12 Easy Meatless Recipes to Make

If you rely on eating meat as a main source of protein in your diet, you may find yourself a bit concerned as to how to make up for any gap in nutrients if you were to skip the meat for a meal or two.

Fortunately, recipes that feature hearty grains and veggies won't have you missing out on any nutrients or meal satisfaction.

Whether you're focused on a having a plant-based diet or simply looking to try out a meatless meal, these top 12 recipes won't have you missing meat at all.


Root Veggie Breakfast Tacos

Heartburn-Friendly Breakfast Tacos
Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD

The Mexican flavor in these Root Veggie Breakfast Tacos comes from spices like cumin, coriander, and lime zest—without any heartburn-triggering spices or peppers.

We use carrots and sweet potatoes for our version, but swap out whatever veggies you like. You can even top it off with an egg for a more traditional breakfast addition, or without the egg for the vegan version.


Caramelized Banana Nut Oatmeal

oatmeal banana nut
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD

Oatmeal is incredibly versatile—it really takes on the flavor of the ingredients you incorporate, which is why this Caramelized Banana Nut Oatmeal is a sweet and delectable breakfast treat.

No added sugar is needed. Just throw your banana slices in a skillet and the fruit's natural sugars will flavor the oatmeal while the walnuts (or nuts of your choice) will add some protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids.


Homemade Vegetarian Lo Mein

vegetarian lo mein

Making our Homemade Vegetarian Lo Mein means you can cut the sodium levels you might otherwise face with a takeout version. Plus, you can focus on using only wholesome ingredients.

Our version has snow peas, carrots, bell peppers, onions, broccoli, and cabbage. But the benefit of a stir fry is that you can throw in your favorite veggies and elevate the taste of this dish any way you like.


Ful With Tahini: Mediterranean Stewed Fava Beans

Ful With Tahini
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN

This Ful With Tahini is a take on a classic Egyptian recipe called Ful Mudammasis. Fava beans are stewed with garlic, cumin, tahini, and lemon juice. Traditionally a dish served for breakfast, you'll find this is a satisfying meal for any time of day.

Try pairing with warm pita and a salad for a fulfilling meal, especially with the hearty serving of protein you'll get from the fava beans.


Vegan Grain Bowl With Mediterranean Chimichurri

vegan grain bowl with chimichurri

Molly Cleary

Making your own grain bowl is super easy—and you can make them in bulk with a dressing on the side to serve for the week to come. This Vegan Grain Bowl features a twist on a traditional chimichurri sauce to dress up the veggies that help make this dish so filling.

Our version features whole wheat orzo as the base, but feel free to swap this out with brown rice, barley, or farro.


Cinnamon and Sage Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup
Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD

While you might think of soup as a better meal option for colder weather, it's truly a smart go-to for any time of year. Incredibly easy to make and rich in flavor, this Cinnamon and Sage Butternut Squash Soup packs in a ton of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.

Even better, you can easily store the soup in your freezer to whip it out on those days you have run out of meal ideas.


Peanut Noodles With Tofu and Vegetables

Peanut Noodles With Tofu and Veggies
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN

Those who haven't tried tofu may be skeptical of its taste and texture. But with the right recipe, you'll find that the mild flavor and hearty texture of tofu will lend itself well to many dishes.

Tofu is also rich in protein, which makes it a great alternative to meat. These Peanut Noodles With Tofu and Vegetables are packed with flavor from garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.


Pesto and Butternut Squash Pizza

pesto and butternut squash pizza
Dana Angelo White

Test out this savory pizza with a twist: Pesto and Butternut Squash Pizza. Instead of using tomato sauce, we layer on an herb pesto—you can use a store-bought pesto or make your own with a few, simple ingredients. To top it off, we add tender and sweet butternut squash and some mozzarella and parmesan.

This is a great alternative to regular pizza—it's lower in acid and fat. You can make a big one for the whole family, or get everyone in on the action by having them make their own personal size pies.


Chickpea Grain Bowl

chickpea grain bowl

Molly Cleary

There are limitless options when it comes to grain bowls or "Buddha bowls," as they're often called. Our Chickpea Grain Bowl uses quinoa—a complete protein—and fiber-rich arugula as the base, with chickpeas and sweet potatoes layered on top.

A rich green tahini dressing with lemon juice, garlic, and herbs gives this bowl a tangy brightness. In fact, you might want to make some extra green tahini to dress up some other meals, too.


Grilled Cauliflower Steaks With Romesco Sauce

Cauliflower steaks with Romesco sauce
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD

Spending more time at home might also mean you're eager to fire up that outdoor grill. Did you know that veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, and cauliflower are great alternatives to grilling meats like steak and chicken?

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks With Romesco Sauce is an incredibly satisfying meal, not only because of that deep grill flavor but because of the naturally sweet and savory romesco, made with red bell peppers, garlic, and spices. Don't have a grill outside? You can use a small portable grill or even oven-bake the cauliflower steaks.


Chocolate Hazelnut Bites

Chocolate Hazelnut Bites
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD

These Chocolate Hazelnut Bites are a sweet indulgence in a cute, poppable shape. Whether you serve them as a dessert or grab one for a midday snack, you'll benefit from the fiber and healthy fat from oats, chia seeds, and hazelnuts. Plus, these bites are totally dairy-free, and a single serving is low-FODMAP.

Best served cold or frozen, keep these little guys in your freezer for those days you crave a sweet and healthy pick-me-up.


Almond Butter, Banana, and Cranberry Oat Cookies

ABandC Oat Cookies
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN

Almond Butter, Banana, and Cranberry Oat Cookies, or AB&C Cookies for short, are packed with naturally sweet ingredients. Two of these cookies contain a whopping 9 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein, so you don't have to worry about sacrificing any nutrients to indulge.

The best part? There are only seven simple ingredients to make these cookies. If you are short on ingredients, try swapping out peanut butter for almond butter, or raisins for the dried cranberries, bake, and enjoy!

By Laura Harold
Laura Harold is a former editor and contributing writer for Verywell Family, Fit, and Mind.