11 Meatless Ethiopian Recipes for Everyday Dinners

If you don't already know, Ethiopian cooking is an excellent choice for vegetarians. It's an ancient cuisine that features a wide variety of spicy stews and simple stir-fries, which can be either meat- or vegetarian-based and are easily converted from one to the other. These tasty recipes are also made with ingredients you likely have on hand, including onions, garlic, potatoes, healthy greens, and spices. Here are some of our favorite meatless Ethiopian dishes. Give them a try!

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Injera (Ethiopian Teff Bread)

Ethiopian food isn't just delicious, it's also fun to eat. The key is injera, the thin fermented flatbread that's both plate and silverware. Pile a variety of stews and cooked vegetables on top, then tear additional pieces of injera to scoop up bite-size portions of the food. Buckwheat Queen submitted this recipe for homemade injera: "This naturally fermented, spongy, gluten-free flatbread from Ethiopia is made from teff flour and water, using wild yeast to ferment over a couple of days. It is then cooked like a crepe and turned into a flavorful, tangy bread to serve with your favorite Ethiopian food. The fermentation process can take up to 2 or 3 days, depending on your climate. Injera is typically served with vegetables and/or meat on top where the bread is actually an eating utensil."

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Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

To make this flavorful dish, you'll simply cook onions, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes in olive oil seasoned with cumin and turmeric. If you like, add a little ginger and garlic. "My Ethiopian friend brought this dish to a potluck and I've been making it ever since," says stamarex. "It is healthy and delicious. Do not add liquid. The cabbage and potatoes release enough moisture on their own."

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Key Sir Alicha (Ethiopian Beets and Potatoes)

"Oh my gosh, I absolutely fell in love with this," raves sanzoe, "The sweetness from the beets plays so well with the potatoes. It will be a staple item for me." Leftover Inspired, who submitted the recipe, recommends serving it "hot over injera with the sauce to soak up."

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Gomen Wat

You'll simmer chopped collard greens until tender, combining them with sautéed onions, garlic, and green bell peppers seasoned with turmeric, paprika, allspice, ginger root, and a splash of lemon juice. "Traditional Ethiopian vegetarian dish. I've cut down the amount of oil that is used in the dish and added some different spices to complement the collards," says hidinginahoodie.

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Tikil Gomen (Ethiopian Cabbage)

"This is one of many Ethiopian dishes. It is a typical dish that is served alongside other dishes on injera," says Leftover Inspired. "It's very simple and tastes great. There are many variations on this recipe; it can be prepared with just the cabbage, with carrots and potatoes, with meat, and so on."

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Red Lentils with Veggies

Masoor dal (red lentils) and sautéed onions and garlic are seasoned with berbere powder and simmered in tomato sauce with carrots and zucchini. "This is a twist on an Ethiopian recipe called misser wat," says jojo. "It's a little spicy. Serve with injera, naan, or rice."

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Ethiopian Cheese

It's so easy to make homemade Ethiopian cheese. Just boil a little salted, distilled white vinegar, then add milk and simmer until the milk separates into curds. Strain the curds through cheesecloth and refrigerate. "This is a very simple homemade cheese," says munit.

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Ethiopian Cabbage and Potato Dish (Atkilt)

"This is my favorite Ethiopian vegetable dish," says Twin Cities. "I created it by mixing together a few different recipes I found. Hope you like it! Serve as a side dish with injera and other Ethiopian dishes. I recommend Doro Wat - an Ethiopian chicken dish."

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Kik Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew)

Filling and budget-friendly, red lentils are also versatile with a long lasting shelf life. For making Ethiopian cuisine, they're a pantry staple. To make this lentil stew, simply sauté garlic and yellow and red onions, season with berbere, and stir in crushed tomatoes, red lentils, and a little water, simmering until the lentils are nice and tender. Be aware, this recipe is spicy, so adjust the amount of berbere to suit your comfort level.

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Ethiopian Vegetable Bowl

Onions, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage cook with ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, fenugreek, garlic, and tomato puree. "A delicious blend of flavors," says Shanda. "Comfort food. Extremely aromatic and fragrant."

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Ethiopian Spiced Cottage Cheese

Spiced cottage cheese combines with spinach and sautéed onions, ginger, green chile pepper, and garlic. "A unique blend of wilted greens and spiced cottage cheese makes for a complex and appealing appetizer," says Clark Brown.

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