Best Vegetarian Recipes for Healthy Dining

Gone are those days when every meal was meat-centric. Many food companies are trying to offer more plant-based meals.

We’ve gathered the best vegetarian recipes that are too delicious to pass up. And not to worry, your kid won’t shun these vegetable-centric dishes when they see the colorful vegetarian meals you can all prepare together at home. Most of these vegetarian recipes take less than an hour to make and are super easy to follow.

These delicious vegetarian recipes represent the best of the best. Whether you’re entirely vegetarian or going meatless for a day, these healthy plant-based dishes will have you and your dinner guests swooning. Many of our best vegetarian recipes are highly customizable. 

Black Bean Vegetarian Burger

Ingredients

  • 2 (14 ounces) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ¾ cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ cup bread crumbs or oat flour
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup, mayo, or BBQ sauce
  • Pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 32˙F (163˙C). Spread black beans evenly onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out.
  2. Meanwhile, saute olive oil, garlic, yellow onion, and bell pepper over medium heat until peppers and onions are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Gently blot some of the moisture out. Place in a large bowl or a food processor with the remaining ingredients stir or pulse everything together, then add the black beans. Pulse the mixture, removing some larger chunks of beans.
  3. Form into patties – about 1/3 cup of mixture in each patty.
  4. To bake: Place the patties on the baking sheet and bake at 375˙F (191˙C) for 10 minutes on each side. To grill: Place patties on a greased aluminum foil and grill for 8 minutes on both sides. Grill the black bean burgers on medium-high heat approximately 350˙F (177˙C) – 400˙F (204˙C).
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Notes

  1. Preparation tip: Black bean burgers freeze wonderfully! Stack it between parchment paper in a freezer container or zipped-lock bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat or.
  2. Vegan: These burgers are not vegan. To make it vegan, skip the cheese. Replace the Worcestershire sauce with a vegan BBQ sauce and replace the eggs with 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato.

Vegetarian lasagna

Ingredients

Veggies and spinach

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 to 6 ounces baby spinach

Tomato sauce (or substitute 2 cups marinara sauce)

  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil + some for garnish
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Remaining ingredients

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) low-fat cottage cheese
  • 9 no-boil whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) freshly grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˙F
  2. To prepare the vegetables: In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, yellow onion, and salt. Stir until the veggies are golden on the edges, about 8 to 12 minutes.
  3. Add a few large handfuls of spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach.
  4. To prepare the tomato sauce: Pour tomatoes into a fine colander or mesh sieve and drain off the excess juice. Then, transfer the tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor. Add the olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pulse the mixture until tomatoes are a spreadable consistency. Then set aside.
  5. Pour half (1 cup) of the cottage cheese into the food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Transfer the cooked veggies to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until they are more finely chopped, stopping to scrape down the sides. Transfer to the bowl of whipped cottage cheese. Top with the remaining cottage cheese, and then add ¼ to ½ tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  7. To assemble lasagne: Spread ½ cup tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9” by 9” baking dish. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, then spread half of the cottage cheese mixture over the noodles. Top with ¾ cup tomato sauce, then sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese on top.
  8. Top with 3 more noodles, then adds the remaining cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle ½ cup shredded cheese.
  9. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles, then spread ¾ cup tomato sauce over the top to evenly cover the noodles. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese.
  10. Wrap a sheet of parchment paper around the top of the lasagne. Bake for 18 minutes covered, then remove the cover, rotate the pan by 180˙ and continue cooking for about 10 to 12 more minutes until the top is turning spotty brown.
  11. Let lasagne cool for 15 to 20 minutes, so it has time to sit and cool down. Sprinkle more basil over the top, then slice and serve.

Notes

Make it gluten-free: Substitute with gluten-free lasagne noodles.

Make it vegan: Use 2 cups of vegan sour cream instead of the cottage cheese. Blend the veggies into the sour cream. Omit the mozzarella and serve the lasagne with a dollop of additional sour cream on top.

Vegetarian casserole

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 can (16 oz.) artichoke hearts, diced
  • 2 cups Alfredo sauce
  • 25 oz. frozen ravioli
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend, shredded

Instructions

  1. Combine spinach, pesto, and artichoke and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the broth and Alfredo sauce.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Top with half the spinach mixture.
  5. Lay half the ravioli in a single layer over the spinach mixture.
  6. Repeat the layers once more.
  7. Finish up with the remaining 1/3 Alfredo sauce.
  8. Bake at 375˙F for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  9. Then, sprinkle with cheese. Broil at 450˙F for 4 minutes.
  10. Dish and serve hot.

Vegetarian pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups fresh spinach or baby spinach
  • 10 oz. thin spaghetti noodles
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or basil (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender and the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
  2. Add garlic and season with pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes and saute another 30 seconds.
  3. Increase heat to high then add vegetable broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add spaghetti noodles. Stir until they wilt in the pot. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes at medium-low heat.
  5. Remove lid and add fresh spinach, several handfuls at a time, stirring to get it mixed in till wilted.
  6. Remove from heat and let spaghetti sit, covered, for several minutes.
  7. Stir in parmesan cheese and seasoning as necessary.
  8. Serve with fresh parsley or basil and extra parmesan cheese, if desired.

Note

Make it vegan: Substitute parmesan with nutritional yeast or your favorite vegan cheese.

Make it super cheesy: Stir in 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese

Vegetarian sushi

Ingredients

  • 4 nori (seaweed) sheets
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 cup carrot shreds
  • 2 cups of sushi rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • Black and white sesame seeds, optional

For spicy sushi sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Drizzle coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Cook sushi rice in water, set aside.
  2. Slice avocado thinly. Peel and de-seed cucumber and slice thinly.
  3. Cover bamboo mat with a Ziploc bag or in plastic wrap.
  4. Lay the nori sheet (shiny side down) on the mat. Then, dip fingers in the water or rice vinegar before spreading ½ cup rice onto the nori.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and then flip over the nori sheet with rice.
  6. Place ¼ of the veggies in the center of the sheet. Roll sushi, pressing firmly on the mat for a firm roll.
  7. Slice into 6 pieces. If the knife gets sticky, dip in rice vinegar or water. Repeat with remaining nori sheets and vegetables.
  8. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi, or make your spicy sauce as explained below.

To make spicy sushi sauce

  1. Mix 1/3 cup mayonnaise with ¼ cup ketchup and 1 tsp each of garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Add a drizzle of coconut milk to desired consistency.

Vegetarian meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 c. finely chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 (15-ox) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 c. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ c. barbecue sauce
  • ¼ c. ketchup
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven (375˙) and line an 8” loaf pan with parchment paper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and stir until cooked, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Using a potato masher in a food processor, mash the chickpeas until rough paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add cooked vegetables, parsley, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce to the bowl with chickpeas. In a medium bowl, whisk the barbecue sauce and ketchup together. Add half of this mixture to the bowl with the chickpeas. Season with paprika, pepper, and salt, and stir evenly.
  4. Transfer chickpea mixture to the prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Brush half of the remaining ketchup mixture on the loaf and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, brush with remaining ketchup mixture and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Garnish with more parsley and serve.

Vegetarian pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 quantity basic pizza dough
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 small zucchini, coarsely grated
  • ½ x 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp shredded fresh basil leaves
  • ½ medium red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium green capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 4 (120g) bocconcini cheese, sliced
  • ½ cup grated reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Make pizza dough. Place base on a greased baking tray. Preheat oven to 220˙C to240˙C fan-forced.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and zucchini. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add basil. Stir to combine.
  3. Spread pizza base with tomato sauce. Top with capsicum, bocconcini, and mozzarella. Bake  until cheese has melted and the base is crisp (approximately 15 minutes). Serve.

Garlic & Herb Vegetarian Cheese

This vegetarian cheese is soft, spreadable, and delicious. You can spread it on crackers, vegetables, sandwiches, or add it to salad and pasta.

Ingredients

Cheese

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 medium lemon, zested
  • 2 medium lemons, juiced (yields ¼ cup or 60ml)
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For serving

  • 2 tbsp finely minced fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Soak the cashews in a bowl of cold water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  2. Drain cashews thoroughly and add to a food processor. Add minced garlic, garlic powder, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, water, salt, and olive oil.
  3. Process until very creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Then taste and adjust seasonings required, adding more lemon zest for tartness, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, garlic for zing, or salt for flavor.
  4. Place a fine-mesh strainer or colander over a large mixing bowl, and lay down two layers of cheesecloth.
  5. Use a spatula to scoop cheese over the cheesecloth, then gather the corners and twist the top gently into a “disc” shape. Secure with a rubber band.
  6. Place in a refrigerator for 12 hours until excess moisture has been wicked away and that it holds its form when released from the cheesecloth.
  7. To serve, unwrap from cheesecloth and gently invert onto a serving platter. Coat with chopped herbs and a bit more lemon zest (optional). It is fragile, so handle gently.
  8. Enjoy chilled with crackers or vegetables. The cheese is best served chilled.

Notes

If you’re in a rush, you can quick-soak the cashews by soaking it in boiling water for 1.5 hours. Drain and proceed with the recipe as above.

Vegetarian gravy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 4 tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in soy sauce, flour, and nutritional yeast to form a smooth paste.
  3. Gradually whisk in the broth — season with sage, salt, and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer continually stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Mexican vegetarian tacos

Ingredients

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onion
  • 1 bell pepper, red
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 lime (for garnish)
  • Hot sauce (e.g., sriracha)

For the Pico de Gallo de Mango

  • 1 medium avocado
  • ½ mango
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 medium tomato
  • ½ lime (juiced)
  • 5 sprigs cilantro/coriander, fresh
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Slice the onion into thin “half-rings.” Also, slice the bell pepper lengthwise and thinly.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a pan before adding the onion and pepper. Set to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Pico de gallo: Mash the avocado flesh in a bowl. Finely dice the onion, tomatoes, and mango into small cubes. Combine in a bowl and season with lime, salt, and chopped cilantro.
  4. Add the black beans to the onion and bell pepper, stir and now season with salt, cumin, and pepper. Add the garlic too. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the fire.
  5. Heat the tortillas according to package instructions. To make tacos from tortillas, hang them over the wires in your oven for 4-5 mins on 180˙C/360˙F, then remove.
  6. Fill a tortilla with some onion bean mixture and add Pico de Gallo on top. Finish it off with a dollop of cream cheese, cilantro, lime juice, and a spicy sauce of your choice.

Indian vegetarian recipe (1): Aloo Gobi

Aloo gobi is a spicy, tasty curry of cauliflower and potatoes with the flavor of spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, and garlic weaved through. This Indian vegetarian recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free. Serve hot with rice and roti or dal or naan for a delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium gold potatoes (cut in a ¾-inch dice)
  • 1 medium cauliflower (florets separated)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion (cut in tiny dice)
  • 2 small tomatoes (finely diced)
  • 1 small jalapeno (minced)
  • ¼ cup cilantro or coriander leaves (divided)
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp paprika or cayenne
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp mango powder (amchur) or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a wok.
  2. Add the cumin seeds. As they begin to turn darker, add the onions with the green chill pepper and half the cilantro. Add salt to taste. Stir-fry at medium heat until the onions start to caramelize.
  3. Add the tomatoes, coriander powder, and the ginger garlic paste. Continue to stir-fry until tomatoes break down into a pulp.
  4. Add the cayenne or paprika, turmeric, mango powder or lemon juice, and stir to mix. Add the potatoes and mix well.
  5. Add the cauliflower, mix, and sprinkle on a couple of tbsp of water. Turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the wok with a tight lid. Sprinkle water if the vegetables stick to the wok before they are cooked.
  6. Once the veggies are done, sprinkle on the garam masala. Mix well.
  7. Garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve hot.

Indian vegetarian recipe (2): Malai Kofta

Malai kofta is a popular vegetarian Indian dish. Kofta is a fried dumpling ball, and malai means cream. It is best served with roti, paratha, naan or rice.

Ingredients

  • 100g paneer (cottage cheese – grated)
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes (boiled, peeled, and grated)
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/8 tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp almond flour (or milk powder)
  • Salt

For making malai kofta gravy

  • ½ cup onion paste or 2 medium onion pureed
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ¼ cup cashew paste or 15 cashews soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and then blended to a smooth paste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp red chili powder
  • 1-inch ginger + 5 garlic cloves (make into fine paste)
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 2 cups of water
  • Salt
  • Sugar

For garnish

  • 1 tbsp grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • Some chopped coriander leaves

Instructions

Malai kofta

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Make medium-sized balls and fry the paneer kofta in medium hot oil till golden, set aside.

Gravy

  1. Remove excess oil from the pan and retain just about 1 tbsp oil.
  2. Add al the whole spices and fry till fragrant.
  3. Add onion paste and brown it.
  4. Then add ginger-garlic paste. Fry till aroma.
  5. Add tomato puree and saute for 3 minutes.
  6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, and cashew paste. Stir and saute till the oil to separate from the masala paste.
  7. Add water and in low flame stir till gravy begins to thicken.
  8. Add salt and sugar.
  9. Pour gravy over fried malai kofta and garnish with grated paneer, cream, and coriander leaves.
  10. Serve malai kofta hot with roti, paratha, naan, or rice.

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