Food & Drink

9 Easy Weeknight Recipes That Are Totally Meat-Free

Spinach quinoa skillet lasagna
Courtesy of Honey and Figs Kitchen

The last thing you want to do when you get home from work is traipse out to the pasture, slaughter a hen on a tree stump, then pluck that bird smooth before roasting it for an hour. Who has the time?? Not us, which is why we rounded up nine of our favorite vegetarian dinners.

Garlic-poached heirloom tomato spaghetti

This Caprese-inspired pasta comes together in a mere 20 minutes. Poach the tomatoes in lemon, olive oil, white wine, and garlic until they burst. Then, toss the mixture in with the spaghetti and the secret ingredient: creamy burrata (which you should most definitely buy at an Italian specialty store). If burrata's not an option, fresh mozzarella will do. Find the recipe here!

Cauliflower shawarma

Though this sandwich is technically not shawarma -- which is a meat preparation -- the Middle Eastern flavors (cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon) that the meat is typically made with are still front and center. If you're feeling bold, make your own pita. Otherwise, store-bought is fine. Recipe here.

Mediterranean black lentil salad

Mix spinach, herbs, cucumber, peppers, and feta cheese together with black lentils and top with a homemade walnut balsamic vinaigrette. The great thing about this recipe is that leftovers can be rolled over into a whole new meal. Just add a poached egg on top and a side of wilted greens. Recipe here.

Spinach quinoa skillet lasagna

For a healthier take on the Italian favorite, here’s a quick weeknight lasagna riff that substitutes protein-packed quinoa (here's how to make it) for the usual pasta layer. The grains are mixed with spinach, tomato sauce, and cheese and then broiled in a skillet. Recipe here.

Strawberry farro salad with avocado and feta

The best part about farro salad is that the grain is hearty enough to serve as a meal on its own. Plus, it quickly absorbs all of the flavors from the honey-balsamic-Dijon dressing with poppy seeds! Get the recipe here.

Chipotle fajita-stuffed sweet potatoes

So it may not have the crunch of a hard-shell taco, but if you want both Tex-Mex flavors and health benefits, stuff up some baked sweet potatoes. Oh, and don’t forget that homemade chipotle crema. Get the easy-to-assemble recipe here.

Macaroni & cheese with roasted garlic and caramelized leeks

Basically a Greek mac & cheese, this recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes and Greek oregano. The cheese is a mix of asiago and feta, but you'll definitely want to make a roux to ensure it's extra creamy. Get the recipe here.

Southwestern white bean burgers

Ready in under 30 minutes, these homemade white bean burgers are loaded up with breadcrumbs and spices, then topped with pepper Jack cheese, avocado slices, and pico de gallo. You won't miss meat. Recipe here.

Soba noodles with roasted zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and Swiss chard pesto

Roast shredded yellow and green zucchini with cherry tomatoes and then toss the vegetables with hearty soba noodles and a bright Swiss chard pesto. Serve the dish warm or cold.

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Sophie Hays is a freelance writer from New York City, where she can be found searching for the next great plate of homemade pasta or recipe testing in her tiny kitchen. Follow her on Twitter @SophieHays_.