Vegetarian Recipes You'll Want to Add to Your Weekly Dinner Rotation

broccoli-and-chickpea parmesan
Photo: Johnny Miller

Turbo-charge your health—and help the planet—just by incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet. We've gathered unexpected and delicious vegetarian recipes that the whole family will love.

01 of 17
cauliflower swiss chard bake
Julia Gartland

Whether you call it meatless, plant-based, or vegetarian, eating less meat is the way to go. While many of us grew up with dinners based around pork chops, chicken breasts, or ground beef, that's not the only way to get an evening meal on the table. Case in point? The meat-free recipes we've gathered for this collection are a delicious selection of some of the many ways you can make a fabulous vegetarian meal that your family will love—and ask for again and again—during the week. That means the recipes here take less than an hour to put together and cook; the innovative Baked Pasta with Cauliflower and Swiss Chard shown here, which features a sauce made with sour cream and Gruyère, is the perfect example.

Why should we all be eating a more plant-based diet with meals based around vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, and nuts? Because it's rich in fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, and people who consume less meat also tend to eat fewer calories, the Mayo Clinic says. Going vegetarian at dinner not only aids our health and the health of those we love, but reducing meat consumption is also good for the health of the planet. And it benefits your budget.

You've probably heard of Meatless Monday, and while we're totally behind that movement, it's also important to remember that you can enjoy a vegetarian meal any (or every) night of the week. From vegetarian patties in a burger bun or wrapped in lettuce to main-dish salads to grilled vegetarian entrées and weeknight chili, this collection of recipes shows that a vegetarian diet can be colorful, hearty, inexpensive, delicious.

02 of 17

Very Veggie Fried Rice with Eggs

very veggie fried rice with eggs
Nico Schinco

You know about fried rice, but do you realize what a versatile vegetarian dinner option it is? This vegetable-packed recipe is a great clean-out-the-crisper-drawer recipe since you can use zucchini, broccoli, or green beans (and they can even be of the frozen variety). The eggs cook in the fried rice and your weeknight meal is ready in 35 minutes.

03 of 17

Broccoli-and-Chickpea Parmesan

broccoli-and-chickpea parmesan
Johnny Miller

Here's a one-skillet vegetarian meal and a total crowd pleaser to boot. This cheesy dinner is packed with protein thanks to the chickpeas and mozzarella, has plenty of crunch from the panko topping, and only takes 15 minutes of prep thanks to the smart use of canned chickpeas and jarred marinara sauce.

04 of 17

Minestrone with Winter Greens

Sharon Radisch

This hearty, healthy soup takes a full hour to cook, but we're including it because it's just so good and some of the time is unattended cooking. We understand you don't often have that much time to devote to dinner but when you do, make this minestrone with canned cannellini beans, shredded kale or other greens, and plenty of soup pasta such as ditalini. It's truly comfort in a bowl.

05 of 17

Carrot-Chickpea Burgers

Carrot-Chickpea Burgers
Frank Frances

If you're always searching for the ultimate veggie burger, give this recipe a try. We're not claiming it's the best ever, but we do assert these chickpea patties are downright delicious. Panko, egg, and white rice are used to bind the chickpeas and carrots, and the patties are served with creamy yogurt and lettuce leaves (though you could sub burger buns if you prefer).

06 of 17

Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes


Hearty toppings including cannellini beans, broccoli rabe, and pepperoncini make baked sweet potatoes substantial enough for supper.

07 of 17

Butternut-and-Boursin Shells

Yunhee Kim

We love a pasta that uses cooking water in its sauce. The starchy water acts as a thickener; here, it transforms creamy garlicky Boursin cheese and sautéed butternut squash into a luxuriously rich sauce for pasta shells and cubes of roasted butternut squash.

08 of 17

Chilaquiles Egg Bake

chilaquiles egg bake
Armando Rafael

This one-pan supper is a cinch to make. Crispy tortilla chips are baked with salsa and eggs and topped with crumbly, salty queso fresco. It's a 35-minute wonder meal.

09 of 17

Greek Quinoa Salad

greek quinoa salad
Bryan Gardner

All the essentials of a classic Greek salad are here—feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives—but they're joined by a new supporting player: quinoa. This protein-rich addition makes the salad more substantial and delicious, and it's cooked in the same pan used to sauté onions and garlic.

10 of 17

Grilled-Eggplant Parmesan

grilled-eggplant parmesan
Sidney Bensimon

Here's a different and delicious take on eggplant parm, no breading and no baking required. This recipe calls for grilling halved eggplants, making it lighter and healthier. Give it a try, and we're sure you'll love it just as much as the classic.

11 of 17

Vegetarian Enchiladas Suizas

vegetarian enchiladas suizas
Con Poulos

This vegetable-packed tortilla casserole is our take on Swiss enchiladas and it makes a delicious and slightly decadent dinner. Crema and cheese are the "Swiss" parts which top layers of poblano peppers, red onion, and zucchini with soft corn tortillas dipped in green salsa and all baked to perfection.

12 of 17

Crispy Sweet Potato Cemitas

crispy sweet potato cemitas
Con Poulos

Golden and crisp, baked slices of panko-coated sweet potato are sandwiched in a toasted bun along with refried beans and a quick, crunchy cabbage slaw.

13 of 17

Gnocchi with Peas and Egg

Gnocchi with Peas and Egg recipe
Ren Fuller

And now for something a little different: A sensational, filling meatless meal that takes just 35 minutes to make. The peas and arugula cook along with the gnocchi, but you'll need a second pan for the creamy sauce.

14 of 17

Weeknight Vegetarian Chili

weeknight vegetarian chili served with tortillas
Con Poulos

Switching from a pot to a skillet cuts the cooking time for this vegetarian chili in half without cutting back on its deep flavor; the wider pan surface lets spices and aromatics meld quickly for deep complexity.

15 of 17

Cheesy Asparagus Pasta

cheesy asparagus pasta in red pot
Chris Simpson

A little healthier than basic macaroni and cheese thanks to the fresh asparagus, this pasta bake is just as crowd pleasing and sure to be a recipe your family asks for again and again.

16 of 17

Taco Salad with Sweet-Potatoes

sweet potato taco salad served in pink bowl
Lennart Weibull

Main-dish salads make great dinners, as this recipe shows. This hearty vegetarian salad is packed with black beans, jalapeños, radishes, and romaine. To make it even more delicious, we added roasted sweet potato chunks to the mix, and the result is so good we think they should be in every taco salad.

17 of 17

Roasted Ratatouille and Eggs

Roasted Ratatouille and Eggs
Armando Rafael

Eggs for dinner is not a revolutionary option but this recipe is different and delightful and we're sure you'll want to make it on the regular. It's packed with eggplant, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes for a glorious vegetable stew.

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