29 Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes to Make for Dinner

baked macaroni and cheese with broiled tomatoes
Armando Rafael

Getting your little ones to expand their palate is no easy feat. If you're looking for kid-friendly vegetarian recipes, you've come to the right place. We've combed through our archives to round up our very best recipes that are both meatless and sure to be approved by anyone under the age of 10.

Trying to get your kids to eat more vegetables? Give them something familiar, such as macaroni and cheese, and then introduce one new colorful ingredient—the result will look something like our recipe for Baked Mac and Cheese with Broiled Tomatoes that's pictured here. Kids will adore the topping made of crunchy panko breadcrumbs and the ooey-gooey combination of American cheese, sharp cheddar, and grated Parmesan. They'll also love to taste the juicy, mild-tasting slices of Roma tomatoes scattered on top.

It's no secret that young ones love pasta, so we use it as the base of several other kid-friendly vegetarian recipes. Some of our top picks? A vegetable-based "Bolognese" sauce served with spaghetti or bucatini, meatless meatballs, and cheesy pasta recipes that feature seasonal vegetables. They're so good, even the adults at the table will gladly clear their plates.

We also have recipes that kids can help to prepare, such as pizza. They'll love the process of kneading the dough, spreading on pizza sauce, and sprinkling mozzarella cheese over the entire pie. Here you'll find a recipe for a classic margherita-style pizza that we're sure they'll devour, but encourage them to try different types of cheese or vegetables on top for an even more flavorful vegetarian bite.

For kid-friendly meals that are apt for a weeknight or weekend, turn to these vegetarian dinner recipes.

01 of 28

Cheese-Stuffed Portobello Burger

cheese-stuffed portobello burger topped with arugula
Con Poulos

This vegetarian burger takes the meatless patty to new heights. Portobello mushrooms are stuffed with thinly-sliced, super melty provolone cheese, then stacked on brioche buns with baby arugula and our Garlic-Vinegar Mayonnaise.

02 of 28

Vegetarian Bolognese with Bucatini

vegetarian bolognese with bucatini
Con Poulos

When you have a little extra time to cook a kid-friendly vegetarian dinner, make this cremini mushroom-based Bolognese sauce that is just as hearty and delicious as the meat version.

03 of 28

Test Kitchen's Favorite Mac and Cheese

test kitchen mac and cheese
Armando Rafael

What kid doesn't love macaroni and cheese? This recipe is the ultimate kid-friendly vegetarian meal.

04 of 28

Tomato Slab Pie

Tomato Slab Pie
Frédéric Lagrange

Your little ones will adore the melty duo of fontina and cheddar cheese with sliced vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower in this vegetarian dinner.

05 of 28

Sweet Corn-Brown Rice Risotto

sweet corn-brown rice risotto garnished with basil
Kate Sears

Instead of the usual arborio rice, this vegetarian risotto calls for short-grain brown rice with fresh corn kernels, fresh basil, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. It's a healthy, summery meal that kids will love.

06 of 28

Our Favorite Tomato Soup

tomato soup with basil
Sidney Bensimon

Pair this homemade tomato soup with our favorite grilled cheese for a kid-friendly vegetarian dinner no one will complain about.

07 of 28

Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese

hands holding grilled cheese
Sidney Bensimon

Grilled cheese and tomato soup are the ultimate combination for a kid-friendly vegetarian dinner that's sure to satisfy any night of the week.

08 of 28

Spaghetti and Eggplant "Meatballs"

Spaghetti and Eggplant "Meatballs" recipe
Chris Simpson

Children will love the fun of twirling spaghetti with meatballs, and this kid-friendly vegetarian recipe will delight the pickiest of eaters. The meat-free meatballs are made from a hearty combination of eggplant, white beans, and panko breadcrumbs.

09 of 28

Classic Margherita Pizza

classic margherita pizza
Paola + Murray

Satisfy a table of hungry little eaters with our take on a classic Neapolitan-style Margherita pizza, which calls for four basic toppings: pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh basil leaves.

10 of 28

Brown-Butter Sweet-Potato Gnocchi with Seeds

brown butter sweet potato gnocchi with seeds
Paola + Murray

When the leaves start to change, make this recipe that's full of fall flavors. The homemade gnocchi are made with sweet potatoes, sautéed with brown butter, and topped with a nutty combination of pepitas, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.

11 of 28

Cheesy Asparagus Pasta

cheesy asparagus pasta in red pot
Chris Simpson

Even if your little ones aren't keen on green vegetables, they'll love this decadent pasta made with a combination of cream cheese, sharp cheddar, and Gruyère cheese.

12 of 28

Mozzarella Sticks

plate of mozzarella sticks
Bryan Gardner

Skip the frozen version and pair these homemade mozzarella sticks with roasted vegetables for a complete kid-friendly vegetarian dinner.

13 of 28

Vegetarian Chow Mein

vegetarian chow mein on white plate with fork
Justin Walker

Chow mein noodles are tossed with grated ginger, broccoli, carrots, baby corn, and store-bought black-bean sauce in this 50-minute vegetarian dinner.

14 of 28

Susan's Manicotti

Bryan Gardner

This vegetarian recipe comes from editorial director of food Sarah Carey's mother, and we think it's a fun and delicious kid-friendly meal. Manicotti shells are stuffed with an indulgent mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.

15 of 28

Sweet Potato Home Fries

sweet potato home fries
Bryan Gardner

If you're looking for a healthy vegetarian side dish to pair with fish, chicken, or burgers, look no further. Diced sweet potatoes are tossed with smoked sweet paprika, onion, green bell pepper, and jalapeño peppers (if your children are open to a little spice) for a bite that everyone will love.

16 of 28

Mushroom-Eggplant Lasagna

Mushroom and Eggplant Lasagna
Bryan Gardner

For a vegetarian take on lasagna, layer noodles with a combination of cremini mushrooms and eggplant with a triple cheese mixture (ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mozzarella) in this kid-friendly dinner.

17 of 28

One-Pot Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon

one pan pasta pot spoon
Bryan Gardner

All you need is penne, broccoli, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, the juice and zest from a lemon, and some grated Parmesan to make this kid-friendly vegetarian pasta recipe. It's a winner for cleanup, too.

18 of 28

Grilled-Eggplant Parmesan

grilled-eggplant parmesan
Sidney Bensimon

For a lighter take on eggplant Parmesan that still tastes delicious, make this kid-friendly vegetarian recipe. Instead of breading eggplant, the slices are brushed with oil and grilled alongside tomatoes, then topped with mozzarella cheese.

19 of 28

Mushroom Tacos with Charred-Corn Salsa

mushroom tacos with charred corn salsa
Chris Simpson

Sliced portobello mushrooms are sautéed with the juice and zest of lime and chipotle-in-adobo sauce, then used to top corn tortillas. These tacos have just the right amount of heat for kids and adults alike.

20 of 28

Grilled Garlic Bread with Herb Butter

garlic bread
Lauren Ross

Complete your dinner with garlic bread, something that every kid loves. We grilled French bread until it was charred, then smeared it with butter, garlic, and flat-leaf parsley for a flavorful topping.

21 of 28

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

jackfruit pulled pork sandwich
Bryan Gardner

If your kids love pulled pork sandwiches, make them this easy, tasty vegetarian take with a zesty homemade BBQ sauce and jarred jackfruit.

22 of 28

Creamy Baked Ziti

creamy baked ziti
Bryan Gardner

For an extra-delicious baked ziti, we added four ounces of cream cheese to the mixture. It's an indulgent vegetarian recipe that kids will love.

23 of 28

Grilled Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

grilled vegetarian stuffed peppers
Armando Rafael

Looking for a colorful, kid-friendly vegetarian recipe that looks beautiful and tastes delicious? This one should do the trick. Bell peppers are stuffed with a hearty combination of couscous, golden raisins, crumbled feta, and fresh herbs.

24 of 28

Pinto-Bean Burgers

pinto bean burgers
Armando Rafael

These kid-friendly vegetarian burgers will go from skillet to plate in just 35 minutes. They're made with canned pinto beans, panko breadcrumbs, toasted almonds, and chopped roasted red peppers.

25 of 28

Cauliflower-and-Mushroom Roast

Bryan Gardner

Whether you serve it as a main course or a side dish, this hearty vegetarian dinner recipe will please your little ones. Sliced cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and bread cubes are roasted together and topped with Gruyère cheese and cooked until it's melted and bubbly.

26 of 28

Broccoli Casserole

Martyna Szczesna

Beneath a golden brown sprinkle of saltine crackers is a better-for-you combination of broccoli and cremini mushrooms tossed in a mustard cream sauce.

27 of 28

Perfect Frittata with Zucchini and Provolone

Bryan Gardner

Kids love breakfast for dinner, and this recipe sure fits the bill. Seasonal summer squash and fresh basil bring a perky green color to this cheesy egg dish.

28 of 28

Cacio e Pepe with Lemon


We consider this pasta grown-up macaroni and cheese, but that doesn't mean that kids won't love it too. This vegetarian recipe calls for a duo of Grana Padano and Pecorino cheese, freshly cracked pepper, and aromatic Meyer lemons.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles