20 Meat-Free Recipes That Won’t Leave You Feeling Hungry

By , SparkPeople Blogger
According to a recent poll, around 5 percent of Americans are vegetarian and 3 percent are vegan. But you don’t have to fall into one of those categories to enjoy the benefits of the occasional meatless meal. Including more plant-based foods in your diet can help to reduce your cholesterol and saturated fat intake, improve heart health, elevate energy levels and reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. Plus, studies show that plant-based diets are more conducive to weight loss, as meatless meals usually contain fewer calories.
As registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey points out, vegetarian meals are often high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, along with a host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. “Diets high in plants are also linked to lower levels of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer,” she adds.
If you’re not quite ready to make the leap to an all-meatless diet, why not explore the “flexitarian” lifestyle? Flexitarians are those who choose to cut back on their meat intake and focus more on grains, beans, fruits, veggies and other plant-based foods.
Not sure where to start? Try incorporating some of these meatless recipes into your weekly meal planning.

Two-Bean Sweet Potato Chili: This vegetarian chili uses some secret tricks to boost the flavor without adding calories.

Baked Falafel: Use all chickpeas if you don't have fava beans. If you use canned beans, omit the salt to cut down on sodium.

Bruschetta-Stuffed Mushrooms: All the delicious flavor of bruschetta, in a healthy mushroom.

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese: This slimmed-down version of a family classic boosts the nutritional value without sacrificing taste.

Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas: A delicious way to sneak some extra veggies into your day.

Simple Quinoa and Vegetables: This protein-rich vegetarian recipe is simple to make and tasty to eat.

Mini Vegetable Frittatas: Make this ahead of time and then refrigerate for a quick, protein-packed breakfast that's also portion-controlled.

Vegetarian Lentil Loaf: Serve with steamed broccoli and sweet corn for a complete vegetarian meal.

Crustless Spinach, Onion and Feta Quiche: Technically this is a crustless quiche, but the addition of flour makes for a delicious crusty bottom and sides.

Easy Bean Tostadas: They’re budget-friendly, easy to make and full of fiber.

Easy Poached Eggs and Pasta: The still-runny egg yolk adds a creaminess to the sauce and perfectly mixes with the spinach.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach: This recipe is fast, filling and super low in fat.

Vegan Moroccan-Style Chickpeas: This simple dish is chock full of flavor and nutrients.

Slow Cooker Healthy Potato Soup: Enjoy a flavorful, hearty and nutritious meal with no hassle.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili: The secret to this hearty vegetarian chili is butternut squash, which holds its shape and adds a layer of flavor and sweetness.

Spaghetti Squash Marinara: This healthy pasta alternative boasts a classic Italian twist.

Vegetable Rissoto: Rich and creamy, this risotto is full of whole grains and vegetables.

Vegetarian Vindaloo: This spicy Indian curry can be made vegetarian or with meat, and is packed with spices.

White Beans with Caramelized Onions and Kale: Packed with protein and flavor, this filling dish won’t leave you missing the meat.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sesame Peanut Sauce: This Asian-inspired pasta dish can be served hot or cold. Add some tofu for another healthy option. 

What are your favorite meatless recipes? Share them in the comments!

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Thank you. Report
I will be trying some of these recipes. They all look so delicious. Report
Thanks for sharing Report
Can't wait to try some of these recipes! Report
excellent Report
I will be trying some of these ! Report
Love many of the recipes, will need to try them Report
some good suggestions here~ Report
Thanks Report
Beans and cheese are my go-tos. Report
Great recipes! They all look good to me. Report
Thanks for the recipes! Report
Bless you for these vegetarian recipes which I will try one by one. Report
I definitely need to try some of these. They'd probably be really helpful on the days that I work! Report
Great to see SP increasing articles and recipes for vegan options. Hurray for healthful, whole foods plant based living! Report
I've been looking for foods to keep me full, instead of snacking and here they are, SparkFriends. Thanx Report
thanks for good ideas I especially like easy crockpot meals Report
i love seeing more meatless meals, better for your health, better for the environment and better for your wallet. Thank you Report
Great recipes. Thank you. Report
Will have to try some of these. The pictures look wonderful. Report
These all look so good Report
These all look so good Report
Great recipes, all! Report
These sound delicious! Report
Thanks Report
Thank you Report
Thank you Report
Some are good for non-restricted diets:others, no. Report
The Slow Cooker Healthy Potato Soup Recipe is not actually vegetarian. It would be both vegetarian and a lot healthier to replace the chicken boullion and water with 6 cups of vegetable stock. The first 3 ingredients on chicken boullion cubes are Salt, monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Ugh. Report
great! Report
thank you Report
thanks Report
thanks Report
Excellent article. I am not a vegetarian but I like the idea of incorporating meatless Monday into my life style will be trying some of theses 😀👍 Report
I have too many food allergies to try any of these recipes. Mushrooms will kill me! Report
Thank you. Report
Thank you. Report
Great recipes to try, thanks. Report
thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
very helpful Report
Found about 5 recipes I will try in the coming weeks. Report
Some of these look like they have potential. Thanks. Report
Some delicious options Report
love all these! who knew meatless meals could be so appetizing! Report
Love these! Thank you! Report
Thanks. Report