7 Meatless Dinner Ideas that Will Satisfy Even the Carnivores!

by My Modern Cave
meatless dinner ideas

Eating meatless meals doesn’t have to be boring! For those looking for tasty and satisfying options, there are many creative recipes out there that offer delicious plant-based dinners.

In this article, we will explore 7 amazing meatless dinner ideas that are sure to satisfy even the biggest carnivores. With a combination of flavorful ingredients and unique cooking techniques, these recipes will help you craft healthy and delicious meals without sacrificing flavor.

Here is the list of 7 Meatless Dinner Ideas:

Meatless Dinner Idea #1: Veggie Burgers

veggie burgers
Veggie burgers

Veggie burgers are a great choice for a meatless dinner. Not only are they packed with nutritious vegetables, they’re also usually high in fiber and healthy fats. To make veggie burgers at home, start by gathering some of your favorite vegetables and herbs such as mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, garlic, and parsley.

Chop them all up into small pieces and mix them together in a bowl with some breadcrumbs or oats to hold the mixture together. Once everything is mixed together, shape the mixture into small patties and then cook them on a skillet over medium heat until golden brown on each side.

Veggie burgers can be served on their own with some condiments of your choice like ketchup or mustard. Or you can place it between two slices of whole wheat bread or buns to create an even heartier meal. Topped off with lettuce leaves, tomato slices and pickles – this will give your veggie burger a classic burger look that everyone loves!

You can also try adding extra toppings like vegan cheese slices or avocado slices to give it an extra flavor boost! With all these options available – even the carnivores won’t miss out on their beloved burgers when you serve up this delicious meatless dinner idea!


  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • Shredded lettuce (optional)


  • Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. 
  • In a food processor, combine the black beans, lentils, rice, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of oil, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Blend until all ingredients are evenly mixed. 
  • Shape mixture into 8 patties. 
  • Grill or cook the burgers for about 5 minutes per side until they are slightly browned and cooked through. 
  • Serve on bun with shredded lettuce if desired.

Meatless Dinner Idea #2: Lentil Bolognese

lentil bolognese
Lentil bolognese

Lentil Bolognese is an easy, delicious, and healthy dinner idea that’s sure to please. It’s made with lentils and a variety of vegetables like onions, garlic, carrots, and tomatoes. The combination of these ingredients creates a rich tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with the lentils.

To make it even more flavorful, seasonings like oregano and basil can be added. Serve this over your favorite noodles or spiralized veggies for an even healthier option. Top it off with freshly grated parmesan cheese for an extra punch of flavor!

This meal is also vegan-friendly and gluten-free so everyone at the table can enjoy it. Lentil Bolognese is sure to become a crowd-pleaser whether you’re feeding vegetarians or carnivores alike.


  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces sliced pancetta or bacon, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 


  1. Rinse the lentils and place in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain. 
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onions and green pepper in olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and black pepper to the skillet and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Pour the Bolognes

Meatless Dinner Idea #3: Falafel


Falafel is a great meatless dinner idea for those looking for something flavorful and filling. This traditional Middle Eastern dish can be served as a sandwich or a salad, making it versatile and easy to prepare. Falafel is usually made from chickpeas, herbs, spices, and flour that are formed into small balls or patties before being fried in oil.

The result is delicious falafel with a crunchy outside and creamy inside that pairs perfectly with various sauces such as tahini or yogurt sauce. For an even healthier version, try baking the falafel instead of frying it! Serve the falafel on its own or in pita bread with some lettuce and tomatoes for an easy vegan-friendly meal everyone can enjoy.

Experiment by adding different ingredients like diced onion or fresh herbs to make your own unique version of this classic dish.


  • -1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • -1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • -1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • -1/4 teaspoon salt
  • -1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • -2 tablespoons olive oil
  • -1 small onion, finely chopped
  • -2 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1 carrot, grated
  • -1 small zucchini, grated
  • -3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • -3 tablespoons tahini sauce


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 
  • 2. Mix together the chickpeas, bread crumbs, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form into small balls and flatten slightly. 
  • 3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened. 
  • 4. Add the falafel balls and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. 
  • 5. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through. Drizzle with lemon juice and Tahini sauce before serving.

Meatless Dinner Idea #4: Ratatouille


Ratatouille is a classic summer dish, relying on the freshness of seasonal vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers. This flavorful stew can be served as a side dish or as a main course.

To make ratatouille, start by sautéing onion in olive oil until it’s translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute before adding diced eggplant and zucchini to the pan with salt and pepper to taste.

After the vegetables have softened slightly, add diced tomatoes with their juice and stir in chopped basil leaves before bringing the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan with lid, and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Ratatouille can be served warm alongside grilled fish or chicken or cold over quinoa or wild rice for a heartier meal. For an added twist, try stirring in cooked chickpeas when you add the tomatoes for some extra protein!


  • -1 large eggplant
  • -1 large zucchini
  • -1 small onion
  • -1 tomato
  • -1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • -Salt and pepper to taste
  • -Extra virgin olive oil
  • -Fresh basil leaves (optional)


  • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  • 2. Cut the eggplant into 1″ cubes, the zucchini into 1 1/2″ cubes, and the onion into thin slices. 
  • 3. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini, and onion in an baking dish coated with cooking spray. 
  • 4. Top with tomato slices and vegetable broth. 
  • 5. Sprinkle garlic over top, then salt and pepper to taste. 
  • 6. Bake for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and bubbly. 
  • 7. Serve hot, topped with fresh basil leaves if desired.

Meatless Dinner Idea #5: Tofu Stir Fry

tofu stir fry
Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu stir fry is a great way to get the protein you need without meat. Start by marinating your tofu in tamari, sesame oil, and garlic for at least 30 minutes before cooking. To make the actual stir fry, heat some oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add your tofu to the pan and cook until golden brown on each side.

Then add any vegetables of your choice such as mushrooms, bell peppers, snow peas or carrots to the pan and cook until they are soft. Finally add some teriyaki sauce or hoisin sauce and mix everything together. Serve with cooked rice or noodles for a filling meal that’s sure to satisfy even the carnivores!

You can also experiment with different ingredients like adding different herbs and spices for more flavor or swapping out vegetables for something else like broccoli or bok choy for an entirely new dish every time you make it!


  • -1 block extra firm tofu
  • -1 green onion
  • -1 carrot
  • -1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • -1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • -1/4 teaspoon salt
  • -1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • -1 tablespoon oil
  • -1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • -1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • -1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • -3 cups vegetable broth or water


  • 1. Cut the tofu into bite size pieces. 
  • 2. In a large skillet, sauté the tofu in the oil and soy sauce until it is browned. 
  • 3. Add the green onion, carrot, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. 
  • 4. In a small bowl, combine the broth or water and cornstarch. Mix well and add to the skillet. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

Meatless Dinner Idea #6: Mushroom Risotto

mushroom risotto
Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risotto is a classic Italian dish that can be made in one pot and pairs perfectly with a glass of white wine. The base of the dish consists of Arborio rice, which gives the risotto its signature creamy texture. Mushrooms add an earthy flavor while onions and garlic provide a savory backdrop.

To bring out all these flavors, it’s important to season your risotto well with salt, pepper, and herbs like parsley or oregano. For extra richness and creaminess, you can add a splash of white wine or cheese at the end for good measure! As far as preparation goes, sauté the mushrooms until golden brown before adding them to the rice along with onion, garlic, herbs and stock.

Once everything is cooked through and combined together into velvety perfection , serve hot topped with some fresh Parmesan cheese for an added depth of flavor . Enjoy this comforting vegetarian dinner any night of the week!


  • -1 cup Arborio rice
  • -1 cup white wine
  • -1 tablespoon olive oil
  • -1 white onion, diced
  • -2 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • -1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • -Salt and black pepper to taste
  • -4 cups vegetable broth
  • -2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • 2. Cook the Arborio rice according to the package instructions. 
  • 3. While the rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 
  • 4. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes, until they have released their juices and are beginning to brown. Stir in the thyme and season with salt and black pepper to taste. 
  • 5. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. 
  • 6. Stir in the cooked Arborio rice and parsley and serve immediately.

Meatless Dinner Idea #7: Vegetable Stew

vegetable stew
Vegetable Stew

Vegetable stew is an easy, comforting dinner idea. Start by sautéing onions, garlic, and any other desired aromatics in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add some diced potatoes, carrots and celery and cook until just beginning to soften.

Pour in vegetable stock and season with a few sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves, salt & pepper. Simmer the stew for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. For extra flavor add some canned diced tomatoes near the end of cooking time.

To finish it off, stir in some cooked beans such as black beans or chickpeas for added protein and texture. Serve warm with crusty bread or over cooked pasta or quinoa for a complete meal. This hearty vegan stew will leave everyone satisfied!


  • -1 can diced tomatoes
  • -1 onion, diced
  • -1 green bell pepper, diced
  • -1 zucchini, diced
  • -1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • -1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • -1/2 teaspoon salt
  • -ground black pepper to taste
  • -1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • -1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • -1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies


  • 1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, oregano, thyme and salt; season with black pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. 


Wrapping up the list of 7 meatless dinner ideas, it’s clear that there are plenty of creative, delicious, and healthy vegetarian recipes to try. From pesto pasta to roasted vegetables with a side of quinoa, these dishes will keep you feeling full and energized.

Not only are they tasty and easy to make but also incredibly versatile-you can switch out ingredients as desired or substitute something else in place of the meat if you’d like. Best of all, they’re sure to impress even the most dedicated carnivores! So go ahead and give them a try; your taste buds won’t regret it.

Bon appétit!

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