Looking for the best vegetarian recipes out there? These healthy, easy to make, and seriously delicious recipes are guaranteed crowd pleasers.
Hi there. We’re Alex and Sonja, and we love to cook vegetarian recipes. In fact, we literally wrote the book on pretty simple plant-powered cooking! Together we’ve spent years researching the best vegetarian recipes that make satisfying meals, sans the meat. (Yeah, it’s kind of a dream job.) Are you looking for vegetarian recipes that are healthy, easy to make, and seriously delicious? You’ve come to the right place.
Now when it comes to vegetarian recipes, what does best mean, anyway? Here at A Couple Cooks, we’re unabashedly obsessed with balancing these three variables:
- Delicious: Most importantly, it has to taste great.
- Easy: Even better if it’s pretty simple to make.
- Nourishing: Why make a recipe if it doesn’t at least have a pinch of healthy?
The best vegetarian recipes, the ones you want to make again and again, balance these three things. Scroll down for what we find to be the “best of the best”. And if you like these, we’ve got 100 more in our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking.
Recipes that are easy to make
Everyone is always asking us for the same thing these days: easy dinner recipes! And we get it. We know you’re not lazy. There’s just a lot going on, and you need recipes that will please everyone at the table but not take your entire evening to make. What does easy mean? All of these recipes use basic kitchen skills, dirty a moderate amount of pans, and are relatively fast to make.
If easy is your jam, start with these best vegetarian recipes below. And if you’d like more where that comes from, these Easy Dinner Recipes, Easy Vegetarian Recipes, and Easy Vegan Recipes are engineered to be user-friendly for weeknights.
Dinner recipes with a pinch of healthy
The other thing everyone asks for? Healthy dinner recipes. Healthy means different things to different people. Here’s what healthy means to us: whole food recipes that are full of vegetables and whole grains, use healthy oils like olive oil, and focus on filling plant-based proteins. All of these recipes are vegetarian and vegan, and many of them are naturally gluten-free too. Get started with the best vegetarian recipes below. If you’re looking for more, head to our Healthy Dinner Recipes.
Best vegetarian recipes — in order from fastest to longest!
A feature readers love from our cookbook is that each chapter lists recipes in order from fastest to longest total time to prepare. That way, as you page through a chapter you know the quickest recipes are at the beginning, and the later recipes gradually longer to prepare.
Due to popular demand, we’ve done the same thing with our best vegetarian recipes below! So let’s start with the fastest…
Can dinner really be made in 5 minutes? We set out to prove this challenge, and you've got to try it to believe it with this one. Dinner will materialize before your eyes! These tacos are filled with our famous "chorizo eggs", which turn eggs into a meaty texture and flavor in a flash. Top with salsa fresca, red onion slivers, cilantro & hot sauce, and prepare to be amazed. It's kind of a miracle, making it fitting for the top spot in our best vegetarian recipes.
This vegetarian sandwich recipe is unanimously voted "best vegetarian sandwich" by everyone who tries it: and how could you not love it? It tastes like a healthy version of a Big Mac (yep!). The secret? Our easy Russian Dressing, which is basically Big Mac sauce. Combine that with our Best Creamy Coleslaw and melty Swiss cheese on a toasted pretzel bun, and well...it's pretty much heaven. This one gets high marks from carnivores and plant-eaters alike.
This vegetarian pasta recipe is so flavorful and so perfectly balanced, it's got a huge fan club. First there are savory, salty mushrooms, sauted with fresh oregano and thyme, with a zing from lemon juice thrown in at the end. Then there's perfectly al dente bow tie pasta, and wilted greens. And to tie it all together: creamy goat cheese and pockets of savory Parmesan. Oh YES.
Don't like mushrooms? Try our Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta, a simple penne with a creamy marinara sauce.
Got more time to spare? Our Best Gouda Mac and Cheese really is the best.
Bowl meals are where it's at, these days! Fresh food tastes even better when it's thrown together in a jumble in a bowl! This one is a quick bowl meal that comes together in a flash. The star is our Best Tahini Sauce: it's tangy, creamy, and you'll want to drizzle it on everything! (It's also totally plant based.) Mediterranean is the theme here, so we've got chickpeas, crunchy veggies, and quick cooking couscous. If you prefer, substitute with our Perfect Quinoa for a gluten free option!
Another delectable bowl meal? This Raw Falafel Buddha Bowl is also smothered in tahini sauce.
Ready for the best vegetarian stir fry recipe? Of course, that’s our humble opinion! What steals the show is our homemade teriyaki sauce: it has just 4 ingredients and comes together in 5 minutes! It’s naturally sweet using maple syrup, and it brings just the right flavor to this stir fry. It's a far cry from the over-salted and sugary takeout stir fries that you might be used to!
Vegetarian soup recipes are one of the best ways to make a meal for a crowd. And this "pizza soup" has become famous in our circles for being extraordinarily tasty. Yes, it really tastes like pizza—in soup form—but it's filled with wholesome foods like kale, white beans, and tangy canned tomatoes. What brings the biggest flavor pop? Sauteed fennel and smoked paprika, which bring a smoky, meaty undertone to this warming stew.
Cuban black beans and rice is a very humble, straightforward dish. But these Cuban black beans? They taste like 1 million bucks. We've used canned beans to make a quick version of this Cuban staple, sauteeing onion, green pepper, jalapeño and garlic in butter to mimic some of the richness of the traditional ham hock. It cooks down into a silky smooth, luxurious sauce that tastes infinitely better than the sum of its parts.
Also popular: Our Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice
Loaded sweet potatoes feature prominently in our best vegetarian recipes partly because of nostalgia. They were one of the first vegetarian meals we ever made together! What we love about them is the balance of sweet, roasty potatoes against savory toppings. These sweet potatoes are accessorized with a Thai-style peanut butter sauce and a tangy cilantro and bell pepper slaw that always gets rave reviews from readers. You can make the sweet potatoes in an Instant Pot, or bake them in the oven—both ways come out delicious.
Want Mexican style instead? Try our Mexican Sweet Potatoes.
Don't like sweet potatoes? Eat it as a salad in our Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce.
If we're talking best vegetarian recipes, don't forget the meatballs! This vegan meatballs recipe is uniquely delicious; the meatballs are made of oats, cashews, spices, and grated potatoes! Roll the dough into ball and pan fry them until crisp, then serve them over spaghetti with your favorite marinara. If you're feeling fancy, top with a bit of vegan Parmesan for the coziest meal.
This jackfruit BBQ sandwich tastes just like pulled pork, in a tangy, savory BBQ sauce. In fact, your friends and family won’t believe it’s vegan. You could fool a few people with this recipe! We were a little wary of jackfruit at first. Fruit that stands in for meat? But after tasting it, we’re 99.9% sure you’ll also be on the jackfruit BBQ train, too.
Want more with jackfruit? These Best Jackfruit Tacos are sublime.
Now a list of best vegetarian recipes wouldn't be complete without a vegetarian chili! This classic chili is our favorite recipe that we make time and time again, and it's always a favorite with readers. The secrets? Green chilis for a tang, bulgur wheat to mimic the texture of meat, and a heck of a lot of chili powder to bring complexity and nuance. Top with sour cream and cheese and it's pretty darn perfect. (Or for vegan, top with Cashew Cream.)
What's the best veggie burger recipe? This one! This burger is hearty, has a sturdy texture and big flavor. Miraculously, it stands up on a grill (which is a feat for a veggie burger!). Plus it looks just like a meaty burger. Slather it with our Homemade BBQ Saucewhile cooking, and it comes out smoky and tangy.
Want a vegan burger? Our Vegan Black Bean Burger is incredibly tasty too.
Another great meat-y main? Our Best Vegetarian Meatloaf has a devoted fan club.
A good pan of enchiladas are the way to any vegetarian's heart! And these artichoke enchiladas are a stroke of genius. Adding artichoke to the filling gives them a meaty, almost chicken-like texture and flavor—which makes these vegetarian enchiladas super satisfying for meat eaters! And they're stuffed with quinoa so they’re a filling, satisfying vegetarian main dish. Add salsa verde and lots of cheese, for the win.
Another favorite: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
Into quinoa? 10 Easy Quinoa Recipes
This creamy wild rice soup is a huge fan favorite, making a big splash over on our Instagram. And we couldn't be more thrilled, because this truly is one of the best vegetarian recipes out there. Intensely cozy and comforting, it features chewy wild rice, savory veggies and white beans, swimming in a naturally creamy sauce that you'll never believe has no dairy. (The secret? Cashews!) It's pretty magical. Serve with buttermilk biscuits or vegan cornbread.
Don't have an Instant Pot? Stovetop directions are in the recipe.
Want a similarly popular creamy vegan soup? Vegan Corn Chowder
And last but not least, the best of the best vegetarian recipes: homemade margherita pizza! It's authentic Italian style, baked until the dough is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Our big secret: our Easy Pizza Sauce. You'll be amazed at how much flavor comes from a 5-minute blender pizza sauce. Use store-bought dough for weeknights, and make our Homemade Pizza Dough recipe as a splurge for weekends.
Meal plans & more
Looking for more? Here are some additional recipes organized into meal plans, Instant Pot resources, and more!
- Healthy Meal Plan
- 28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan
- 28 Day Plant Based Diet Meal Plan
- Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes
- Vegan Instant Pot Recipes
- 15 Best Lentil Recipes
More vegetarian recipes
- Homemade Acai Bowl
- Healthy Ranch Dressing
- Feta & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Parmesan Potato Wedges
- Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with French Lentils
- Incredible Vegetarian Gravy
- Artichoke & Quinoa Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Vegetarian Meatballs
- Golden Vegetable Soup Recipe
- Vegetarian Fajitas on the Grill
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.