Whether you’re cracking open a can of chickpeas or fawning over your farmer’s market haul, one thing remains true: It takes very little effort to pack flavor into a vegetarian meal. The only stumbling block to adding more vegetables to your weekly routine? Having fresh recipes to inspire you.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered our 52 best vegetarian breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes of all time—perfect for consulting when you’re stuck on what to make for Meatless Monday or need new inspiration for your meal planning. Add these to your rotation for vegetable-forward joy.
“If you’re interested in changing up the usual 6-pack of meatless burgers or faux-meat brats for something a bit more exciting—and the same level of budget-friendliness, to boot—you’re in the right place,” writes recipe developer Rebecca Firsker. She stuffs grilled tofu into crunchy cabbage cups piled with a garlicky yogurt sauce and tomato-cucumber salad for a twist on your
typical pita sandwich.
“This recipe might look long, but none of the steps are complicated,” says chef and recipe developer Justin Bazdarich. “The most important part is getting ripe, in-season tomatoes, and tasting this summery combination for yourself.”
Thanks to a marinade of olive oil, nutritional yeast, and caper brine, these grilled ‘shrooms are anything but boring. Serve between any form of bread or atop a bed of rice.
Served alongside fresh herbs (preferably Thai basil), crunchy veggies, and nước chấm chay, these rice rolls are the ultimate pre-dinner bite. To best replicate the roll’s chewy texture, you’ll want to use a banh cuon flour mix, which can be purchased online or, likely, at your nearest Asian grocery store.
This hearty soup from Chetna Makan is what you crave after a long, cold, wet day. Serve with bread, your favorite wine, and enjoy the feeling of warmth and joy returning to your body.
This belongs at your next barbecue. Substantial enough to stand in as a main dish, but also flavorful enough to entice even your most meat-forward associate, this grilled cabbage is an eternal crowd-pleaser.
“This recipe celebrates whole-wheat pasta, leaning into its nuttiness without forcing it to be something it’s not,” writes recipe developer Sarah Jampel. “The crunchy hazelnuts provide a foundation of flavor that keeps the pasta from feeling out of place; the spicy, lemony sauce brightens it up to prevent the dish from feeling like it’s been buried underground.”
These burgers from Rick Martínez rely on miso to recreate the caramelized flavor that beef develops when seared over an open fire. Gochujang, meanwhile, ensures that there are deep notes of spice and umami in every bite.
Before building these burgers, recipe developer and Test Kitchen director Alison Buford improves the flavor and texture of the black beans by quickly drying them out in the oven—a clever technique we’ll be reaching for again.
“If I had known about these burgers when I was trying to be a vegetarian in college, I may never have fallen off the wagon,” admits recipe developer Kendra Vaculin.
Quinoa and white beans lend these patties a creamy, hearty interior, while a crispy, crunchy crust welcomes a generous spread of tangy sumac yogurt sauce. Taking just an hour, these patties strike the right balance of satisfying and convenient to make them the ideal Friday night meal.
This bold, blue-cheese-topped, six-ingredient pasta maintains a perfect, five-star rating among our community members. If you like profound flavors and minimal effort, this one’s for you.
Here are two things to know about this recipe. One, it’ll teach you how to make gluten-free pasta from scratch. Two, thanks to harissa, olives, and toasted pine nuts, it’s decidedly flavorful despite its short ingredient list.
A one-pan pasta packed with bright, crisp veggies (looking at y’all, peas and asparagus) that takes just 15 minutes to put together? We like that—especially on weeknights.
Don’t discard your swiss chard stalks. Instead, use them to make a pesto that—when combined with pasta and pepitas—is the perfect balance of bold and luxurious.
“This is a great recipe to transition from summer to fall,” writes recipe developer Brussels Sprouts For Breakfast. “A garden-fresh, family meal that’s hearty but light, fresh, and filling. And the extra pesto you make is a time-saver for a future meal.”
A riff on aglio e olio, this pasta from Emma Lapperuque swaps garlic for scallions—a lot of scallions. In fact, it’s so many scallions that Emma understands if you’re skeptical at first, but trust her (trust us!), it’s the right amount.
There are only a few dishes worth turning your oven for during the summer. Because it’s so easy, this is one. Simply roast vegetables, make pasta, and combine the ingredients for a light meal you can enjoy both hot and cold.
19. Gin Martini
Technically, martinis are vegetarian (and you deserve something to drink while you cook through this list).
From James Beard award-winning chef Alon Shaya, this roasted cauliflower is the perfect dinner party centerpiece. Equally delicious and impressive, it only takes an hour to put together.
One of our most popular recipes of all time, this one-pot pilaf belongs in your fridge every week. Though you could pair it with a piece of chicken or fish, it’s delicious on its own, as a light and fresh meal.
“The combination of portobello mushrooms and pearl onions is simply irresistible, and it’ll make your kitchen smell fantastic,” writes our Editors. “Along with some delicious red wine, broth, and tomato paste, this dish comes together easily, and the longer it sits for the flavors to meld, the better.”
This sauce exists on nearly every “best-of,” “most popular,” and “community favorite,” round up we’ve ever done. It simply does not miss.
Recipe developer Sheldon Simeon says he pairs this dip “with whatever chip is available at the corner gas station.” Swap in crudites for something more substantial to graze on, or use it as a sandwich spread.
If you’ve got a bunch of carrots languishing somewhere in your fridge, this recipe is for you. Roast up to eight carrots, combine them with aromatics and stock, then blend until luxuriously smooth.
This chickpea pasta from Victoria Granof has amassed over 100 glowing reviews from our community members. “This is on permanent rotation at our house,” shares Pamire. Try it at yours.
The depth of flavor that this straightforward soup reaches after only an hour of cooking is truly astounding. The best part is, you’re getting all this flavor from just cauliflower and water.
Start your Saturday the right way with these easy, savory eggs, layered with buttery mushrooms and nutty Alpine cheese.
A classic Food52 recipe, this bright and comforting soup from co-founder Merrill Stubbs debuted on our site back in 2012 and continues to rack up the positive reviews (140 and counting). It’s worth noting, that you’ll need to use vegetable instead of chicken stock for this to be vegetarian.
Sarah Jampel developed this dish because she wanted a tofu recipe that was both exciting and possible to make on a weeknight. Congrats to her, she did it. Crispy tofu combined with scallions, sesame, shiitakes, and fish sauce packs deep, exciting flavor into each bite.
Speaking of exciting tofu meals, recipe developer Joy Cho recalls that, “On busy weeknights growing up, pan-fried tofu was high on the list of easy throw-together dinners in my mom’s repertoire. The common Korean dish—slabs of firm seasoned tofu cooked in an oiled pan until golden, then topped with a chunky, scallion-heavy soy sauce—was one she could whip up in a matter of minutes.”
From our Genius recipe series, these waffles from Hannah Kirshner do everything right. They’re crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and just the right amount of chewy. Oh, and they just so happen to be vegan.
“This vegan dessert recipe is one of our favorite ways to conclude a wonderful meal,” our editors concluded upon testing Gena Hemshaw’s pie. “Make it for everyday, or make it for a special occasion, and no one will be disappointed. The best part is that it requires just a few ingredients and is super-easy to make.”
What you see is what you get: a really big Reese’s cup sitting on top of a thin layer of moist, chocolatey pie crust.
“This isn’t just genius for a vegan chocolate chip cookie or in spite of it,” writes Kristen Miglore. “This cookie, which comes from Ovenly founders Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin, can rest entirely on its own merits: its soft-bellied, chewy, caramelly-crisp-edged, rippled and ringed and puddled with melty chocolate, haunting, well-salted, incidentally vegan merits.
Always delicious and always fun, eggplant parm never feels like a compromise. This mountain of sauce and broiled mozzarella will play for any crowd, carnivores included.
Another easy-to-prep, adaptable, winning recipe from Mark Bittman you will always want in your fridge.
Potato salad on toast. What’s not to love?
“This salad was a real hit in the deli, and it’s one of my go-tos as well,” writes recipe developer and cookbook author Ella Mills. “We used to serve it cool, but have recently discovered a new love of serving it warm, straight out the oven, and couldn’t recommend that more. The dressing is partly what makes this so good and I use it a lot in other dishes—the ginger, miso, sesame, and lime mix is a real winner.”
An hour from now, you could be diving into a baked sweet potato smothered with spiced lentils and an acidic (but balanced!) tahini dressing.
Freshly grated turmeric is key to this sheet-pan recipe, but ground turmeric is a fine substitute, says recipe developer Gena Hemshaw. It gets “deliciously caramelized on the hot sheet pan,” and “its earthiness complements the mild sweetness of cauliflower.”
We’ll make just about anything with Marcella Hazan’s name on it—including this made-from-scratch white bean soup that comes together in (not kidding) just ten minutes.
All the warmth and brothy goodness of chicken pho—but without the chicken. Make this soup whenever you and your friends want to spend an entire Sunday in the comfort of your own home.
It’s imperative that you make “a huge batch” of this spicy eggplant dish, because, odds are, you’ll be going back for thirds, says recipe developer Kendra Vaculin.
“The beauty of these meatballs is that they’re ready for anything: You could serve them on top of a thick swipe of tahini sauce or romesco, with a vegan pesto or another fresh herby sauce, even with rice or another cooked grain and pickled vegetables,” writes recipe developer Rebecca Firsker.
Bring these wontons—stuffed with tofu and vegetables then drenched in a savory, spicy chili oil sauce—to any dinner party, and they’re guaranteed to be the star of the show.
This cabbage recipe from Sohla El-Waylly combines scallion, ginger, chiles, and garlic that infuse every bite of this nourishing and bold braise.
File this under “Things to eat when the leaves are changing, football’s playing, and flannel is everywhere.” Serve with tortilla chips, your favorite hot-sauce, plenty of cilantro, and good, cold beer.
This bright summer side takes just 15 minutes to prep. All you need to do is quickly brown zucchini in a pan, then drizzle a vinaigrette atop the squash as it rests. An hour later, you’ll have a chilled, slightly acidic side that pairs with anything off the grill.
“These have no cheese and are packed with a triple threat of green things: zucchini, poblano, and tomatillos,” writes recipe developer Love and Lemons. “There’s tofu in the filling, but it’s undetectable once baked in. Instead of cheese on top, a lime cashew cream gets drizzled on along with the other fresh fixings.”
Peanuts, grilled eggplant, Thai basil, chiles, and lime flavor this vibrant soba noodle dish. It’s worth noting that although this recipe can technically be enjoyed in just 30 minutes, its developer Hetty McKinnon recommends making the soba noodles a day in advance to increase their firmness.
Former Food52 editor and current New York Times columnist Eric Kim uses yangnyeom sauce—something that’s traditionally served with fried chicken—to add a glossy, sweet, and slightly funky (thanks gochujang) flavor to crispy chickpeas.
What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe? Let us know in the comments below!