Meatless Recipes That Aren't Just Pasta

When you first start following a meatless diet, you'll look forward to pasta dishes because they're hearty and reliably tasty. For example, a cheesy, tomatoey bowl of spaghetti is a comfort food that always seems to hit the spot. Eventually, though, you will want to expand your horizons beyond what pasta can bring to the table. That's especially true if you're also trying to limit your carbohydrate intake, as pasta has a lot of carbs.

While there is no shortage of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, you don't want to have to go to a restaurant for each and every meal. Doing so would waste a lot of time and cost too much money.

By learning a myriad of meatless recipes that don't involve pasta, you can save time, save money, and keep your taste buds happy! These 12 non-pasta recipes are all meatless and all result in delicious food that you will love from the very first bite.


Caponata is a dish that will win you over in no time. It looks scrumptious, it smells wonderful, and it tastes even better. This food has Sicilian roots and is made with eggplant that has been fried.

The most surprising aspect of this caponata recipe is how easy it is to make. It features fresh ingredients such as bell pepper, garlic, celery, tomatoes, and, of course, eggplant. Your favorite part of this dish will be the delightful amount of sweetness that you'll discover in each mouthful.

Eggplant parmesan

Another eggplant-powered dish can be had by following this eggplant parmesan recipe. If you crave chicken parmesan but your diet has gone meatless, this is an outstanding replacement. Not exactly a new invention, eggplant parmesan has been around for hundreds of years.

For those who want Italian flavors and all the heartiness pasta typically provides, this recipe is for you. It makes six satisfying servings that will fill you up, no matter how hungry you were at the start of the meal.

Spicy lentil soup

This spicy lentil soup recipe is a home run. First of all, lentils are great for your health. These nutrient-rich legumes are a fantastic source of both fiber and protein. Secondly, the spiciness ensures that the dish is never dull.

This recipe calls for a quarter of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper. If you have a courageous palate or you absolutely adore spicy food, add even more red pepper until the level of spiciness is exactly where you want it.

Instant Pot lentil soup

While a great choice for many, spicy lentil soup won't be for everyone. If you're one of those people who can't handle the spice yet you still want the health benefits from the lentils, consider this recipe for Instant Pot lentil soup. Compared to its spicy cousin, this soup is even easier to make since your Instant Pot does most of the heavy lifting.

Don't worry, it's not short on flavor. It has enough smoked paprika, black pepper, oregano, and garlic to keep each spoonful interesting.

Split pea soup

Another meatless soup that is sure to thrill is this split pea soup. This stuff is healthy, affordable, and oh-so flavorful. While split pea soup in general has a reputation for being boring, that's not the case with this version. It's a creamy masterpiece that is sure to keep your taste buds entertained.

If you don't finish all the split pea soup in one sitting, you can freeze it. Once you heat it back up, it will be just as yummy as you remember.

Mushroom soup

If you don't have all day to craft a meatless dish, you'll appreciate this mushroom soup recipe. After only five minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cook time, this soup will be ready to titillate the taste buds. The thickness of it will be immediately alluring, a trait it gets thanks to the addition of heavy cream and flour.

Like lentils, mushrooms come with a lot of health benefits, as they're a good source of vitamin D, selenium, and potassium.

One-pot vegetarian mushroom goulash

The best part about this handy recipe for one-pot vegetarian mushroom goulash is, as the name suggests, all your cooking is done in one big pot. That allows you to cook this unforgettable dish without turning your kitchen into a messy war zone.

If you've never cooked or even eaten goulash before, don't be intimidated and think it'll be too difficult. Goulash is similar to a stew but it's even heartier and successfully unleashes all the potential of paprika.

Easy chickpea curry

For a vegan-friendly dish that is exploding with flavor, this easy chickpea curry recipe is the answer. An Indian curry, it's perfectly spiced with curry powder, turmeric, chili powder, and other tasty ingredients. No longer do you need to settle for flavorless vegan food again.

When you're ready to serve it, this chickpea curry is a great partner for either rice or naan bread. But if you're limiting carbs, go ahead and eat the curry by itself. You'll cherish every last drop.

3-bean vegetarian chili

This 3-bean vegetarian chili has so much going on that you'll forget all about meat and the lack thereof, even if you're a reformed carnivore. Powered by pinto beans, kidney beans, and black beans, that diversity will make each bite a memorable adventure.

You will need salsa in a jar for this recipe. Thankfully, there are numerous store-bought salsas that are well worth your hard-earned dollars. If you're feeding a large group of people, pick a mild salsa. If you're just feeding yourself, don't be bashful about turning up the heat on your salsa selection.

Healthy broccoli casserole

Just like you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you shouldn't judge a recipe by its name. This healthy broccoli casserole recipe sounds like it'd make a meal that's about as riveting as watching grass grow. But prepare to be pleasantly surprised when you give this dish a try and then give it two big thumbs up. From the chickpeas to the Mexican cheese, you'll make this filling casserole again and again because of its taste — and not just because it's healthy for you.

Cabbage steaks

If you've just recently gone meatless, you're probably still fantasizing about eating a big, juicy steak from your favorite steakhouse chain. Instead of succumbing to your desires, all you need to do is replace the beef in your fantasies with cabbage. Yes, that may sound ridiculous, but you'll change your mind right after you finish with this cabbage steak recipe. By roasting the cabbage and seasoning it similar to steak, you will gobble it down and forget all about that steakhouse.

Cauliflower steaks

This recipe for cauliflower steaks serves a similar purpose to the previously mentioned cabbage steak recipe. It's a steak replacement for vegetarians and anyone else looking to dial back the amount of meat they eat. Compared to the cabbage version, these cauliflower steaks are more filling and the presence of parmesan cheese adds more pizzazz to each bite.

Cook each cauliflower steak until it's golden brown, add the parmesan cheese right after you take it out of the oven, and then serve it while it's still hot.