Approximately five percent of Americans follow a vegetarian diet. That works out to about 16 million people.
Are you a vegetarian? Are you planning a dinner party for someone who is a vegetarian?
Either way, it’s good to have some simple vegetarian recipes in your arsenal.
Listed below are five tasty and easy vegetarian recipes that you ought to try ought today.
Keep these recipes at the ready so you can impress your non-meat-eating friends at the drop of a hat.
Vegetarian vs Vegan vs Plant-Based
There’s a lot of confusion out there when it comes to vegetarian and vegan diets. A lot of people think they’re interchangeable, but that’s not exactly the case.
People who follow vegetarian diets do not eat meat, poultry, or fish. They still eat some animal products, though, such as butter, eggs, cheese, and honey.
People who follow a vegan diet do not eat any animal products. They omit many of the foods that vegetarians still allow in their diets, including dairy products and honey.
People who consider themselves vegans also adjust their entire lifestyle to ensure they’re not doing any harm to animals.
This includes avoiding wearing leather clothing and avoiding makeup and skincare products that are tested on animals.
Those who do not eat animal products but still use these products may not technically be vegans (depending on whom you ask). In this case, the more appropriate term is to say that they follow a plant-based diet.
Best Vegetarian Recipes
Adjusting to a new diet can be challenging at first. The more recipes you have on hand, though, the easier it’ll be.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or someone else in your life who follows a vegetarian diet, these vegetarian recipes are sure to be crowd pleasers.
1. Spicy Quinoa
Quinoa is a seed that is a great alternative to grains like rice and pasta. Quinoa is high in protein, which is essential for vegetarians who might not get adequate protein when they stop eating meat, fish, and poultry.
Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential acids that the body needs to function properly.
Spicy quinoa makes a great side dish and would be delicious served with tacos, burritos or quesadillas.
To make spicy quinoa, start by sauteing diced onions with garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a large pot. Then, add one cup of quinoa with the juice from two cans of diced tomatoes.
Cover the pot and let the quinoa cook until the juice has been absorbed and quinoa is tender. Then, add the tomatoes and mix in a can of black beans and a can of corn.
Once everything is heated, add some lime juice and cilantro for a fresh, bright flavor.
2. Buddha Bowls
A Buddha Bowl is a great recipe for vegetarians who want to enjoy an easy, healthy meal. Buddha Bowls are versatile and can be made with whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Start with a grain or seed base, such as quinoa or rice. Then, top the base with your favorite vegetables. Broccoli, onions, carrots, and kale are all great options.
You can use cooked vegetables or raw vegetables depending on your preference and how quickly you want to eat your Buddha Bowl.
Feel free to add in nuts or seeds or mix in some cooked tofu to increase the protein content of the dish, too.
To finish, drizzle a little olive oil on top for extra flavor, or top the bowl with some sliced avocado to take your Buddha Bowl to the next level.
3. Sweet Potato Fries
If you need a plant-based side dish for your meal or to serve to your vegetarian guests, sweet potato fries are always a crowd pleaser. Bake them in the oven to make them a little healthier and lower in calories.
To make sweet potato fries, start by slicing up your sweet potatoes into thin slices. The thinner you slice your potatoes, the crispier your fries will be.
Once you’ve sliced your potatoes, toss them with a bit of olive oil and season them liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. If you want to get fancy, add in some rosemary, too.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your sliced sweet potato fries on the sheet in one layer (make sure none of them overlap).
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
4. BBQ Black Bean Tacos
BBQ black bean tacos are a great option for folks who still want to enjoy a taco without deviating from their vegetarian diet.
To make them, start by heating a can of black beans on the stove. Add in your favorite taco seasonings, such as cumin, paprika, and chili powder.
Once the beans are heated all the way through, drain the liquid and use them in place of meat in your favorite taco recipe.
5. Black Bean Burgers
If you need vegetarian barbecue food ideas, black bean burgers are always a crowd pleaser.
To make black bean burgers, combine a can of black beans with 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, and two eggs. Mix in salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika to add some spice and flavor.
Mash all the ingredients together, then form the mixture into burger patties and cook on the grill just like you would regular burgers.
Serve them on buns or wrap them up in lettuce leaves and top them with your favorite burger toppings (they taste especially good with avocado!).
Get More Recipe Ideas Today
Now that you know about some of the best vegetarian recipes, it’s time to get to work whipping one (or more) of them up!
Keep these recipes in mind and you’ll have no trouble preparing a meat-free meal for yourself or anyone who comes to your home.
Are you looking for more recipe inspiration?
No matter what kind of diet you or your guests follow, we’ve got recipes on our site that can help you plan a delicious and nutritious meal.
Head to the Recipes section of our site today to start sharpening your cooking skills!