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40 Vegetarian And Pescatarian Recipes For Anyone Cutting Back On Meat

Whether you're giving up meat for the next 40 days or you're just trying to eat more veggies, start with these.

Whether you're giving up meat for 40 days in observance of Lent or you're just trying to cut back on your meat intake in general, these vegetarian and pescatarian meals will make it easy. Bookmark these simple yet tasty recipes and cook them on repeat.

1. Roasted Tomato Soup

How To Feed A Loon / Via howtofeedaloon.com, How To Feed a Loon / Via howtofeedaloon.com

Pair with grilled cheese for the ultimate comfort food meal.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Soup

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2. Scallops in Lemon Wine Sauce

Spend With Pennies / Via spendwithpennies.com

If you're opting to eat seafood during Lent, start with scallops. Scallops may seem fancy, but truthfully they're one of the easiest foods to make. Cook them for a few minutes per side and serve them in a decadent pan sauce like this one, made with lemon juice, cream, and white wine.

Recipe: Scallops in Lemon Wine Sauce

3. Instant Pot Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

Love and Good Stuff / Via loveandgoodstuff.com

Forget about all the stove-top stirring and let your Instant Pot turn arborio rice into creamy, indulgent risotto, loaded with savory spinach and mushrooms and topped with Parmesan cheese.

Recipe: Instant Pot Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

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4. Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

Centsless Deals / Via centslessdeals.com

This seafood pasta is so simple you only need a handful of basic ingredients. The creamy, spicy bang bang sauce calls for just mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), sweet Thai chili sauce, lime juice, and Sriracha.

Recipe: Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

5. Garlic Crab Fried Rice

Cooking With Cocktail Rings / Via cookingwithcocktailrings.com

Give this takeout classic a sophisticated, homemade twist with the help of lump crab meat. Add in any of your favorite diced veggies and plenty of garlic, and toss it all in fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce.

Recipe: Garlic Crab Fried Rice

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6. Mushroom Meatballs

Sip and Feast / Via sipandfeast.com

Pro tip: prepare the mushroom mixture in advance and store it in the fridge for a few hours before shaping and baking the meatballs. It results in a firmer, more satisfying "meaty" texture.

Recipe: Mushroom Meatballs

7. Seared Sesame Tuna Sushi Salad

Closet Cooking / Via closetcooking.com

Serve this medium rare seared tuna over sushi rice, seaweed salad, or a bed of lettuce with your favorite Japanese-inspired toppings.

Recipe: Seared Sesame Tuna Sushi Salad

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8. Salmon Burgers With Avocado Garlic Sauce

The Real Food Rds / Via therealfoodrds.com, The Read Food Rds / Via therealfoodrds.com

These crispy-on-the-outside-tender-on-the-inside fish patties are made with baked, chopped salmon, shallot, Dijon mustard, almond flour, egg, and lots of herbs. Serve them in lettuce wraps, on a bed of rice, or on buns.

Recipe: Salmon Burgers With Avocado Garlic Sauce

9. White Bean Enchilada Soup

Dishing Out Health / Via dishingouthealth.com

Packed with white beans, canned green chiles, corn, onion, and bell pepper, this vegetarian soup is still seriously hearty. Plus, it freezes perfectly so you can make a big batch and store it away for lazy nights.

Recipe: White Bean Enchilada Soup

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10. 10-Minute Peanut Sauce Rice Noodles

The Twin Cooking Project / Via thetwincookingproject.net

This 10-minute peanut sauce made with creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, and garlic is pretty much life changing. Don't have rice noodles on hand? Use spaghetti, udon, or even instant ramen noodles.

Recipe: 10-Minute Peanut Sauce Rice Noodles

11. Easy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Salted Mint / Via saltedmint.com

Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with a mixture of spinach and ricotta cheese, nestled in a bed of tomato sauce, and baked until bubbly and melty.

Recipe: Easy Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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12. Spicy Vegetable Ramen Bowls

Peas and Crayons / Via peasandcrayons.com

The base of this spicy, creamy ramen soup starts with sesame oil, dried mushrooms, garlic, vegetable broth, tomato pasta, Sriracha, and soy sauce. Just add ramen noodles and garnish with any of your favorite toppings from jammy eggs to wilted bok choy.

Recipe: Spicy Vegetable Ramen Bowls

13. Pan Seared Cod With Caper Parsley and Lemon Sauce

Just a Little Bit of Bacon / Via justalittlebitofbacon.com

Fish is dredged in a mixture of flour and spices so it develops a nice brown crust when pan-seared. Serve it with this easy pan sauce made with lemon, butter, capers, parsley, and garlic.

Recipe: Pan Seared Cod With Caper Parsley and Lemon Sauce

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14. Mushroom Stroganoff

Gimme Some Oven / Via gimmesomeoven.com

Instead of calling for sliced beef like a traditional stroganoff, this vegetarian-friendly version uses baby bella mushrooms simmered in a umami-packed gravy.

Recipe: Mushroom Stroganoff

15. Salmon Spring Rolls

Reluctant Entertainer / Via reluctantentertainer.com

You can make these light and fresh spring rolls with pretty much whatever protein you have on hand. Use firm tofu, smoked salmon, shrimp, canned tuna, or keep things simple with sliced avocado.

Recipe: Salmon Spring Rolls

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16. Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Tacos

Plays Well With Butter / Via playswellwithbutter.com

The absolute best thing about tacos is that you can fill them with anything. Grab whatever veggies you have in your kitchen (like diced sweet potato and cauliflower), toss them with spices, and roast them until crispy.

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Tacos

17. Creamy Orzo With Roasted Butternut Squash

Vikalinka / Via vikalinka.com

Looking for a dinner that's super satisfying and works perfectly as leftovers? This one's for you. Orzo is simmered in vegetable broth, shallots, garlic, and sage, then it's combined with kale and roasted winter squash.

Recipe: Creamy Orzo With Roasted Butternut Squash

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18. Rustic Seafood Soup

Bev Cooks / Via bevcooks.com

This creamy seafood chowder tastes amazing with just about whatever fish or shellfish you have on hand — from clams and shrimp to cod and crab meat.

Recipe: Rustic Seafood Soup

19. Blackened Fish Tacos With Avocado Sauce

Jessica Gavin / Via jessicagavin.com

Pan-seared and never fried, this fish gets seriously crispy and blackened thanks to a spice rub of paprika, brown sugar, garlic and onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Serve the fish in tortillas or over rice — burrito bowl style — with all your favorite taco toppings.

Recipe: Blackened Fish Tacos With Avocado Sauce

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20. Vegetable Lo Mein

Girl With The Iron Cast / Via girlwiththeironcast.com

Put down the take-out menu and whip up this 20-minute lo mein from scratch, using whatever veggies you have on hand. If you need some more protein, add tofu, shrimp, or salmon.

Recipe: Vegetable Lo Mein

21. Butter Cauliflower

Dishing Out Health / Via dishingouthealth.com

This Indian-inspired dish swaps cauliflower for chicken to create a vegetarian meal that's packed with flavor. You'll want to serve this with basmati rice or naan to soak up all the spicy, fragrant cream sauce.

Recipe: Butter Cauliflower

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22. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

The Stay At Home Chef / Via thestayathomechef.com

This eggplant Parmesan is baked from start to finish, so there's no deep frying required. The eggplant rounds are breaded, baked until crispy, then layered with cheese and marinara sauce and finished in the oven.

Recipe: Baked Eggplant Parmesan

23. Garlic Butter Shrimp Pad Thai

Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

Slightly sweet butter shrimp and rice noodles are tossed in a zesty, salty, slightly spicy pad Thai sauce. The result is, dare I say, even more satisfying than the take-out version.

Recipe: Garlic Butter Shrimp Pad Thai

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24. Vegetable Bibimbap

Love and Lemons / Via loveandlemons.com

This Korean rice dish is made with a handful of fresh and pickled vegetables and a runny fried egg. Get creative and use whatever is in your kitchen.

Recipe: Vegetable Bibimbap

25. Gyro-Style Grilled Cod

The Mediterranean Dish / Via themediterraneandish.com

This family friendly fish dinner is best served DIY style: arrange the cod with toasted pita bread, lots of chopped veggies, and spreads, then let everyone assemble their own creation.

Recipe: Gyro-Style Grilled Cod

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26. 20-Minute Lentil Bolognese

A Saucy Kitchen / Via asaucykitchen.com

You won't miss the ground beef when it comes to this savory lentil-packed tomato sauce. It comes together in one pan in about 20 minutes. Just toss it with your favorite cooked pasta and enjoy.

Recipe: 20-Minute Lentil Bolognese

27. Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajita Bowls

The Real Food Rds / Via therealfoodrds.com

You can swap the cauliflower rice for whatever grains you like best. Or just heat up tortillas on the very same sheet pan and enjoy this shrimp and veggies as fajitas.

Recipe: Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajita Bowls

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28. Buffalo Baked Salmon

Well Plated / Via wellplated.com

This buffalo sauce comes together with just a handful of ingredients you probably already have in your fridge. Lather the sauce onto the salmon, bake it in the oven, and top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped chives.

Recipe: Buffalo Baked Salmon

29. Slow Cooker Tortellini Minestrone Soup

Cafe Delites / Via cafedelites.com

When it's cold outside, nothing hits the spot like tortellini soup. And best of all, this recipe comes together entirely in the slow cooker so you can set it, forget it, and wait for dinner time.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Tortellini Minestrone Soup

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30. Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

Sally's Baking Addiction / Via sallysbakingaddiction.com

Making crab cakes from scratch couldn't be easier. Try serving these baked patties over salad or in little sliders with tartar sauce.

Recipe: Maryland-Style Crab Cakes

31. Instant Pot Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Piping Pot Curry / Via pipingpotcurry.com

Hearty, creamy, and exceptionally easy, this wild rice and mushroom soup is everything you're looking for in a cozy winter dish.

Recipe: Instant Pot Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

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32. One-Pan Baked Fish and Chips

Chelsea's Messy Apron / Via chelseasmessyapron.com

Despite the fact that they're baked in the oven, this breaded fish still manages to get delightfully crunchy on the outside. The interior, though, remains flaky and light. Try this recipe with any fleshy white fish like cod, hake, or halibut.

Recipe: One-Pan Baked Fish and Chips

33. Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

Foodie Crush / Via foodiecrush.com

The great thing about curry is that it's so versatile. Use shrimp or leave the seafood out completely and load your pot with a bunch of vegetables like sweet potato, cauliflower, or broccoli. You can also add canned chickpeas for some extra protein.

Recipe: Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp

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34. Vegetarian Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Our Happy Mess / Via ourhappymess.com

Stuff these bell peppers with your favorite grain (quinoa, rice, or even couscous), sautéed onions, lots of spices, diced tomatoes, and a healthy serving of shredded cheese.

Recipe: Vegetarian Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

35. Creamed Spinach Mac 'n' Cheese

How Sweet Eats / Via howsweeteats.com

Creamy spinach dip meets indulgent mac 'n' cheese in this comfort food mash-up that the whole family will devour.

Recipe: Creamed Spinach Mac 'n' Cheese

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36. Slow Cooker Three-Bean Chili

The Schmidty Wife / Via theschmidtywife.com

Packed with plenty of veggies and a medley of kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas, this filling chili will stick to your ribs and warm you right up. Top it with anything from tortilla chips and shredded cheese to diced jalapeños and sour cream.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Three-Bean Chili

37. Salmon Pesto Pasta

Salt and Lavender / Via saltandlavender.com

This salmon pasta is easy enough to throw together on any old weeknight but elegant enough for a special occasion. Make things easier on yourself by picking up a jar of your favorite store bought pesto.

Recipe: Salmon Pesto Pasta

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38. Garlic Orzo Shrimp Scampi

Little Spice Jar / Via littlespicejar.com

This shrimp scampi cooks in a single pot. In fact, you don't even have to boil water for the orzo. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Recipe: Garlic Orzo Shrimp Scampi

39. Baked Scallops With Panko and Parmesan

Skinny Taste / Via skinnytaste.com

You can make this baked seafood dinner with either sea scallops or smaller bay scallops. They're coated in panko and Parmesan then baked in a mixture of lemon juice, melted butter, and white wine until the scallops are just crispy on the outside but still fork tender.

Recipe: Baked Scallops With Panko Breadcrumbs

40. 30-Minute Tuscan White Bean Skillet

The Wanderlust Kitchen / Via thewanderlustkitchen.com

This one-skillet recipe comes together with pantry ingredients you might already have on hand. Grab some canned white beans, canned fire-roasted tomatoes, and marinated artichoke hearts and you're half way to dinner.

Recipe: 30-Minute Tuscan White Bean Skillet

Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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Need easy dinner ideas?

These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)

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