50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (2024)

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains provide the canvas for vibrant, delicious vegetarian recipes that can be enjoyed by vegetarians and omnivores alike. Here, we've rounded up our best vegetarian recipes to showcase the diversity of vegetarian-friendly food. Get introduced to reimagined flavors and new cooking techniques with satisfying dishes like Carnitas Jackfruit Tacos, Charred Vegetable Ragù, and Smoky Breakfast Pizzas. Discover all the ways to love meat-free meals with our best vegetarian recipes.

Note: Some of these recipes include cheeses that are often made with animal rennet. These cheeses can be omitted if applicable, or swapped for a vegetarian-friendly substitute.

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Rajma (Kidney Bean Curry) Veggie Burgers

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (1)

Your quest for the perfect veggie burger is over. Cookbook author Chitra Agrawal's version uses mashed kidney beans, which get an umami burst with the addition of grated Parmesan and a melty slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Don't skip the piles of toppings: They make this already wonderful burger even more special.

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Three-Cheese Lasagna with Roasted Red Peppers and Mushrooms

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (2)

To create a flavor-packed vegetarian lasagna, start by roasting mushrooms and red peppers with a garlic-infused oil. While the vegetables are cooking, stir together a quick ricotta filling with plenty of Parmesan for extra umami.

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Roasted Broccoli Steaks with Tomato Butter and Tapenade

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (3)

Chef Greg Vernick treats broccoli like a steak, roasting it at a high temperature on a preheated pan to achieve a lightly charred crust. Cooked on the same pan, umami-packed tomatoes blend up into a super-quick sauce enriched with just the right amount of butter.

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Grilled Vegetable Flatbread with Smoked Almond Muhammara

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (4)

In addition to turning heads at your cookouts, this vegetarian masterpiece is packed with make-ahead options and smart shortcuts. Make the Smoked Almond Muhammara up to three days in advance and stash it in the fridge; skip a step and substitute two cups of jarred roasted peppers for the grilled bell peppers.

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Hatch Chiles Rellenos

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (5)

Hatch chiles stand out for their balanced sweet heat that takes on a subtle smokiness and buttery quality once roasted. Here, recipe developer Paige Grandjean uses them to make chile rellenos, oozing with asadero cheese. Whipped egg whites give the simple batter a delicate structure; it fries up golden brown and airy, encasing the flavorful Hatch chiles.

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Rainbow Vegetable Gratin

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (6)

Six layers of colorful vegetables cook together in this free-form gratin; panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano absorb extra juices and provide a nice crunch. Dial in your knife skills or use a mandoline to cut the vegetables into thin, uniform slices to ensure easy layering and even baking.

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Mushroom Ragù

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (7)

Meaty mushrooms proudly stand in for meat in this vegetarian riff on the classic Italian meat sauce. Wild mushrooms are especially great here, but any mix of fresh mushrooms will do. However, be sure to seek out dried porcinis; after a quick soak in steaming hot water, they plump up and release their intense, heady flavor into the soaking liquid, which adds a rich depth to this sauce.

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Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (8)

A quick broil followed by a longer bake makes this no-fry recipe hands-off enough to put together on a Tuesday, with results delicious enough for a weekend dinner party. Be sure to let the eggplant drain to achieve the best charred eggplant texture.

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Chilaquiles with Tomatillo Salsa and Fried Eggs

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (9)

Bringing a skillet of chilaquiles topped with all the fixings to the table is a very wise weekend brunch move. Start out by firing up your broiler: Lightly charring the garlic, tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion gives the green salsa terrific depth of flavor. If you don't have time to fry the tortilla chips at home, pick up a bag of your favorite store-bought brand.

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Carnitas Jackfruit Tacos

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (10)

For her jackfruit tacos recipe, cookbook author and chef Jocelyn Ramirez uses cumin, chile flakes, and salt to capitalize on the pulled-pork texture of jackfruit, transforming it into a plant-based taco filling that tastes like carnitas. Serve it with tart, creamy avocado salsa and lemon wedges for a satisfying vegetarian meal.

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Charred Vegetable Ragù

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (11)

A combination of onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and portobellos are broiled to create a charred crust that adds layers of smoky flavor. Plenty of cremini mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and dry red wine round out the sauce on the stove. Ladled over a pile of tagliatelle and topped with more cheese, this nourishing dish tastes slow-cooked and comforting.

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Hot Honey-Carrot Flatbreads with Basil Chermoula

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (12)

Former 232 Bleecker chef and Gramercy Tavern alumna Suzanne Cupps gives silky, sweet-spicy honey-glazed roasted carrots the main-dish treatment, serving them atop ricotta-smeared flatbread with a drizzle of bright basil chermoula. Use leftover chermoula to top sliced tomatoes, grilled eggplant, or tofu.

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Loaded Pita Nachos with Lentil Chili and Feta Queso

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (13)

In this nacho recipe from chef Cassie Piuma, pita chips are drizzled with a feta queso and then ladled with lentil chili, harissa-spiked pickled cabbage, and a dollop of creamy labneh. Make the chips, queso, and cabbage ahead of time to help the dish come together easily, or use store-bought pita chips.

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Ultimate Veggie Burgers

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (14)

These veggie burgers hit every satisfying, savory note with a hearty mix of pearl barley, chickpeas, mushrooms, and crispy panko. For the sturdiest patties, evenly distribute the panko by stirring the patty mixture until very well combined.

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Mixed Vegetable Paella

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (15)

To develop the socarrat — the crispy crust of rice that's so integral to classic paella — check the edges with a spoon or offset spatula as it cooks. Once the stock is almost fully absorbed by the rice, begin checking more frequently; it can quickly go from golden brown to scorched.

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Aussie Meat(less) Pie

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (16)

Chef Dan Churchill's umami-packed pie features a hearty mushroom, tofu, and wine filling enveloped in a buttery, crisp crust that's sure to satisfy everyone around your table. Tofu is crumbled and cooked along with the mushrooms, adding protein and meaty texture.

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Vegetarian Lasagna "Bolognese" with Plant-Based Meat

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (17)

This faux lasagna Bolognese delivers all the comforting flavors of the Italian classic, thanks to layers of richly seasoned plant-based meat and a quickly simmered marinara. Cheesy spinach and tender zucchini pack in even more vegetables, which get an extra umami boost from plenty of Parmesan.

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Oyster Mushroom Tamales with Mole Encacahuatado

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (18)

Food writer Paola Briseño González roasts oyster mushrooms, concentrating their flavor, for a hearty vegetarian tamale filling. Paired with velvety, intensely aromatic, and deeply savory peanut mole — mole encacahuatado — these tamales are sure to satisfy.

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Vegetarian Kofta Pitas with Plant-Based Meat and Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (19)

Our vegetarian kofta pitas trade lamb for plant-based meat seasoned with tangy pomegranate molasses, fresh mint, and hot paprika to evoke the flavors of the classic dish. A tangle of tart, sumac-tinted onions and a drizzle of tahini-laced yogurt sauce make these veggie pitas a hearty and flavorful meal.

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Mushroom Pot Pie

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (20)

The deep woodsy flavor of fresh mushrooms is reinforced with dried porcini mushrooms in this gorgeous meatless pot pie. The recipe calls for purchased puff pastry, which cuts out a lot of prep time. Use whatever fresh mushrooms you can find, keeping in mind that a nice mixture will add more flavor and texture to the pie.

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Farro Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (21)

Crispy roasted root vegetables like parsnips and celery root add an earthy, caramelized depth to this simple grain salad made with tender, chewy farro. Resist the urge to stir the vegetables during cooking to help them develop the most color.

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Cacio e Pepe Broccolini with Crispy White Beans and Burrata

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (22)

This recipe captures the rich, elegant, simple flavors of the classic Italian pasta and rounds them out with bitter charred broccolini and crispy, creamy, flash-fried white beans. It's a hearty late-summer meal.

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Vegetarian Kofta Pitas with Plant-Based Meat and Yogurt-Tahini Sauce

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (23)

Crispy lamb patties stuffed into pita have been pleasing eaters from the Mediterranean to the Middle East for centuries. This version trades lamb for plant-based "beef," seasoned with tangy pomegranate molasses, fresh mint, and hot paprika to evoke the flavors of the classic.

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Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl with Chickpeas and Tahini-Ginger Dressing

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (24)

This grain bowl is a choose-your-own-adventure delight. Sub in any grain, protein, or leafy green you have on hand — no matter what you choose, the deliciously easy sesame-based dressing will tie it all together.

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Tadka Dal with Roti

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (25)

Briefly heating spices and dried chiles in oil or ghee allows their flavors to bloom, creating a flavorful tadka that serves as the backbone of this dish. It also adds a crispy, spicy finish to the creamy mixture of mung beans, lentils, and pigeon peas.

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Tofu Skin Stir-Fry

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (26)

When it's dried, tofu skin (doufu pi in Mandarin, yuba in Japanese) becomes earthy and chewy. It's sold in many shapes and is hardy enough to withstand braises, bold sauces, and stir-fries, mimicking the texture of shredded meat. Here, dried tofu skin sticks are broken into pieces, rehydrated until pliable, and then stir-fried with an umami-rich chile oil and soy sauce.

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Pickled Vegetable Kimbap

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (27)

To evenly cut the rolls without crushing the kimbap, use a very sharp knife, in a long sawing motion, without pressing straight down on the roll. If your knife sticks to the rice, wet the blade with some of the daikon pickling liquid.

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Tofu Bhurji

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (28)

Medium-firm tofu has just enough moisture to crumble into a scrambled egg–like texture in this breakfast recipe inspired by Indian anda bhurji. Slightly pink in color, the kala namak (black salt) adds eggy, sulfurous flavor to the dish.

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Collard and Fennel Salad with Crispy Plantains

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (29)

Crispy, creamy smashed and twice-fried plantains act as croutons in this fresh winter salad. The two-step frying process allows the unripe green plantains to evenly cook through and develop their fruity sweetness.

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Vegetarian Muffulettas

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (30)

In this meatless take on the classic New Orleans sandwich, garlic-infused roasted vegetables take the place of the traditional Italian cold cuts. You might want to make a double batch of the tangy olive relish — it's also delicious in pasta or bean salad.

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Smoky Beans and Greens in Tomato Broth

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (31)

This soul-satisfying bowl of beans and greens will hit the spot on a night when you're low on time and energy and the fridge seems a bit bare. Smoked paprika adds a welcome hint of smokiness, while the combination of tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes delivers an aromatic broth in record time. Feel free to use any variety of greens and either canned or home-cooked beans.

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Winter Squash and Shallot Tart

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (32)

This elegant tart is just the thing to serve for dinner on a chilly night. The rich, cheesy filling is packed with sweet cubes of butternut squash and savory shallots, and lightened by the acidity of sherry vinegar and brightness of lemon zest. A peppery arugula salad tops it off.

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Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (33)

Coconut milk and fresh lime juice are natural flavor partners to ginger and turmeric; here, they come together to form a restorative tea-based broth, deliciously studded with chickpeas and pasta. Vegetarian Worcestershire or soy sauce can be used instead of fish sauce.

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Wild Mushroom Toasts

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (34)

For his wild mushroom toasts, chef Michael Reed starts with griddled sourdough bread, slathers it with homemade hollandaise sauce, tops it with sautéed mushrooms and spinach, and then crowns it with a mound of rich scrambled eggs. The end result is an impressive dish perfect for brunch.

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Mushroom, Lentil, and Chestnut Mince Pie

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (35)

This dramatic savory pastry, inspired by British raised meat pies, contains a fully vegetarian filling of mushrooms, roasted kale, and chestnuts.

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Chickpeas and Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (36)

This recipe from chef Missy Robbins of Brooklyn's Lilia was named one of Food & Wine's best in 2018. Here, Robbins swaps tangles of kale and chickpeas for pasta in her riff on spicy pomodoro. She finishes the dish with a shower of fresh herbs and salty pecorino cheese.

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Zeytinyağli Yaprak Sarmasi (Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves)

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (37)

From the Turkish region of Mugla, these tangy, tender vegetarian rice-and-herb-stuffed grape leaves are a great appetizer for easy entertaining that can be made a day ahead.

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38of 50

Kachumber Gazpacho

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (38)

When tomatoes are at their best, take a cue from cookbook author and blogger Hetal Vasavada and don't cook them at all. Here, Vasavada channeled her love for kachumber, a fresh, cucumber-based Indian salad, to inspire this exciting riff on the classic chilled summery soup. Warm spices and a hint of chile add flavor and heat without overwhelming the fresh tomatoes.

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Smoky Breakfast Pizzas

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (39)

Chef Justin Bazdarich makes his Kind Brother pizza at Speedy Romeo in Brooklyn extra rich with a combination of béchamel and smoked mozzarella. This easy version also gets a kick from smoked mozzarella, plus a drizzle of fresh basil oil for a pop of freshness.

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Vegetarian 15-Bean Soup

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (40)

Can't make up your mind whether to make bean or lentil soup? Grab a bag of 15-bean soup from the dry goods aisle at the market and make this flavorful, hearty soup instead. A few Parmesan cheese rinds add a surprising depth of flavor and umami.

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Erbazzone Reggiano (Emilian Spinach and Cheese Pie)

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (41)

Flavorful and filling with a light, almost cracker-like crust, this rustic spinach pie relies on simple ingredients for an impressive finish. Because the spinach gently steams within the crust, it retains its fresh, verdant flavor even after cooking.

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Shaking Tofu

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (42)

This recipe from food writer Andrea Nguyen is a vegetarian version of Shaking Beef, the Vietnamese dish named for the quick back-and-forth shaking of the pan that takes place during cooking. After a lightning-fast sizzle in your wok or skillet, the crispy tofu is enrobed in a savory-sweet sesame-scented sauce, which then gets tossed with a fresh salad of watercress, thinly sliced onion, and herbs.

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Seared Tofu Tabbouleh

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (43)

With plenty of flavors and textures, this one-bowl meal is the perfect easy lunch or supper. Golden, crispy tofu is combined with hearty bulgur wheat, scallions, tomato, and cucumber, simply seasoned and dressed in lemon juice and olive oil.

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No-Bake Vegetarian Enchiladas

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (44)

The recipe here is based on a dish created by chef Josef Centeno's great-grandmother, who raised 12 kids. Because meat was expensive, she often made enchiladas using only vegetables, like carrots and potatoes. For his enchiladas, Centeno makes a sofrito, cooking carrots low and slow in olive oil with garlic and tomatoes.

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Vegetable Rainbow Salad

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (45)

This salad brilliantly combines some of the most exciting food trends into one amazing recipe — pickled vegetables, uncommon produce, ancient grains, and a dressing that includes miso and chipotle chiles in adobo. If ingredients like lime radishes and baby orange cauliflower aren't available at your farmers market, use equal quantities of similar vegetables.

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Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Ancho and Orange

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (46)

This vegetarian chili from TV chef Ellie Krieger starts with canned black beans, so it’s easy to make. A hit of fresh orange adds a warm, sweet note to the rich spices.

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Mushroom Bolognese

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (47)

Top Chef finalist Sarah Grueneberg created a vegetarian version of Bolognese that's as rich and delicious as the traditional version. The "meat" is made from a finely chopped medley of king oyster and porcini mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery, parsnip, and turnip. It's simmered in dry red wine, then enriched with heavy cream and Parmigiano-Reggiano before getting tossed with pasta.

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Fusilli with Roasted Eggplant and Goat Cheese

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (48)

The key step in this hearty recipe is to toss the fusilli and eggplant in the starchy reserved pasta water until it's evenly coated. Toasted pine nuts provide a crunch, while tangy, creamy goat cheese complements the garnish of fresh lemon zest and parsley.

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Cauliflower Gratin with Manchego and Almond Sauce

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (49)

This outrageously rich sauce, flavored with salty, nutty Manchego, gets poured on sautéed cauliflower and baked until it's golden and bubbling. A scattering of roasted chopped almonds on top provides a pleasing crunch. The unbaked gratin can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.

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Ravioli Nudi in Tomato Sauce

50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (50)

Hear the words "ravioli nudi" — literally, naked ravioli — and you may envision little sauceless pasta packets. But in fact it's not the sauce that's missing, but the pasta itself! Ravioli filling — in this case, spinach and ricotta, — is simmered like tender little dumplings. To save time, buy pre-washed spinach.

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50 Vibrant, Flavorful Vegetarian Recipes (2024)
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