Since vegetarians don't eat meat, protein typically comes from sources like beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, tofu, and tempeh. And you'll get more than enough fiber from pretty much every plant you put on your plate; they're chock-full of it. Aside from the perks of eating vegetarian meals—like improving your heart health, reducing your risk of diabetes, and lowering your risk of certain cancers—eating a wide range of plants also keeps your meals exciting and flavorful.
Of course the real skill is figuring out how to turn your healthy ingredients into a delicious meal—without leaving you with a sink full of dishes. That's where these 11 recipes come in. From tempeh chili mac to pesto zoodles topped with pine nuts, these one-pot vegetarian recipes make for a healthy dinner without a big clean-up.
One-pot vegetarian dinner recipes with plenty of fiber and protein
1. Vegetarian Dal
When you make chef Palak Patel's vegetarian dal, you'll get everything you love about the traditional Indian dish... plus even more veggies.
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 cups vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, spinach)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp kosher salt
Juice of one half a lemon
4 cups of water
Kosher salt to taste
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Heat oil over medium-high heat, add cumin seeds until they sputter in oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and saute for three to five minutes.
2. Add tomato paste and cook for another two minutes, then add spices, red lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, and water. Season with salt. Cover the lid and simmer on low for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, spinach, and cilantro.
2. One-pan pesto zoodles
This veggie-loaded zoodle dish gives you a boost of protein thanks to the pine nuts. And the pesto flavor? To-die-for.
1 cup of pine nuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped capers
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
Zest of 1 lemon
4 medium/large garlic cloves
1/2 cup of chopped basil leaves
1 carrot, peeled
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1. Roast the pine nuts.
2. Heat pan to under medium and add olive oil and onion. Wait for the onion to become translucent.
3. Add the chopped capers, cilantro, lemon zest, and garlic.
4. After about three minutes, add another half tablespoon of oil.
5. Add zoodles, and toss through sauce very well.
6. Add basil. Once basil wilts a little, add peeled carrot.
7. Go back up to medium heat. Squeeze lemon juice in, and add a pinch of salt.
8. Cook until the carrot is fully cooked.
9. Plate the noodles and serve topped with pine nuts, salt, fresh cracked pepper, a spritz of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil.
3. One-pot vegan shepherd's pie
Aside from this meatless shepherd's pie recipe being super comforting, it's also filled with fiber from all the veggies and protein from the lentils.
2 cups brown lentils
2 Tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, small diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Paprika, cumin powder, garlic powder
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper cracked, as needed
Kosher salt to taste
For the mashed potatoes:
4 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup alternative milk
4 Tbsp vegan butter
1 cup vegan parmesan, optional
1. Heat pot over medium heat and add oil with mushrooms, onions, carrots, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes until just tender around 10 minutes. Season with salt, stir in crushed garlic, and cook for a further three minutes.
2. Add sprigs of thyme and spices with tomato paste and cook until the oil begins to separate. Add vegetable broth.
3. Mix in the lentils and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid evaporates.
4. Add peas and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Season as needed.
5. Place peeled and cut potatoes into cold water in a saucepan along with salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are cooked through. Drain.
6. While the potatoes are warm, vegan milk, butter, and cheese. Season well with salt.
7. Spoon potatoes over meat mixture and score the top with a fork to allow the potatoes to get crispy.
8. Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F until golden brown.
4. One-pan wild rice and cheesy broccoli casserole
This dish has everything you could want in a satisfying dinner: wild rice, hearty veggies, plenty of savory spices, and a little cheese.
Get the recipe: One-pan wild rice and cheesy broccoli casserole
5. One-pot pasta recipe
It doesn't get easier than this one-pot pasta recipe. When you combine the dry pasta, pasta sauce, water, and veggies together, it all cooks evenly in under 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: One-pot pasta recipe
6. Sweet potato and quinoa chili
Grab a large pot and fill it with quinoa, black beans, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, and spices. In under an hour, you'll be left with a delicious and filling vegetarian chili.
Get the recipe: Sweet potato and quinoa chili
7. One-pot vegan chili mac
This pasta has it all. Aside from being quick, easy, and budget-friendly, it's also super-flavorful and filled with protein from the tempeh and beans.
Get the recipe: One-pot vegan chili mac
8. One-pot Mexican casserole
This crunchy casserole is dairy-free, gluten-free, and made entirely of pantry ingredients and frozen staples.
Get the recipe: One-pot Mexican casserole
9. Greek-inspired one-pot vegetarian pasta
This quick-and-easy dinner is full of fiber. What sets this pasta recipe apart from others out there is that thhe pasta and veggies are cooked with a little coconut milk, adding extra creaminess to the dish. Season it with nutritional yeast, red chili flakes, and garlic for lots of flavor.
Get the recipe: Greek-inspired one-pot vegetarian pasta
10. Vegetarian taco skillet
This taco skillet can be enjoyed as is, or it can be used as nacho topping on top of tortilla chips. Either way, you'll be getting tons of protein and fiber.
Get the recipe: vegetarian taco skillet
11. Thai peanut veggie pasta
The peanut butter in this recipe not only gives this Thai-inspired dish its flavor, it's also full of protein. Other ingredients you'll need include ginger, soy sauce, noodles, and lots of veggies.
Get the recipe: Thai peanut veggie pasta
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