16 Classic Comfort Food Recipes Get a Meatless Makeover
Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup
Perfect for when you're under the weather or wanting to warm your bones on a wintery evening, this comforting soup will satisfy. Chickpeas, noodles, and vegetables all cook together in a savory meatless broth.
These cheese, spinach, and sour cream enchiladas make for a hearty dinner and they're also a great delivery system for getting healthy spinach into kids.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Hearty lentils, crunchy walnuts, chewy barley make up the base for this meatless shepherd's pie. Yeast extract spread, like Marmite or Vegemite, is the secret ingredient to the recipe having a deep umami taste.
Chef John's Meatless Meatballs
If you love classic Italian-American spaghetti and meatballs, you'll love Chef John's meatless version. Chef John explains the simple genius of this recipe: "Thanks to a thorough browning, mushrooms provide more than enough savoriness. The garlic, cheese, and parsley do the rest. What really blew me away was how close the texture was to actual meatballs. They are officially approved for use on spaghetti!" Strict vegetarians may want to replace the Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) in the recipe, since it traditionally contains rennet.
Vegetarian Sloppy Joes
When ground beef is a a no-go, let these saucy meat-free sandwiches come to the rescue. Tempeh stands in heroically for ground beef or turkey. And if you can't find tempeh, do what reviewer Jonny's Girl does: "I like to substitute extra firm tofu for the tempeh and use a full can of tomato sauce," she says. "Fantastic recipe! Even my carnivore husband loves it."
Air Fryer Vegan Buffalo Tofu Bites
By freezing and thawing the tofu, you'll get a perfectly chewy texture for imitating buffalo wings. This technique creates ice crystal pockets, making it perfectly spongey for soaking up marinades and sauces, just like the buffalo sauce in this recipe.
These guacamole-based tacos with black beans and homemade salsa are a more-than-worthy alternative to the meaty versions. "I love this. I would never think of having any type of tacos or Mexican food without meat, but I am sold," says Steve. "This was great!" You might also like these black bean tostadas.
World's Best (Now Vegetarian!) Lasagna
Gooey layers of cheese, meatless crumbles, and a spiced tomato sauce make this meatless lasagna irresistible. Strict vegetarians may want to replace the Parmesan in the recipe, since it traditionally contains rennet.
"Brown rice, lentils, bread crumbs, onions and tomatoes are baked into a vegetarian version of a mealtime favorite," says recipe creator sal. Enjoy this for dinner one evening, then stuff it into sandwiches for lunch the next day.
Bolognese is a classic slow-cooked meat sauce. In this meatless version lentils, mushrooms, red wine, nutmeg, tomatoes, and fresh herbs build a big, bold-flavored bolognese. "Delicious vegetarian sauce for pasta, so tasty, and as nice as a meat bolognese," says reviewer sorchaspud. "It can also be served with potatoes."
Baked Black Bean and Spinach Flautas
These black bean and spinach flautas are baked, making them an even healthier take on traditional flautas. Top with the works! Shredded cabbage, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and chopped cilantro add a fresh taste.
Homemade Veggie Pizza
The recipe includes everything -- crust, sauce, and veggie toppings. "The sauce is so easy and hearty everyone will think you were in the kitchen all day cooking this up," says Bird.
Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole
Give this protein-rich, meatless chili casserole a try when you need a comforting meal. It features diced tomatoes, three kinds of beans (black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans), corn, and chili seasonings. You'll love the simple jalapeño cornbread topping, too.
Meatless Monday Lasagna
Here's a hearty lasagna that gets its heft from tofu and lots of vegetables. "We are always looking for recipes to add to our Meatless Monday rotation," says Kristin. "Bumping up the protein is important for our 3 kids, so adding tofu to the cheese mixture of vegetarian lasagna works great. Use the excess tofu to make a high-protein salad dressing."
Seasoned lentils take the place of meat in this Greek-inspired comfort food classic. "Very tasty, an excellent blend of flavors," says mistril. "Grilling the vegetables instead of frying was a great idea, tasted great and a time saver." Strict vegetarians may want to replace the Parmesan in the recipe, since it traditionally contains rennet.
Carole's Chili Mac
Rich meatless chili, melty cheese, and comforting pasta all combine for this kid-friendly dinner. Set up everyone's favorite chili toppings - such as sour cream, guacamole, and crushed tortilla chips - for dressing up their bowl of chili mac.