23 Vegetarian Dinners to Make Meatless Monday Even Easier

updated May 1, 2019
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Whether you’re a vegetarian or you’ve just been trying to incorporate more meatless meals into your dinner routine, we can all use some quick vegetarian recipes to make on busy weeknights. (Even better if they are more exciting than a bowl of pasta with pesto and veggies.)

Luckily, we have plenty of ideas for easy vegetarian-friendly meals that won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours.

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If you have leftover black beans, you can whip these tacos up in no time. Or if you just open up a can of black beans to mash together with some onion and spices, you can get a delicious dinner on the table quickly.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

This simple potato dinner is incredibly easy to make. You can bake the potatoes in the microwave to save time, then assemble the marinara, parsley, and eggs and pop everything under broiler for five minutes and dinner is done. This is the perfect time to break out your favorite jarred marinara.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

The most time-consuming part of this meal is the wild rice, which takes some time to cook. But you can always swap it out for a quicker cooking grain like quinoa or couscous, or simply make a big batch of it on the weekend for dishes like this. The curry comes together in one pot and just takes some stirring.

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To make this meal even faster, opt for cellophane noodles that don’t even need to be cooked before being tossed in the wok; they can just be soaked while you stir-fry the rest of the ingredients since noodles go into the mix last.

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Thanks to the broiler, this hot sandwich cooks up pretty quickly. All you need to do is brush the tempeh with tomato paste and herbs, broil quickly on each side. and then layer with cheese and give it another trip under the heat.

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While this makes a great snack recipe, it also can stand in for a light dinner when you add some extra black beans or leftover rice to the side. But really, you just can’t go wrong with avocado.

(Image credit: Karen Biton-Cohen)

Polenta is one of the best ingredients in your quick, weeknight meal arsenal. It can be made in minutes and topped with just about anything. If you have leftover veggies from another meal, drape them over a bowl of polenta and dinner is done.

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The no-cook sauce for this pasta dish comes together in less time than it takes to cook the noodles. When you add the steaming penne, fusilli, or gemelli, it melts the ricotta a bit and results in a light-yet-creamy pasta dinner.

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We know what you’re thinking — pizza is complicated to make. But this version is surprisingly simple. Yes, there’s a bit of waiting time while the dough rises, but in terms of hands-on time, it’s pretty minimal. If you really want to make it quick, of course, you can opt for store-bought pizza dough.

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There’s nothing quite like a tuna sandwich for an easy dinner — except of course this vegetarian version made with chickpeas instead. It gets a slight tang from the vinegar. Just be sure not to skimp on the celery and scallions — they give the sandwich texture and heft.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Not only is this a great budget-friendly, fridge-clearing recipe, but it also takes just a few moments to prepare. You just need to toast the bread; chop up a few tomatoes, herbs, and other produce; and then toss everything together with a healthy pour of olive oil and lime juice.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Making zucchini noodles is one of the fastest ways to get dinner on the table. You can make your own pesto for this dish if you want, or you can add chopped pistachios and extra Parmesan to your favorite jarred version instead.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

The key to making this meal even faster to prepare is to use leftover rice. Plus, it will hold up better in your stir-fry anyway. You can also rely on frozen stir-fry veggies to save a little extra time.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

The most time-consuming part of this recipe is chopping up a few zucchini or summer squash and frying the tofu into croutons. Otherwise, this spicy soup comes together in a few minutes and will finish cooking while you call everyone to the table.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This hearty quinoa salad gets tossed together in just minutes and is guaranteed to fill you up. Plus, it gets better the second day, so if you have any leftover, it is the ideal weekday lunch.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

It’s always worth it to keep a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. Not only do they make a great healthy snack or breakfast, but they can also help you make dinner quickly. This pesto-smeared baguette sandwich is a perfect example. And even if you have to make a couple of hard-boiled eggs in order to make the sandwich, it won’t take much time at all.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

If making gnocchi from scratch takes more time than you have (it’s easy — we promise), you can always opt to use your favorite store-bought version in this recipe instead. Then all you have to do is toss it with the peas, butter, and some extra cheese.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Sautéed summer squash is one of our go-to meals during the warmer months. It adds a new level of flavor to the zucchini and creates a warm, filling meal. If you want, can serve it over a bed of quinoa or another quick-cooking grain.

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While chimichurri wasn’t originally designed to top vegan tacos (it’s often served with grilled steak), the condiment makes a great, garlicky addition to these quick weeknight tacos. It’s a refreshing change of pace from salsa.

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Adding a can of chickpeas to a simple grain salad immediately takes it from side dish to full meal. This simple summer salad is perfect for harried weeknights. You can also make it in advance to let the flavors marinate — just toss in the mint and feta before serving.

(Image credit: Erin Alderson)

Soba noodles are pretty quick-cooking, so making this dish won’t take very long at all. Plus, both the mushrooms and the chard don’t take long to cook either, so the whole thing comes together quickly for a fast Tuesday night meal.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

This lighter take on fettuccine Alfredo has a distinct flavor, thanks to the mixed-in zucchini. With a 20-minute cook time, it’s a winner any weeknight when you’re feeling up for a bowl of pasta.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Spring radishes are one of the best ways to add some bite to your dinner, and this colorful salad recipe is one to keep in your back pocket. If you don’t want to splurge on microgreens, you can swap in baby arugula or any other seasonal green you can find at the market.

Use our recipe roulette to decide which dish to make on Meatless Monday. Ditch the meat and turn up the heat.