Meatless Monday is an international campaign that started in Britain in 2009 and has since spread worldwide. The idea behind it is that everyone can make a meaningful change in the world by eating meat-free for one designated day each week. For those who want to get on board with this cause—or who already cook vegan or vegetarian all year round—this collection of meatless recipes will inspire you in the kitchen. Browse these great ideas for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that leave out the meat, but don't skimp even a little bit on flavor.
01 of 31
Vegetarian Japanese Udon Noodle Soup
Experience the classic flavors of Japanese-style udon with a vegetable-based soup. The clear broth has a rich umami taste that beautifully balances with the thick chewy noodles, crisp-tender Chinese broccoli, and chopped fresh cilantro, all topped with roasted peanuts.
02 of 31
Classic Eggplant Parmesan
Who needs meat when you can have this cheesy vegetarian casserole? Fried breaded eggplant rounds are layered lasagna-style with tomato sauce and two kinds of cheese, then baked until the whole thing is hot and bubbling. Bonus: the recipe freezes well for a make-ahead meal.
03 of 31
Vegan and Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito
Enjoy this easy, cheesy, Tex-Mex burrito that skips meat entirely. Cooked rice seasoned with cilantro and lime juice is loaded into flour tortillas along with sauteed beans and vegetables. Feel free to customize and add your family's favorite burrito fillings.
04 of 31
Indian Veggie Balls (Malai Kofta)
Malai (meaning creamy in Hindi) kofta is the perfect vegetarian alternative to meatballs. Malai kofta is a hugely popular dish on Indian restaurant menus all over the world. It goes very well with naan (tandoor-baked flatbread) or Jeera riceContinue to 5 of 31 below.
05 of 31
Holubtsi: Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage
Cabbage leaves stuffed with meat, rice, and vegetables are common in Eastern Europe and the Balkans and are also found in Asian and African cuisines. The Ukrainian version of stuffed cabbage, known as holubtsi, also has many variations, but in general, the filling is always enriched with grain and flavored with vegetables. Our take on these "little pigeons," the literal translation of the name, is a meatless variation.
06 of 31
In this lighter take on the traditional dish, riced cauliflower florets take the place of potatoes, to form tasty little gnocchi. They are cooked Italian-style with tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese for serving.
07 of 31
Bang Bang Cauliflower
This cauliflower recipe is a riff off the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer from Bonefish Grill, which has a near-cult following. Modified to be vegetarian and dairy-free, this is the perfect light but decadent appetizer. Serve it on top of quinoa with a side salad, for a complete dinner in a bowl.
08 of 31
Super Easy Cacio e Pepe Pasta
Not only is this super-easy cacio e pepe pasta recipe meatless, but it also requires only three ingredients and is ready in about 15 minutes. Pecorino Romano cheese, a healthy dusting of black peppercorns, and spaghetti alla chitarra combine to make a company-worthy dish with a minimum of effort.Continue to 9 of 31 below.
09 of 31
Vegan Chickpea Veggie Burgers
Many veggie burger recipes include black beans as the main ingredient, but this version combines chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, with some vegetables to make a vegan burger with a slightly different taste. The chickpeas are mashed together with celery, carrot, and onion. The mixture is bound together with flour instead of eggs, making this homemade veggie burger both vegetarian and vegan, and full of protein.
10 of 31
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Cauliflower takes the place of the usual white or brown rice in this stir fry. Cauliflower florets are reduced to rice-sized grains in the food processor, then quickly stir-fried with chopped fresh vegetables and soy sauce.
11 of 31
Swiss Chard and Tofu Stir-Fry
Stir-fries are a great way to get a healthy meal on the table that the whole family will love. And when you need to satisfy a vegetarian, vegan, or even a family member that is gluten free, a vegetable and tofu stir-fry is a tasty solution. With Swiss chard, tofu, mushrooms, and a bit of soy sauce or tamari, this recipe is a simple but delicious meal that is quick to put together.
12 of 31
Yachae Mandoo (Korean Vegetarian Dumplings)
This recipe for Yachae Mandoo, Korean vegetarian dumplings, is easy to make. It's also a convenient dish to prepare because it can be made in large quantities in advance and stored in the freezer for future use. So, if you have a large family or want to make dumplings for a future event, make as many as you want while you have the time.Continue to 13 of 31 below.
13 of 31
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Make Monday "takeout" night and meatless with this delicious spaghetti squash pad Thai recipe. This dish has everything that's great about the original, including tofu, eggs, fish sauce, cilantro, tamarind, scallion, garlic, bean sprouts, and roasted peanuts. The traditional rice noodles are replaced by squash, and it's an easy recipe to make vegan as well.
14 of 31
Middle Eastern Pizza
When you're craving something new for dinner, try this homemade flatbread with Middle Eastern inspiration. Naan or pita bread forms the base for the tasty dish, which is topped with crumbled feta cheese, hummus, spinach, tomatoes, and za'atar seasoning.
15 of 31
Vegan Tofu and Cashew Chow Mein
Soft wheat noodles with stir-fried tofu and vegetables in a medley of Asian sauces makes a filling weeknight meal that is suitable for meat-free days. Roasted cashews add extra crunch and protein to this nutritious vegetable-packed entree.
16 of 31
Spinach and Ravioli Lasagna
Packaged ravioli forms the base of this creamy pasta bake bulked up with spinach and artichoke hearts. It's done in just 30 minutes and freezes well for a make-ahead meal.Continue to 17 of 31 below.
17 of 31
Vegetarian Mexican Casserole With Black Beans
A Mexican casserole is sometimes called a tortilla pie, or a tortilla casserole is simply a few Mexican ingredients layered in between tortillas (similar to the way a lasagna is layered) then baked in the oven. Sound good? This lacto-vegetarian Mexican casserole recipe is a one dish vegetarian casserole perfect for those busy nights.
18 of 31
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
Use up leftover rice and create a tasty dinner the entire family will love with this tropical recipe. Seasoned rice mingle with chunks of juicy pineapple, sweet raisins, roasted cashews, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and a little curry powder in a fantastic dish you can make in 30 minutes.
19 of 31
Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Thick and luscious cauliflower soup makes a delicious lunch for meatless Mondays. You'll love the elegant flavors, which come from white wine, garlic, and snipped fresh chives.
20 of 31
This dish—while a capable substitute for classic Bolognese—is not just for vegetarians. In fact, it’s an excellent stand-in for anyone interested in eating a little less meat without sacrificing flavor. Roasting brings out the true brown flavors of these fungi. Will you miss the meat? Not even a little.Continue to 21 of 31 below.
21 of 31
Vegan Impossible Swedish "Meatballs"
These warm and comforting Swedish meatballs are completely delicious while being completely vegan! We used Impossible Burger ground "beef," now available in many grocery stores, to make the meatballs . No one will be able to tell that the dish doesn't use real meat, since Impossible resembles and tastes like beef.
22 of 31
Perfect Spinach Lasagna
There's little that can top lasagna when it comes to pure unadulterated comfort food. This delicious spinach lasagna recipe is a tried-and-true classic lasagna with no meat. Instead, this one has layers of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, your favorite purchased or homemade marinara sauce, lasagna noodles, and spinach.
23 of 31
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
Whether looking for a vegetarian meal or you simply want a healthy, plant-based dish the whole family will enjoy, this black bean and sweet potato chili is a clear winner. The sweet potatoes and carrots perfectly counteract the spiciness while combining with the beans to create a hearty texture.
24 of 31
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Mexican quinoa stuffed bell peppers are the perfect, hearty vegetarian dinner. They’re full of spicy flavor, texture, and protein. Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrition. It’s a great alternative to plain old rice or breadcrumbs. There’s also a punch of protein from the black beans and some cheesy goodness from the Monterey jack cheese.Continue to 25 of 31 below.
25 of 31
Vegetarian Mushroom Tacos
Make vegetarian tacos using mushrooms and bell peppers for plenty of healthy and nutritious flavor. You could also make this vegetarian fajitas recipe vegan by omitting the sour cream or by using a vegan non-dairy sour cream substitute.
26 of 31
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This soup goes from basic to sophisticated by using French lentils and seasoning with the elegant and unique French Espelette pepper. French lentils are a variety of green lentils with a nutty and peppery kick, as well as a slightly earthy flavor. They also tend to hold their shape well in a recipe like this.
27 of 31
Vegetarian Thai Green Coconut Curry
This vegetarian Thai green curry recipe is very simple to make from scratch, you don't even need any premade curry paste. Once you make this yourself, it will be hard to go back to anything packaged, as this green curry tastes like a green curry should—very fresh and zinging with taste, thanks to many ingredients, including lemongrass. The coconut milk lends a creaminess without making the curry too rich.
28 of 31
Vegan Tofu Spring Rolls
If you like fresh, healthy Thai- or Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls, try this easy recipe for vegetarian and vegan tofu spring rolls. They're filled with tofu, crunchy fresh vegetables, and bean thread noodles. You could use basil, cilantro, or a combination of whatever fresh herbs you have on hand instead of the fresh mint.Continue to 29 of 31 below.
29 of 31
Classic Homemade Falafel
Falafel, sometimes spelled "felafel" or "felafil," is a deep-fried ball or patty that is made from either chickpeas or fava beans and spices. It is a vegetarian and vegan food and one of the most widely consumed and recognized foods of the Middle East. It's a very popular fast food around the world, and vendors sell it on the street corners in countries like Egypt, Syria, and Israel, where it's the national dish.
30 of 31
Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup
This soup recipe combines mushrooms, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, garlic, green onions, and chili oil, resulting in an authentic dish that vegans and vegetarians (or anyone else for that matter) can enjoy. It's warm, nourishing, and oh-so-delicious.
31 of 31
Lentil Sloppy Joes
Lentil sloppy joes are the comfort food you’ve been looking for if you've been trying to eat less meat. They have the same flavor and texture of your favorite childhood sandwich—the sauce is tangy, yet sweet and it’s all piled onto toasted buns and topped with thick slices of onion. To make this vegan, enjoy with your favorite dairy-free hamburger rolls.