12 Healthy Main Dishes for Lent
When you're fasting from meat for Lent, you could easily nosh on junk food in its place. But you might as well reap the health benefits of a plant-based or pescatarian diet with nutritious main dishes that start with whole grains, legumes, or seafood. From lentil stew to fish tacos, these flavorful Lenten recipes will keep your family well fed and feeling good on Fridays.
One glance at its ingredients, and it's clear where this recipe gets its name. Fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, and onion give this mild fish delicious Mediterranean flavor.
Ellen's Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Toasted buckwheat tastes especially hearty for a grain, but it's still mild enough to share the spotlight with other ingredients: "Add chopped portobello mushrooms, turnips, carrots, other vegetables, and even nuts, as desired, to the buckwheat mix," recipe submitter and home cook Ellen says.
Fiery Fish Tacos with Crunchy Corn Salsa
A mild corn salsa made with red onion, jicama, red bell pepper, lime, and cilantro turns down the heat of cayenne-seasoned grilled fish. A dollop of sour cream cools it down even more.
Moroccan Lentil Stew
If your family loves meaty stews, bring on the plant protein with this Moroccan-inspired lentil dish. If you can't find butternut squash, our home cooks have replaced it with sweet potatoes and other kinds of winter squash. Or, you can double up on carrots.
Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi
Marinate this mahi mahi in honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic, and olive oil for 20 minutes to infuse it with lots of flavor, fast. Plus, it fries on a skillet in under 15 minutes.
Chana Masala (Savory Indian Chick Peas)
Go through your spice stash to make this easy, aromatic Chana Masala (Savory Indian Chick Peas), which you can have on the table in just 30 minutes. "Both carnivores and vegetarians will enjoy this meal. My kids love it," latinmama says. "Leave out the green chile if the kiddies will be eating."
Pad Thai Quinoa Bowl
This take on pad Thai calls for quinoa instead of noodles for more protein and an entirely different texture. "Add extra edamame and you have a great vegetarian meal instead," recipe submitter Lisa says. "Or add shrimp if you like."
Healthier Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Light mayonnaise, a little butter, and Parmesan top tilapia with enough creaminess to average five-star reviews but not enough to throw your healthy intentions overboard.
Spicy Fish Soup
If you like taco soup, our Spicy Fish Soup will not let your taste buds down. "Having grown up on the Texas/Mexico border, I like foods spicy, but you can adjust the seasonings to taste. I also splash in a drop of hot pepper sauce in each bowl," recipe submitter CHEFETTE says.
Mediterranean Whole Wheat Pasta Toss
"We sort of just opened the fridge to see what we had and this is what we ended up with," home cook jlynvjodie says. "You can adjust any ingredients to suit your tastes." Keep whole-wheat pasta, marinated artichoke hearts, red peppers, and Kalamata olives in the pantry, and you won't have to scramble for a Friday night dinner.
Salmon with Fruit Salsa
Pineapple, fresh jalapeño, tomato, and bell peppers add equal parts flavor and color to baked salmon. Some home cooks include mango, cilantro, avocado, or extra jalapeños in the salsa, but it's nicely sweet and spicy as written.
Vegan Black Bean Soup
This healthy recipe's reviews rave on its hearty, thick consistency — in other words, it's substantial enough to eat for dinner. Not to mention, it preps in just 15 minutes.