Help! I’m Vegetarian, but My Family Still Eats Meat. What Are Some Recipes That Will Make Everyone Happy?

published Jul 22, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: BONNINSTUDIO/Stocksy

Welcome to “Ask Kitchn,” where our editors put their heads together and answer reader questions. While we can’t answer every email, we thought it would be fun to let you into our team chat a couple of times a month. Want to ask us something? Email

Hi Kitchn Team!

I just recently moved to a vegetarian diet, and I’d love to get your favorite meatless recipes? Here’s the catch: The rest of my family of four are still meat-eaters, but at a reduced quantity, so meals that I can add or take away meat easily are ideal. I love to cook and I love big flavors! I’m loving the meatless life so far, but I need some inspiration to keep it interesting.

Thanks so much!


Sheela: The first thing that comes to mind are stuffed sweet potatoes and potatoes! You can fill them with beans and veggies to keep them vegetarian, but could easy add crumbled bacon or sausage for meat-eaters!

Arie: Oo yes, I love that idea. Makes me also immediately think of tacos? Like a taco bar with some meat options, but lots of veggies, too.

Sheela: Totally, the same rules apply for tacos! Also, don’t underestimate sandwiches. Packed with veggies, hummus, and even cheese, they make for a filling and satisfying vegetarian meal. Slip some turkey or shredded rotisserie chicken in for the rest of the family!

Kelli: The first thing that immediately comes to mind for me is stir-fries! They’re naturally veggie heavy, and it’s easy to add meat for those who want it. The same goes for noodle bowls.

Meghan: Bowl food 4ever, Kelli.

Kelli: Big YES to bowl food! They’re so versatile and it’s a pretty easy lift to customize them so that everyone around the table is satisfied.

Arie: Lots of bowl foods for sure. This is my favorite, favorite lunch right now. Soyrzio is the best. Also, Kelli a bunch of your Buddha bowl recipes are perfect for this too! I love this recipe.

Meghan: And Grace’s Tonight We Veg recipes are hearty and could always have a little condi-meat added to them!

Arie: LOL condi-meat. That’s perfect.

Lauren Masur: I’m a total carnivore but have to say that some plant-based meat products on the market are so satisfying and, dare I say, tasty? Beyond Meat makes some of my favorites; their “beef crumbles” and even bratwurst will honestly please everyone.

Arie: Lauren Kodiak, you’re vegetarian! What are your favorite recipes to make right now that could have meat?

Lauren Kodiak: My husband is not vegetarian and usually eats what I make, but we have a standard practice at home where he grills up some chicken thighs (in the summer) or keeps a rotisserie chicken in the fridge to bulk up whatever I make — whether it’s an Italian pasta dish, a grain bowl, bean tacos, tofu stir-fry, or a big veggie salad.

Arie: Oh smart! Anything you’re making for dinner this week that works as an example?

Lauren Kodiak: Yeah actually last night I made a quinoa bowl with roasted bell pepper, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts, all tossed with a ginger-garlic-coconut aminos sauce! I put out fun toppings like avocado and roasted cashews, and that was enough for me! And then Drew added his chicken.

Arie: Delicious! I also want to throw out this super-popular vegetarian recipe roundup we did recently. Lots of good things in there.

Do you have any recommendations for Mary? Let her know in the comments1