. Best served with a glass of Pinot, you'll enjoy a low-fat pasta dish that packs almost one-third of your DRI (dietary reference intake) of iron.
Ingredients: Extra-virgin olive oil, chickpeas, garlic, crushed red pepper, broccoli rabe, vegetable broth (substitute for chicken broth), orecchiette, Parmesan cheese
Try this recipe: Orecchiette With Chickpeas and Broccoli Rabe
Fragrant Red Lentils With Rice
Lentils are a rich source of protein and fiber, and the variety of Indian spices keeps this dish low-cal yet filling.
Ingredients: Vegetable oil, onion, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garlic, bay leaves, dried small red lentils, butter, green onions, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, cilantro, garam masala (Indian spice blend), brown rice, low-fat plain yogurt
Try this recipe: Fragrant Red Lentils With Rice
Maple Spiced Nuts
Ingredients: Mixed nuts, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, chili powder
Prep: 5 minutes; cook: 15; let the nuts dry for at least 10 minutes
Try this recipe: Maple-Spiced Nuts
Tempeh, a soybean-based food, is an excellent source of protein (this dish contains 14 grams!). And because of its mild, slightly nutty taste, tempeh absorbs the flavors of the dish without overpowering it.
Ingredients: Tempeh, pineapple juice, low-sodium soy sauce, lime juice, cumin, canola oil, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, whole-wheat tortillas, chipotle salsa
Try this recipe: Tempeh Fajitas
Pear, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad
Ingredients: Bibb lettuce, pears, orange juice, red onion, blue cheese, walnuts, cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, sugar, ginger
Prep: 15 minutes
Try this recipe: Pear, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad
The meat and cheese in traditional ravioli can send calorie counts through the roof. However, using pumpkin keeps this dish at less than 200 calories per serving.
Ingredients: Canned pumpkin, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, wonton wrappers, chicken broth, butter, parsley
Try this recipe: Pumpkin Ravioli
Cheesy Squash Casserole
Ingredients: Yellow squash, onion, margarine, flour, skim milk, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs
Prep: 20 minutes; cook: 20–25 minutes
Try this recipe: Cheesy Squash Casserole
Ingredients: Shallots, red Swiss chard, part-skim ricotta cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, sage, wonton wrappers, pesto
Prep: 30 minutes; cook: 10 minutes
Try this recipe: Three Cheese and Sage Ravioli
Linguine Frittata With Greens
Linguine adds a hearty texture (and fiber) to this quick weeknight meal.
Ingredients: Butter, leeks, eggs, low-fat milk, Parmesan cheese, oregano, linguine, frozen collard greens, part-skin mozzarella cheese
Try this recipe: Linguine Frittata With Greens
Warm Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
To boot, veggies tend to be alkaline (the opposite of acidic), meaning they may help neutralize uric acid.
Try this recipe: Warm Eggplant and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
Roasted Squash Stuffed With Corn Bread Dressing
Ingredients: Maple corn bread, acorn squash, cranberries, currants, onion, celery, carrots, sage, garlic, vegetable broth, pecans, parsley
Prep: 1 hour 35 minutes; cook: 30 minutes
Try this recipe: Roasted Squash Stuffed With Corn Bread Dressing
Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel
Ingredients: Shallots, sugar, mushrooms, Marsala, low-fat sour cream, parsley, thyme, phyllo dough, breadcrumbs, butter
Prep: 45 minutes; cook: 20 minutes
Try this recipe: Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel
Grilled Salad Pizza
Your classic pizza taste, loaded with antioxidant-rich veggies, balsamic vinegar, and low-fat cheese.
Ingredients: Dry yeast, olive oil, flour, sugar, oregano, thyme, part-skim mozzarella cheese, arugula, tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, artichoke hearts
Try this recipe: Grilled Salad Pizza
Lasagna With Fall Vegetables, Gruyere, and Sage Bechamel
Ingredients: Flour, skim milk, onion, sage, shallots, bay leaf, garlic, fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, sweet potato, Gruyère cheese, Parmesan cheese, lasagna noodles
Prep: 40 minutes; cook: 30 minutes
Try this recipe: Lasagna With Fall Vegetables, Gruyère, and Sage Béchamel
Baby Carrots With Dill Butter and Lemon
Ingredients: Vegetable broth, carrots, butter, dill, chives, lemons
Prep: 10 minutes; cook: 10 minutes
Try this recipe: Baby Carrots with Dill, Butter, and Lemon
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans
Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, pecans, garlic
Prep: 10 minutes; cook: 20–25 minutes
Try this recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans
Champagne-Glazed Cipollini Onions
Champagne and a touch of sugar bring out the sweetness in these vitamin C–packed cipollini onions.
Try this recipe: Champagne-Glazed Cipollini Onions
Sweet Potato Casserole
This lightened-up take on a holiday classic is perfect for the season or really any time you need a hearty and healthy comfort food. The brown sugar and pecan topping will have kids (and adults!) clamoring for more.
To make this dish even healthier, use half-and-half instead of butter to cut down on fat and calories.
Try this recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole
Watch the video: Sweet Potato Casserole
Cloverleaf Honey-Wheat Rolls
Ingredients: Dry yeast, bread flour, whole-wheat flour, honey, butter, an egg
Prep: 1 hour 50 minutes; cook: 12 minutes
Try this recipe: Cloverleaf Honey-Wheat Rolls
Gluten-free: Pumpkin Pie Pudding
There's no need for guests to worry about their diets while enjoying this dessert, as it has half the fat of other popular puddings. The pumpkin offers a surprisingly sweet treat for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Ingredients: Reduced-fat milk, brown sugar, cornstarch, eggs, pumpkin, salt, pumpkin-pie spice
Calories: 168 per 6 oz. serving
Try this recipe: Pumpkin-Pie Pudding
Miso-Marinated Tofu and Eggplant Over Soba Noodles
Eggplant has been a large part of Asian cuisine for years, and it really shines in this delicious dish. Peanut oil and lime add a tangy flavor to the slightly bitter veggie, while miso gives a buttery texture to the tofu. You'll get nearly 25% of your daily dose of fiber plus a healthy dose of vitamin C.
Ingredients: Extra-firm tofu, eggplant, miso paste, garlic, peanut oil, limes, cabbage, soba noodles, dark sesame oil, scallions
Try this recipe: Miso-Marinated Tofu and Eggplant Over Soba Noodles
Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
Ingredients: Eggs, raw sugar, reduced-fat milk, granulated sugar, bittersweet chocolate, sour cream, vanilla extract, hazelnuts, flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, butter, cream cheese, lemon juice
Prep: 15 minutes; cook: 58 minutes; chill: 1 hour
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Hazelnut Pie
Apple Marzipan Galette
Ingredients: Refrigerated pie dough, marzipan, Granny Smith apples, sugar, flour, almond extract, lemon juice
Prep: 20 minutes; cook: 30 minutes
Try this recipe: Apple Marzipan Galette
These bite-size appetizers can double as a meal. They contain plenty of filling protein, plus a dash of lemon and an extra zing from the ginger.
Ingredients: Shelled frozen edamame, ginger, lemon juice, chives, vegetable oil, wonton wrappers, cilantro, soy sauce
Calories: 50 calories per wonton (approximate)
Try this recipe: Edamame Wontons
Chocolate-Apricot Bread Pudding
Dried apricots and chocolate make the ultimate tangy-sweet combination.
Ingredients: French bread, bittersweet chocolate, dried apricots, eggs, half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, orange juice
Prep: 30 minutes; cook: 30 minutes
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Apricot Bread Pudding
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Sourdough Stuffing With Roasted Chestnuts
Ingredients: Sourdough bread, roasted chestnuts, butter, yellow onion, carrots, celery, Granny Smith apples, parsley, thyme, sage, eggs, vegetable broth
Prep: 30 minutes; cook: 1 hour 15 minutes
Try this recipe: Sourdough Stuffing with Roasted Chestnuts
Parmesan and Chive Potato Gratin
Ingredients: Red potatoes, garlic, low-fat milk, butter, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, chives
Prep: 15 minutes; cook: 23 minutes
Try this recipe: Parmesan-and-Chive Potato Gratin
Braised Shallots and Fall Vegetables With Red Wine Sauce
Ingredients: Shallots, butter, carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, rosemary, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, garlic
Prep: 20 minutes; cook: 20 minutes
Try this recipe: Braised Shallots and Fall Vegetables With Red Wine Sauce
Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Ingredients: Lima beans, light mayo, fat-free cream cheese, dry mustard, Tabasco sauce, capers, artichoke hearts, frozen spinach, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, green onions, lemon juice
Prep: 30 minutes; cook: 25 minutes
Try this recipe: Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Ravioli With Tomatoes, White Beans, and Escarole
Ingredients: Four-cheese ravioli, great Northern beans, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, red pepper, fresh escarole or spinach, grated Asiago cheese
Try this recipe: Ravioli With Tomatoes, White Beans, and Escarole
The Meat Free Monday Cookbook
An offshoot of their Meat Free Monday campaign, the book shows how simple it is to go veggie one day a week. The recipes are built around produce, good fats, and alternative protein sources (whole grains, beans, soy, and nuts). Try one this Monday, or anytime you want a fresh, fast meal.
Watercress Soup With Toasted Almonds
Try this recipe: Watercress Soup with Toasted Almonds
Try this recipe: Summer Coleslaw
Bean Salad With Cheese Chips
Try this recipe: Bean Salad with Cheese Chips
Super Vegetable Salad
Try this recipe: Super Vegetable Salad
Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Try this recipe: Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
Fregola Sarda Pasta With Tomatoes
Try this recipe: Fregola Sarda Pasta with Tomatoes