10 No-Meat Dinner Ideas That Are Hearty and Full of Flavor

Don’t let the idea of going veggie or practicing Meatless Monday scare you—these no-meat dinner ideas taste like your faves (pizza, chili, tacos, barbecue sandwiches—the comfort food gang’s all here) without the beef, pork, or poultry. So no matter what you’re craving, these easy meatless dinner recipes are so full of flavor that we promise you won’t miss the meat!

Hearty Vegetable Cacciatore

Carson Downing

Translated from Italian, cacciatore means “hunter.” So it stands to reason that this classic Italian entrée’s centerpiece is commonly braised rabbit or chicken. For this healthy no-meat dinner idea, allow meatlike portobello mushrooms, buttery fingerling potatoes, and chewy fava or soybeans to steal the show. Simmered in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and wine, it tastes every bit as hearty and satisfying as the original dish.

Original Pizza Margherita

Jacob Fox

Make pizza a little fresher—and vegetarian—by skipping the greasy sausage or packaged pepperoni. Instead, sprinkle your favorite pizza dough with garden-fresh basil and grape tomatoes, and top things off with melty mozzarella cheese. The kicker: This, one of our best no-meat dinner ideas, can be on the table in just 30 minutes, quicker than most delivery pies.

“Beef” Picadillo-Style Tacos

Blaine Moats

Shake up some margaritas and prepare to dive into a vegan taco night that tastes just as good as (maybe even better than!) all fiesta feasts you’ve had before. A poblano chile, cumin, and coriander seasoning flavors the plant-based meat just as it does in your favorite taco recipe, so you won’t notice there’s zero beef. This Meatless Monday idea turns up the flavor volume even more with almonds, green olives, and potatoes—all elements inspired by picadillo, a classic dish in many Latin American countries.

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie with Stout

Blaine Moats

Lentils, mushrooms, carrots, and rich stout beer beef up this no-meat dinner idea, so it’s wildly cozy. Don’t worry: The peas, tomatoes, and potatoes are still invited to the savory pie party! To sneak in even more nutrition, follow our tip for mixing the spuds with parsnips and cauliflower.

Greek Spinach-Veggie Burgers

Blaine Moats

Skip the fast-food hamburger tonight and head to the Mediterranean! Well, at least you can take your taste buds on a trip there with this no-meat dinner idea that takes just 30 minutes. Herb stuffing mix, spinach, and feta cheese make a healthy hamburger alternative, even when loaded with your favorite toppings.

Mushroom-Sweet Potato Moussaka

Carson Downing

Typically built around ground beef or lamb, this Greek casserole epitomizes comfort food. With a foundation of tomatoes, beef, and eggplant, it’s traditionally coated in a thick layer of egg-thickened béchamel sauce and baked until bubbly. However, this lighter no-meat dinner idea is entirely vegan, showcasing a cashew cream sauce, garlicky roasted mushrooms instead of meat, and a luscious mashed sweet potato topping. Oh yes, and an impressive 20 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber to boot.

Mile-High Meatless Lasagna Pie

Christina Schmidhofer

Struggling to choose between deep-dish pizza or a lasagna recipe tonight? We say, choose both. This hearty springform Meatless Monday dinner idea gets its 26 grams of protein from a variety of cheeses (ricotta is a strong source).

Chickpea Alfredo with Spring Veggies

Blaine Moats

Even if you’re used to chicken-loaded restaurant Alfredos, this no-meat dinner idea will win you over from your first slurp. No one will guess it’s completely vegan! (That is if you skip the optional Parm garnish.) The hearty and super-silky Alfredo sauce made with chickpea flour, cashews, and a couple of cloves of garlic is almost indistinguishable from Alfredo sauce made with dairy, especially once you toss it with fettuccine noodles, spinach, asparagus, and peas.

Cajun-Seasoned Vegetarian Gumbo

Jason Donnelly

This vegetarian-friendly Southern favorite needs just seven ingredients, including beans, tomatoes, okra, and frozen stir-fry veggies. Even better news? This, one of our best meatless dinner ideas, takes just 10 minutes to prep before it essentially finishes itself in the slow cooker.

Buffalo Cauliflower Salad

Blaine Moats

Roast florets of versatile cauliflower, then toss with a lemon juice-spiked cayenne pepper sauce for a Meatless Monday-friendly twist on Buffalo wings. Pile atop a bed of veggies—including carrots and celery, of course. Add almonds and an easy avocado dressing, and you have an entrée salad that might just inspire everyone to say, “Who gives a cluck about chicken?”


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