37 Vegetarian Recipes That Are Anything But Boring

Don’t limit your options to just salad—there are lots of choices if you’re looking to avoid meat

If you think vegetarian recipes are limited to just the same old salads, think again. Whether you’re a full-time vegetarian or simply looking to avoid meat for a little while, there are lots of choices. Pasta is always a good option, especially when covered in vegetables or stuffed with cheese. Curries are also often vegetarian-friendly. You can even make vegetables the star of the show if you give them a good roast. With these 29 amazing vegetarian recipes, you won’t think twice about skipping the meat.

Charred bell peppers and onions help balance out the richness of the paneer in these colorful vegetarian skewers. Get the recipe for Paneer Tikka Kebabs
This classic Spanish dish can be sliced into wedges for breakfast or lunch, or cut into cubes for tapas.
Starchy potatoes and sweet peas, fragrant with plenty of spice and ginger, get a kick from fiery green chiles in these crispy vegetarian samosas. Get the recipe for Vegetarian Samosas with Potatoes and Peas
Get the recipe for Spicy Mashed Vegetable Curry with Rolls (Pav Bhaji) »

Masala Dosa

A masala dosa feast includes turmeric-tinged potato sabzi, rich gun­powder chile paste, and crisp, airy wrappers. Get the recipe for Masala Dosa »

Ossetian Beet Top and Cheese Pies

From Olia Hercules’ book Kaukasis: I grew up with Ossetian pies. Our friend Svetlana is married to an Ossetian and she was taught how to make them by her husband’s mother in the mountains, then brought them to Ukraine and wowed us. A pile of them, some with meat, some with cheese, were exotic and familiar at the same time. In Ossetia they are traditionally served three at a time, sometimes round, sometimes triangular, each with a different filling and meant to represent fire, water, and earth—most definitely an ancient tradition, originating in paganism. Pagan pies, connecting us with the elements and the universe—I’m in. Get the recipe for Ossetian Beet Top and Cheese Pies »
Get the recipe for Roasted Ripe Plantain with African Pepper Compote »
This rich yellow curry, adapted from chefs Jerome La’Brooy and Nishad Jaya­wardena of Asylum restaurant, is best served as an accompaniment. Get the recipe for Cashew Curry »

Vada Pav (Indian Veggie Burgers)

Vada Pav (Indian Veggie Burgers)

Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu)

Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu)

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro

Get the recipe for Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro »

Pepper Pot Soup

This vegetarian soup, a Jamaican classic, is made with callaloo, a spinach-like green that can be found canned or fresh in Caribbean groceries. Serve with minced fresh Scotch bonnet chiles sprinkled on top for extra heat. Get the recipe for Pepper Pot Soup »
This recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey’s A Taste of India, though we’ve tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Get the recipe for Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach »
Dolmakadia, the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most iconic recipes of Greek cuisine and, although there are many varieties, the meatless version is the most common. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types. Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute (we prefer the Orlando brand). Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves With Rice and Herbs (Dolmadakia)
This take on okroshka, a classic summer soup named after the Russian word kroshit, meaning “to crumble” uses tangy kefir or buttermilk as a base and is filled with heaps of torn fresh herbs. Grated horseradish and spicy mustard add a gentle backnote to the soup. If you can’t find quail eggs or don’t have the patience to peel them, hard-boil chicken eggs and cut them into quarters. Get the recipe for Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs (Okroshka) »

Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce

From the tortelli family, anzelottos are rectangles often with ridged edges. “They’re made with a thicker, bright white dough of plain semola flour and hot water, which penetrates the proteins in the rustic flour more easily,” chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. Get the recipe for Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce »

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile

These floral, buttery noodles from chef Antonia Klugmann at L’Argine a Vencò can be infused using either fresh or dried flowers. Steep the flowers in the butter and pasta cooking water in advance if desired, and reheat when ready to use. Any tubular pasta like bucatini or spaghetti, cooked al dente, will work. Get the recipe for Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile »

Potato and Cheese Tortelli with Porcini Mushrooms

Potato and Cheese Tortelli with Porcini Mushrooms

Rajma (North Indian Kidney Bean Masala Stew)

Chiles and ginger add invigorating heat to a classic Punjabi dish of tomatoes and kidney beans garnished with slivers of red onion. Redolent of coriander, cumin, and cinnamon, this warming stew is best enjoyed over basmati rice.

Coconut Beluga Lentils

At Turtle Bay Estate House on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, chef Anthony Dawodu enriches lentils with sweet coconut milk. Get the recipe for Coconut Beluga Lentils »

Persian Herbed Frittatas with Fenugreek (Kookoo Sabzi)

Persian Herbed Frittatas with Fenugreek (Kookoo Sabzi)

Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry adapted from a recipe in Grace Young and Alan Richardson’s The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Get the recipe for Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »
There is nothing like falafel’s first bite: the crisp-fried exterior giving way to a creamy center of seasoned mashed beans, garlic, and parsley. Get the recipe for Falafel »

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles

Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce

A chilled tomato sauce with sundried tomatoes makes a pleasant contrast to these hot potato and spinach dumplings, which chef Josita Hartanto of Berlin’s Lucky Leek binds together with firm tofu and durum wheat semolina. Dry the potatoes and spinach thoroughly so the dumplings will hold their shape. Get the recipe for Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce »

Coconut Rice and Red Beans

If you prefer, you can use canned red kidney beans in this satisfying side dish, served alongside Braised Oxtail with Butter Beans. Simply skip the first step and rinse one 15-oz. can of beans before adding them to the pan in step two.

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive

Carrot ribbons cooked al dente and lightly braised red endive add color to this simple vegetable-packed pasta dish, brightened with lots of lemon zest. Josita Hartanto of Berlin’s Lucky Leek uses multicolored carrots for a beautiful presentation. Get the recipe for Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive »

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Potato Tacos (Tacos de Papa)

Inspired by the potato tacos at Loncheria Otro Rollo in Bakersfield, these Tacolicious versions are stuffed with fluffy mashed potatoes and pan-fried until crisp. The accompanying smoky ranchero sauce also would be great as an accompaniment for meat or fish or spooned over eggs. Get the recipe for Potato Tacos (Tacos de Papa) »

Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce

These soft gnocchi from Tuscany are the ultimate version of the kind most commonly served at Italian-American restaurants. The dish is amped up with briny chopped capers and green olives. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce »

Spelt Risotto with Beets and Horseradish

Heston Blumenthal, chef at the Fat Duck in Bray, England, was inspired by his trip to Transylvania in this dish. Blumenthal substitutes spelt, a wheat berry found in most supermarkets, for the more common short-grain rice to give the risotto a nutty and wholesome flavor.

Salt-Roasted Turnips with Goat Cheese and Greens

Kobe Desramaults uses almost no spices at his Michelin-starred restaurant In de Wulf, located in an isolated corner of Belgium. Here he relies on salt roasting to make these turnips, served on a bed of creamy goat cheese, buttery and tender. Get the recipe for Salt-Roasted Turnips with Goat Cheese and Greens »

Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry (Ghanta Tarkari)

This vegetarian Indian dish from the state of West Bengal features squash, potatoes, and gourds enriched with ghee and sweetened with grated coconut. Get the recipe for Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry (Ghanta Tarkari) »

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish