Kid-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes
Southern Mac and Cheese
Whether your kids are adventurous eaters or are going through a picky phase, you'll find plenty of vegetarian recipes (most of them quick and easy!) to please everyone at your table. Try a new macaroni and cheese or baked ziti recipe, construct some mini pizzas, whip up homemade veggie burgers, or roll up some burritos tonight.The addition of eggs and half-and-half makes this baked macaroni and cheese rich and custardy. A topping of cheddar cheese and buttered fresh breadcrumbs becomes deliciously browned as the casserole bakes.
Store-bought pizza dough makes these three-cheese broccoli calzones an easy feat. Freeze the extras in zip-top plastic bags and reheat in the oven whenever you need a quick family meal.
Black-Bean Tostadas with Corn Relish
To make these colorful vegetarian tostadas, top flour tortillas with black beans, grape tomatoes, minced jalapeno, and Monterey Jack cheese, and bake in a hot oven until the tortillas are golden and crisp. Top each tostada with corn-scallion relish and diced avocado just before serving.
Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in the blender to make quick work of the savory sauce for this noodle salad. Shredded cucumber and carrots add color and crunch.
Homemade Sesame Noodle Recipe
Sesame noodles are perfect for a quick and easy meal. This dish comes together in just 15 minutes and with a peanut butter sauce that's sure to delight little ones. Add in delicious veggies like snow peas and crisp bell pepper for color and crunch.Get the Homemade Sesame Noodle Recipe
Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches
Dip these sandwiches in a mixture of heavy cream and beaten egg before sizzling them in butter to make the most heavenly grilled cheese ever. Fresh mozzarella melts especially well, but you can use any cheese the kids like.
Broken Noodles with Tomato Sauce and Ricotta
Break pappardelle pasta into large pieces, simmer in your favorite marinara sauce, and top each serving with fresh basil leaves and a spoonful of ricotta cheese. This easy family dinner is ready in just 15 minutes.
Scallions, cumin, ginger, and peanuts add lively flavor to these chickpea patties. Serve the grilled burgers on whole-wheat English muffins with mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.
Classic Cheese Lasagna
Ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses are layered with fresh lasagna noodles in this vegetarian main dish. You can use dry lasagna noodles and store-bought marinara sauce as a time-saver if you prefer.
Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas
A muffin tin becomes a kid-size pizza pan -- just tuck in rounds of homemade or store-bought pizza dough and pile on your choice of toppings. Let everyone make their own pizzas for family game night or slumber parties.
Baked Spaghetti and Mozzarella
Make a quick sauce from canned tomatoes and garlic, then mix in diced fresh mozzarella, par-cooked spaghetti, and lots of fresh basil. This baked pasta casserole would also be marvelous with the addition of sauteed mushrooms or zucchini.
Squash Pot Stickers
A sweet-and-savory mixture of mashed butternut squash, soy sauce, brown sugar, scallions, and fresh ginger is stuffed into store-bought wonton wrappers and pan-fried. These pot stickers are a marvelous party appetizer as well as a kid-pleasing dinner.
Spinach Manicotti in Creamy Tomato Sauce
Lemon zest and Parmesan give a flavor boost to the ricotta-spinach filling of this baked, stuffed pasta. A splash of cream enriches the marinara sauce.
Pasta Wheels and Cheese
Kids will love to eat these little wagon wheels bathed in creamy cheddar-cheese sauce. If serving a big group of children at a party, spoon the pasta into small cups for easy handling.
Omelet Burrito with Jack Cheese and Tomato Salsa
Eggs, cheese, and salsa rolled up in a flour tortilla make a nutritious, portable breakfast that kids of all ages will enjoy. Add any other fillings you like, such as leftover roasted potatoes or avocado.
Grill rounds of homemade pizza dough until lightly charred before adding the toppings for this white pizza: fontina and fresh and part-skim mozzarella cheeses. If preparing for small children, omit the pinch of red-pepper flakes.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Vegetables and Peanut Sauce
It takes only 20 minutes to whip up this easy vegetarian main dish of whole-wheat spaghetti, snow peas, carrots, and tofu coated with a sweet and tangy Asian-style peanut sauce.
Classic Egg Salad
This classic, creamy egg salad combines mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and celery with chopped hard-cooked eggs. Mix in other ingredients according to your taste, such as pickle relish or fresh herbs.
Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta and Marinara
These individual servings of potato gnocchi are topped with marinara sauce and ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, and make a satisfying meatless meal or side dish. A quick trip under the broiler gives these casseroles a beautifully caramelized finish.
To make the tasty filling for these vegetarian burritos, season sauteed onions, garlic, and jalapeno with cumin and tomato paste, then stir into pinto beans and corn. Roll up the mixture in flour tortillas with rice and Monterey Jack cheese, and wrap each burrito tightly in foil to freeze for quick, nutritious meals any time.
Family-Style Rolled Omelet with Spinach and Cheddar
Make a jumbo-size omelet that will feed the whole family, employing a 10-by-15-inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisking milk and flour into the beaten egg mixture makes the omelet creamy but substantial.
Mushroom Turnovers with Sour Cream
Flaky mushroom-stuffed pastries are an easy vegetarian main dish or an elegant addition to a holiday buffet. Thanks to frozen puff pastry, these are quick to prepare.
Penne with Grape Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Creamy fresh mozzarella, sweet grape tomatoes, and earthy thyme make a harmonious blend of flavors in this 20-minute pasta dinner. Chickpeas boost the protein content.
Season mashed chickpeas with cumin, coriander, sesame seeds, parsley, and fresh mint to make these pan-fried patties. Serve the falafel in pita pockets with tomatoes, lettuce, and tahini sauce.
Bulgur wheat and pinto beans make a hearty veggie burger. Pan-fry the patties in olive oil and serve on buns with avocado and sliced tomatoes.
Tortellini with Peas
Cheese tortellini and peas tossed with garlic butter and Parmesan takes just 10 minutes to prepare. With packages of tortellini and peas in the freezer, you can throw this dinner together at a moment's notice.
Mini Spinach-and-Cheese Pizzas
Whole-wheat pitas stand in for pizza dough in these quick and easy personal-size pizzas. Season ricotta with crushed garlic and dried oregano before spreading on the crusts.
Steamed eggplant, snow peas, red bell peppers, and wide ribbons of pasta are tossed with a creamy ginger-garlic peanut sauce. If you like, add cubes of broiled tofu to this dish.
Store-bought ravioli is at the base of this easy baked pasta dinner that kids will love. Vary the kind of ravioli you use (cheese, beef, pumpkin ...) to introduce endless variety to the dish.
Sweet Potato Cannelloni
In place of pasta, the "cannelloni" in this dish are made from sweet potato slices rolled around a mixture of mashed sweet potato, cottage cheese, and diced apple. This would be an excellent vegetarian dish for the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Baked Ziti with Crunchy Italian Salad and Garlic Bread
This soul-satisfying dinner of three-cheese baked ziti, garlic bread, and green salad with red-wine vinaigrette only takes 40 minutes, start to finish. Feel free to add soy sausage or thawed frozen spinach to the ziti mixture.
No cooking is required to make these colorful lunch wraps! Mash canned black or kidney beans with cumin and chili powder, and roll up in flour tortillas with cheddar cheese, diced tomato, avocado, and mango.
Three-Cheese Skillet Lasagna
Canned plum tomatoes and fresh garlic make an easy, flavorful marinara sauce. Baking the lasagna in the same skillet used to simmer the tomato sauce makes this lasagna extra quick to make.
Tomato and Basil Pizza
Grill rounds of homemade pizza dough until lightly charred before adding the toppings. Use the accompanying recipe for tomato sauce or grab your favorite store-bought variety, then scatter fresh mozzarella and basil leaves over the top.