If you’re not a vegetarian, you may think that meals that don’t include meat can’t be as tasty or as filling. After all, all vegetarians eat is rabbit food, right?
Even if you’re a fan of vegetables, considering making a whole meal out of them without adding chicken, beef or another type of meat may seem like a challenge. However, there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives to the meals you love that will ensure that not only do you not miss meat, but you feel as satisfied as if you had eaten a full–on meaty meal.
There are also so many options beyond the classic vegetable lasagne or mushroom risotto that make going vegetarian – even if it’s just for National Vegetarian Week or Meat-Free Mondays – a lot tastier and more interesting.
To give you some veggie inspiration that won’t leave you hungry or reaching for the sliced ham meant for packed lunches, we’ve found five fab meat-free recipes that you’re sure to love. And there’s not a vegetable curry or pasta bake in sight!
Porcini and polenta sausages
Everybody loves a plate of bangers and mash. No matter what the weather, this is the ultimate comfort food, especially if you top it off with some deliciously thick gravy. It’s all too easy to just pick up a pack of pork sausages at the supermarket, but you can also make rich and tasty vegetarian versions at home.
The Veg Space has a great recipe for sausages that are sure to keep the whole family full and happy – especially as they are a much healthier option. Serve them up with a nice dollop of mashed potato, some veggies and plenty of gravy.
Butternut squash and black bean enchiladas
Mexican-inspired food has become really popular in the UK, but you don’t need chicken or steak to make it tasty and filling. Vegetables can work as the perfect spicy alternative, allowing you to create tasty Mexican dishes that actually work out a lot cheaper. These butternut squash and black bean enchiladas from Love and Lemons have a bit of a kick to them and are brilliant whether you’re serving one or six people. You could even team them with some veggie nachos.
Lentil shepherd's pie
Another firm family favourite that is usually served up with meat is shepherd’s pie. This dish is easy to make, great for feeding a lot of people and ideal comfort food no matter what. You might think that you can’t really have a shepherd’s pie without meat, but lentils offer a great protein alternative that is just as satisfying, as well as helping to save you pennies. Instead of cooking up your usual meat option, try this recipe from Naturally Ella, which might become your new favourite.
Curried veggie patties with coconut quinoa
Curry fans can easily make a more interesting meat-free meal than a sauce with a few veggies thrown in. While that is an easy way to switch up your meaty curry recipes, Why not try something a bit different? Vegetarian Ventures has a great recipe for curried vegetable patties that are bursting with flavour and can be made as spicy as you like them. Serve them up with coconut quinoa for extra flavour and some added protein and everyone will be happy.
Roasted root vegetable pot pie
If you’re looking for a complete vegetarian meal that can be served fresh from the oven or made ahead of time, a pie is always a great option. Everyone loves a warming and filling pie, even if you aren’t serving it with anything on the side. Rather than picking up a frozen one or making a meat version, try this brilliant recipe from Earthy Feast for a root vegetable pie that will have you wanting seconds. It has tonnes of flavour and can be made with ready-made pastry for ease, as well as served in individual pie dishes if you fancy.