20 Comforting Vegetarian Recipes to Add to Your Plant-Based Dinner Rotation

white beans greens stew
Julia Gartland

It can sometimes be challenging to find new cozy, comforting main-course vegetarian meals to add to the dinner rotation. We're here to help infuse your usual mealtime routine with a number of options for flavorful, gorgeous vegetarian dishes. Best of all, these meat-free dinner recipes are also impressive enough for casual entertaining when you're hosting friends or family who don't eat meat.

How to go about adding some new vegetarian dinner recipes to your repertoire, you ask? Start by thinking about what your usual dinner recipes are missing. Looking for more one-pot meals? The beautiful Cannellini Beans and Greens Stew that's pictured here is a surefire winner, and the fact that it's vegetarian makes it even more appealing. It's a true one-pot wonder: Even the garlic toasts served on the side are made in the same skillet as the beautiful stew.

Another option is to serve vegetarian twists on the dishes you know and love. Turn your usual gnocchi into your new favorite baked pasta with our Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta and Marinara recipe. Looking for a twist on risotto? Ditch the stirring and try baking risotto instead—our Butternut Squash Baked Risotto is the perfect starting point. The best part about it is that you'll realize that you can bake this traditional rice and still get the lovely creamy texture you expect with far less work. Traditionally, risotto is made with a short-grain rice, such as Arborio. This recipe uses barley instead of rice for a nice change.

Delight friends and family with these Vegan Meatballs made with rice, lentils, and mushrooms. You can stir them into marinara sauce and pile over spaghetti, stuff them into sandwiches, or turn them into Swedish meatballs served over buttered noodles. The options truly are endless. And, while we're on the topic of vegetarian takes on Italian classics, we'd be remiss not to mention lasagna. Our rich Mushroom-Eggplant Lasagna is made with three kinds of cheese as well as umami packed cremini mushrooms and silky eggplant for a hearty dish that even devout omnivores will be thrilled by.

These many dishes will help you bring a little variety to the vegetarian dishes you bring to your table, regardless of whether you are a vegetarian or are simply honoring Meatless Monday.

01 of 19

Pressure-Cooker Tamales

pressure cooker rajas tamales plates glass
Marcus Nilsson

These tamales are stuffed with roasted poblano chiles and Monterey Jack cheese. And the pressure cooker makes quick work of cooking this traditional Mexican dish—they take just 15 minutes!

02 of 19

Spring Ragout with Asparagus and Poached Eggs

spring ragout with asparagus and poached eggs
The Ingalls

For the ultimate springtime vegetarian dinner, turn to this one-pot recipe that's packed with asparagus, spinach, plenty of cilantro, and both chickpeas and poached eggs for protein.

03 of 19

Barley Risotto Mushrooms and Dill

Sidney Bensimon

Pearled barley stands in for the usual rice in this risotto and pairs wonderfully with the mix of mushrooms (we used a combination of shiitake, oyster, and beech.).

04 of 19

Cannellini-Bean and Greens Stew

white beans greens stew
Julia Gartland

This comforting, healthy stew can be made with just about any greens you find at the grocery store, or even a combination of a few different types. The sage adds a lovely flavor, but if you are not a fan, fresh thyme sprigs would be a fine substitute.

05 of 19

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

shepherds pie
Kate Mathis

Lentils and cremini mushrooms are combined with the traditional carrots and peas to make the hearty filling for this delicious vegetarian take on the traditional British potato-topped meat pie.

06 of 19

Mushroom-Eggplant Lasagna

Mushroom and Eggplant Lasagna
Bryan Gardner

Three types of cheeses, meaty cremini mushrooms, and umami-rich eggplant make this a super satisfying vegetarian take on a classic baked pasta. Using no boil noodles streamlines the prep.

07 of 19

Spinach and Gruyére Soufflè


Sometimes you just need a soufflé. This elegant recipe with sautéed spinach, melted Gruyère cheese, and breadcrumbs is especially gorgeous and totally delicious.

08 of 19

Vegan Meatballs

Mike Krautter

Everyone loves a good bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, whether they're beef- or vegetable-based. Try this variation with lentils, brown rice, and mushrooms.

09 of 19

Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta and Marinara


Potato, cheese, and tomato sauce: Is there a more perfect combination? Use the broiler for this melty, cheesy dinner.

10 of 19

Acorn Squash with Mixed-Grain Stuffing

stuffed acorn squash mixed grain stuffing
Louise Hagger

This elegant, hearty vegetarian entrée not only tastes as good as it looks, but both the roasted squash and the stuffing, made with mushrooms, wheatberries, and millet, can be made ahead, too. Just combine them and heat through when you want to eat.

11 of 19

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Alpha Smoot

Liven up your soup life with this vegetarian twist on the classic French onion recipe—it uses mushrooms for deep flavor.

12 of 19

Roasted Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

Marcus Nilsson

This garlicky clafoutis will be your new go-to vegetarian dinner. It's packed with protein and made all the more flavorful with a splash of coconut milk.

13 of 19

California-Style Veggie Burgers

california style veggie burger
Louise Hagger

These are our favorite veggie burgers. Not only are they healthy and hearty, made with bulgur, pinto beans, and shiitake mushrooms, but they also hold together when eaten and have a satisfyingly crunchy exterior.

14 of 19

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto


This revolutionary risotto cooks in the oven, not on the stovetop, leaving you free while it bakes. Packed with winter squash, kale, shallots, and a little cheese, it's just right for a casual dinner party—guests will thank you whether they're vegetarians or not.

15 of 19

Squash, Sage, and Ricotta Cannelloni


Butternut squash, shallots, sage, nutmeg, ricotta: The flavors of this cannelloni blend perfectly together for a cozy yet refined and totally crave-worthy vegetarian meal that will satisfy even the pickiest eater.

16 of 19

Vegetarian Chili

vegetarian chili
Johnny Miller

Warm up with a bowl of tomato-based chili that cooks in just 35 minutes. It's full of beans, zucchini, and all the flavors of a spicy chili—sans meat.

17 of 19

Spinach-Feta Pizza Slab Pie

Who doesn't love pizza or slab pie? This easy entrée brings these two favorites together: Store-bought pizza dough is the base for this greens-and-cheese packed pie. We love it served for warming dinner with ratatouille.

18 of 19

Freekeh with Roasted Butternut Squash, Seared Kale, and Caramelized Onion Jam

Con Poulos

Protein-rich freekeh, young wheat berries that have been sun-dried and roasted, are beautiful in this warm salad.

19 of 19

Bold Beet Pasta with Ricotta

Whole-grain spaghetti gets striking color from a quick toss with beets. Sun-dried tomatoes lend the sauce a caramelized sweetness that will leave everyone speechless.

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