22 High-Protein Vegetarian Dinners That Aren’t Chickpeas

March 5, 2024

Nutritious chickpeas aside, there’s a world of other out there to keep you satisfied in a vegetarian eating pattern. These dinners offer at least per serving from ingredients like tofu, cheese and peas to help you . Delicious and nourishing recipes like our Best Veggie Enchiladas and Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese hit the spot on any night of the week. (Note: Some of these dishes call for Parmesan cheese, which can contain animal rennet. Feel free to omit or swap it for your favorite cheese to keep the dish fully vegetarian.)

Mushroom-Ricotta Tartines

Photographer: Grant Webster, Food Stylist: Addelyn Evans,  Prop Stylist: Gabriel Greco, 

Enjoy the art of presentation with a tartine—a sandwich that’s a feast for the eyes and taste buds, served open-faced. Here, we slather a thick slice of good crusty whole-wheat bread with a creamy pesto-ricotta spread and top it with golden-brown sautéed mushrooms. Any tender, quick-cooking mushroom would work for this recipe. Oyster mushrooms, chanterelles and shiitake mushrooms would all be delicious. Enjoy it as is or take it to the next level by adding a poached or fried egg on top.

The Best Veggie Enchiladas

Photographer: Jacob Fox, Food stylist: Holly Dreesman, Prop stylist: Joseph Wanek

These veggie enchiladas are packed with sweet corn, onion, peppers, zucchini and beans and are coated with store-bought enchilada sauce to save time on prep. Enchilada sauce ranges from mild to hot. We like the earthy flavor of red enchilada sauce, but green enchilada sauce works well too. For a slightly different spin, substitute yellow squash for the zucchini and a poblano for the bell pepper.

Easy Tofu Curry

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Rishon Hanners, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

Baking the tofu for this protein-packed tofu curry adds texture and helps the tofu hold its shape once added to the sauce. The curry itself is smooth and creamy, with warmth from the spices and some kick from Madras curry powder and jalapeño. If you want to dial down the spice level, swap out the Madras curry powder for regular curry powder. Tearing the tofu by hand helps the curry sauce cling onto all the craggy bits, but if desired, you could cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes instead.

One-Pot White Bean, Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo with Lemon & Feta

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless

This one-pot pasta dish with white beans, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes is lively and vibrant and leaves you with an easy cleanup. Toasting the orzo before adding the broth adds another layer of flavor. Another dark leafy green like chopped kale or Swiss chard can stand in for the spinach, but may take longer to wilt in the pan. If you use a sturdier green, add it to the pan during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

The crispy golden exterior of this sweet potato grilled cheese is thanks to mayonnaise, which spreads easily and browns more evenly than butter or oil. Roasted red onions and sweet potato rounds make up the filling, but you can roast the onion separately and use leftover roasted sweet potato if you have that on hand.

Veggie Lasagna

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist: Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Every layer of this delicious veggie lasagna has its own flavor profile. Cooking the vegetables before assembling the lasagna ensures the dish won’t be soggy. Be sure to squeeze the spinach well—spinach holds a surprising amount of water that will make your lasagna soupy. Lightly coat the foil with cooking spray before covering the lasagna to prevent the cheese from sticking. Serve with a mixed green salad and crusty garlic bread.

Creamy Caramelized Cabbage Pasta

Photographer: Grant Webster, Food Stylist: Holly Dreesman, Prop Stylist: Lexi Juhl

In this comforting vegetarian dinner, cabbage is sautéed in butter until it caramelizes, imparting a subtle sweetness to the dish. A light, creamy sauce coats both the cabbage and the pasta. If you want to stretch the sauce a little further, you can thin it out by adding in a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water.

Mushroom Stew

Will Dickey

This mushroom stew is hearty and flavor-packed, with both fresh and dried mushrooms adding to the rich taste. Quinoa adds protein and a boost of fiber. This flavorful fall soup will be enjoyed by vegetarians and carnivores alike. 

Pea Pesto Gnocchi with Burrata

Jacob Fox

Here we pan-fry gnocchi to get them crispy, then coat them with a pesto-like sauce made with sweet peas, spinach, basil and cashews.

Dan Dan Noodles with Spinach & Walnuts

In this riff on Sichuan dan dan noodles, spinach and red bell peppers are tossed with a sesame-chile-soy sauce and topped with walnuts. If you want to bump up the protein, add tofu, seitan or even chopped egg

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Burrata

This beautiful butternut squash salad with creamy burrata cheese and peppery arugula is perfect for fall entertaining. For the best flavor and texture, remove the burrata from the refrigerator about an hour before use and assemble the salad while the squash is still warm from roasting so the cheese will melt slightly. Feel free to use precut butternut squash to make this recipe easier. If you can find pomegranates, the arils add a bright pop of color and flavor to this healthy salad, but it’s just as good—and almost as impressive-looking—without them.

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

This low-carb riff on classic lasagna layers mushrooms and tomato sauce with spaghetti squash noodles instead of lasagna pasta. Make the layers right in the shell of the spaghetti squash and top with mozzarella cheese for a melty top and fun presentation. Serve with a green salad and a glass of Chianti for an easy, healthy dinner.

Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Photographer: Morgan Hunt Glaze, Food Stylist: Jennifer Wendorf, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

The creamy mushroom linguine is ready in 40 minutes, so it’s quick enough for an easy weeknight recipe but it feels fancy enough for entertaining.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip Pasta

If you’ve ever wanted to make a meal out of warm spinach and artichoke dip, this creamy pasta is for you. And here’s what’s almost as good as the flavor of this comforting dish: the fact that this healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.

Collards & Portobello Grilled Cheese

Meaty portobello mushrooms and sautéed collards turn this easy grilled cheese recipe into a healthy meal. If you don’t have Dijonnaise on hand, make your own by stirring 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard into 3 tablespoons mayonnaise.

Vegetarian Udon Noodle Soup

This Japanese-style udon soup recipe uses several Asian ingredients that are available at most grocery stores, including udon noodles, mirin (cooking wine), miso, and sesame oil. All will keep for months in the pantry or fridge.

One-Pot Lentils & Rice with Spinach

This hearty vegan dish gets its earthy flavor from cumin and brown rice. If you can handle extra heat, try doubling the crushed red pepper for a bigger punch of flavor.

Gochujang-Glazed Tempeh & Brown Rice Bowls

Jen Causey

If you’re a tempeh skeptic, you’ve probably never had the firm soy-based slabs slathered with a sweet-and-spicy barbecue sauce. We give this easy BBQ tempeh combo a punch of umami with tamari and add a little heat courtesy of gochujang. It’s easy to put your own spin on this recipe; see Variations (below) for some riffs.

Green Goddess Grain Bowl

This healthy grain bowl packs in the greens with peas, asparagus and a creamy yogurt dressing. Tofu adds protein while keeping it vegetarian, but you could also swap in cooked shrimp or chicken for a satisfying dinner or packable lunch ready in just 15 minutes.

Slow-Cooker Tofu Lo Mein

Crisp-tender veggies cooked in a sweet Asian sauce and served with noodles and tofu is a refreshingly different slow cooker dinner. Removing the excess moisture from the tofu helps it soak up the sauce, giving the unassuming ingredient full flavor.

Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

A light and creamy green-salsa dressing highlights this easy pasta salad with Southwestern flavors.

Vegetarian Tikka Masala

In this vegetarian tikka masala recipe, we combine crisp tofu pieces and vegetables in a spiced tomato sauce to make a healthy and flavorful dish. If you like spicy food, increase the amount of crushed red pepper. Serve with steamed brown rice for a healthier take on a classic takeout dish.

Your custom text © Copyright 2024. All rights reserved.