Do you and your family observe the popular weekly event known as Meatless Monday? If you do (or would like to start), we’ve got some amazing Meatless Monday recipes for you to try.
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For vegans or vegetarians, going without meat for a day isn’t anything unusual. However, everyone can benefit from eating less meat during the week. Equally important, meat is the most expensive thing in a family’s food budget, so you can save a ton so money by eating meatless meals every week.
In this list of no meat dinner ideas, you’ll find both vegan and vegetarian meals. But first, what exactly is Meatless Monday?
What Exactly Is Meatless Monday?
Meatless Monday is a movement that encourages people to go one day a week without meat.
But why would you want to go even one day without meat, especially if you’re a devoted carnivore?
The official meatless dinners movement was launched as a global movement in 2003 with the goal of helping people reduce their meat consumption by up to 15%. When you create easy meatless meals, it’s good for both the health of the planet and your personal health.
Did you know that it takes fewer resources to grow plants than it does to produce meat? For this reason, even if you have already adopted a healthy eating lifestyle, non meat dinner ideas help the planet.
Equally important, a plant-based diet is very healthy, and even if you don’t want to commit to being a full-time vegan or vegetarian, most of us can benefit from consuming even a little less meat.
Another great reason to embrace meatless recipes is that you’ll be forced to eat more veggies, and that’s always a good thing.
Also, no meat recipes are typically a little easier on the budget, so meatless meals are an excellent way to make your grocery budget stretch a little further.
Are you ready to start planning your own no meat meals? Let’s explore these 28 amazing Meatless Monday ideas.
Vegan or vegetarian soups are one of the easiest and most obvious meatless dinner ideas. After all, soups can be full of nutrients and they’re super filling for dinner.
This recipe for curried pumpkin soup is full of brilliant color and flavor.
The recipe calls for both butternut squash and sugar pumpkin, so you know it’s loaded with nutrients. Butternut squash is great in any recipe, but we love butternut squash soup.
Spices include curry powder, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and ginger.
The creaminess comes from coconut milk, and a sliced jalapeno pepper gives this creamy soup an extra kick. You can also make this soup in an Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Who said Meatless Monday recipes had to be simple? The complex flavors of this Italian soup prove that even Meatless Monday meals can be luxurious.
This recipe calls for pesto, and you can make homemade pesto or use a jar of storebought pesto.
The veggies in this Italian soup include onion, celery, carrots, garlic, spinach, Italian green beans, and zucchini.
You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this a vegan or vegetarian meal.
We love Taco Tuesday for dinner, but it’s also fun to do Mexican food flavors on Meatless Monday!
Black bean quesadillas are incredibly easy to make because you can use whatever you have on hand.
However, this quesadilla made with superfoods is super-special. These quesadillas have a black bean base, roasted tomato, turmeric, garlic, leafy greens onion, and shredded cheese such as mozzarella cheese or cheddar cheese.
Be sure to serve your black bean quesadillas with salsa, guacamole or avocado, and sour cream.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a simple and light dinner with Meatless Monday recipes and this creamy coconut soup recipe is perfect.
You’ll find tons of veggies in this soup, including onion, bell pepper, carrots, garlic, cauliflower, and ginger.
We love a sweet potato dish for dinner, and when you add kale, you know you have a super nutritious and hearty vegetarian meal.
This sweet potato soup is loaded with other goodies, too, including bell pepper, celery, chickpeas, garlic, and onion.
You can use vegetable broth to make this yummy kale soup.
When you think of meatless meal dinner ideas, beans probably come to mind. After all, beans are an excellent protein source and a popular meat substitute.
Tons of flavor comes from fresh lime juice, Mexican spices like cumin and chili powder, jalapeno pepper, and garlic.
For cheese, we recommend grated Monterey Jack cheese.
Unless you’re vegan, Meatless Monday recipes don’t have to be dairy-free.
You can enjoy milk, cheese, and other dairy products in your meatless meals.
This recipe calls for eggs, so it’s not vegan. Also, the feta cheese makes this shakshuka so delicious.
With the eggs and white beans, you have plenty of protein.
Dinner never has to be dull, especially when you use Mediterranean spices and fresh herbs such as cumin, coriander, garlic powder, thyme, onion, powder, and oregano.
A sheet pan dinner is a one pot meal that never fails to satisfy.
With tofu and yogurt tahini sauce, you get plenty of protein, and the fresh veggies (red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, and bell pepper) and potatoes round out this vegan meal.
When you want a vegan pasta dish that is super creamy, this recipe for vegan pasta using everything bagel seasoning is here for you.
To make the creamy sauce for this pasta dish, you need non-dairy milk such as almond milk or soy milk. You also need vegan cream cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and vegan butter.
To make this vegan pasta salad, you can use whole wheat pasta so the salad is even more nutritious.
The salad recipe comes with a recipe for basil dressing that’s made with basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and white vinegar.
For the pasta salad, you need cherry tomatoes, fusilli pasta, kalamata olives, tofu, pepperoncini, and red onion.
This veggie sandwich takes advantage of jalapeno cilantro hummus, and it’s loaded with sprouts, leaf lettuce, tomato slices, red onion, cucumber slices, and feta cheese.
This vegetarian recipe calls for peppadew peppers, and if you can find them, you’ll be delighted.
Veggies in this gumbo include onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, okra, and fire-roasted tomatoes.
The spices for this recipe are smoked paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper, cumin, and oregano.
Serve your vegan gumbo with Basmati rice or brown rice.
13. Vegan Poke Bowl
If you want a truly vegan dish for your collection of Meatless Monday recipe ideas, you need this vegan poke bowl recipe.
Also known as a tofu poke bowl, this yummy little bowl is full of onions and tender tofu that’s marinated in a ginger soy sauce.
With corn, black beans, garlic, shallot, and cilantro, there is plenty of flavor in these burrito bowls.
Serve with your favorite fixings, including shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar cheese), pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole or diced avocado.
Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, and when you load up some flour tortillas with quinoa and black beans, you have amazing tacos.
Spices for these quinoa and black bean tacos are chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika.
Garlic, onion, and tomato paste add a magnificent flavor.
You can use vegetable stock to make these quinoa tacos to keep them vegan. Be sure to serve your vegan tacos with avocado or guacamole.
There are times when you want a simple bowl of ramen noodles with tofu for dinner, but there’s no need to resort to the little packets and their questionable seasoning.
You can make your own tofu vegan Korean ramen noodles with this tofu ramen recipe.
To create this delicious crispy tofu ramen recipe, you need shiitake mushrooms, julienned onions, soy sauce, doenjang, soy milk, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, corn, tofu, a chili pepper, syerranmari, spinach, and dumplings.
Mediterranean flavors make vegan or vegetarian meals feel even more satisfying.
This couscous bowl is loaded with delicious vegetables such as yellow squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions, and garlic.
Top this couscous bowl with crumbled goat cheese, a lemon wedge, and sliced green onions (scallions).
Sometimes you just want a comforting creamy pasta dish, and this recipe for creamy pasta marinara will meet your needs.
The tomato sauce is absolutely silky, and using rotini or penne pasta helps to soak up the flavor.
For seasoning, use Italian seasoning, garlic, and parmesan cheese.
This pasta dish is creamy thanks to heavy cream and tomato sauce.
Who knew you could have Meatless Monday recipes that include not one but two pizza recipe ideas?
To create this Margherita pizza, you can use mozzarella cheese. However, the recipe comes with a cashew mozzarella cheese alternative, so it can be a vegan pizza if you want that.
Vegetarian calzones are made with bell pepper, broccoli, and cremini mushrooms, so they’re loaded with nutrients.
Even better, these vegetarian calzones have three types of cheese: ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.
Everyone knows you can make meatless chili out of beans and other veggies, but who knew you could make sweet potato chili?
There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but don’t let that scare you. Most of them are pantry ingredients that you already have.
With kidney beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, sliced green onions, and red onions, this chili is loaded with flavor.
When you make bean sloppy joes with lentils, you’ve got a vegan alternative that will delight the child in you (and your own kids!).
These vegan sloppy joes are loaded with onion, garlic, green bell pepper, tomato sauce, and black pepper.
Sweet potatoes are so yummy and when you combine sweet potato with the pop of flavor from Thai seasonings and peanut sauce, you have a Meatless Monday meal that will leave you breathless (in a totally good way).
This recipe calls for creamy peanut butter, soy sauce (or tamari), apple cider vinegar, maple syrup or honey, fresh ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
Red bell pepper adds flavor and color. Serve your sweet potato dish with Basmati rice, brown rice, or cauliflower rice. Garnish the dish with sliced green onions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts.
We love savory bean curry on Meatless Mondays, and when we can create curry with lentils on Meatless Monday, you know it’s going to be a win.
Coconut milk adds creaminess and flavor, and chopped cilantro makes the flavors in this curry pop.
Complete this bean curry meal with cauliflower rice, brown rice, or Basmati rice.
Yes, you absolutely can enjoy a burger on Meatless Monday. This veggie burger is meatless and it’s made with black beans and quinoa.
Also, this black bean and quinoa burger doesn’t have a bunch of weird ingredients. Just the two protein sources and some delicious spices like garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper.
You need breadcrumbs and tomato paste to bind the ingredients together for burgers.
26. Mexican Lasagna
When you want Mexican flavors and an Italian-style veggie entree, reach for this vegetarian Mexican lasagna.
The taste is similar to what you would expect from enchiladas, and this Mexican lasagna recipe calls for tortillas instead of lasagna noodles.
The spices steal the show in this recipe, and they include coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
For cheese, you can use cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese.
Yes, you can enjoy veggie pizza with cheese when you’re eating meat free meals every Monday.
This pizza recipe is a vegetarian pizza, and it’s loaded up with delicious vegetables like green olives, tomato, black olives, bell pepper, and cilantro.
This recipe calls for refried black beans and delicious melty cheese like fontina.
Naturally, you’ll likely be eating some veggies for your Meatless Monday, and stir fry vegetables are perfect for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
With soy sauce, vegan teriyaki sauce, and whatever vegetables you enjoy, this is a vegetarian meatless recipe that is easy to customize.
Serve your teriyaki vegetables with Basmati rice, brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or noodles.
Do you want some one-pot vegetarian meals for meatless dinner recipes and meatless meal ideas? Check out this video from Tasty for some great meatless meals recipes.
Our 30+ BEST Meatless Monday Recipes (+Vegan Italian Pasta Salad)
- 1 pound cooked pasta
- 1/23 block tofu
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1/3 cup each fresh basil diced red onion, and chopped Kalamata olives
- Oil and vinegar dressing
- Mix the tofu with the yeast.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
- Use store-bought or homemade dressing.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.