Are you trying to follow more of a plant-based diet but feel like you’re always running out of meal ideas? Look no further! I have a lot of clients who often ask me for vegetarian recipes, so I compiled a list of 10 recipes you can rotate to get you started, all Registered Dietitian-approved.
1. Root Vegetable and Bean Soup
Recipe courtesy of Toby Amidor of Toby Amidor Nutrition
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: 2 cups
- Calories: 220
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 38 g
- Sodium: 477 mg
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 9 g
- 1 packed cup baby spinach 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium parsnip, chopped 1 medium turnip, chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium
- kidney beans, drained
- and rinsed
- 6 cups low-sodium
- vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground
- black pepper
- Stack the spinach leaves, roll them up, and then slice into ribbons. Work in batches if needed.
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and turnip, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, and stir to combine. Add the vegetable broth, mirin, and bay leaves, and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves. Stir in the spinach ribbons and black pepper.
REFRIGERATE: Store the cold soup in a resealable container for up to 1 week. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.FREEZE: Store the cooled soup in individual freezer-safe containers or in one large container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Single servings can be reheated in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Vegetarian Chili with Red Lentils
Recipe courtesy of Marie of Healthy Ideas Place
- 2 tsp. Olive oil
- 1 Small onion, chopped (about 1 to 1 1/2 c.)
- Half of one large Poblano or Hatch chili pepper, chopped
- 1 Jalapeno, finely chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped (about 1/2 to 2/3 c.)
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. Chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. Ancho chili powder**
- 4 c. Chopped, fresh tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. Dry red wine
- 1/2 c. Red lentils, uncooked and rinsed
- 1 1/2 c. Water
- 1 – 15 oz. Can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 – 15 oz. Can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 c. Sliced black olives
- Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil on medium-high in a 3.5 qt. Dutch oven or other large pot. Add onion, peppers, and carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add minced garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more while stirring.
- Sprinkle chili powder and ancho chili powder over the hot vegetables and mix in thoroughly.
- Stir in chopped fresh tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Remove cover. Pour in red wine, lentils, water, black beans, kidney beans, and black olives. Simmer on medium-low for about another 20 minutes until lentils and soft and tender.
- Serve immediately with Cilantro Lime Crema or sour cream.
**If you don’t have ancho chili powder, just add more regular chili powder and a pinch of red pepper.
This chili also freezes well. Just cool and ladle into freezer containers. To use, thaw in the refrigerator or microwave and heat till hot.
3. Quinoa Edamame Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy of Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD
- 1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice*
- 1 cup cooked edamame
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1.5 oz crumbled feta cheese OR 1 avocado, diced (for vegan/dairy free)
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ orange juice, and zest
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice fresh or bottled
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard like Grey Poupon Country Dijon
- ½ tbsp honey
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, edamame, bell pepper, cilantro, feta cheese (or diced avocado), salt and pepper.
- In a small jar with lid or leak-proof container, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and shake well.
- Add ¼ cup of the vinaigrette dressing to salad and combine. Taste. Add more dressing, if desired and adjust salt/pepper to taste.
- Top with additional chopped cilantro and serve! Can be stored in refrigerator for 3-4 days- just stir up before serving.
- Makes 2 large (1.5 cups) servings or 4 small (¾ cup)
- I used Simply Nature Intercontinental Super Grains (a blend of brown jasmine rice, farro wheat, and red quinoa)
- Make this salad entirely vegan/plant-based by subbing the feta cheese with 1 diced avocado. But be sure to adjust salt, if necessary, since the cheese adds a salty bite.
Nutrition per ¾ cup Serving
Calories 199; Total Fat 8.8g; Saturated Fat 2.3g; Cholesterol 7.5mg; Sodium 228mg; Carbohydrate21g; Dietary Fiber 5g; Sugar 5g; Protein 11g
This is a perfect stand-alone vegetarian meal but can also be prepared as a side dish. Consider serving over a bed of mixed greens or spinach. The salad could also be served inside a hollowed out bell pepper halve or raw zucchini boats. The dressing is amazing and can also be prepared to dress salad greens at another meal.
4. Black Bean & Corn Enchiladas
Recipe courtesy of Carrots & Cake
Serves: 5 – 6
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1 ½ cups chopped red bell peppers
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 can (19 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup thawed frozen corn kernels
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp freshly group black pepper
- 8 8″ whole wheat flour tortillas
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup light sour cream
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute red peppers and onion for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, chili powder and pepper.
- Divide bean mixture evenly among tortillas. Roll up burrito-style and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and sauté for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in broth and bring to a boil, whisking the entire time until thick—about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Pour sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.
- Garnish with cilantro.
5. Green Lentil Coconut Curry
Recipe courtesy of Rebecca of Nourish Nutrition Co
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
- 1/2 cup green lentils rinsed off
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1/2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups frozen vegetables
- 2 cups brown rice cooked
- red pepper flakes optional
- fresh limes
- Add rinsed lentils, coconut milk, tomatoes, red curry paste, and minced garlic to medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, check doneness of lentils. They should be soft. Prepare brown rice.
- Once lentils are soft, add salt and vegetables
- Top brown rice with lentil curry, and squeeze lime before eating. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over top if you’d like a bit of spice. Enjoy.
6. Chickpea and Farro Stuffed Peppers
Recipe courtesy of Alyssa Lavy Nutrition
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
6 bell peppers (I like to use different colors, but any color works!)
8.8 oz farro, dry (this is one “10 Minute Farro” bag from Trader Joe’s)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
15 oz (1 can) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), no salt added or rinsed and drained
1/4 C oil (I like to use avocado oil or olive oil)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (option to use traditional paprika, if preferred)
3/4 C crumbled feta cheese, optional
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While oven is preheating, bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add farro and boil for approximately 10-12 minutes (if using 10 Minute Farro from Trader Joe’s – otherwise, cook farro according to directions on package). Pour farro and water into strainer over sink and set aside.
3. In a separate pan, warm oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and zucchini and sauté for approximately 7-10 minutes, until soft and slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add spices (salt, garlic powder, paprika), chickpeas, farro and feta cheese (if desired). Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
4. Cut the top of the bell pepper so there is a large opening where the stem was (like the stem is cap). Cut the bottom of each bell pepper slightly, so that the pepper can stand upright on a flat surface, without there being a noticeable hole on the bottom (otherwise the farro and veggies will fall through the bottom). Remove the seeds, rinse and dry each bell pepper.
5. Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray. Place each bell pepper standing upright in casserole dish and use a spoon to place the farro and veggie mixture into each bell pepper. You may need to use the spoon to pat down the mixture to truly “stuff” each pepper. Depending on the size of each bell pepper, you may have leftover farro (which can be enjoyed on the side or saved as leftovers).
6. Bake in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until peppers are warm and slightly softened. Enjoy!
*Note: If you swap the farro for quinoa to make this dish gluten free, make sure to use certified gluten free products if you need to limit all potential sources of cross-contact, such as in the case of celiac disease.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 serving = 1 stuffed bell pepper and approximately 1 C farro mixture)
Calories 411 calories, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 17 mg, Carbohydrates 54 g, Fiber 12 g, Protein 14 g, Sodium 428 mg, Calcium 165 mg
7. Stuffed Acorn Squash with Curried Lentils
Recipe courtesy of Kara Lydon Nutrition
- 3 medium acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 small onion (or 1/2 large onion), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon masala powder (I used tandoori masala)
- ½ tablespoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup coconut cream (or full-fat canned coconut milk)
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush squash with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Place squash cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until fork-tender, about 35-45 minutes.
- In a medium pot, bring 3 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Add lentils, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender, about 20-22 minutes. Drain and set lentils aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add masala, curry powder, and ginger and stir to coat onions.
- Stir in coconut cream and baby spinach and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in lentils and remove from heat. Season with salt, to taste.
- Fill squash with lentil mixture and garnish with cilantro.
8. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili
Recipe courtesy of Meg of Mostly Balanced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 red bell pepper
1 poblano pepper
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
2 cups vegetable broth (use additional broth to thin the soup as needed)
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
3 cups cooked black beans (canned beans are OK to use – just rinse them first)
2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed and roasted
1 avocado, cut into 1-inch pieces
Garnish: chopped cilantro, lime, shredded cheddar cheese
1. Ensure the beans and sweet potatoes are cooked before beginning. Prepare the peppers (bell and poblano) by slicing them in half, removing the seeds, and then chopping them into one-inch pieces. Roughly chop the chipotle peppers.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and cook about 1 minute, then add the peppers (save the adobo sauce until the end) and cook the vegetables another 5 minutes. Next, add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and black beans. Continue to simmer until the beans and tomatoes are heated through and soft and much of the liquid has reduced. Finally, stir in the sweet potatoes and adobo sauce and simmer about 3 minutes. If needed, add additional vegetable broth to thin the chili; it should be thick but spoonable.
3. Serve by spooning into soup bowls. Top with avocado pieces, chopped cilantro, a hearty sprinkling of cheddar cheese, and a squirt of lime juice.
9. Black Bean, Sweet Potato, & Chipotle Quesadilla
Recipe courtesy of Meg at Mostly Balanced
Makes 4 quesadillas
1 medium to large sweet potato
1 medium onion
1 15-ounce can of black beans
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 chipotle chile in adobo + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
4 whole-wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar/Jack cheese blend
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1) Heat the oven to 400-degrees. Peel the sweet potato and then chop into small cubes. Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil (about 2, but more if needed), then arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until cooked through, about 40 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon at 10 or 15-minute intervals.
2) Peel and chop the onion into evenly-sized pieces. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans, cumin, and chipotle chile with its sauce. Continue to saute over medium heat, until the beans are heated through, another 15 minutes.
3) Combine the black bean mixture and the cooked sweet potatoes in a medium bowl. Lightly brown one side of a whole wheat tortilla, then fold it in half and flip it over, exposing the unbrowned side to the skillet surface. Layer 1/4 cup of cheese evenly over half the tortilla. Top with about 1/2 cup of bean/potato mixture. Fold the tortilla and press together. Cook over medium heat until the exterior crust browns and the cheese is melted, usually less than 5 minutes. Carefully flip the quesadilla to brown the other half.
4) While the quesadilla is cooking, whisk the sour cream and cilantro together. Cut the finished quesadilla into thirds and serve with the cilantro sour cream on the side as a dipping sauce.
10. Summer Vegan Power Bowl with Maple- Dijon Dressing
Recipe courtesy of Amy Gorin of Amy Gorin Nutrition
½ Vidalia onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 yellow squash, sliced
½ lemon, sliced
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup from Canada
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 cups arugula
1 cup cooked quinoa, prepared with low-sodium vegetable broth according to package directions
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup low-sodium canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ avocado, sliced
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Spray a grill or cast-iron grill pan with spray oil. Grill onions, garlic, and squash over medium-high heat, flipping once, until desired tenderness. Grill lemon wedges until slightly browned, turning once. Meanwhile, combine olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and mustard in a sealed container, such as a mason jar. Shake until well combined, and set aside. Place a bed of arugula in two bowls, and top with quinoa. Add grilled vegetables, tomatoes, kidney beans, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with maple-Dijon dressing. Add lemon wedge, and enjoy immediately. Makes 2 servings.
Nutritional information per serving: Cal: 540 Fat: 25 g Sat fat: 3 g Pro: 16 g Carbs: 71 g Sugar: 18 g Fiber: 16 g Chol: 0 mg Sod: 520 mg
Let me know if you make any of these recipes and how you like them! Tag @mommy.nutritionist on Instagram and @melissamitrird on Facebook. Enjoy!