My Three Favorite Vegetarian Recipes

Are you hoping to incorporate more vegetarian recipes into your diet? I’m excited to share three of my favorites with you, dishes I’m sure you’ll love!

Vertical image of a spoon holding up a portion of stew over a bowl, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

When my oldest daughter returned home from her first year of college, she had recently decided to start eating a vegetarian diet.

I didn’t have to do too much of her meal planning anymore since she would usually eat her meals at school. But whenever she came home for a visit, it was top priority for me to try to prepare a few meatless dishes for her.

I’d stock the fridge with her favorites – hummus, homemade salsas, tofu, and plenty of fresh vegetables like asparagus and broccoli. And I’d revisit some of our favorite meatless meals, the ones she has asked me to make over and over again.

Since then, the whole family has been enjoying vegetarian meals more often, and I include meat-free dishes in my weekly meal planning.

This really started with one memorable Thanksgiving when I prepared my first Tofurky roast and a spread of healthy veggie-forward side dishes. All of our relatives and guests were actually pretty pleased with the tasty alternatives!

Try any of these three tasty meals for dinner this week – you don’t need to go all out and give up the meat entirely. But you just might be convinced to start adjusting your own meal planning routine to include more vegetarian options that are packed with healthy nutrients and flavor in the very near future!

Classic Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a favorite of mine. When I was little, my grandmother used to make her own special version of this recipe, but without the eggplant.

Vertical image of a black bowl with grains and assorted diced and stewed vegetables.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager.

Classic Ratatouille: Get the Recipe Now

A warm and comforting bowlful of this rustic dish will always remind me of my childhood, and now I get to carry on the tradition by making it for my own children!

It’s the perfect dish when you have extra zucchini you are trying to use from your garden or farmers market.

Served alone, or with a side dish like pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes to absorb the saucy mix, this dish is sure to please as a hearty dinner option on a cold night.

Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

My kids love the way I can transform this yellow squash into fun, noodle-like strands!

Vertical image of a green plate filled with strands of yellow vegetables topped with a chunky red sauce with cheese crumbles and basil garnish next to a red and white towel and a ramekin filled with red sliced vegetables.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater.

Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta: Get the Recipe Now

Spaghetti squash is quite versatile. Serve it like spaghetti with your favorite sauce like marinara or pesto, or stir fry it with assorted vegetables, eggs, and soy sauce to create spaghetti squash lo mein.

Currently, we are obsessed with the tart and tangy combination of spaghetti squash mixed with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese crumbles.

I like to finish each serving with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, a dash or two of spicy red pepper flakes, and a few pretty basil leaves.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers are an easy crowd-pleaser in my family!

Vertical top-down image of a heathy dinner prepared in a casserole dish topped with melted cheddar and fresh herbs.
Photo credit: Nikki Cervone.

Stuffed Bell Peppers: Get the Recipe Now

My kids especially love the brightly colored yellow, red, and orange peppers, and how I alternate all the colors in one casserole dish.

I have often prepared this type of satisfying and hearty dinner using a filling with ground beef, but it’s been a fun challenge to create a meatless version for my daughter.

In this healthier rendition, I stuff the peppers with a savory mixture of fluffy white rice, caramelized onions and garlic, tomatoes, and basil.

You can also top the pepper halves with your favorite cheese, and let that melt for a few minutes before serving. We like to use handfuls of shredded mozzarella or sharp cheddar!

What Are Your Favorites?

While these three dinner ideas are in constant rotation at my house when my daughter is visiting to this day, I’ve started to make and enjoy other veggie-forward dishes throughout the year.

Horizontal image of a spoon holding up a portion of a hearty stew over a black bowl with rice.

I look forward to experimenting in the kitchen to come up with new ideas, and I would love some help from my fellow Foodal readers!

What are some of your favorite vegan or vegetarian home-cooked dishes that you like to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert? You can share your suggestions in the comment section below.

One common ingredient that I notice I use quite often across all my meatless meals is fresh garlic. Garlic’s powerful cloves pack big punches of flavor and aroma into any dish! Try these meatless recipes that feature this small yet mighty addition next:

Photos by Meghan Yager, Fanny Slater, and Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 26, 2015. Last updated on April 6, 2023. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

22 thoughts on “My Three Favorite Vegetarian Recipes”

  1. Despite being semi-veg myself (and being a fan of the movie), I’ve never tried ratatouille. I don’t know why, since all the ingredients are right up my alley. I must try it out now that you’ve posted this recipe. I really like the idea of spaghetti squash lo mein as well, and stuffed peppers are always a good idea.

  2. As a vegetarian I always enjoy reading others ideas. I hadn’t seen the squash idea before but I will bear that in mind.
    Stuffed peppers and mushrooms are always a favorite and easy and quick to make. Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians like them and can get jazzed up with flavored oils. I like to add some breadcrumbs and caramelized onions on the top to finish off as they give a nice crunchy texture.

  3. I’ve heard of using the spaghetti squash this way, but have never had it. I like your idea of using it in a lo mein. Although I eat meat, these are some of my favorite dishes/ingredients, so I will have to try them out. I also love using a variety of colors when I make stuffed peppers, it makes them seem extra festive. I’ve never made ratatouille, and I love eggplant, so this is something I might have to try soon.

  4. I have always wanted to know how to make stuffed bell peppers and am glad to have stumbled onto this article 🙂 now there is no excuse as to why I shouldn’t try making them 🙂 one can always twist around the recipe to their own liking..right?!

  5. Stuffed peppers are one of those things that I’ve always wanted to like because they sound, look, and smell so fantastic. I guess I’ve never had the right recipe yet, but this one on this page sounds pretty good. I’ll have to give it a try because I’m convinced that stuffed peppers can be better than what I’ve had before.

  6. Looking at these receipes makes me infuriated with the brigade who claim that healthy eating is “too expensive”. These three dishes are fantastic healthy choices yet are so cheap to make.

    Ratatouille is a particular favourite of mine, especially when served with crusty fresh bread and some Parmesan cheese on top.

  7. Looking for a good side dish for my fish tacos tonight. I think I will go with the squash! I am not a vegetarian but I always eat one meat free meal a week, mostly for my budget. I grew up in a very meat and potatoes household, but I thank goodness for this blog I can really expand my taste buds!
    Bookmarked the peppers for tomorrow =)

  8. As someone who’s been vegetarian my entire life, I am always searching for new recipes. Since I’m Indian, most of the time I go out to have western cooking. It’s that or cooking it on my own since my mom is set on making Indian food for meals at home. These are really great recipes and easy enough for me to make myself.

  9. The Spaghetti Squash looks really good and I’m a huge fan of any form of cucurbits so I’m definitely trying this out. I’m not a vegan but I love my vegetables.

    Seeing that there are so much different things that I can do with vegetables is making me eager to get back in the kitchen and start cooking healthy again.

    Not really sure about the Stuffed Peppers since I’m not much into peppers but I’ll give that a go as well.

  10. I am not actually a vegetarian but that doesn’t stop me from eating dishes made for that lifestyle. I absolutely love veggies and rice so these recipes are right up my street. One of my absolute favorite dishes is Ratatouille. The texture of the vegetables after cooking this is wonderful and very satisfying.

    Stuffed peppers? I have never tried that but that sounds really yummy and I definitely will try out this recipe. Thank you once again for another fantastic post!

  11. Thanks for the great variety of recipes! I’m actually quite the meat lover, but these vegetarian recipes have really called my attention. They just looks so easy to make. The recipe that caught my eye the most was the Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe, particularly for its simplicity, the few ingredients that are required and because the end results look so crisp, fresh and healthy. I also like the fact that it goes well with meat too. LOL

    • I am fellow meat eater too, but I have to agree with you When they are laid out so nicely and they are easy to make, it is really easy to forget that there is no meat and not even care. I have trying to eat a little healthier lately, and aren’t we all, so these are really nice to know of and good to keep in the back of my head. Stuffed peppers is always one of my favorites too, and these ones look delicious.

  12. The stuffed bell pepper is so yum to look at. I also love the simplicity of how it’s done. I think it’s something new cooks can do. I’m not a big fan of peppers though. I eat them when they’re finely chopped. So I’m not sure if I can eat it whole, haha. So, I’ll probably just do without the pepper. (yeah, totally cancelling the whole idea of stuffed, i just realize.)

  13. Personally, I myself am not a vegetarian, but I think that a lot of vegetarian-aimed dishes can be extremely healthy (as well as delicious)! I particularly like the look of the ‘Spaghetti Squash’. I love feta, so that just makes it even better!

  14. I have not had traditional stuffed peppers in years. With the above recipe, I can go back to it! I have tried making cheese-stuffed jalapenos, but to no avail.

  15. These recipes look scrumptious… I love using vegetable bodies to stuff other ingredients into. Somehow it seems like I am being more efficient to make use of a vegetable container that you can eat along with the stuffing!

    I like the idea of spaghetti squash lo mein– I have eaten a lot of spaghetti squash with different pasta sauces but fancy the idea of trying a simulation of a Chinese noodle dish!

    Thank you for the ideas!

  16. While I still haven’t been able to bring myself to give up meat (I think the longest I went was 10 days), I’m always on the lookout for good vegetarian recipes. The stuffed peppers look great, but I’m more interested in the ratatouille thank to the movie. I just realised that I’ve never even given googling the recipe a shot despite being very curious about it. I’ll definitely have to give this one a shot. It looks simple enough.

  17. All of those recipes look delicious, and healthy! The only thing I don’t like is squash, but I could simply omit that from the recipe. I have made stuffed peppers many times, they are a great starter or even a main course in their own right, served with the ratatouille!

  18. These all look and sound so delicious that I don’t even think I would miss the meat. I never thought to stuff the other types of bell peppers, but I really like red ones. I am going to have to try this dish. My daughter would love it too.

    I had a veg friend that stayed with us on visits, so I got to “practice” on her, ha ha. I even came up with my own veggie burger recipe, using black beans. I’ll add your ideas to my list.

    This worked well as an “entree” for our guest, in place of whatever meat we might be having (it’s now a side dish that others also enjoy): slice tomatoes in half, drizzle with a bit of olive oil or Italian dressing, top with mozzarella, sprinkle with oregano, and broil until cheese is bubbly.


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