Home » Roundups » 28 Easy Meatless Dinner Ideas (with Paleo Vegetarian Recipes!)

28 Easy Meatless Dinner Ideas (with Paleo Vegetarian Recipes!)

Oct 11, 2023 | Roundups | 0 comments

Easy Meatless Dinner Ideas

These easy meatless dinner ideas are healthy, gluten-free and totally family-friendly! Paleo vegetarian recipes included as well.

Key Takeaways

  • There are many options for easy meatless dinners including egg-based dishes, soups and stews, hearty salads, veggie burgers, vegetarian stir fry and more.
  • If you're looking for paleo vegetarian recipes, look for meals using eggs or nuts for protein.

Whether you're newly vegetarian, trying to incorporate more meatless meals into your rotation or a long-time vegetarian hoping to get out of a rut, I've got you covered today!

While I eat meat now, I used to be a vegetarian and still incorporate meatless meals into my family's dinner rotation. When crafting vegetarian entrees, I know it's important to create something that's not only nutritious but really satisfying too. No wimpy salads or protein-less pasta dishes here!

Including protein and healthy fats in all meals makes them more satisfying. While this takes a bit more effort when you're not including meat, it's totally doable.

I'm personally gluten intolerant so all of these recipes are gluten free or can easily be made gluten free (e.g., choosing gluten free tortillas for the quesadillas). I've also included some paleo vegetarian recipes, which I know can be hard to find! You'll find each of those clearly noted as (Paleo).

I hope you find a new vegetarian favorite!

Breakfast for Dinner

Quick Easy Vegetarian Dinner

If you're having trouble finding easy meatless dinner ideas your family loves, sometimes it helps to think outside the box!

Eggs are such an excellent source of vegetarian protein – there's no reason to relegate them to the breakfast table.

I love serving breakfast for dinner for a few reasons. First of all, it feels nostalgic. I remember breakfast for dinner as a child and it always felt a little bit special. At least as important though, eggs cook FAST! There are few satisfying proteins that cook as quickly.

To adapt a typical breakfast recipe for dinner, I recommend serving alongside a simple green salad.

1. Eggs in Bell Pepper Rings (Paleo)

Not only are these eggs in bell pepper rings packed with protein and veggies, they also look beautiful on the table. If you prep the veggies ahead, this comes together really quickly making it a great weeknight vegetarian dinner. Serve with a green salad or roasted potatoes to complete the meal.

2. Healthy Breakfast Sandwiches w/ Homemade Gluten Free English Muffins (Paleo)

My Gluten Free English Muffins use a mix of almond flour and coconut flour, giving them a great texture. Eggs and avocado lend plenty of protein and healthy fats to the meal. This is great with berries or fruit salad for brunch but I would serve with a nice green salad for dinner.

3. Poached Eggs Over Polenta w/ Spicy Chili Sauce

If you want to make this one Paleo, sub coconut aminos for the tamari and serve the poached eggs and spicy chili sauce over breakfast potatoes instead of the polenta. I also seriously recommend doubling up on this sauce recipe – it is SO good on pretty much everything.

4. Green Shakshuka (Paleo-Friendly – Omit Feta)

My take on shakshuka is just a little spicy and super savory, making it a great breakfast for dinner option. This dish is great with a nice crusty bread (gluten free if needed!) or roasted potatoes to keep it paleo.

5. Mediterranean Egg Bake (Paleo)

Packed with veggies, this easy egg bake has tons of flavor from the sun-dried tomatoes and spices like garlic powder and onion powder.

6. Freezer Breakfast Burritos

This recipe was hugely popular both with our Prep Dish subscribers and with my own family. The filing is flexible and, as the name suggests, these are freezer friendly.

7. Kale and Caramelized Onion Frittata

This frittata originated on our low carb meal plans but also makes a delicious, high protein vegetarian breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Soups, Stews & Chilis

Healthy Vegetarian Main Dishes

When I think of easy meatless dinner ideas, soups and stews are some of the first things that come to mind.

Why? Because it's so easy to double a soup recipe and freeze half for later! My freezer is always stocked with a variety of soups from past dinners and meal prep sessions. I frequently freeze in single-serving containers so I can pull one out for lunch but you can also freeze a whole batch of soup for an easy family dinner!

8. Vegetable Chowder w/ Almond Flour Biscuits

This creamy chowder is dairy-free and completely vegan. I use cashew cream to lend that signature chowder creaminess. The gluten free almond flour biscuits on the side complete this satisfying meal!

9. Red Pepper Soup w/ Sweet Potatoes (Paleo)

My red pepper and sweet potato soup is the perfect blend of sweet and savory. Serve with crusty bread or a nice green salad to round out the meal.

10. Vegetable Bean Soup

This recipe was originally developed during the 2020 grocery shortages. It relies completely on pantry and freezer ingredients. It's become such a favorite though, I had to include it here! I love having a few back-pocket recipes that I always have the ingredients for and this one is perfect for that.

The recipe does call for chicken broth, but you can of course use vegetable broth instead to make it fully vegetarian.

11. 3 Bean Chipotle Chili

If you haven't used dried peppers before, you're going to love the depth of flavor they add to this vegetarian chili. This one is definitely hearty enough to stand on its own but if you want to add a side, I highly recommend my gluten free cornbread muffins.

12. Vegetarian Peanut Stew

With roots in Western Africa, this stew has such depth of flavor, it's sure to become a new family favorite.

13. Chickpea Lemon Orzo Soup

Part of our budget friendly dinners series, this chickpea lemon orzo soup is packed with vegetarian protein and has plenty of flavor thanks to the lemon and herbs de Provence.

14. Curried Cauliflower & Apple Soup (Paleo)

Coconut milk gives this vegetarian paleo soup a richness that makes it super satisfying. I love serving it with my gluten free and paleo almond flour biscuits, which you'll also find the recipe for in this post.

Hearty Salads

Summer Quinoa Salad

I couldn't create a roundup of easy meatless dinner ideas without including a few salads. Don't worry though, you won't find any boring or wimpy salads here. These five salads are nutrient-packed and hearty enough to act as a main dish. If you find a salad isn't satisfying enough, you can always add avocado, extra nuts or extra legumes to amp up the fullness factor.

15. Waldorf Salad (Paleo)

With its sweet and crunchy ingredients, this paleo vegetarian recipe is a great one for kids, whether or not they'll usually eat salad. You can also offer it deconstructed, keeping a bit of each ingredient separate for the little ones. Alternatively, try serving it as a filling for wraps!

16 Harvest Kale Salad (Paleo)

My harvest kale salad makes the perfect easy, healthy vegetarian dinner. The simple orange dressing pairs so well with the fall ingredients. To make it even heartier, try adding some chickpeas or white beans (though it would no longer be paleo of course).

17. Super Fast Quinoa Salad

This one comes straight from our weekly super fast meal plans!

I almost always include one vegetarian meal on our super fast meal plans. This is not only good for those looking to add more plant-based meals to their diet, it's also great for your grocery budget!

With fewer than 10 ingredients, this quinoa salad comes together quickly. Leftovers make a great easy lunch so it's a good one to double up on!

18. Harvest Cobb Salad

This hearty vegetarian salad includes the BEST apple cider vinaigrette. Don't miss this one!

19. Middle Eastern Salad w/ Homemade Tahini Sauce

The tahini dressing totally makes this recipe. It's earthy, yet also bright from the lemon juice, and so full of flavor. The salad offers a variety of texture as well as vegetarian protein in the form of chickpeas. If you want to add even more protein, sprinkle the salad with hemp seeds. This is an easy way to give a salad a protein boost!

More Satisfying Vegetarian Entrees

Gluten Free Chili Mac

20. Black Bean Chili Mac

Black bean chili mac is vegetarian comfort food at its finest. With warming spices and plenty of protein, it's satisfying without being heavy. Dice the veggies smaller to make it even more kid-friendly. You can also offer your kiddo's favorite toppings. Shredded cheese, yogurt or sour cream and avocado would all be delicious here!

21. Spinach Pesto Stuffed Acorn Squash

Have you tried making your own pesto before? It's easier than you might think and it brings such a brightness to dishes like this one.

This is one of those easy, healthy vegetarian dinners that's super satisfying to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The pesto quinoa is delicious apart from the acorn squash as well so consider making a double batch!

22. Southwest Vegetarian Buddha Bowls

You guys, the almond butter dipping sauce in this recipe is SO good! Trust me, you'll want to put it on everything.

The Buddha bowl itself is super versatile. Add your family's favorite veggies or mix it up based on what's in season.

23. Quick Veggie Stir Fry

This post actually includes three easy stir fry recipes, including a simple vegetarian option. Once you get the basics of stir fry down, it's such a versatile quick dinner option. Make sure to try the homemade paleo stir fry sauce, so much better than store-bought sauces!

24. Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers

I love a good veggie burger but there sure are a lot of lackluster ones out there! My version is hearty enough to stand up to the grill and the combination of black beans and quinoa makes them super filling.

25. Grilled Veggie and Refried Bean Tacos

Living just outside of Austin, I'm pretty much inundated with delicious taco inspiration and I love brining that inspiration to you! This vegetarian version has the perfect mix up flavors and textures.

26. Mini Eggless Quiche

Made with chickpea flour, these mini eggless quiche make a great breakfast, lunch or easy dinner. Serve with a simple green salad to complete your evening meal.

27. Corn & Black Bean Quesadillas

These are definitely a step above plain cheese quesadillas, both in terms of flavor and nutrition.

28. Potato Nachos

How fun are these nachos? As with all nachos, the toppings are flexible, but the thinly sliced potatoes make an excellent vehicle for whatever toppings you come up with.

Does Prep Dish offer a Gluten Free Vegetarian Meal Plan?

We currently offer 4 weekly meal plans (all included in every subscription): Gluten Free, Paleo, Low Carb Keto & Super Fast.

While we do regularly include vegetarian recipes, we do not have a fully vegetarian meal plan.

That said, we do offer suggestions for how to adjust the recipes from our Gluten Free and Super Fast meal plans to make them vegetarian in each week's subscriber newsletter. With the help of those weekly tips, we have vegetarian subscribers who love and thrive out our weekly meal prep meal plans! Premium subscribers will also receive our 1-week vegetarian meal prep meal plan, in addition to many other bonus menus.

FAQ – Everything You Want to Know about Easy Meatless Dinner Ideas

Coming up with easy meatless dinner ideas can sound daunting. Once you get the hang of it though, you'll realize there are tons of options out there. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions to help you out along the way:

What to make for dinner when you have no meat?

Even with no meat, you can make many healthy and satisfying dinners. Beans and eggs make excellent meatless protein sources. Meals like vegetarian chili, vegetarian tacos and poached eggs over polenta with chili sauce are all excellent dinners when you have no meat.

What can I replace meat with?

Beans make an excellent meat replacement.

What food is high in protein but not a meat?

Beans, nuts and seeds provide substantial protein without meat.

What are some paleo vegetarian recipes?

Finding paleo vegetarian recipes can be challenging as common meat substitutes like beans and tofu are not paleo friendly. Look for meals that use eggs or nuts as a protein source to find paleo vegetarian recipes. In this roundup you'll find paleo vegetarian recipes like green shakshuka, breakfast sandwiches on almond flour English muffins, Waldorf salad and red pepper sweet potato soup.

Beginner Menu Guide


If you like this recipe, sign up for our free newsletter for weekly tips and recipes!

Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Learn more…

See How You Can Eat Healthy All Week Without Spending All Day Prepping Meals!

Get healthy and delicious done-for-you meal plans delivered right to your inbox! Join thousands of families who have discovered how Prep Dish makes life so much simpler!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This