18 Best Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners (2024)

These are the best 18 healthy vegetarian dinner and lunch recipes for beginners. These recipes include beans, vegetables, avocados, pasta, wraps and more!

If you're new to vegetarian eating and cooking then join the club! There has been so much talk about vegan and vegetarian diets over the last few years that we decided to find out what the hype is all about.

At Sims Home Kitchen, we switched to a vegetarian diet for one month. Our goal is to see whether the many health benefits are true. During this one month period, we also tried and tested 18 amazing vegetarian recipes for beginners to enjoy.

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As a meat lover, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't worried about the transition to vegetarian eating. However, to my surprise, it wasn't difficult at all! Ultimately, these best vegetarian recipes are so delicious that I want to eat them all the time. In fact, my entire meat-eating family is in love with these 18 healthy vegetarian meals.

Table of Contents

There are many different variations of the vegetarian diet:

  • Lacto Vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish or eggs. However, they do consume dairy products e.g cheese, milk and yogurt.
  • Ovo Vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish or dairy products but they do consume egg products.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume red meat, white meat or fish. However, they consume dairy products and eggs.
  • Pescatarians do not consume red or white meat. However, they consume fish and seafood.
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What is veganism? Is it Different from Vegetarianism?

Veganism is a way of living that opposes animal cruelty and excludes the use of animal products and animal by-products. This includes pets, clothing, and food. Vegans do not eat red or white meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. They also do not consume honey or gelatin, which are animal-derived.

At Sims Home Kitchen, we were Lacto-ovo vegetarians. This means that we did not consume any meat or fish. However, we did consume eggs and dairy products. We noticed a few changes during the diet and have listed the pros and cons below.

Groceries For 18 Best Vegetarian Recipes For Beginners

During my first shop as a vegetarian, I had SO much fun! I bought so many new ingredients. Here’s a list of some great ingredients to add to your shopping list:


  • Aubergine
  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Ginger
  • Greens (chard, bok choi, collard greens, spinach and kale)
  • Herbs (basil, coriander aka cilantro, dill, lemon grass, oregano, sage and thyme)
  • Legumes (black beans, black eyed beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, peas etc)
  • Olives
  • Onions (chives, leek, shallots and spring onions)
  • Peppers (bell pepper, chilli peppers, jalapeños etc)
  • Parsnip
  • Radish
  • Squash
  • Sweetcorn
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini aka courgette


  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
  • Cherry
  • Dates
  • Fig
  • Grape
  • Grapefruit
  • Jackfruit
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Melon (cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon)
  • Orange
  • Passionfruit
  • Prunes
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate

Vegetarian Meat Substitutes

  • Beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggs
  • Jackfruit
  • Mushroom
  • Quorn
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh

Whole Grains

  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat

Nuts & Seeds

  • Almond
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Sugar and palm oil-free nut butter (peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc)


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Results of One Month of Vegetarian Eating:

After one month of the vegetarian diet, I observed many differences. The pros to my vegetarian eating included weight loss, better digestion, better sleep, feeling less bloated, and clearer skin. At the same time, I did experience some cons as a vegetarian eater. The drawbacks included lower iron levels, tiredness, and sweet food cravings.

Ultimately, being a vegetarian made me realize that it is important to include fruit and vegetables as much as possible in EVERY diet. In addition, most of the cons listed above can be avoided by tailoring meals to meet your dietary needs and by taking supplements. Overall, I'd say vegetarianism is a very healthy diet and I would recommend it to anyone.

Check out 18 of our best vegetarian recipes for beginners below!

18 Best Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners

1. Grounding Veggie Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are nutritious meals served in a bowl. They are usually vegetarian and contain whole grains, seeds, beans and other vegetables.

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2. Shakshuka with Feta Recipe

Shakshuka is traditionally eaten in the Middle East. It is normally served as breakfast and made in a cast iron pan or clay pot. It contains vegetarian protein from eggs.

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3. Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

If you are an avocado fan then this is definitely the dish for you! This is a nutritious meal option as avocados are nutrient dense and contain healthy mono-saturated fats that lower cholesterol.

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4. Vegan Lentil Bolognese

Lentils are a great meat substitute and are very delicious because they soak up flavour. At the end of the day, this is a fantastic and healthy vegan dinner recipe.

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5. Low-Carb Cajun Cauliflower Wraps

Fried cauliflower has a meat-like texture and the other veggies added an extra crunch. These wraps are perfect for anyone who is trying to cut down on carbs. Finally, add any dipping sauce of your choice.

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6. Beetroot Pesto Spaghetti

This really is a great way to add beetroots to your diet. Since beetroots are low in calories and rich in nutrients, they're a healthy part of any diet, not just for vegetarians. They are also known to lower blood pressure.

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7. How to Make Black Bean Cheese Enchiladas

This is one of those meals that I wish I could share with everyone. It tasted so much better than I thought it would and was super filling! This is definitely one of my favorite vegetarian recipes.

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8. Broccoli Pea and Mint Soup

Try out this simple flavourful soup! It's a beutiful green color, so fresh tasting and packed with nutrients.

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9. Black Bean Buddha Bowl

This buddha bowl recipe has to be one of my best creations yet. And the roasted cauliflower was definitely the highlight.

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10. Vegan Red Lentil Curry

Red lentils are a type of legume. They are very affordable, a great source of protein, and are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.

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11. Loaded Vegetarian Omelette

This breakfast is the perfect option for anyone who wants to eat a low-carb vegetarian meal. Eggs are very high in protein, which is great for building muscle. In addition, tomatoes are high in vitamin C, spinach is rich in iron and red bell peppers are rich in vitamin A.

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12. Healthy Vegetarian Hummus Goodie Bowl

We can’t get enough of this DELICIOUS hummus bowl. It really does have all the Mediterranean goodies!

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13. Collard Green Breakfast Wrap

Collard greens are a great option for anyone who is trying to cut down on carbs. They are high in protein, iron and calcium.

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14. How to Make Cheesy Vegetable Seashell Pasta

The outcome of this dish was truly amazing. Not only was it simple to make but it was a hit too. The seashell pasta and broccoli soaked up all the cheesy sauce and the peas added an extra burst of flavour.

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15. Spicy Vegetable Stew

This veggie stew went down so well! It can be eaten with rice, pasta, potatoes or bulgur wheat. This spicy vegetarian stew is also very customisable. So feel free to add your favourite veggies. I added broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers and kale to this one.

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16. Chickpea Curry Made with Coconut Milk

Chickpeas are a great substitute for meat/poultry as they are very high in fibre and protein.

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17. An Easy Mediterranean Salad

This is a lovely light salad option that was inspired by Mediterranean ingredients and flavours. It's definitley one of the best healthy vegetarian recipes.

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18. Vegetarian Pesto Pasta

If you’re a pasta lover then this recipe is definitely for you. It’s unbelievably easy to make your own pesto sauce and this recipe is great for anyone with nut allergies.

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More Delicious Vegetarian Recipes

  • 50+ Vegan Desserts For Christmas
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  • 40+ Romantic Valentine Cake Ideas
  • Delicious Chicken Recipes for Dinner
  • Must-Try Nigerian Food Recipes
  • Nutella Chocolate Stuffed Cookies

What are your favorite healthy vegetarian recipes? Be sure to leave me a comment, I'm always looking for new tasty vegetarian meals.

More Delicious Recipes:

  • 50+ Vegan Desserts For Christmas
  • Easy Vegan Potato Recipes
  • 40+ Romantic Valentine Cake Ideas
  • Delicious Chicken Recipes for Dinner
18 Best Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners (2024)


What is the most famous vegetarian dish? ›

Originating in the Middle East, falafel is one the most popular vegetarian foods in the world! As one of the most popular vegetarian foods in the world, falafel needs no introduction! However, the origin of these beloved patties is rather controversial.

Who is the number one vegetarian in the world? ›

India. India has the highest percentage of vegetarians in the world, with an estimated 20-39% vegetarian population.

What is a vegetarian who eats only plant food? ›

A vegan diet is another form of vegetarianism where only plant foods are eaten and all foods from animal sources are avoided (meat, seafood, dairy, eggs and sometimes honey and gelatine).

What do most vegetarians lack? ›

The nutrients of concern in the diet of vegetarians include vitamin B(12), vitamin D, ω-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and zinc. Although a vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients, the use of supplements and fortified foods provides a useful shield against deficiency.

What do vegetarians eat for protein? ›

Vegetarian protein options include:
  • Beans and lentils – chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans.
  • Soy products – tofu, edamame, tempeh, seitan.
  • Whole grains – quinoa, oatmeal, couscous.
  • Nuts and seeds – cashews, sunflower seeds, almonds.
  • Eggs and dairy – cheese, yogurt, milk.
Oct 5, 2021

What plant-based foods fill you up? ›

Healthful foods that are high in protein, fiber, or both tend to be filling. Rich sources of protein for vegans include foods such as soybeans, pulses, and some nuts and seeds. Oats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruit are all good sources of fiber.

What is the best easy protein for vegetarians? ›

Beans and legumes are two of the best sources of protein for vegetarians because you can use them in place of almost any meat in curries, salads, soups, tacos, and similar dishes. They come in many varieties, including: Lentils. Black beans.

What is a vegetarian that only eats fruit? ›

There are many interpretations of a fruitarian diet but generally followers eat a primarily plant-based diet, omitting all meat and animal products in favour of a diet mainly comprised of fruit. As such, it could be described as a type of raw veganism.

What is a complete vegetarian meal? ›

A vegetarian diet should include a diverse mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, and proteins. To replace the protein provided by meat in your diet, include a variety of protein-rich plant foods like whole grains, legumes, tempeh, tofu, and seitan.

How many meals a week should be vegetarian? ›

Plant-based proteins offer many health benefits and can be less expensive than meat. One way to get these benefits is to choose a meatless meal once or twice a week.

How many meals a day should a vegetarian eat? ›

A vegetarian diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and includes eggs and dairy in some variations. Most people eat the standard three meals a day with snacks as desired.

What do vegetarian Americans eat for dinner? ›

Classic American Vegetarian Food
  • Southern mac and cheese.
  • Fried green tomatoes.
  • Hush puppies.
  • Red beans and rice.
  • New York pizza.
  • Tomato soup.
  • Classic apple pie.
  • Creamed spinach.
Apr 28, 2023

Which country is top most vegetarian? ›

India is ranked top in the world with 38% of the total population being vegetarians. Vegetarianism in the region became popular after the introduction of Buddhism and Jainism which was around 6th Century BC.

Which country has most tasty vegetarian food? ›

The best countries for vegetarians
  1. The Seychelles. The Seychelles was officially named the new go-to destination for vegetarians. ...
  2. Thailand. Thailand was named the world's second most vegetarian-friendly country, with a Global Vegetarian Index score of 326, only two points shy of first place. ...
  3. Peru. ...
  4. Cambodia.


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