These easy meatless dinner ideas are healthy, gluten-free and totally family-friendly! Paleo vegetarian recipes included as well.
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. 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
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.
Soups, Stews & Chilis
When I think of easy meatless dinner ideas, soups and stews are one 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!
5. 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!
6. 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.
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.
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.
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 three 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.
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!
10. 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).
This one comes straight from this year's new 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!
More Satisfying Vegetarian Entrees
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!
13. 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!
14. 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.
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!
16. 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.
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!