Vegetarian Dish

how to substitute to make vegetarian dish from meat recipe

This recipe for a vegetarian dish can be made from a meat recipe by substituting the meat with vegetables.


Find 24 vegetarian recipes, all carnivore approved! Meat lovers love these meatless options.

By carnivores, I mean the diehard meat lovers, of course. The ones who don’t believe dinner is complete without it. My brother is one, and I love him, so I’m not passing judgment here. One of the best compliments I hear on the blog is that your beloved “carnivore” enjoyed one of my recipes so much, he (or she!) didn’t even miss the meat.

I’ve rounded up the hearty recipes that get the most accolades from meat lovers below. You’ll notice a few common threads—they are presented in a familiar form (tacos, enchiladas, lasagna) and include hearty ingredients like beans, lots of veggies, quinoa and nuts. None of them are trying to be a meat dish, mind you, and you won’t find any meat substitutes with funny ingredients here.

One of the most common myths about meatless meals is that they won’t fill you up. When you’re cooking hearty vegetarian recipes made with fiber- and nutrient-rich whole foods, I dare you not to feel full! Protein comes in many forms, such as whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs, dairy, tofu and even kale. Furthermore, most Americans are consuming more than enough protein in their diets. I’ve been a vegetarian for over seven years now, and I am stronger than ever (no thanks to protein powders)! Let’s get on to the recipes.

Roasted cauliflower, seasoned lentils and creamy chipotle sauce combine to create an unexpectedly delicious taco! -

1) Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Gluten free and easily vegan (see notes)

“And I made those tacos tonight, it was fantastic although I have to admit that I cheated and bought the chipotle sauce from the store;) My husband who is a meat lover really loved them as well!” – Cecilia

Fresh spinach artichoke lasagna with the simplest homemade red sauce -

2) Spinach Artichoke Lasagna


“Great recipe; thank you for sharing with Scott and all the rest of us! My husband and I are just starting to explore a diet with fewer animal products, and this was a great way to kick off a week of meatless meals!… I’m sold on the flavor and the friendlier nutrient profile! I’m so glad we landed on your site, and can’t wait to try some of your other recipes! Thanks, again!” – Melissa

This quinoa vegetable soup makes great leftovers for lunch! It

3) Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale

Gluten free and vegan

“I just found this recipe via pinterest! I made the soup yesterday and I absolutely love it!! Never thought of quinoa in soup but this makes so much sense! I am always looking for ways to add protein without adding meat so this is great and my whole family loves it! (I’m a college student by the way, not a mom, in case you couldn’t tell. lol) This soup is great for all ages!!” – Maya

Light and healthy Thai mango salad wraps (gluten free and easily made vegan) -

4) Thai Mango Cabbage Wraps with Crispy Tofu and Peanut Sauce

Gluten free and vegan (see notes)

“Thank you so much for these delicious and easy to make recipes! My husband and two young children really enjoyed the fried rice and mango tofu lettuce wraps. I have bookmarked your site for more help in the future! Your site has really helped me as I navigate a full time career and eating vegetarian and gluten free.” – Erin

A delicious, redeeming, #vegan dinner that packs well for tomorrow

5) Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowl

Gluten free and vegan

“Cooked this for my family tonight. Trying to get them to eat less meat and it went down a treat. Especially loved the marinated kale! Going to try the sweet potato and green rice bowl next :)” – Bethany

This roasted carrot recipe looks gourmet, but it

6) Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Crème Fraîche

Vegan option

“I made these carrots for Thanksgiving, and they were my favorite dish of the day. The sweetness of the carrots with the creamy sauce and nutty flavor of the farro made for a great combination. And overall it was an easy dish to make. I found the farro, crème fraiche and colorful carrots at Whole Foods.” – Rachel

Sweet potato and black bean tacos with avocado-pepita dip -

7) Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Pepita Dip

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I’m so glad I found your site. Another excellent recipe! I made this tonight for my husband (a big meat fan) and he loved it, too. The feta really made it for me. Will make again and again!” – Erin

This healthy, Mediterranean-flavored lentil soup is made with (mostly) pantry ingredients! Vegan and gluten free.

8) Spiced Vegan Lentil Soup

Gluten free and vegan

“I made this for dinner a couple of nights ago and it was amazing! My husband is a big meat eater and he always feels unsatisfied with vegetarian dishes. But he loved this and it kept him full for a couple hours. We had this with whole wheat rolls, and it was such a nice combination. We are really picky and most new recipes don’t make it onto our menu rotation, but this will be made over and over again.” – Anastasia

Hearty spinach artichoke enchiladas with a simple homemade red sauce! -

9) Spinach Artichoke Enchiladas


“I made these tonight for dinner for my family of five. I am vegetarian, my three daughters (ages 7 to 13) and husband are certainly not. My girls devoured this meal and my husband told me he would eat less meat if vegetarian tasted this good. Thank you!” – Amy

Sweet and spicy Thai pineapple fried rice, a simple vegetarian dinner! -

10) Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

Gluten free, vegan option

“Delicious! I added mushrooms (using up what I had) and broccoli (for color) and it was awesome. I was even bold enough to serve it to my husband’s parents who do not usually do meatless meals! There was only one spoonful left at the end, so I think it was a hit. Thanks!” – Natasha

Roasted sweet potatoes with green rice and black beans.

11) Spicy Sweet Potato and Green Rice Burrito Bowls

Gluten free and vegan

“Just made this for this evenings dinner. Just awesomly delicious. Even my husband (die hard meat eater) was pleasantly surprised and loved it. He is glad there is left overs for tomorrows lunch. This is a winner.” – Margaret

Easier, healthier brown rice risotto with caramelized mushrooms -

12) Easy Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano

Gluten free, vegan option

“…My husband’s not usually crazy about most meatless meals I make, but he LOVED this. I will definitely be making it again. Thank you so much, Kate!” – Katie

Chipotle butternut squash chili recipe, perfect for game days and cold days! -

13) Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado

Gluten free and vegan

“This was soooo delicious! I served it to company last weekend and they scraped the pot clean, even though one of them usually prefers meat at every meal. My two modifications: I added one extra can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, and served with sour cream. My boyfriend keeps asking “Are you sure there aren’t leftovers?”” – Julie

My new favorite meal: roasted cauliflower on a bed of healthy cracked freekeh pilaf, topped with tahini sauce, fresh parsley and raisins!

14) Roasted Cauliflower, Freekeh and Garlicky Tahini Sauce

Easily vegan

“Just made this for my family. My 16 y.o. vegetarian daughter pointed out the recipe. It is absolutely delicious!!! Really satisfying, without all the guilt of a heavy meal. We loved it and will be adding it to our regular favorites. Super easy too!! This is a must make!!” – Sheila

Roasted brussels sprouts and crispy baked tofu with honey-sesame glaze -

15) Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey-Sesame Glaze

Gluten free and vegan

“Another amazing recipe, perfect combination of sweet and spicy. I pitched this to my meat loving boyfriend as vegetarian general tso’s, and it worked! Every recipe I cook from this blog is so delicious – all I want to know is when is the Cookie and Kate cookbook release date! Thank you, Kate, your recipes have renewed my love of cooking and make breaking bread with loved ones even more special.” – Ailla

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice -

16) Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Gluten free and vegan

“This recipe is awesome…I made it for my whole family (8 people!) at Christmas and earned some major veggie-friendly brownie points with my mostly meat-eating kin. And then devoured an entire bag of celery eating up the leftover sauce…” – Helen

Delicious veggie black bean enchiladas are a healthy vegetarian enchilada recipe everyone will love! -

17) Veggie Black Bean Enchiladas

Gluten-free option, vegan option

“This was just delicious! Thank you! Even my boyfriend, who tends to have meat with all of his meals, enjoyed them as an entree.” – Hillary

Spicy stir-fried kale with coconut and rice (gluten free) -

18) Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry

Gluten free, vegan if you skip the eggs

“I almost never comment on blogs, but after making this recipe for the second time in two weeks I knew I had to. This stir fry is amazing – my husband (a dedicated meat eater) said that he wanted to have it every week! Success! Thank you for your delicious recipes and gorgeous photos!” – Kate

Portobello mushroom and poblano pepper fajitas

19) Portobello and Poblano Fajitas

Gluten free and vegan if you skip the feta

“Made these tonight and LOVED them! The hubby and I are generally meat eaters, but we’re trying to do meatless Monday this new year, and these will be a new addition to our rotation, meatless Mondays or not! Thanks for the great recipe!” – Dizydes

Curried cauliflower soup recipe -

20) Curried Cauliflower Soup

Gluten free and vegan

“I have made this soup several times and not only do I love it, my husband asks for it regularly. Most men are meat and potatoes, especially mine, so that says a lot! We love Tia food and the hotter, the better. To increase the spice we add jalapeño and red pepper flakes to this recipe but we stick true it. I have made it for friends and they were “wowed.” This recipe is a MUST try!! Love it!! Thank you for sharing!!!!” – Deanna

Sweet potato burrito smothered with avocado salsa verde

21) Sweet Potato Burrito Smothered in Avocado Salsa Verde

Easily gluten free and easily vegan

“Made these tonight. They were really good. My hubby even liked them. Great meatless Monday dinner. Thank you.” – Tracy

The best vegetarian chili - so easy to make with basic ingredients!

22) Homemade Vegetarian Chili

Gluten free and vegan

“We had this recipe today and it was delicious. My husband the meat eater loved it. We will have chili for lunch and dinner the whole week.” – Suheyl

Quinoa black bean tacos with avocado crema! Quick, easy and delicious.

23) Quinoa Black Bean Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Gluten free and vegan

“Wow, had these for dinner tonight and so delicious. My partner said “these taste better than the meat variety”.” – Candice

Sweet potato and black bean veggie burgers (vegan and gluten free) -

24) Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Gluten free (just choose gluten-free toppings and buns) and vegan

“…I devoured one in a burger bun with cheese, red onion, tomato, gherkins and guacamole. I too love spice so I add a few birds eye chillies to my ‘mole. My carnivore husband also was amazed at the flavour from them and was asking for more! This recipe will be one I’ll use for a long time to come. Thank you so so much for sharing!” – Cat

Find 24 meatless recipes that your die-hard meat eaters will love!

More resources you might appreciate: 13 make-ahead breakfast recipes, 16 recipes that pack well for lunch and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You can shop my essential kitchen equipment here. Don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest for a steady stream of recipe inspiration!

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