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!
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!
My Three Favorite Vegetarian Recipes
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.
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!
Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta
My kids love the way I can transform this yellow squash into fun, noodle-like strands!
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.
Stuffed Bell Peppers
Stuffed peppers are an easy crowd-pleaser in my family!
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.
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:
- Garlic Ginger Tacos with Sweet and Spicy Cabbage Slaw
- Summer Corn Chowder with Herb Garlic Bread
- Grilled Balsamic Vinegar and Garlic Mixed Vegetables
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.