15 Vegetarian Recipes Even Meat Lovers Will Love

Meatless meals are a popular choice these days, but not everyone will be on board when it comes time to sit down at the dinner table. Serving a combination of people can be a little tricky but never impossible. These fifteen vegetarian recipes are perfect for serving that mixed crowd and still getting rave reviews. These can be served as single-course meals, or they can be served as side dishes for meat-based courses. But no matter how they are served, everyone will love them.

1. Avocado Pasta

A white pasta bowl filled with Avocado Pasta, fresh grape tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Everyone loves pasta, and this avocado pasta is a delicious, healthy reason why. It’s an alternative to using sauce with meat in it, but it can still be enjoyed as a side dish to a meat-based main course. Leftovers can be packed up and taken for lunch the next day.

2. Homemade Mac And Cheese

A spoon lifts mac and cheese out of a bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This homemade mac and cheese recipe is a great way to give the kids what they want and still feel good about the quality of what they (or you!) are eating. This is a decadent, creamy recipe that won’t disappoint. It’s great on its own or served with a side of chicken, pork, or beef. Kids will definitely love this homemade version.

3. Mushroom Tacos

A row of mushroom tacos on a dark gray surface.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Enjoy a Mexican-inspired meal with these loaded Mushroom Tacos. They’re the perfect vegetarian alternative to traditional tacos, and you might not even realize they’re meat-free. Of course, you can add meat for meat eaters. It’s the best of both worlds, and leftover filling can be mixed with rice for a delicious salad the next day.

4. Tuscan Pasta Salad

A side view of a white bowl filled with Tuscan pasta salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If you’ve got pasta lovers in the family, this Tuscan pasta salad is a great change of pace. Serve it with a green salad and some garlic bread to round out the meal. It’s hearty, tasty, and definitely filling, and leftovers make a great lunch the next day. Serve this with or without meat mixed in, or serve it as a vegetarian side to a meat course.

5. Chickpea Quinoa Salad

A side view of a white bowl filled with chickpea quinoa salad.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This chickpea quinoa salad is a great way to enjoy chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans). It’s a fiber-rich salad that packs great flavor thanks to a generous helping of fresh basil. It’s a wonderful spring and summer salad that has complete protein as it is but can also be paired with any other meat-based protein.

6. Vegan Lentil Soup

A closeup of a white bowl filled with vegan lentil soup.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This lentil soup has a good dose of plant-based protein. High in protein and fiber, lentils are versatile and can be used in soups, salads, and stews. this particular soup can also be served with some rice mixed in. Either brown rice or wild rice would be particularly good with this. If you want to add meat, try warming up a kielbasa sausage to serve with this.

7. Quinoa Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

A closeup of a quinoa stuffed spaghetti squash.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

A complete protein source, quinoa is a versatile grain that can be used as a base for creating delicious mixed salads or as a side dish on its own with a pat of butter and some salt. Try using it to stuff spaghetti squash in this quinoa stuffed spaghetti squash recipe. The quinoa has all nine essential amino acids, so it’s a plant-based complete protein that everyone will love. The trick with quinoa is to rinse it really well before you cook it to remove any bitter flavors.

8. Chickpea Tofu

A pile of Chickpea Tofu cubes laying on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

While tofu is usually made from soybeans, this Chickpea Tofu recipe is a great option for people who don’t enjoy soy. It’s a unique ingredient that you can use as a base for tacos, wraps, noodle dishes, pasta, soups, and even cheesecakes.

9. Mediterranean Zucchini Boats

A closeup of a cut zucchini boat.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Zucchini boats are delicious side dishes for any main course you serve. They have wonderful flavors that pair well with chicken, fish, pork, or beef. You can get creative with the stuffing or follow the recipe to the letter, but either way, everyone will ask for seconds.

10. Bombay Potatoes

An overhead view of a bowl of Bombay potatoes in a bowl on a striped tablecloth.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

These delicious Bombay potatoes make an excellent meal on their own or served over rice. You can use them to mix with shredded chicken if you want meat, or just serve them as is on the side of a meat-based course. These are packed with delicious flavor and plenty of fiber too.

11. Blueberry Cottage Cheese

Two hands hold a wooden bowl filled with cottage cheese and blueberries.
Photo Credit: Hanna Haradzetska/Shutterstock.

Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and can be added to salads, used as a topping or a filling in lasagna, or eaten on its own. Try this Blueberry Cottage Cheese for a quick snack or breakfast. This makes a wonderful, light, and healthy dessert as well. Especially with a little bit of honey drizzled over the top.

12. Buttered Black Beans

A green crock full of Butter Black Beans sits on a white towel on a countertop.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Black beans are not only a good source of protein but also high in fiber. They can be used in soups, stews, or made into vegetarian burgers. Try this recipe for buttered black beans for a delicious side dish. You can also mix this with rice and a little bit of extra butter to make a more well-rounded vegetarian meal.

13. Spicy Roasted Almonds

A spoon lifts up a spoonful of spicy roasted almond from a baking sheet full of them.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Snack on these spicy roasted almonds or add them to recipes like salads or stir-fries. While usually known for their healthy fats, almonds also provide a decent amount of protein. These are delicious chopped up and served with chicken or fish as a topping, or you can mix these into a grain salad for some extra crunch and spice.

14. Seitan Brisket With Barbecue Glaze

An up close shote of a seitan brisket sliced with bbq sauce drizzled over the top.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Made from wheat gluten, seitan is a popular meat substitute with a meat-like texture. It can be used in various dishes like stir-fries and sandwiches or as a filling for wraps. You can even make a brisket out of it, like this seitan brisket with barbecue glaze.

15. Air Fryer Corn Fritters

A close up of an air fryer corn fritter.
Photo Credit Fork ToSpoon.

These easy-to-make corn fritters are made in your air fryer and give you a delicious, tender corn fritter with a crispy outside that can be served with grilled meats, vegetables, and more. These are loaded with cheddar cheese, giving them an amazing flavor that comforts you as it fills you up.

More From The Gracious Pantry

Carrots and a red bell pepper arranged on a wooden surface to spell the word, vegan.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Interested in starting a vegan or plant-based diet? Here’s how to do it with ease. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming to start a plant-based diet. This simple guide walks you through some key points and helps you get started in this new way of eating effortlessly.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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