50 Hearty Vegetarian Recipes (That Even Omnivores Will Love)

40 - Green Lentil Veggie Burger


a Care2 favorite by Meghan Prichard, Source


Green Lentil Burgers


This summer is my first in New York. The oppressive heat and permeating smell of trash I was promised has been delivered swiftly and rather painfully. Fortunately, the other day I made the ideal warm-weather meal to offset my rather grungy day of working and underground commuting–a fresh sandwich chock full of veggies and protein and other Healthy Things That Actually Taste Delicious.


To be fair, I actually eat these lentil “burgers” year-round. They’re too tasty to be seasonal. They just seemed particularly relevant during the warmer months.


I serve my lentil burgers on toasted whole wheat buns and plate them with salad (when I’m feeling healthy) and sweet potato fries (when I’m feeling, well, less so). Oh, and sometimes I top them with curry mayonnaise (Curry seasoning + mayo).


Dessert can be decadent after such a nutritionally-balanced dinner. But that post is for another day…


*Note that these burgers can easily be made vegan by substituting the egg for three tablespoons of vegetable oil.




1/2 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 green onion
1 cup spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1 carrot, grated
1 small yellow zucchini, grated
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 egg
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
cheese slices, if desired


1. Place the lentils in a medium pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until tender. (About 30 minutes.) Drain.

2. Pulse the garlic and scallions in a food processor until well-grated. Add the lentils and all remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs, into the food processor. Combine well. (Without a food processor, you just need to mash everything together. It’ll take a bit longer, but it’s worth the effort!)

3. Mix breadcrumbs into the mixture, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. The lentil mixture will be wet, but dries off a bit in the fridge.

4. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-low heat. Form patties with the lentil mixture and place in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. (Once I’ve flipped mine, I add mozzarella cheese to the cooked side.) Place onto a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.

Veggie and Grain Meals


This selection of recipes features rich flavors and delicious textures from deeply nourishing foods like pumpkin, quinoa, potatoes, greens, and so much more. Served alone or with any of the heartier dishes above, no one will even miss the meat!

41 - Kale Salad with Apples and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
September 6, 2014, Source

YIELD 10 servings




2 bunches kale, washed, dried and stemmed
2 honeycrisp apples
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), toasted

Sweet-Sour Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)



1. To prepare vinaigrette, place lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and black pepper in a food processor fitted with the swivel blade. Begin processing, slowly pouring in oil.


2. To prepare salad, place kale leaves in stacks, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons. Cut ribbons into bite-sized pieces.


3. Place kale, apples, onion and toasted pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Pour in about half the dressing and toss gently. Serves 10.


Per serving: 230 Calories, 17g Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 125mg Sodium, 17g Carbohydrate, 3g Fiber, 6g Protein


Photography by Teresa Blackburn.

42 - Roasted Pumpkin with Sage and Shallots (Recipe)

, October 29, 2013, Source


Roasted Pumpkin with Sage and Shallots [Recipe)


You can use fresh rosemary, oregano or thyme (or a combination of these) in lieu of fresh sage.


Roasted Pumpkin with Sage and Shallots



  • 1 Medium Sugar Pumpkin
  • 4 Shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1/4 Cup fresh sage leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the top and bottom of the pumpkin.Peel skin off with a vegetable peeler. Remove seeds and stringy gunk in the center of the pumpkin, then cut into 2-inch chunks.

2. Evenly divide pumpkin, shallots and sage between to large, rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle about 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over each baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.

3. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Remove baking sheets having through roasting to toss, rotating the position of each sheet. Serve immediately.


Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart.

43 - Curried Pumpkin Soup


Curried Pumpkin Soup


This delightfully creamy, spicy soup gets its lovely orange color and sweetness–as well as a hefty boost of antioxidants–from canned pumpkin.


You can make this as a sumptuous appetizer for your Thanksgiving feast, or serve it with bread and salad for a comforting autumn supper. And the recipe is so easy, it practically makes itself. Here’s the simple soup that will see you warmly through many a cold, dark month!




2 tablespoons butter
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 15-ounce cans solid-pack pumpkin
7 cups water
1 1/2 cups good-quality vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup olive oil


1. In a large soup pot, heat butter over moderate heat and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and continue cooking for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add cumin, coriander, and cardamom, stirring well to combine.


2. Add salt, pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk, stirring to combine and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


3. Puree using an immersion blender, or in batches using a food processor or regular blender, until smooth. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, for 1 day. May be served chilled or reheated when ready to serve.


Serves 10 to 12.

44 - Creamy Corn Succotash

, September 20, 2015, Source

Creamy Corn Succotash

Try this bright crisp salad as a side dish — or just eat it straight with chips. Each ingredient offers a nutritious and flavorful addition.

1 ½ cups corn – fresh if available
1 ½ cups lima beans – fresh if available
½ cup chopped bell pepper
¼ cup chopped snap peas



¼ cup green onions, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 lemon, juiced
¾ teaspoon sea salt
pinch pepper
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic

  • Combine all veggies in a bowl.
  • Mix all dressing ingredients in bowl with a whisk.
  • Add dressing to veggies and mix well. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes at least.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Serves:  4


Total cooking time:  20 minutes

45 - Kaleidoscope Quinoa

, August 30, 2015, Source

Kaleidoscope Quinoa

In a cooking rut? Try this kaleidoscope quinoa for something that looks as good as it tastes. It’s also chock-full of healthy ingredients.


2 cups black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
6 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup red onion, minced
1 orange bell pepper, finely diced


¼ cup cilantro, minced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh squeezed
¼ teaspoon chipotle paste or powder
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Combine quinoa and 2 cups of water in small saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and a dash of oil. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Don’t stir while cooking. Simmer until water is evaporated (when water has been absorbed the quinoa is done.) Let sit covered for 10 minutes after removing pot from heat. Place quinoa in a bowl and bring to room temperature.
  • Drain beans, place in another bowl with cut up vegetables.
  • Mix dressing with whisk and add to the veggie and bean bowl.
  • Add quinoa to beans and vegetables and mix well.

Serves: 6


Total cooking time: 1 hour

46 - Chili Fries


15 Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes

, July 27, 2013, Source


Fats, sugars and carbohydrates. These are things our bodies crave when we are seeking comfort in food. Fried, baked, simmered, sauteed, crunchy or melty, the form the foods take are also important to us depending on just what kind of “junk” food we crave. There is no getting away from craving comfort food — it’s just part of our psychology, part of our physiology. But there is a way to satisfy that craving while still sitting squarely in the realm of healthy. Or at least, healthier.


We have gathered up some of our favorite comfort food recipes — from fried goodies to baked sweets, from carb-rich soups to cheesy grilled sandwiches. These are your go-to recipes for when you want the comfort of food without the backslide into artery-clogging fast-food or processed and packaged portions. This is real food, made from scratch, that will hit the spot.



We start with a comfort food that most everyone loves: chili fries! Featuring potato strips that are baked, not fried, and vegetarian chili made from fresh ingredients, this recipe is an excellent option for when a craving for hot starchy goodness calls.

Quick and delicious chili fries


Photo Credit: Shrinking Kitchen/CC 3.0

Speaking of fries, how about some that are not made from potatoes? If you’re craving something hot and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside like french fries, try these avocado fries. Filled with healthy fats and plenty of flavor, they satisfy that fried food craving but don’t have any of the bad-for-you stuff that fills those frozen jalepeno poppers you might be eying.

Baked avocado fries


Photo Credit: Opera Singer in the Kitchen by Noelle Kelly/CC 3.0

Burgers are a great comfort food. Here’s a delicious option that gives you all the yumminess of a burger right off the grill but with a fraction of the fat (and a fraction of the carbon footprint). The recipe also features the flavors of smokey chipotle and spicy jalapeño.

Southwest chipotle chickpea burgers


Sometimes comfort comes in a bowl of hot, thick soup, like this creamy potato, leek and roasted poblano pepper soup. Warming flavors, starchy goodness and a rich texture make this simple from-scratch soup and ideal comfort food. Oh and bonus: it’s vegan.

Creamy potato, leek and roasted poblano pepper soup


Photo Credit: From Frugal Cafe, By Sassy Sampler/CC 3.0

During a busy or stressful day at work, something crunchy is just what you crave. But steer clear of that bag of potato chips and instead reach for your stash of freshly baked granola. Satisfying the need for something crunchy and sweet (and salty, depending on how you want to season this!) this recipe is the perfect healthier alternative for a stress food to have on hand.

Basic granola recipe for quick and healthy breakfasts and snacks


Photo Credit: By Jules/Stonesoup/CC 3.0

Moving farther into the realm of sweets, many of us take comfort in chocolate. Rich chocolate-y goodness can be found in this recipe for vegan chocolate mouse, flavored with cardamom and candied ginger, and topped with hazelnuts.


Dark chocolate mousse with cardamom, candied ginger and hazelnuts


Photo Credit: Full Measure of Happiness/CC 3.0

Back to the comforts of fried food. A healthier version of hashbrowns can be found in this recipe for crispy fried zucchini pancakes. Lightly fried in a think coating of oil — or baked — these can be made up in a matter of minutes. They can also be made up ahead of time, frozen, and reheated in the oven if you know you’ll be having some cravings when it isn’t convenient to cook.

Crispy zucchini pancakes


Photo Credit: The Garden of Eating/CC 3.0

Another idea for a healthier option when the fried food craving hits is this recipe for quinoa kale patties. You can fry these in a very thin layer of oil, or you can bake them up. Serve them with a little aioli or some lemon and they’re sure to hit the spot.

Savory bite-sized quinoa and kale patties


Photo Credit: Crumb Blog/CC 2.5

Hot chili, topped with fritters? Talk about comfort in a bowl. A little bit of something hot and stew-like, a little bit of something crispy and fried, this recipe offers two versions of comfort food in one dish. The smokey flavor of black bean chili pairs perfectly with the zesty flavor of the fritters for a satisfying meal.

Black bean chipotle chili with zucchini lime fritters


Photo Credit: Piccante Dolce/CC 3.0

For many, comfort food comes in the form of a good grilled cheese sandwich. This recipe offers grilled cheese with a sweet twist, thanks to the addition of an apple and red onion confit. Basically, think of slowly sauteed apples and onions, then think of that inside a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!

Grilled Brie Sandwich with Apple and Red Onion Confit


Photo Credit: Serge the Concierge/CC 2.5

Mashed potatoes are one of the classic comfort foods. Starchy goodness. The body and brain love it. But not all mashed potatoes are created equal, let alone healthy. Making mashed potatoes from scratch is one way to be sure only the basics go in — no additives or other junk — and making mashed potatoes special means stuffing them into a bell pepper and popping them in the oven. This recipe is a great way to get maximum comfort out of this favorite food.

Mashed Potato Stuffed Bell Peppers


Photo Credit: Vimeo

Raise your hand if you love bread. Thought so. Bread is a total comfort food, and you might as well make your own from scratch so you know exactly what is going into it (and what is staying out, such as preservatives!). This recipe is super easy, and even a first-time bread maker will find success with it. A crispy crust with a light, fluffy inside, just see how long it lasts after it comes out of the oven!

Simple and easy navy bean bread


Photo Credit: Cookbook Archeology/CC 3.0

If you love bread, then you’ll really love this banana blueberry bread. It is super moist, wonderfully sweet, and yet, this is also about the healthiest recipe you’ll find anywhere for this favorite quick bread. It is vegan, has zero refined sugar, zero dairy, and zero oils — and, if you wanted, this could be made with gluten-free flour as well. Yet it is so rich, gooey and decadent. Comfort for any time from breakfast to dessert.

Healthy banana blueberry bread


Photo Credit: Rolling Sin/CC 3.0

Chocolate, cake, and strawberries. Sound like a little bit of heaven? We think so. Try out this recipe for vegan chocolate cupcakes filled with strawberry sauce. And the best part is that these cupcakes get sweeter with time, so they’re even better the second day!

Vegan chocolate cupcakes with strawberry filling


Photo Credit: The Bitten Word/CC 2.0

Sometimes a bit of comfort comes at the end of a long, hard day when you sit down with a bowl of creamy ice cream. Not exactly the healthiest thing for you, though, right? Well, now it is. Check out this recipe for rich, creamy ice cream that you can whip up in five minutes with just one ingredient (or several if you want a sundae!). It’s the healthy, easy, vegan version of a favorite comfort food.

Sweet and creamy one-ingredient ice cream in 5 minutes

47 - Zucchini Pancakes

, December 22, 2013, Source


Zucchini Pancakes


These zucchini cakes are deliciously light and kid-friendly, too. You can put whatever type of cheese you like in them. I use feta, a nice complementary flavor with the zucchini. The original recipe comes from the HeartMath kitchen head chef, Lena’s mother. Serve them with sour cream, if you like.


8 small zucchini
5  eggs
½ bunch green onions, sliced
5 tablespoons feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated onion
6 tablespoons olive oil, for frying

  • Shred zucchini and place in bowl. Add remaining ingredients except for olive oil. Mix well.
  • Heat half the oil in frying pan until medium hot. Using a slotted spoon add a spoon of zucchini mixture into pan and pat down lightly to spread out.  Cook until edges begin to puff and turn a light green, about 8 minutes or so depending on your heat. Flip pancake over and cook another 4 minutes or so and remove to drain on paper towels.
  • Continue to cook remaining batter in the same way, adding more oil to pan as needed.

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8


Makes: 15, 3-4 inch patties

48 - Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Gravy (Recipe)

Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Gravy [Recipe)


Being vegan during Thanksgiving can be a challenge. Grocery stores, with their push for pre-order turkeys, make me cringe. What would a cruelty-free Thanksgiving look like? What if one year everyone decided to order a Tofurky Roast or just stick to a plant-based spread, and save a turkey? Ok, enough dreaming…


One thing I have always loved about Thanksgiving is mashed potatoes and gravy. Fortunately, these are simple to make vegan style. Amaze your friends and family and include something in the dinner that your vegan and even gluten-free friends can enjoy. For the mashed potatoes, simply substitute Organic Earth Balance or olive oil for the butter, and use a non dairy/vegan milk alternative like hemp or almond milk (plain not vanilla!), preferably homemade to avoid carrageenan. Add a couple of garlic cloves for extra flavor and an immunity boost. (If you’re feeling adventurous, try this vegan wasabi-ginger mashed potato recipe.)


Now what good are these delicious mashed potatoes without gravy? Well that’s where this recipe comes in. Please make as many of your ingredients organic as possible.



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Half yellow onion
  • 1-2 Tbsp of miso (any kind will do, it’s for taste and color. The darker the miso, the darker the gravy)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (don’t worry about Candida! It’s inactive!)
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
  • Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Rosemary (to taste)
  • Sage (to taste)
  • 2tbsp milled CHIA SEEDS (this is the key to this recipe)


  • Chop and sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat
  • When the onions are translucent, add the nutritional yeast and stir that up
  • Add a little salt and pepper (just a pinch) and the spices: rosemary and sage. These give that authentic Thanksgiving flavor to the gravy. Feel free to add your own favorites here.
  • Add the broth and stir it up so it’s creamy
  • Add 2 Tbsp CHIA SEEDS (stir quickly or it gets clumpy). It will get thicker and thicker over the next couple of minutes. Turn to low and let the chia become thicker and more gravy like. If after a few minutes, it isn’t thick enough, add more chia. If it’s too thick, add more broth.
  • Finally, add 1-2 Tbsp miso at the end for taste and color
  • Taste as you go, and add more spices to suit your taste, make it your own

Voila! You can now enjoy vegan mashed potatoes and gravy, and maybe even surprise your friends and family by how delicious it is.

49 - Stuffed Mushrooms

, September 9, 2013, Source


Stuffed Mushrooms


Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms From: Stefan Bloom at Plant Based on a Budget

There’s something awesome about stuffed mushrooms in an early ’80s, Parents’-Dinner-Party/Gourmet magazine kind of way. To me, they give off a sort of suburban glamour – the type of thing served at a party in someone’s shag-carpeted living room, where the guests drink red wine out of chunky crystal glasses, people who don’t usually smoke have a cigarette, someone plays Van Morrison on the record player, and the kids are upstairs, watching “Wonder Woman” on a wood-veneered TV on a waterbed in a guest room, where they’ll fall asleep and wake up outside in the cold air while being carried out to the car, buckled in, and, back asleep again, driven home. It’s possible I’m dating myself, here.


Stuffed mushrooms (here adapted from a recipe in Simone and Inés Ortega’s 1080 Recipes) are also really good, really easy, and just a fun thing to cook that takes just enough work to feel like a project while not really taking any serious time or skill to pull off. You can multiply the recipe out for a party (Make a hundred! It’s really easy!), cook them through to the second-to-last step, and then just pop them under the broiler when it’s time to serve. You can add anything you want and take them in whatever direction strikes you (Spanish – a little smoked paprika; Moroccan – chopped dried apricots, chopped almonds, a dash of cayenne; 1980s craziness – chopped up sundried tomatoes and minced shallot; Generic Asian – a few drops of sesame oil, chopped scallions, minced ginger, and maybe even chopped water chestnuts if you’re still with me on the early Reagan Administration thing), though be sure to use good olive oil. You have guests to impress, after all.


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons soy milk or water
  • 16 medium fresh mushrooms (white button or cremini)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a small baking sheet or baking dish with a little vegetable oil or cooking spray. Put the panko in a medium bowl, add the soy milk (or water), and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Wash and dry the mushrooms. Pop the stems out of the caps, and place the caps, gill side up, on the baking sheet. Finely chop the mushroom stems, and put in a small pan with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the mushroom caps, evenly dividing it among them.
  • Put the pan with the mushroom stems on the stove, and turn the heat to medium-low. Put the baking sheet in the oven. Let them both cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the mushroom caps from the oven and set aside. (Don’t turn off the oven.) Add the mushroom stems and the parsley to the panko, and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the mushroom caps. Put the now-stuffed mushroom caps back in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Take the mushrooms out of the oven, heat the broiler, and run the mushrooms under the broiler for a minute or two until the tops are browned. Transfer to a plate and serve.

50 - Energy Up! A Classic Korean Bowl Gets a Powerful Protein Punch

, September 7, 2015, Source
Energy Up! A Classic Korean Bowl Gets a Powerful Protein Punch
This Korean bowl is a delightful mix of sesame and garlic-infused vegetables, a runny egg, and grain in a sweet and spicy sauce. Here, we’ve replaced the usual rice for quinoa for an added protein punch for this vegetarian take on the dish.



Yield: 2 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
4 large handfuls spinach
1 cup bean sprouts
3/4 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
Sea salt
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 sunny-side-up eggs
Sesame seeds
Gochujang, or Korean hot pepper paste*


Heat a frying pan or skillet to medium-high heat and place in a dollop of sesame oil and garlic. Working in separate batches, one vegetable at a time, quickly stir-fry carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and zucchini, removing each from the pan to a separate plate after done cooking and adding more sesame oil and garlic to the pan as necessary.


Season with salt as needed.Divide cooked quinoa between two bowls and arrange vegetables on top in a circular fashion.Top with fried egg and season with sesame seeds. Stir in hot pepper paste to serve.


*This traditional sauce can be found in a wide array of Korean and other Asian supermarkets. It is often also called Bibimbap Sauce.

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