15 Beginner Vegetarian Recipes

Lentil Bolognese in a ceramic bowl
Lentil Bolognese. Photo: Buckwheat Queen

If you've recently become vegetarian, or just want to add more meat-free meals to your dinner rotation, these beginner recipes are a great place to start. Learn how to make vegetarian versions of traditionally meaty dishes like stroganoff and chili, or adventure to international flavors with fried rice and lentil tacos. No matter what route you choose, you'll enjoy cooking these easy-to-make recipes.

01 of 15

Lentil Tacos

lentils in hard taco shell with sour cream and guacamole
Buckwheat Queen

Hearty lentils cooked in a chipotle sauce take the place of ground beef in these plant-based tacos. Set out everyone's favorite toppings like guacamole, sour cream, and salsa for a DIY taco bar.

02 of 15

Chana Masala

chickpea stew
Elizabeth Faranda

Canned chickpeas mean this chana masala recipe is done in under 30 minutes. You can use store-bought garam masala for the seasoning, or mix up your own at home.

03 of 15

Chef John's Shakshuka

Chef John's Shakshuka with shredded cheese
Baking Nana

Shakshuka may look impressive, but it's deceptively simple to make. Onions, peppers, and tomatoes are cooked down into a chunky sauce, which is then topped with whole eggs and salty feta cheese. It's great for both breakfast or dinner.

04 of 15

Greek Pizza

Close up of Greek Pizza

There's no need to order out when you've got this handy recipe up your sleeve. The pre-made crust is layered up with garlicky spinach, fresh tomatoes, and two types of gooey cheese.

05 of 15

The Best Baked Rice and Beans

The Best Baked Rice and Beans
Photo by Chef John.

Rice and beans are a classic vegetarian staple, and this version is practically foolproof. Instead of using the stovetop, you'll be cooking everything in the oven, resulting in irresistibly fluffy rice and tender beans. To make this recipe vegetarian-friendly, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

06 of 15

Vegetarian Potato-Leek Soup

potato soup in a grey bowl with a parsley garnish

Nothing will warm you up quite like a creamy soup, and this leek and potato recipe is ready in under an hour. "The perfect soup: simple, straight-to-the-point and genuine," says Buckwheat Queen.

07 of 15

Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry

Ginger Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fries are a great way to get more plants on your plate. This version cooks veggies like broccoli, carrots, and snow peas, then coats them all in a garlic and ginger sauce. Serve up over steamed rice or noodles.

08 of 15

Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff

mushroom stroganoff with sour cream on top

Portobello mushrooms are the star of this pasta, making a hearty texture and creating a boost of umami flavor. Some recipe reviewers suggest adding a dash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for extra richness, but be sure to buy a vegan version of the latter; Worcestershire traditionally contains anchovies.

09 of 15

Farmer's Market Vegetarian Quesadillas

Farmers' Market Vegetarian Quasadillas
Photo by Alberta Rose

Quesadillas can be as simple or dressed up as you wish, and this recipe pulls out all the stops. Packed with plenty of veggies like zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, and squash, everything is melted together with rich Cheddar cheese in a whole wheat tortilla.

10 of 15

Protein-Packed Vegetarian Fried Rice

Protein-Packed Vegetarian Fried Rice
Linda T

You'll have an answer for "Where do you get your protein?" with this handy recipe that features both eggs and tofu. Each serving contains nearly one-fourth of your daily recommended intake of protein.

11 of 15

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
Allrecipes Magazine

Don't let the unusual ingredients list, like yellow mustard and soy sauce, scare you off. These unique burritos are the perfect balance of savory kidney beans and decadent sweet potatoes. Best part? These can be batch cooked and frozen for quick future meals.

12 of 15

The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World

The Best Vegetarian Chili in the World in a white bowl topped with cheese
the Michael Hanna

This title is no boast, containing a trio of beans, three types of peppers, and vegetarian "beef" crumbles, this hearty chili will please even the most dedicated of meat-eaters.

13 of 15

Vegetarian Chickpea Sandwich Filling

Vegetarian Chickpea Sandwich Filling

Chickpeas are the star of this delicious sandwich filling. They're mashed up with a little mayo, lemon juice, dill, and chopped vegetables for a creamy dish that can't be beat. Put a scoop on salad, in a sandwich, or just eat as-is with crackers.

14 of 15

Vegetarian Sheet Pan Dinner with Chickpeas and Veggies

close up of roasted chickpeas and vegetables

Cooking your whole meal on a single sheet pan makes dinnertime easier and clean up nearly non-existent. Butternut squash, carrots, onions, and two types of potatoes are cooked up with crispy chickpeas for this satisfying dish.

15 of 15

Lentil Bolognese

Lentil Bolognese in a ceramic bowl
Lentil Bolognese. Buckwheat Queen

You can have this impressive meal on the dinner table in under an hour and no one will guess how easy it was to make. "This was excellent," says Buckwheat Queen. "It tastes just like ragù alla Bolognese is supposed to taste. I think the red wine and nutmeg are key."

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love