10 Hearty & Wholesome Dinners That Happen to Be Vegetarian

updated Feb 11, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

If you’re still under the impression that meat-free comfort food is an oxymoron, we’re here to change your mind. Whether you’re dipping your toes into #meatlessmonday or looking to expand your vegetarian horizons, here are 10 stick-to-your-ribs dinners that are so hearty, you won’t miss the meat.

1. All-Star Baked Ziti

The classic Italian pasta dish you know and love is proof vegetarian and comfort food absolutely go together. The gooey casserole with pockets of creamy ricotta hiding among the noodles exceptionally well, so go ahead and make a double batch.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Some homemade veggie burgers (and some store-bought ones, too) include a laundry list of ingredients, but these protein-packed patties have just five ingredients — beans, oats, chiles, cilantro, and avocado, which holds it all together. Even better, they come together in under 30 minutes.

Get the recipe: Easy 5-Ingredient Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

3. Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Curry

Warm up with a bowl of tender sweet potatoes and nutty chickpeas simmered in creamy ginger and Thai chili-spiked coconut milk. Steamed rice soaks up the spicy sauce.

Get the recipe: Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Curry

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowl

We all know that the best part of the burrito is the filling. With this recipe you have it all — the spice, the beans, the rice, the veggies — while barely lifting a finger. The key to slow cooker success is in the layering to guarantee every ingredient is cooked to perfection. Enjoy as-is, or warm up a couple tortillas to eat on the side.

Get the recipe: How To Make Slow Cooker Veggie Burrito Bowls

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Huevos Rancheros Casserole

This breakfast casserole, with layers of corn tortillas, beans, cheese, and a tomato-chile sauce, holds its own at dinner time. Hungry in a hurry? Sub store-bought ranchero sauce to get this on the table even faster.

Get the recipe: Huevos Rancheros Casserole

6. Smoky Sweet Potato & Black Bean Casserole

Smoky mozzarella and smoked paprika add earthy, warm flavors to a base of sweet potatoes and black beans. It’s the perfect make-ahead meal for mid-winter nights when you don’t want to cook. Assemble the casserole early, then refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.

Get the recipe: Smoky Sweet Potato & Black Bean Casserole

Credit: Shelly Westerhausen

7. Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bowls with Avocado and Green Tahini

We practically dare you to not to feel satisfied after eating this veggie bowl. The secret is the crispy, Buffalo cauliflower. Add an herby tahini sauce, plenty of crunch greens, lots of creamy avocado, and then put it all over rice.

Get the recipe: Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bowls with Avocado and Green Tahini

Credit: Joe Lingeman

8. Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Dried beans simmer all day long with onions, pepper, garlic, and chili powder for a kick of heat. Come home to a kitchen perfumed with delicious smells and enjoy a bowl of tender, smoky beans in a full-flavored broth.

Get the recipe: Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

9. Pulled Mushroom BBQ Sandwiches

Barbecue isn’t often associated with vegetarian, but you’re missing out if you aren’t making this hearty, filling, smoky sweet mushroom mixture, which cooks in just 20 minutes. If you want an alternative to your classic sandwich, pile sautéd mushrooms and onions on top of baked sweet potatoes or buttered cornbread.

Get the recipe: Pulled Mushroom BBQ Sandwiches

10. Weeknight General Tso’s Tofu

There’s no Chinese takeout that’s as delicious or colorful as this tofu take on General Tso’s. The spicy-sweet sauce is what you’re really here for, so why not invite some stir-fried veggies to the bowl? The recipe calls for broccoli and bell pepper, but feel free to sub in quick-cooking items like snow peas, cauliflower, or asparagus.

Get the recipe: Weeknight General Tso’s Tofu

Your turn. What are your favorite vegetarian comfort foods?