32 Vegetarian Meals Ready in 30 Minutes or Less
Whether you do Meatless Mondays or you're a full vegetarian, these recipes from registered dietitian nutritionists offer quick and nutritious solutions.
White Bean Romesco Sauce over Zucchini Noodles
Get out your spiralizer (or buy ready-to-use varieties) for a meatless recipe you’ll serve over and over again. Chef Abbie Gellman, RDN, marries spices (smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and roasted red peppers) with almonds and white beans for the perfect sauce to top these low-carb zoodles. If you’re thinking of going full vegetarian, here are 6 easy ways to get there.
Cauliflower Fried Rice
We love vegetarian meals that are low in carbs, and cauliflower rice is all the rage—with good reason. It allows you to indulge in healthier versions of comfort foods like this fried rice “take-out fake-out” recipe from Chrissy Carroll, RDN.
Easy Lentil Tacos
You totally won’t miss the meat in these delicious six-ingredient tacos from Chelsey Amer, RDN. Taco Tuesday never looked better—or healthier—thanks to the bell peppers, tomatoes, and avocado.
Grilled Tofu with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce
If you’ve never grilled tofu, it’s time: Jessica Levinson, RDN, shows you how on her blog. Topped with a creamy sauce providing healthy fats from avocado, this dish is a protein-rich, gluten-free meatless meal. Find out the nutrients you may be missing if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup
If you’ve jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon, you’re going to love this classic and nutritious recipe from Sharon Palmer, RDN. Don’t have an Instant Pot? No worries—Palmer provides directions for stovetop prep, too.
Ratatouille with Polenta
Chef Catherine Brown pairs creamy polenta with tons of vitamin-packed veggies—eggplant, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, and yellow squash. This high-fiber (15 grams) dish will keep you full for hours.
Carrot Top & Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta
Looking to reduce food waste in your home? Erica Julson, RDN, has just the recipe for you. Use green carrot tops to make a delicious and nutritious pesto, and then serve it over your favorite pasta. Going “green” never tasted better.
Tomato & White Bean Naan Pizza
Pizza night gets healthy thanks to this combo of lycopene-packed tomatoes (lycopene is a powerful antioxidant) and high-fiber white beans. Amy Gorin, RDN includes ready-to-use naan for beautiful and quick meatless vegetarian meals.
Mexican Tofu & Black Bean Scramble
Anne Danahy, RDN, brings the protein of tofu and black beans together with southwestern spices for easy vegetarian meals you’re going to love. Wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla and dinner is done in about 15 minutes. Check out these tasty vegan breakfast ideas.
Coconut Curried Red Lentil Pasta
Tired of boring wheat-based pasta? How about pasta made from red lentil flour? Gluten-free, colorful, and higher in protein and fiber, it’s delightful when combined with a coconut curry sauce. This recipe comes from chef Catherine Brown.
Vegetarian Quesadilla with Corn & Tomatillos
General Tso’s Tofu
Why spend tons of money and calories on take-out? Dara Gurau, RDN created a healthier option on the popular General Tso’s dish using tofu. It’ll be ready faster than you can order and pick-up from your favorite restaurant.
Pressure Cooker Minestrone Soup
Chock full of vitamins and fiber from the huge variety of veggies, this minestrone soup comes courtesy of Brittany Poulson, RDN. Since it’s made in a pressure cooker, dinner is done super fast. Bonus: It’s super low in fat! These iron-rich foods are great for vegetarians.
Black Bean Pasta with Spicy Cashew Romesco
With just eight ingredients, Kelly Jones, RDN, created this high protein vegetarian meal. The spice comes from jarred roasted red peppers and fresh jalapenos. Cashews provide healthy fats, while the whole grain pasta and black beans up the fiber content.
Potato Lentil Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Don’t shy away from potatoes—they’re full of complex carbs to fuel your exercise and potassium for your recovery. Chef Abbie Gellman, RDN, combines purple fingerling potatoes with fiber-rich lentils for a meatless meal your whole family will devour.
One Pan Chipotle Mexican Quinoa
Who doesn’t love a one-pan dinner—less clean-up is always welcome, right? Jessica Penner, RDN combines flavorful cumin, oregano, salsa and chili flakes with veggies like bell pepper, black beans, and corn for a healthy vegetarian meal.
Easy Tofu Stir-fry
This meal from Diane Norwood, RDN, truly lives up to its name of “easy”: With less than ten ready-to-go ingredients, you’ll have it on the table in 20 minutes. Served over brown rice or cauliflower rice, you’ll want to add this to your meal plan regularly. Don’t miss these easy vegan recipes while you’re at it.
Coconut Red Curry
You won’t believe the number of veggies in this curry dish from Amanda Hernandez, RDN: Carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, and pea pods; simply spicy and delicious, and you’ll be eating in 15 minutes.
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Colorful Quinoa & Pecan Salad
Don’t let the word “salad” fool you. Tracee Yablon Brenner, RDN, combines quinoa and pecans to create a gorgeous meal that will satisfy you far more than boring iceberg lettuce salads. Pecans provide healthy fats, while the beets are full of antioxidants for heart health. Here are some of the best plant-based protein sources.
Spaghetti Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes
You simply must try this inside-out version of the classic pasta favorite from Tawnie Kroll, RDN. Perfectly portioned pasta, and elegant enough for company. And what’s not to like about the heart-healthy benefits of lycopene from the tomatoes?
Crispy Pasta with Kale and Parmesan
Budget-friendly and decadent, pan-frying pasta in butter turns this ordinary dish into a masterpiece. Meme Inge, RDN includes vitamin-rich kale and nutty calcium-rich Parmesan cheese for the perfect meatless meal.
Brown Rice Lentil Salad
If you combine pulses and whole grains, you get a complete protein. That’s just what chef Abbie Gellman, RDN, did with her meatless salad meal. Fresh dill and chives provide the perfect compliment to the high fiber (7 grams!) dish.
Sunflower Seed Butter Sauce Veggie Stir-fry
The secret to this quick recipe is using frozen stir-fry veggies. Chelsey Amer, RDN, created this super-fast nutritious recipe for your busy weeknight. Using sunflower seed butter provides a nutty flavor option for those with nut allergies.
Broccoli Slaw Spaghetti
Look for packaged shredded broccoli slaw to make this recipe from Meme Inge, RDN come together in no time. The simple swap of broccoli slaw for traditional pasta boosts the fiber and vitamin A and C.
Farro Fried Rice
Farro, an ancient grain that’s quickly gaining popularity, replaces traditional rice in this meatless meal from Kelly Jones, RDN. Use whole eggs for a protein punch and pre-cut frozen veggies—and your spiced up Asian dinner is ready in a flash.
Black-eyed Pea Burrito Bowl
Black-eyed peas are supposed to ensure good luck for the upcoming year if you eat them on New Year’s Day—but they’re filling fiber and protein can keep you full year round. Change your luck with this delicious burrito bowl from Karman Meyer, RDN. Find out the world-famous recipes vegetarians can now eat.
You won’t miss the meat in these vegetarian meals, thanks to black beans and walnuts. In fact, the faux-meat mixture tastes delicious in tacos and burritos, too. Whitney English, RDN, shares a vegan version of popular tostadas.
Cherry Tomato Tortellini
There’s absolutely nothing simpler than this three-ingredient tasty dish from Diana Rice, RDN. Toss together refrigerated cheese tortellini, fresh roasted cherry tomatoes and jarred pesto sauce—and dinner is done!