39 Classic Recipes Every Vegetarian Should Know

Updated: Feb. 10, 2024

Eating meat-free is anything but boring—and these classic vegetarian recipes prove it. Learn how to make oh-so flavorful staples like pasta, stir-fry, soup and more.

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Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

This marvelous meatless entree comes from my 89-year-old grandmother, who cooks a lot with grains, particularly bulgur. The zucchini is a fun change of pace stuffed inside these vegetarian cabbage rolls. —Michelle Dougherty, Lewiston, Idaho
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Meatless Taco Salad

This colorful entree combines popular taco ingredients—minus the ground beef. And you won't miss the meat at all! I top each serving with a creamy guacamole dressing, crunchy corn chips and cheese. —Kimberly Dray, Pflugerville, Texas
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Vegetarian Buffalo Dip

A friend made Buffalo chicken dip and that got me thinking about creating a vegetarian dip with the same flavors. This addictive dip is so amazing, no one will miss the meat. —Amanda Silvers, Old Fort, Tennessee
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Veggie-Cashew Stir-Fry

Getting my meat-loving husband and two sons, ages 5 and 7, to eat more veggies had always been a struggle until I whipped up this stir-fry. I was shocked when they cleaned their plates and asked for seconds. —Abbey Hoffman, Ashland, Ohio
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Black Bean-Tomato Chili

My daughter Kayla saw a black bean chili while watching a cooking show and called me about it because it looked so good. We messed with our own recipe until we got this easy winner. —Lisa Belcastro, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
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Loaded Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

After I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, I embarked on a journey to improve my diet and live a healthier lifestyle. I began developing recipes that were not only satisfying, but also anti-inflammatory and highly nutritious. —Chantale Michaud, Guelph, Ontario
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Pronto Vegetarian Peppers

In the summer I love to serve these peppers with salad and a roll. At the end of summer, I freeze them for cold months when produce costs are high. For a hot meal on a cold day, I love to serve them with a side of warm pasta tossed in olive oil. —Renee Hollobaugh, Altoona, Pennsylvania
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Lentil Loaf

This lentil loaf is so flavorful, you won't miss the meat. And it's packed with fiber and nutrients. —Tracy Fleming, Phoenix, Arizona
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Veggie Fajitas

For a scrumptious and super healthy party dish, these colorful, hearty veggie fajitas packed with crisp-tender vegetables are perfect. —Sarah Mercer, Wichita, Kansas
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Stuffed Vegetarian Shells

When my aunt first told me about these shells, they sounded like a lot of work—but the recipe whips up in no time. Sometimes I add a little cooked bacon to the ricotta filling. —Amelia Hopkin, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Cast-Iron Scrambled Eggs

I love these easy cast-iron scrambled eggs that use fresh ingredients I usually have on hand. They make a quick and simple breakfast! —Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooked Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

This thick and hearty soup is packed with colorful vegetables. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother's kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
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Kale Quinoa Salad

Here's a holiday side dish you can feel good about serving. Kale packs a mighty punch of vitamins, while quinoa delivers a hearty serving of protein. Best of all, the flavor of this kale quinoa salad can't be beat! —Lisa Warren, Washington, DC
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Roasted Vegetables with Sage

When I can't decide what vegetable to serve at dinner, I turn to this oven-roasted medley that features brussels sprouts, potatoes, carrots and butternut squash. It pleases everyone around the table.—Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This vegetarian soup features a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Homemade Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

When my tomatoes ripen, the first things I make are BLTs and this homemade spaghetti sauce. —Sondra Bergy, Lowell, Michigan
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Crispy Tofu with Black Pepper Sauce

Sometimes tofu can be boring and tasteless, but not in this recipe! Here, the crispy vegetarian bean curd is so loaded with flavor, you'll never shy away from tofu again. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Tasty Lentil Tacos

When my husband's cholesterol numbers rose, I quickly lowered the fat in our family's diet. Finding dishes that were healthy for him and yummy for our five children was a challenge, but this fun taco recipe was a huge hit with everyone. —Michelle Thomas, Bangor, Maine
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Roasted Vegetable and Chevre Quiche

Roasting the veggies in this rich yet bright quiche intensifies their flavors. The addition of fresh goat cheese lends a wonderful creamy tanginess. —Laura Davis, Chincoteague, Virginia
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Cheese Enchiladas

You won't bring home leftovers when you take these easy enchiladas to a potluck. With a homemade tomato sauce and cheesy filling, they always go fast. You can substitute any type of cheese you wish. —Ashley Schackow, Defiance, Ohio
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Mushroom Bolognese with Whole Wheat Pasta

A traditional Bolognese sauce is meat-based with everything from pork to pancetta. Skipping the meat, I loaded this pasta dish with baby portobellos and veggies. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Cauliflower & Tofu Curry

Cauliflower, garbanzo beans and tofu are each subtle on their own, but together they make an awesome base for curry. We have this recipe weekly because one of us is always craving it. —Patrick McGilvray, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Quick Bean and Rice Burritos

These hearty and zippy burritos can be whipped up in a jiffy. —Kimberly Hardison, Maitland, Florida
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Tofu Chow Mein

This is an easy recipe for a "tofu beginner," as it teaches people how to use it. If you have time, one way to prepare it is to cut the tofu block in half and wrap well in a terry kitchen towel. Let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour to absorb excess water. For a complete meal, serve with Chinese soup and egg rolls! — Autumn SinClaire, Gold Beach, Oregon
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Kale Smoothie

I enjoy drinking a kale smoothie for breakfast or as an after-school snack. The fruit and agave nectar give this healthy version a pleasant sweetness. —Kimberly Jackson, Marshfield, Missouri
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Easy Moroccan Chickpea Stew

When I'm invited to a potluck, I easily double or triple this healthy Moroccan chickpea stew to treat the crowd to an exotic dish of enticing, bold flavors. —Heather Demeritte, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

I used this recipe when I was in a culinary-arts program and had to prepare an entire buffet by myself. It’s an impressive party appetizer yet comes together so easily. —Amy Gaisford, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Vegetable Lentil Soup

Here’s a healthy slow-cooker soup that's ideal for vegetarians and those watching their weight. Butternut squash and lentils make it hearty, while herbs and other veggies round out the flavor. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin
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The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they're really fast to whip up, too. Here's how to make grilled cheese the right way. —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois
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Pepper Ricotta Primavera

Garlic, peppers and herbs top creamy ricotta cheese in this meatless skillet meal you can make in just 20 minutes. —Janet Boulger, Botwood, Newfoundland and Labrador
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Roasted Vegetable Strata

With the abundance of zucchini my family has in the fall, this is the perfect dish to use some of what we have. Cheesy and rich, the warm, classic breakfast dish is sure to please! —Colleen Doucette, Truro, Nova Scotia
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Great Grain Burgers

I've experimented with many combinations of ingredients to make a good meatless burger and this is our favorite. These patties cook up golden brown and crispy and make delicious sandwiches. —Pat Whitaker, Alsea, Oregon
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Vegetarian Bean Tacos

I love Mexican food but was looking for a healthier option to share. My family devours these tasty tacos whenever I make them. —Amanda Petrucelli, Plymouth, Indiana
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Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadillas

Sweet potatoes and black beans roll up together for a quesadilla that’s easy, fast, fun and delicious. —Brittany Hubbard, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Vegetable Pad Thai

Classic flavors of Thailand abound in this fragrant and flavorful dish featuring peanuts, tofu and noodles. New to tofu? It gives the entree its satisfying protein, for a delicious way to introduce it to your diet. —Sara Landry, Brookline, Massachusetts
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Gnocchi Alfredo

This gnocchi is one of my go-to's for company and potlucks. It’s pure comfort food, especially in the wintertime. —Jessica Silva, East Berlin, Connecticut
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Edamame and Soba Noodle Bowl

With hearty soba noodles and protein-packed edamame, this dish really satisfies. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin