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25 Vegetarian Recipes For Anyone Who Wants To Cut Back On Meat

Whether you're a vegetarian or just want to eat less meat, make one of these meals tonight.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I've recently made it a goal to cut back on my meat intake. I've started to observe Meatless Monday, and I've found that cooking vegetarian meals at home can actually be really satisfying. Here are some meatless recipes I've already tried and loved, and others I can't wait to make.

1. Bolognese With Mushrooms

Dishing Out Health / Via dishingouthealth.com

Cremini and shiitake mushrooms are pulsed in the food processor and sautéed with carrots, onion, tomato paste, and walnuts. Tossed with your favorite pasta, it's a savory, chewy, and satisfying substitute for beef Bolognese.

Recipe: Bolognese With Mushrooms

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2. Spinach Stuffed Shells

The Seasoned Mom / Via theseasonedmom.com

Perfect for meal preppers, these spinach and cheese–stuffed shells can be made in advance and frozen for up to three months for whenever you need a lazy meal.

Recipe: Spinach Stuffed Shells

3. Crispy Orange Air Fryer Tofu

Jessica In The Kitchen / Via jessicainthekitchen.com

A riff on the Chinese takeout classic, this saucy orange tofu is actually deceptively easy to make. Thanks to your handy air fryer, it gets crunchy on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside.

Recipe: Crispy Orange Air Fryer Tofu

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4. Roasted Eggplant Pasta

A Couple Cooks / Via acouplecooks.com

Roasted eggplant not only adds great texture to pasta but also makes it more filling. If you're looking to save time in the kitchen, just grab your favorite store-bought marinara sauce.

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant Pasta

5. Veggie Enchiladas

Tastes Better From Scratch / Via tastesbetterfromscratch.com

You won't even miss the meat when you cut into these rich and creamy tortillas, which are filled with a spiced mixture of rice, sweet potatoes, and black beans — then topped with red enchilada sauce.

Recipe: Veggie Enchiladas

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6. Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Eating Bird Food / Via eatingbirdfood.com

You'll be shocked that this crispy eggplant — breaded, then baked from start to finish — isn't fried in oil.

Recipe: Baked Eggplant Parmesan

7. Kung Pao Cauliflower

Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com, Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest

Cauliflower is my all-time favorite substitute for recipes that are traditionally made with chicken. This Chinese-inspired dish is no exception. Cauliflower gets roasted in the oven until crispy, then tossed in a thick and spicy sauce on the stove top.

Recipe: Kung Pao Cauliflower

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8. Smoky Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

The Last Food Blog / Via thelastfoodblog.com

Thanks to a smoky marinade made with chipotle paste, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground coriander, and smoked paprika, these mushrooms are bursting with flavor. Serve them in tacos with your favorite toppings.

Recipe: Smoky Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

9. Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Robust Recipes / Via robustrecipes.com

This warm and comforting soup pairs best with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

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10. Homemade Vegetable Pot Stickers

Half Baked Harvest / Via halfbakedharvest.com

If you've never made pot stickers from scratch, it's actually quite easy and a fun family dinner or date-night idea. Start with store-bought dumpling wrappers and fill them with a mixture of veggies, ginger, chives, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

Recipe: Homemade Vegetable Pot Stickers

11. Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry

Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

Curry is one of my go-to vegetarian meals. It's good for you and filling, and you can customize it with any of your favorite vegetables.

Recipe: Creamy Thai Sweet Potato Curry

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12. Veggie Pad Thai With Peanuts and Basil

Pinch of Yum / Via pinchofyum.com

Add some tofu for extra protein if you're feeling hungry, but this sweet-meets-savory Thai noodle dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Recipe: Veggie Pad Thai With Peanuts and Basil

13. Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

Healthy Nibbles and Bits / Via healthynibblesandbits.com

Mapo tofu is often made with ground pork, but this version is totally vegetarian. Thanks to chili bean sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, and Korean red chili, it's super spicy and will warm you right up on chilly fall nights.

Recipe: Vegetarian Mapo Tofu

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14. Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Full of Plants / Via fullofplants.com, Full Of Plants / Via fullofplants.com

If you don't follow a vegan diet, you can make this vegetable-based tikka masala with half-and-half or full-fat yogurt for extra creaminess.

Recipe: Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala

15. Crispy Falafel

Recipe Tin Eats / Via recipetineats.com

You could always bake these homemade falafel in the oven, but for the ultimate crispy exterior, frying them in oil is the way to go.

Recipe: Crispy Falafel

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16. Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Spend With Pennies / Via spendwithpennies.com

You can shave lots of time off this recipe by using canned lentils and your favorite canned tomato sauce. You can even skip boiling and mashing the potatoes if you use the frozen kind.

Recipe: Lentil Shepherd's Pie

17. Parmesan Polenta With Roasted Vegetables

Family Style Food / Via familystylefood.com

Whatever veggies you have on hand, toss them into the oven and roast them until just charred and tender. Serve on top of polenta for a satisfying fall meal.

Recipe: Parmesan Polenta With Roasted Vegetables

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18. Baked Buffalo Cauliflower

The Recipe Critic / Via therecipecritic.com

Dredged in milk, panko, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder, these cauliflower florets boast a crunchy exterior and a nice kick. Just don't forget the blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Recipe: Baked Buffalo Cauliflower

19. One-Pot Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

The Comfort Of Cooking / Via thecomfortofcooking.com

There's no meat in this chili mac, but a mixture of canned green chiles, corn, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and black beans makes it extra filling and protein packed.

Recipe: One-Pot Cheesy Vegetarian Chili Mac

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20. Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs"

Diethood / Via diethood.com

These plant-based meatballs are light and fluffy on the inside with a crunchy outside. Serve them on top of your favorite pasta tossed with your go-to sauce.

Recipe: Ricotta Zucchini "Meatballs"

21. Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Vanilla and Bean / Via vanillaandbean.com

A combination of sweet potatoes, quinoa, and red lentils makes these meatless patties taste and feel similar to classic hamburgers. Serve them on buns with your favorite toppings.

Recipe: Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

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22. Crispy and Crunchy Tofu Nuggets

Jessica In The Kitchen / Via jessicainthekitchen.com

Battered in milk (or nut milk), flour, bread crumbs, and lots of spices, then baked in the oven for about 25 minutes, these vegetarian nuggets might permanently change your opinion about tofu.

Recipe: Crispy and Crunchy Tofu Nuggets

23. Garlic Roasted Tomato and Spinach Flatbread

Butter Your Biscuit / Via butteryourbiscuit.com

Turn your average weeknight into a pizza party. Instead of pizza dough, I love using store-bought naan and adding toppings for a quick and easy family-friendly meal.

Recipe: Garlic Roasted Tomato and Spinach Flatbread

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24. Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Family Style Food / Via familystylefood.com

This veggie-packed lasagna takes advantage of fall's best produce, like mushrooms, leeks, kale, and squash. It's easy enough to make on a weeknight but special enough to save for date night or your next dinner party.

Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

25. Creamy White Bean Soup With Kale and Gremolata

Rainbow Plant Life / Via rainbowplantlife.com

"Gremolata" is basically a fancy word for a simple mix of garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs. Sprinkled on top of this white bean soup with a drizzle of good olive oil, it takes your meal to the next level.

Recipe: Creamy White Bean Soup Wiht Kale and Gremolata

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