This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here.
Recipe Round-Ups/ Tips & Hints

15 Basic Recipes Every Vegetarian Should Master

As a long-time vegetarian, there are some recipes that I find myself going back to again and again. I love making new things, but there’s something to be said for those tried-and-true meal ideas too.

Because it’s January and a lot of people are cutting down on (or giving up!) meat for the New Year, I’ve decided to compile these dishes here.

These are 15 basic recipes that I think every vegetarian should master. You don’t have to master these exact recipes, but if you have a go-to burrito or veggie burger recipe under your belt, your life (well, at least your life at dinnertime) will be a lot easier!

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese

I stopped eating meat when I was 12, so there were a lot of grilled cheese lunches back then. While it’s hard to go wrong with the classic version, adding greens or veggies ups the nutrition a little bit, like in this Kale, Grilled Garlic, and Cheddar Panini from Panini Happy.

Get Recipe Now!

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu

Pile a plate full of veggies and add a slab or two of marinated tofu for a quick meal. When you marinate tofu and bake it in the oven, it’s flavorful and chewy on the outside, soft on the inside. If you think you don’t like tofu, try it baked!

Get Recipe Now!

Vegetable Broth

Vegetable Broth Recipe

I often use vegetable broth as a substitute for chicken broth and chicken broth is in a lot of recipes, so I pretty much go through broth like water. Using a high-quality broth is important—it can make or break a meal! I make my broth with veggie scraps, but this slow cooker version from Beard & Bonnet is another easy option. Make it in big batches and freeze it for later!

Get Recipe Now!

Burritos

Burritos

Burritos are the ultimate convenience food! A lot of vegetarian burritos are loaded with refried beans and cheese, but this version from The Garden Grazer is full of quinoa and fajita veggies.

Get Recipe Now!

Stir Fry

Stir Fry

Stir fry was one of the first things I learned how to cook after moving out of my parents’ house—they’re quick, easy, and healthy. This Thai-inspired stir fry from The Roasted Root is made with peanut sauce.

Get Recipe Now!

Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burgers

Every vegetarian needs a go-to veggie burger recipe! This Lentil Mushroom Burger works with a variety of different toppings and unlike many burger recipes, it’s made without eggs or dairy.

Get Recipe Now!

Veggie Soup

Veggie Soup

Veggie soup is a good wintertime staple. Make a big batch and eat it throughout the week or freeze it in individual portions and take them to work for lunch. Beans and kale make this Hearty Vegetable Soup from Henry Happened extra filling!

Get Recipe Now!

Big Salad

Big Salad

It’s a cliché that vegetarians only eat salad, but there’s no shame in eating a big healthy salad like this one from The Spicy RD. A power salad packs in a lot of nutrition—no sad wilted iceberg lettuce swimming in ranch dressing here!

Get Recipe Now!

Pasta Sauce

Pasta Sauce

I keep my freezer stocked with homemade pasta sauce or, failing that, a good jarred brand in the pantry. Whenever we don’t know what to have for dinner, the answer is almost always pasta, so having sauce on hand is a must.

Get Recipe Now!

(Not) Meatloaf

(Not) Meatloaf

Meatloaf is good stuff. My favorite thing about it is that it usually lasts a long time in the fridge, which is a good thing because then you have leftovers for a few days. Meatloaf for lunch! Meatloaf sandwiches! Leftovers are great for busy people who don’t have time to cook everyday. This vegetarian meatloaf from The Kitchn is made with nuts.

Get Recipe Now!

Lasagna

Lasagna

You need a good, basic lasagna recipe and then you can go to town customizing it. I love this one from Kitchen Treaty because you can make it in a skillet. In! A! Skillet! Add spinach, roasted veggies, a layer of pesto, or whatever else you happen to have on hand to mix things up a little bit.

Get Recipe Now!

Chili

Chili

Make yourself a big pot of chili and have meals for days! You can eat it as-is, use it as a topping for nachos or sweet potato fries, and make chili mac or pot pies. This particular chili is loaded with veggies in addition to the standard beans; it freezes beautifully too.

Get Recipe Now!

Grilled Portabellas

Grilled Portabellas

This is a vegetarian staple for good reason—it’s easy to make, it’s a burger that doesn’t rely on faux meat patties, and portabella mushrooms are juicy and meaty. This recipe from Spicie Foodie can be made on an outdoor grill or indoors on a grill pan.

Get Recipe Now!

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are perfect for those of us who don’t always eat our greens. And a well-built smoothie isn’t just a drink or a snack, it’s a full, nutritionally-complete meal. Use this guide to build your own smoothie or give Nutrition Stripped’s signature Stripped Smoothie a try.

Get Recipe Now!

Bowl

Bowl

Bowls are another classic vegetarian staple. Most bowls include a grain, veggies, a protein, and a sauce or dressing. They’re a great way to use up leftovers or odds and ends from your pantry! I love the tahini-based sauce in this recipe from The Muffin Myth.

Get Recipe Now!

You Might Also Like

46 Comments

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    January 14, 2014 at 8:54 am

    totally on board with allll of this! Especially the veggie broth, it’s a game changer!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Isn’t it?! It’s so much better homemade!

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    January 14, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Great round up! I need to venture into the world of homemade veggie burgers sometime.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      You do! I bet you could come up with some amazing ideas. 🙂

  • Reply
    marquis @realrawkitchen
    January 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

    This is such a great idea! You’re right, there is a set of recipes that I regularly return to and it’s so helpful to have them in my repertoire. Anyone that’s new to the lifestyle could really use a round up like this!

    Thanks for the inspiration, I think I’ll do a raw version on my blog 🙂 and link back to this for a broader list of basic cooked veggie dishes

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      I’d love to see your raw version! I’m trying to eat more raw foods myself. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    January 14, 2014 at 9:21 am

    This is such a helpful round up! Although we’re not veggie, we’re definitely trying to eat less meat and there is some really good inspiration here.

  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    January 14, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I love this round up! Also, Having a good veggie burger recipe at the tip of your fingers is priceless!

  • Reply
    Connie
    January 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Nice round up- I agree! Having several go-to recipes (like, a few soups, a few stirfrys) goes a long way. For the more adventurous I’d add in some make your own faux-meats too… like seitan loafs & sausages.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      I’ve made my own tofu before, but I’ve yet to try seitan! I need to do that. 🙂

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    January 14, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Great collection! There are still one or two of these that I’ve never made myself, so I’ll have to get going! 🙂

  • Reply
    Breanne
    January 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I agree that every vegetarian should have a good veggie burger recipe! I’ve tried several recipes – some with quinoa, some with sweet potatoes, etc, but they all end up tasting mushy. Am I not cooking them long enough? Any suggestions as to how I can get my veggie burger to be chewy? Mushy burgers are just gross. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      I agree! I have made lots of veggie burger recipes that were definite misses. I think veggie burgers are all about nailing the perfect proportion of ingredients. Nuts and/or grains will help with the texture; quinoa is tricky because it can sometimes be a little wet, which could definitely make for a soggy burger. I like baking my burgers instead of pan-frying them and if a burger calls for beans, I never mash them completely because mashed beans give burgers the worst, mushiest texture.

  • Reply
    Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    January 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Kiersten, I just love everything about this post! It’s a great concept, and perfectly executed with the super-easy-to-use arrow to quickly scroll through the whole collection. Definitely pinning, but also personally passing along to my vegetarian friends! And honestly, whether vegetarian or not, everyone really needs this primer of basic keep-em-in-your-back-pocket recipe techniques. Fantastic resource!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Yay, I’m glad you like it! And the slideshow format too! 🙂 I had a few readers tell me they didn’t like the list format of my round-ups, but I didn’t want a slideshow because so many of them reload the entire page for each slide, but my designer found a slideshow that doesn’t do that.

  • Reply
    Kaitlin @ The Garden Grazer
    January 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Another awesome round-up Kiersten! Definitely the necessities to have under your belt as a vegetarian. Thanks so much for including my burritos! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      I just looooove that recipe! As you can probably tell. 🙂

  • Reply
    Megan
    January 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Love these recommendations! Putting my shopping list together now. Received a gorgeous wok for Christmas and that stir fry recipe has motivated me to season/prep it and start using it! Can’t wait!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      Perfect! 🙂 I have to admit, I use a regular skillet–I have yet to buy a wok! I’m a bad food blogger. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    January 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    A great roundup, Kiersten. I love them even though I am not a vegetarian.

  • Reply
    Arthur in the Garden!
    January 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Yummy!

  • Reply
    Grace @ Earthy Feast
    January 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Awesome roundup! Everything I love to eat is here!

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    January 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Great roundup, Kiersten! And thanks so much for including my Hallelujah bowl in this esteemed list.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      I’m definitely making that bowl very soon!

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ henry happened
    January 14, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    This is a great list not just for vegetarians for but easy weeknight dinners too. Using beans is so much faster than waiting for meat to cook! And thanks for including Lindsey’s soup! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      Yeah, people say that vegetarian cooking is intimidating, but to me, cooking meat would be a lot more of a hassle!

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    January 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    – – – > because every vegetarian should know how to make a veggie stir fry – – – > I <3 U hahaha! I love this roundup. This is also great for flexitarians such as myself who could always use some additional veggie recipes and ideas. Thanks so much for sticking my veggie stir fry in there, lady!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      Of course! Peanut sauce makes me insanely happy. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura @ Kneadwhine
    January 14, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    This is a great list of recipes – veggie chilli is one of my favourites, going to be making a black bean chilli at the weekend I think. Tasty!

    • Reply
      Bipadtaran kumar
      January 25, 2019 at 5:52 am

      Yes ,i appreciate that . and veggie chilli is also my favorites .

  • Reply
    Joanne
    January 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    AGREED!!! Big time. In fact, I think these are basic recipes that EVERYONE should master…veg or not!

  • Reply
    [email protected] n Dishes
    January 14, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Kierstan, you always have the best round ups! I especially can’t wait to try the protein packed Vegetarian Nut Loaf!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you! And yes, doesn’t that nut loaf look amazing?!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    January 14, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    This is such a great resource and I’m drooling over that grilled cheese!

  • Reply
    Alexa
    January 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Baked tofu has become a staple for me! I love tofu any way, but its so easy to just marinate and throw in the oven. Its even fooled my non-veg friends!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      I think a lot of people have bad tofu experiences and think they don’t like it, when really, it just wasn’t prepared well when they tried it. Baked is definitely the way to go!

  • Reply
    Steph
    January 15, 2014 at 1:54 am

    I have to admit I’ve got most of these down pat- purely for the fact that they are delicious! I agree with you, I reckon every vego should have these dishes in their repertoire! 🙂 My favourite is probably experimenting with veggie burgers, the creations are limitless!

  • Reply
    Skye
    January 15, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Kale, grilled garlic and cheddar toasted sandwich sounds like something that even non-vegetraians should master. Beyond delicious.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      I’ve made that recipe and it is SO good. Who knew kale would work on a grilled cheese!?

  • Reply
    Kira - HealthAble Old Soul
    January 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Being a young vegetarian, I am always looking for delicious and new ideas to rotate around my same meatless organic patties! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate ALL of it and plus it is organic plus I actually can have food (not like other countries)

  • 1 2

    Leave a Reply