Meatless Monday ideas: 15 fantastic vegetarian dinner recipes
Fuel up your family with a rainbow of in-season veggies.
Here are 15 favourite summer-friendly recipes from our community that give vegetables a chance to shine, plus tips on how to kickstart veggie love if your family’s a little greens-averse right now.
First, why plant-based entrees? They're good for you, good for the planet, easy on your wallet and fun to cook. And August is the perfect time to fall in love with vegetarian mains—after all, summer veggies are delicious, cheap, and plentiful! If you're looking for a way to plan more veggie-based meals during the week, these recipes are the perfect place to start.
Tip 1: Taste the rainbow
One of the easiest ways to get everyone interested in vegetables is to sample lots of different tastes and textures. Start with a simple rainbow salad—challenge your kids to find a veggie for each colour of the rainbow when you're shopping, then slice and serve in rows on a cutting board and let everyone help themselves to as many colours as they like. Then, try these colourful ideas from our community:
- Rainbow veggie rolls—fun to build, fun to dip, fun to eat.
- Summer rainbow salad —this rainbow has ingredients like strawberries and pecans, for a sweet twist on the rainbow approach.
- Curried chickpea and green bean salad—bright greens and yellows make this a win for kids who like a little spice.
- Veggie and tofu stir fry—you can add whatever veggies you like into this flavour-packed recipe (try thinly sliced carrots, yellow zucchini, or even sliced avocado as a topper).
Tip 2: Build your own: Building your own version means that you can pick and choose the veggies you really want, and try a little or try a lot!
- Vegetarian burrito bowls—the salsa gives it a spicy kick.
- Burrito spaghetti squash boats—like DIY burritos but without the wrap.
- Grain bowl buffet—this “salad bar” approach lets you put all the ingredients on the table for your little ones to pick and choose between. And the story that goes with this recipe is delightful!
- Super yum Mexi-veg tacos—mix and match veggies make these tacos an easy win (and a great way to sample some new tastes without having to load your plate with them).
- Vegetarian pizza—the classic build-your-own dinner, you can also make a delicious quick pita version for hectic nights.
Tip 3: Fuel up! Making dinner meatless doesn’t mean it can’t be filling. Try these comforting mains:
- Chickpea curry—this fragrant dish pairs chickpeas with your favourite veggies and warm spices.
- African stew—the surprise ingredient is peanut butter!
- Quinoa and sweet potato cakes—think homemade veggie burgers.
- Ninja veggie chili—like a ratatouille but faster, this chili’s great for a rainy summer night.
- Bean and cheese quesadillas—these are super easy to assemble, and great for nights when you need something delicious fast.
- Kale and hazelnut pesto pasta—this delicious and fancy-sounding pasta is actually a snap to put together.
Tip 4: Play with your food:
Giving your kids an opportunity to play around with their food is a great way to get them interested in sampling more. Try salad people, crispy tofu puff skewers, or Lucy and Georgia’s Mashed Potato Volcano! You can also play with food by trying a familiar ingredient in a new way—for example, did you know you can make a cake from tomatoes? Check out our post on tomato season to see more ways you can play with just one in-season ingredient. (Spoiler: Your kids may be disappointed -- or relieved?-- to learn that the cake recipe tastes more like a spiced apple cake than tomato.)
And if you’re looking for more fun summer recipes, check out our round up of recipes you can cook using just your freezer, and our recipe ideas for campfire cooking. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more activity and recipe ideas!