37 Vegetarian Recipes for When You Gave Up Meat for Lent

Updated: May 03, 2024

If you're giving up meat for Lent, these vegetarian recipes will keep you satisfied. Find tasty recipes for pastas, skillet meals, soups and more.

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Vegetarian Pad Thai

This is a simple pad thai loaded with crisp vegetables and zesty flavor. It’s quick, simple, and fresh-tasting. —Colleen Doucette, Truro, Nova Scotia

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Chili-Lime Mushroom Tacos

I used to make this dish with beef, but substituting with portobella mushrooms turned it into my family’s vegetarian favorite. It’s quick, nutritious, low fat and tasty. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas

(Here are more of some of the best dinners for Lent.)

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Pierogi Casserole

My husband never tires of this hearty pierogi casserole, no matter how many times I serve it. It's great for potlucks, too! —Margaret Popou, Kaslo, British Columbia
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Black Bean Bulgur Salad

The only cooking in this easy bulgur salad is heating the broth and bulgur. You can adapt the recipe to your preference; if you want to add chopped cooked chicken, use chicken broth in place of vegetable broth. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Tomato Basil Tortellini Soup

When my family tried this soup, they all had to have seconds, and my husband is happy any time I put it on the table. Sometimes I include cooked, crumbled bacon and serve it with mozzarella cheese. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio
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Portobello and Chickpea Sheet-Pan Supper

This is a fantastic meatless dinner or an amazing side dish. It works well with a variety of sheet-pan-roasted vegetables. We enjoy using zucchini or squash in the summer, and you can also change up the herbs in the dressing. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Greek Brown and Wild Rice Bowls

This fresh rice dish tastes like the Mediterranean in a bowl! It is short on ingredients but packs in so much flavor. For a hand-held version, leave out the rice and tuck the rest of the ingredients in a pita pocket. —Darla Andrews, Boerne, Texas
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Taco Twist Soup

The fun, family-friendly twist in this taco soup is the spiral pasta. I lightened this soup by substituting black beans for ground beef. —Colleen Zertler, Menomonie, Wisconsin
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All-Veggie Lasagna

People often tell me you can't call something "lasagna" if it doesn't have meat. Then they try my zucchini lasagna and ask for the recipe. —Kim Bender, Aurora, Colorado
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Cheddar Bean Burritos

My family goes meatless several nights a week, and this recipe is one of our favorites. I usually puree a can or two of chipotle peppers in adobo and freeze them in ice cube trays so I can use a small amount when I need it. —Amy Bravo, Ames, Iowa
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Satisfying Tomato Soup

After craving tomato soup, I decided to make my own. My sister Joan likes it chunky-style, so she doesn't puree. Serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich. —Marian Brown, Mississauga, Ontario
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Vegan Jambalaya

This flavorful entree won’t leave you hungry since it uses convenient canned beans in place of meat. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Lentil-Tomato Soup

Double the recipe and share this hearty soup with neighbors and loved ones on cold winter nights. I serve it with cornbread for dunking. —Michelle Curtis, Baker City, Oregon
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Cheese Manicotti

Cheese manicotti was the first meal I cooked for my husband, and all these years later, he still enjoys it! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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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
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Vegetarian Pea Soup

I combined several online recipes to make my own version of this soup. It was a real favorite when I was a vegetarian for health reasons. Even my meat-loving husband asked for seconds! —Corrie Gamache, Palmyra, Virginia
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Lentil Taco Cups

My trusty muffin tin never fails to help me make fun and easy hand-held snacks. These festive vegetarian cups are always a hit with my kids; they're so flavorful, nobody misses the meat. Serve two per serving as a main dish. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah
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Smoked Gouda Veggie Melt

After a long day of teaching, I like to make these veggie-packed grilled-cheese sandwiches. My 8-year-old daughter is a big fan, too. —Charlie Herzog, West Brookfield, Vermont
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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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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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Green Chile Grilled Cheese Melt

My daughter created a masterpiece with her ultimate grilled cheese and chiles sandwich. Want more heat? Use a 4-ounce can of diced jalapenos instead of the mild green chiles. —Julia Huntington, Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Easy Chana Masala

I love this quick and healthy Indian-inspired dish so much I always make sure to have the ingredients stocked in my pantry. It makes weeknight dinners feel a little more special. —Janeen Judah, Houston, Texas
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Polenta Chili Casserole

Our Test Kitchen created this delicious vegetarian bean and polenta bake that combines spicy chili, mixed veggies and homemade polenta. It's a warm and comfy casserole that is sure to please everyone, vegetarian or not.

Don’t miss out on our collection of lent casserole recipes.

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One-Pan Tuscan Ravioli

Sometimes I use chickpeas instead of cannellini beans, grated Asiago or Provolone instead of Parmesan, and all zucchini if I don’t have eggplant. Very flexible! —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Nutty Cheese Tortellini

I like to plant Italian flat-leaf parsley in a long terra-cotta planter so I always have some on hand. It adds bright, fresh flavor to this pasta dish. —Barbara Penatzer, Vestal, New York
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Slow-Cooker Minestrone

There's nothing quite like the comfort of warm homemade soup, and it's even better when your slow cooker does most of the work for you! This slow-cooker minestrone is easy to put together but has all the flavor of a high-effort dish. —Erin Raatjes, New Lenox, Illinois
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Meatless Chili Mac

I came across this recipe in a newspaper years ago and it’s been a hit at our house ever since. It’s fast and flavorful, and it appeals to all ages. — Cindy Ragan, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
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Mushroom and Sweet Potato Potpie

The last time I was in the U.S., I had an amazing mushroom and beer potpie at a small brewpub. It was so rich and comforting. I tried numerous versions when I got home and I think I've come pretty close! —Iben Ravn, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Salsa Black Bean Burgers

Meatless meals are so tasty when these hearty bean burgers are on the menu. Guacamole and sour cream make them seem decadent. —Jill Reichardt, St. Louis, Missouri
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Decadent Spinach-Stuffed Shells

This comforting dish can easily be assembled and frozen to bake at a later date. If you have any leftover cheese mixture, it can be served as a dip, either cold or spooned into ramekins and baked until browned. If you don’t like roasted red peppers, feel free to use chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the filling and any other pasta sauce instead. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I created this dish after my father had triple bypass surgery. He loves comfort food and I wanted him to be able to enjoy a rich and tasty dish like mac & cheese without all the fat and butter. It's also a great way to sneak in some veggies for children. —Megan Schwartz, New York, New York
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Portobello Melts

We're always looking for satisfying vegetarian meals, and this one tops the list. These melts are especially delicious in the summer when we have tons of homegrown tomatoes. —Amy Smalley, Morehead, Kentucky
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Greek-Style Lentil Soup

This healthy, warming soup is a satisfying vegetarian recipe, but you can use chicken broth or add cooked meat if you like. —Mary E. Smith, Columbia, Missouri
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Penne with Veggies and Black Beans

Chock-full of zucchini, tomatoes, sweet pepper and carrots, this hearty pasta dish puts your garden harvest to good use. For variety, I sometimes add one-half cup of salsa or one-half cup of thickened teriyaki sauce. —Vickie Spoerle, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Asian Tofu

This tasty Asian tofu was the first meatless recipe my fiance made for me. Tofu is a wonderful light protein and is so easy to pair with broiled or grilled veggies, such as eggplant and asparagus, or even tomatoes. —Emily Steers, Los Angeles, California
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Quick and Easy Vegetable Potpie

This meatless Monday superstar comes together quickly and is inexpensive as well. My 4-year-old always asks for seconds! You can substitute any canned or frozen beans for the canned lentils in this easy vegetable potpie. We also like using frozen edamame. —Maggie Torsney-Weir, Los Angeles, California
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Spinach Burritos

I made up this recipe a couple of years ago after trying a similar dish in a restaurant. Our oldest son tells me these burritos are awesome! It's an added bonus that they're inexpensive and easy to make. —Dolores Zornow, Poynette, Wisconsin