Do you do Meatless Monday? Here are Meatless Monday recipes to inspire your kitchen, including both vegetarian and vegan meals!
Do you observe Meatless Monday? It’s a movement to eat meatless meals one day per week. (Guess the day. Yep!) Luckily, it can be the most delicious day of the week. Alex and I started eating more vegetarian and vegan meals for two reasons: to improve our physical health and tread more gently on the planet. We started by doing one day a week with Meatless Mondays…and then we loved it so much we added it to other days of the week too!
What is Meatless Monday?
First of all, what’s Meatless Monday? Meatless Monday is a global movement with a simple message: one day a week, cut the meat. It was launched in 2003 as a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, working with the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15% for our personal health and the health of the planet. Now entering its second decade, Meatless Monday is embraced in over 40 countries and in over 20 languages! How cool is that?
Why eat less meat?
There are lots of reasons to eat more meatless meals. The two most important for us: eating lots of vegetables is good for our health and the health of the planet. Why is it better for the Earth to eat less meat? In short: eating meat takes up a lot of resources. And growing plants uses less resources than growing meat. It’s a complicated topic, so we brought in an expert to help!
In our Small Bites podcast episode called Eating to Save the World, Eliza Barclay, Science and Health Editor at Vox.com, to breaks it down for us! She shared how what we eat affects the planet. We also talked about practical takeaways to help our world by eating more plant based meals: like all these Meatless Monday recipes! Listen below.
Here's a sheet pan dinner just for Meatless Mondays! It's 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. Top with a dollop of hummus, cashew cream, or another vegan sauce. Dinnertime win!
These loaded quinoa tacos are a delicious vegetarian taco recipe, featuring a taco spiced quinoa taco filling, bell pepper slaw, spicy sour cream, and feta cheese! And they take only 30 minutes to make, putting them at the top of our list of Meatless Monday recipes.
These vegan Sloppy Joes have a zingy lentil filling that tastes just as good as the meaty version. Put it on a toasted bun with some bread and butter pickles, and WOW! You’re going to love this one (promise). A fantastic plant-based meal for people who are on the fence about veggies, they're crowd pleasing and have a cozy, comforting vibe!
This one’s the best veggie stir fry out there! This teriyaki vegetable stir fry is a favorite tasty and easy vegetarian recipe. The homemade teriyaki sauce is so easy to make: it takes just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes. The teriyaki also has no refined sugar, instead relying on maple syrup! This Meatless Monday recipe is so delicious, it’s become a serious go to in our house.
This white bean shakshuka recipe is a delicious vegetarian brunch or dinner recipe! The eggs are cooked in a savory tomato sauce, along with peppers, onions and white beans. Shakshuka recipes are having their moment, and this one’s one of the best.
This low carb burrito bowl with cauliflower rice is a delicious way to eat more vegetables! It’s Whole 30 vegetarian and customizable for all diets. And can we say chorizo eggs? The way we’ve cooked the eggs here has gotten rave reviews from readers. One reader even made the chorizo eggs to go on a breakfast sandwich too: this genius move makes for two Meatless Monday recipes in one!
Can’t decide between Italian and Mexican food? Have we got the perfect Meatless Monday recipe for you! This delicious Mexican pizza recipe features creamy refried beans, spicy jalapeño, and sweet corn. Make the dough in advance or use storebought dough for weeknight ease.
These sweet potato black bean enchiladas are delicious, crowd pleasing and one of our fan favorite best vegetarian dinner recipes! They feature tomatillo salsa verde that makes them “green” enchiladas, and they’re filled with sweet potato, black beans, and Colby Jack cheese.
Poke is a Hawaiian specialty, typically made with ahi tuna. But here's a whole food plant based (WFPB) version of this popular healthy bowl meal: vegan poke bowls! They're bursting with flavor, and they’ve got an unusual ingredient that amazingly gives the same texture and flavor as poke. Beets. Yep, you’re going to have to taste this to believe it…but it really works! Drizzle with spicy mayo and enjoy.
This simple calzone recipe features a homemade pizza dough and a spinach, mushroom, and two-cheese filling. Make the dough in advance or use storebought pizza dough to make this easier for a weeknight in your Meatless Monday recipes repertoire!
Remember that Mexican pizza? This vegetarian Mexican lasagna uses the same Mexican and Italian fusion, and is the ultimate healthy dinner recipe! Layered with lasagna noodles, corn, and black beans, it’s full of zesty flavor.
What’s more classic than a margherita pizza in your Meatless Monday recipes? This homemade margherita pizza recipe features a time saving no-cook sauce. Although this pizza uses few ingredients, it packs in big flavor. Make the pizza dough in advance or use storebought to make it a weeknight meal.
This creamy spaghetti pasta marinara recipe uses whole milk Greek yogurt to make it extra rich and flavorful. Serve this sauce immediately or freeze for later! If you eat vegan, here’s our Vegan Pasta Marinara instead!
This Italian pasta salad is full of zesty flavor, featuring kalamata olives, capers, and crisp romaine. It takes under 30 minutes to make, which is perfect as a healthy weeknight meal. It’s also great for lunches!
These sweet potatoes topped with a zesty slaw and creamy Thai peanut butter sauce are an irresistible plant based dinner recipe! They’ve become one of our favorite go to’s for Meatless Monday recipes, and are a hit with our readers over on Instagram.
This vegetarian and vegan Italian vegetable gnocchi soup is bursting with flavor and can be made in around 30 minutes, making it an easy weeknight meal. If you eat dairy, top with Parmesan shavings as a garnish.
Place all the vegetables in a large bowl. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them to the bowl. Mix in the olive oil, garlic powder, Old Bay, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt until everything is evenly coated.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (we prefer this to silicone baking mats because it results in crispier veggies). Spread the vegetables evenly onto each sheet.
Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes (do not stir!). Remove the pans from the oven, rotate them, and roast another 10 minutes (for 30 minutes total) until tender and lightly browned on one side.
Cut the lemon into wedges, and spritz the veggies with fresh lemon juice to taste. (Required: this step adds just the right zing! Or you can serve with lemon wedges.)
Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and serve immediately with rice or quinoa. Dollop with sour cream, cashew cream or hummus.
*If you can’t find Old Bay, you could try 1 teaspoon paprika and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or celery salt.
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.