Whether you’re looking for new meatless meal ideas or just hoping for a fresh win at the dinner table, try one of these AP-tested vegetarian recipes. They’re quick to prepare, nutritious, and just might be your family’s new favorite!

Chickpea Burgers 

If you think chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are just for hummus or falafel, try these yummy burgers for a handheld weeknight meal. Pan fry or grill these patties that come together easily in a food processor. Psst: greens are blended right in to the burgers! Serve with a variety of toppings, including veggies and sauces, to give kids a DIY thrill.

Zoodles and Sauce 

Zucchini noodles are a big hit with kids and adults. Spiralizers make quick work of the veggies. But if you don’t own one, use a vegetable peeler or your sharp knife skills to make long, thin pieces. They require almost no cooking time – a few minutes in the saute pan – and keep their firm bite under any kind of sauce. Try them with marinara, pesto or this especially tasty garlic parmesan version.

Coconut Lentil Curry

Even kids who think they don’t like lentils are wowed by the flavors in this dish. And it’s a slow cooker recipe, so it’s a breeze for weeknight dinners. Sweet potato and carrots pack a nutritional punch alongside the lentils. When served with rice or naan, this warm main dish is comfort food heaven.

Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas

Even picky eaters who are anti-greens can’t resist a flavorful enchilada dish that uses black beans as protein with spinach tucked alongside them. (Note: if you anticipate issues with bean texture, blend or mash before filling tortillas.) You can buy jarred enchilada sauce, or easily make your own. Plus, this recipe omits cheese and is served with a lime cream instead of sour cream, which makes it great for vegans.


It’s hard to say, but great fun to eat! Shakshuka is a one-pan Israeli dish that works for any mealtime. It’s essentially eggs cooked in sauce, but you can add additional vegetables, like kale or bell peppers, to suit your family’s preferences. Start with this basic recipe and serve with a green salad and crusty sourdough for dipping.

For more kid-friendly meatless meal ideas, try the whole wheat pancakes or butternut squash mac and cheese recipes among our healthy dinner ideas.

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