These easy vegetarian recipes for beginners are delicious ideas every meal! Find vegetarian recipes for plant based dinner, breakfast, lunch and snacks.
Looking to find ways to eat more vegetables? Us too. In fact, it’s the reason we started this website! We’re two vegetarian cookbook authors who fell in love with the deliciousness of plant-packed meals. So here’s our list of favorite easy vegetarian recipes for beginners. Some are easy vegetarian dinner ideas, some are breakfast essentials, and some are cookies because: why not? Most are dinner recipes since, but we threw in some lunch ideas and breakfast recipes too. Here we go.
There’s no such thing as too many easy vegetarian dinner ideas, so here's another favorite: these incredible sheet pan fajitas! Everyone loves this meal, even meat eaters. It’s a great way to make a fun healthy dinner where no one notices there’s no meat! Roast up lots of veggies on a sheet pan with spices, and serve with refried beans and a fast and easy homemade guacamole.
With all of our vegetarian recipes for beginners, we try to make them so delicious that you feel totally satisfied without meat. This is the case with our chickpea curry! It's seriously flavorful, filled with ginger, garlic, cumin and curry powder, with a little coconut milk swirled in to make it creamy. It’s one of our top vegetarian dinner recipes that we recommend for getting your feet wet in plant based cooking.
Meet our favorite vegetarian and vegan dinner recipe: the Falafel Burger! We don’t always have the energy to fry up a batch of authentic falafel. So eating it in burger form is the next best thing! These are easy to make with canned chickpeas. The combination of a cumin and coriander-scented chickpea patty with cool cucumber sauce and all the fixin’s is pretty darn epic. It’s a healthy vegetarian and vegan dinner recipe that everyone loves.
Here’s a delightful Italian vegetarian recipe that makes dinnertime more special: Eggplant Rollatini! It’s like a combination of eggplant Parmesan and lasagna roll ups. Tender strips of eggplant are wrapped around a creamy three-cheese filling, then baked in homemade tomato sauce and more cheese.
Here’s a recipe that’s simple, hearty and pleases a crowd: this easy Stuffed Shells recipe! Stuff pasta shells with ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan and spinach, then bake them up in a bath of garlicky tomato sauce. It makes your kitchen smell heavenly, and the first bite into one of those jumbo shells confirms it’s just as tasty as the smell.
What's a more classic Italian vegetarian recipe than pizza margherita? Here's how to make that famous pie at home, with a flavor-popping pizza sauce and this easy pizza dough recipe (that you can use for any topping).
Here's a fun vegetarian recipe: crispy tofu! It’s easy to make and comes out perfectly seasoned, with extra crunchy edges and a tender interior. There’s no need to even press the tofu! It’s actually pretty amazing that it can go from a tasteless blob to meaty, savory cubes in just 20 minutes.
This mac and cheese recipe is all about balance: it’s got big flavor, a bit less cheese per serving than the standard recipe, and it’s loaded with broccoli for a dose of nutrients and fiber! What’s not to love? This one’s on our regular rotation.
Looking for fresh vegetarian dinner recipes? Try this Mediterranean Bowl, bursting with colorful veggies! It’s a simple “meal in a bowl” that stars spiced roasted vegetables, seasoned with an irresistible mix of cumin, coriander, garlic and a hint of cinnamon. Add to that quinoa or couscous, fresh cucumber and tomato, and top it all off with a creamy lemon tahini sauce.
Next up in our easy vegetarian recipes for beginners: tortilla soup! Instead of simmering for hours, you can get big flavor in just over 30 minutes. The secret here is adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilis: it brings in a smoky flavor without adding too much heat! Topped with homemade crunchy tortilla strips, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
Need a fresh vegetarian dinner idea or crowd-pleasing appetizer? Try this lettuce wraps recipe! We’ll admit, the concept doesn’t always sound, well…satiating. But these lettuce wraps are next level! The punchy, savory filling is infused with hoisin, soy sauce and rice vinegar, mixing savory tofu with cashews and green onions.
What’s more fun than a classic lasagna? Whip up a pan of Lasagna Roll Ups! This unique spin on the iconic Italian dish is a fun way to put a spin on dinner. This recipe features a comforting vegetarian filling of spinach, basil and ricotta, topped with a garlicky easy homemade tomato sauce.
It can be hard to find a vegetarian dinner idea that works for everyone, and here’s one we fall back on time and time again: the Loaded Baked Potato! Mix and match any variety of baked potato toppings and you’ve got a delicious dinner that works for almost any diet. We recently did this when we were feeding a crowd (my family in town for a visit) and everyone loved it! There are endless ideas for customizing the meal and it lets every eater get creative.
Need dinnertime inspiration? Cozy up to a bowl of these creamy, zingy peanut noodles! This is one of our favorite fresh, easy dinner recipes and it comes together in less than 30 minutes. The peanut butter sauce is lusciously creamy, bursting with flavor from soy sauce, fresh lime juice and honey or maple syrup. Mix it together with luscious noodle strands and crunchy veggies and top with loads of fresh cilantro and crunchy peanuts.
Looking for a vegetarian pasta recipe to impress? Try the signature Italian dish Pasta alla Norma! This impressive recipe hails from Sicily and like any classic Italian dish, it’s all about elegant simplicity. Sauteed eggplant tastes savory and meaty against a tangy tomato sauce, al dente pasta and salty ricotta salata cheese. The combination of flavors and textures is a true masterpiece!
Another fast and easy dinner recipe for your arsenal: 5 minute tacos! Yes, it's possible to make tacos in about 5 minutes. You'll love the chorizo egg filling, made of scramble eggs that taste meaty and satisfying. Top with salsa and hot sauce, it's seriously simple. It’s one of our go to’s for quick weeknights, and one of our favorite easy vegetarian recipes for beginners.
Here’s an incredible vegetarian recipe that’s impressive every time: these Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas! This fan favorite always gets top marks from readers. Tender sweet potatoes are the perfect contrast to savory black beans and tangy salsa verde. Top it off with Colby cheese, it’s the best gooey comfort food around. This one will please everyone: we guarantee it.
Want to make pizza that feeds a crowd? Let’s make Sheet Pan Pizza! This style of pizza is a bit different than the standard circular variety, but it’s become an instant favorite around here. Why? It makes a big pan the equivalent of 3 medium pizzas, and it’s so easy to make! You don’t need any special equipment, and you don’t have to bother with shaping the dough.
Introducing our new favorite easy vegetarian spin on chili…this Black Bean Chili recipe! It’s beyond simple to make, and the flavor is outstanding. (We hope you’ll agree.) It’s got a hint of smokiness to highlight the tangy tomatoes and savory black beans. Top it with your favorite toppings, and it’s so hearty and savory, you’ll forget it’s healthy, too.
Meet the best vegetarian lasagna! The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status. There’s no one who will turn down a piece! At least, who we’ve met.
So here’s one to file under easy vegetarian dinnertime basics: this easy rice bowl! This 30 minute vegetarian dinner features these easy black beans, a trick to make a bland can of beans taste amazing in 5 minutes. Pair it with rice and colorful veggies. The kicker? A zingy cilantro lime ranch that you’ll want to bathe in. These were so tasty and easy, we knew we had to share (we simply inhaled them).
Dinnertime just got easier. This vegan fettuccine alfredo is a winner with everyone from kids to meat lovers: it’s just that good! The impossibly creamy sauce is a healthy spin on the traditionally rich pasta. It’s made with nutrient-dense cauliflower and protein-packed cashews instead of dairy. Make it with any type of noodle you choose (legume noodles, zoodles, etc) and it’s an easy 30-minute plant based dinner.
Here’s a go-to when you need a plant based dinner that’s protein-packed: this Vegetarian Meatballs recipe! Now, there are two problems with most meatless meatballs recipes. Vegan meatballs take a long time to make, and many recipes don’t have much protein. This meatless meatballs recipe solves both problems. This recipe takes under 30 minutes to make, and it’s packed with protein!
Enchiladas are one of our favorite dinner recipes around here. But they can take a while to prep for a weeknight. Here’s a new recipe we designed to work in 30 minutes flat: these easy Vegetarian Enchiladas! The filling takes no time to whip up: it’s just spiced pinto beans and spices. Roll ’em up, bake until golden and cheesy, and load with all your favorite toppings. These are so quick, we’ve ditched our other favorite recipes for this one (oops!).
No one’s going to complain about more quick and easy vegetarian recipes, right? This one the ultimate quick weeknight meal, a filling vegetarian dinner that comes together in 20 minutes flat. Meet this soba noodle bowl! It’s filled with stir fried broccoli, red pepper and onion, mix with a savory sauce with creamy peanut butter. Even better: eggs are scrambled right into the mix (like fried rice, but with noodles!).
Another beyond easy vegetarian recipe: try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony of flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. This one is a massive hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too!
Here's a must-try vegetarian recipe: this irresistible BBQ Tofu! Each bite has just the right chewy texture, bathed in a silky, sweet, savory sauce. You’ll want to keep eating it for days. This plate disappeared very quickly at our house! This recipe is easy to put together and a great starter recipe for people who are wary of the stuff. In fact, it might turn them into unabashed fans.
Here’s another of our vegetarian recipes for beginners that’s so flavorful, you don’t miss the meat. This one features Moroccan spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, and it’s finished off with a squeeze of lemon. With the contrasting sweetness of the sweet potatoes, it’s complex and cozy all at the same time. It's vegan and plant based as is, or add a dollop of Greek yogurt for a creamy sauce to bring it all together.
Here’s a cozy, flavor-packed recipe that satisfies every time: Penne Pomodoro! This classic pairing of pomodoro sauce and short-cut pasta exemplifies the simplicity of Italian cuisine: juicy tomatoes, garlic, vegetables and herbs simmered until they meld into a pure, rich sauce. Add penne and top with Parmesan cheese, and there’s really nothing like digging into a steaming bowl.
What’s more homey than a bright bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese? This vegetarian classic hits the spot in any season. Make up a steaming bowl of homemade tomato soup flavored with tangy fire-roasted tomatoes, and a gooey gourmet grilled cheese with a hint of smoked gouda. Plus, we've got a few tips for making it for a crowd (like baked grilled cheese!).
Here’s a fun way to infuse loads of veggies into your life: this tasty Vegan Stir Fry! This mess of vibrant vegetables is just as tasty as it looks. It’s all smothered in a tangy, zingy vegan stir fry sauce that you’ll want to drizzle on just about everything. We love serving with soba noodles, but it’s just as tasty with rice.
One of our fan favorite vegetarian recipe is this mushroom pasta with goat cheese! This might actually convert mushroom haters to a new way of life! It's become a fan favorite recipe because of the big flavor that's possible in under 30 minutes. Imagine: creamy goat cheese, savory mushrooms, fresh thyme and oregano and a bright squeeze of lemon. An absolute showstopper!
Want to make quesadillas for a crowd, but don’t want to hover over the stove while making them to order? Enter: quesadillas in the oven! This recipe makes the humble solo meal into a delicious dinner, resulting in a big batch all at once on a sheet pan. All the quesadillas are done at the same time, and they come out with a beautifully crispy exterior. In fact, it feels like a whole new version of this classic: like Quesadillas 2.0.
These Thai style baked sweet potatoes are one of our favorite easy vegetarian recipes, because of the big flavor in this simple concept. If you have an Instant Pot, you can use it here to get perfectly cooked, moist sweet potatoes. Or, use our Quick Baked Sweet Potato to roast it in the oven. Accessorize with a fresh, crunchy Thai-style pepper and cabbage slaw and a creamy peanut sauce. We’ve heard from many readers and followers that this one is a family favorite!
Here’s a quick and easy taco recipe perfect for weeknights: try these Mushroom Tacos! Portobello mushrooms have enormous savory flavor: throw them in a skillet with some punchy seasonings and they make plant-based magic. This recipe is for when you have just a few minutes to throw together a meal: combine those portobellos with creamy refried beans and the quickest slaw, and you’ve got dinner!
What’s your favorite vegetarian comfort food recipe? Mac and cheese and pizza can do the trick, but here’s our ultimate: fried rice! There’s something about the chewy clumps of eggs and the savory ginger and soy-infused bites that feels positively life giving. Usually we make fried rice on the fly without a recipe. But after years of tinkering, we wanted to share our master method. Here’s how to make the very best fried rice: it tastes just like takeout from your favorite restaurant!
Welcome to…your new favorite healthy vegetarian recipe. Well, at least it’s ours! Something about all those tasty fillings snuggled cozily into a tortilla makes a burrito irresistible. This burrito is packed with flavor from Spanish rice (aka Mexican rice), seasoned black beans, peppers and onions, and mashed avocado. Even better, step it up with a zingy vegan sauce.
Of all our vegetarian recipes, one people consistently comment about is this wild rice soup! It's creamy by way of cashews that are blended right along with the soup to make a creamy base. Then there's tender wild rice, cozy carrots and onions, and white beans that round it out to add more plant-based protein. This one is vegan and gluten-free too, and we've heard from multitudes of people who say that meat-eaters love it too.
Roasting your dinner on a baking sheet makes for an easy vegetarian recipe! This easy sheet pan dinner is full of colorful vegetables and loaded with flavor. It's a plant-based dinner that roasts up everything on a sheet pan at once: lots of good-for-you veggies and chickpeas for plant based protein. Throw it all in the oven while you cook rice or quinoa. Dinnertime win!
Are you on the lentil train? Lentils are low in calories, high in nutrition, and budget friendly. And, they make 40 times less greenhouse gases than a burger. Impressive, right? So here’s our favorite new way to eat them: our Best Damn Lentil Soup. Yes, we're pulling out the expletives because this one is so delicious, you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cozy hug. This vegetarian lentil soup is ready to amaze you.
Hold onto your hats! Here’s a creamy broccoli potato soup that will blow your mind. (We hope.) It’s impossibly creamy, whole food plant based (WFPB), and it tastes like the coziest bowl of comfort. And it’s 100% made of veggies! How’s that for amazing? This easy and healthy vegetarian recipe is also vegan and gluten-free, so it works for a variety of diets. But it tastes like an elevated version of broccoli cheese soup from a can (you know the one).
Why is finding healthy and easy vegetarian lunch recipes so hard? Over here we like to eat extremely simple at breakfast and lunch, so that we can spend our time and energy on dinner recipes. So here’s one of our favorite easy lunch tricks ever: is this chickpea salad sandwich! It’s basically a vegetarian chicken salad sandwich, but uses chickpeas instead of chicken. It’s so tasty, it’s become one of our most popular chickpea recipes.
Everyone needs solid basic vegetarian recipes for kitchen standards. And here’s one we think will become part of your repertoire: the perfect Egg Salad Sandwich! It’s the best kind of basic. This is a sandwich you can sink your teeth into, that tastes like an elevated version of what you’re used to. It’s fresh and healthy, not the mayo-laden kind you can find at the store. Another secret? It’s stuffed with fresh herbs, to give you a beautiful pop of flavor.
Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich? Here’s one with a glamorous twist: the avocado grilled cheese. Simply adding an avocado and tomato to a standard grilled cheese makes it fit for serving to company! Although it’s a simple dish, grilled cheese can be gussied up as much or as little as you like. Serve this avocado grilled cheese with tomato alongside a bowl of homemade tomato soup or a green salad, and you’ve got instant dinner.
Looking for healthy vegetarian lunch ideas? Here’s a salad that’s beautifully fresh and saves well for meals throughout the week: kale quinoa salad! It’s full of healthy ingredients: quinoa, kale, peppers, carrots: and then covered in a delicious, ultra tangy dressing. It’s so flavorful and keeps that flavor 3 to 4 days in the fridge. Our lunches just got way more exciting! It also works as a side salad for healthy dinners.
Here's a vegetarian breakfast recipe that's a to go-to. In fact, we make this recipe every single day. Why? This best oatmeal recipe tastes incredible. It’s vegan so it’s a plant based way to start the day. AND it is full of plant based protein so it is seriously filling: you’re literally full for hours after you eat it.
Want to eat more breakfast vegetables? Eating more veggies to start the day is starting to trend. Because let’s face it: the American breakfast is largely based on carbs and sugar. Pancakes, waffles, muffins…all sugary. So health-minded people have been asking: why not re-imagine breakfast? Let’s infuse veggies into the first meal of the day, too. So try this Breakfast Vegetable Scramble! You can make it two ways: with eggs or tofu, depending on your diet.
This 5 minute pesto arugula breakfast sandwich is a fitting vegetarian recipe for beginners because it shows how thoughtfully flavored food doesn’t have to take hours to make. Pesto is one of our tricks to adding big flavor in no time. Slather pesto on an English muffin, quick wilt some arugula, top with an egg and you’re in business! (And you can eat it for dinner, too.)
Here’s a breakfast vegetarian recipe that’s so full of cozy-spiced flavor, you’ll wonder where it’s been all your life. Meet this incredible easy baked oatmeal! It's that brunch recipe you search for when you have house guests to impress. But guess what? It also works for quick mornings! Bake up a pan in advance and then grab a square to go. It’sbeyond easy, and the combination of the cinnamon, allspice and maple makes magic.
Last up in our vegetarian recipes...a sweet treat! If a no bake cookie and a peanut butter cup had a baby, it would be these bliss bites! Chocolate peanut butter heaven, right here. This one is a vegetarian recipe we recommend to everyone: not just beginners. Also gluten free, vegan and plant based, it’s our most popular recipe to date!
More easy recipes
Want to find vegetarian recipes outside of the ideas above? Here are a few more collections of our top dinner recipes:
Vegetarian 28 Day Meal Plan Looking for a vegetarian weekly meal plan? Here’s a 28 day vegetarian meal plan with planning ideas and a meal planning calendar with food to cook.
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided, plus more for topping
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Fresh basil, to serve (optional
Slice the ends off eggplant, then slice it lengthwise into 3/8” thick planks (you’ll have about 20 total). Place them on a baking sheet, then brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Place one sheet in the oven and broil 4 to 6 minutes until tender and mostly cooked through. Then broil in separate batches until all eggplant planks are cooked.*
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Meanwhile, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Simmer until making the eggplant rolls.
In a medium bowl, mix the filling ingredients: the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, oregano, nutmeg, chopped parsley, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
Spread some of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add 1 tablespoon filling to one end of each eggplant slice and roll up. Place it in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with all eggplant slices. Top the rolled eggplant with a line of tomato sauce, then additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (this helps the texture to set and extra moisture to be absorbed). Top with fresh basil or additional chopped fresh parsley.
*If you prefer, you can also bake the eggplant on two trays at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes until tender and mostly cooked through, checking the tenderness with a fork during the bake time.
**If desired, you can substitute 28-ounces high-quality jarred marinara to speed up prep time.