It can sometimes feel impossible to live a vegetarian lifestyle. There are just so many celebratory meals that include some type of meat. Easter is no exception. Lamb and beef are considered the most popular dishes for Easter dinner, leaving vegetarians struggling to find an alternative.
Well, there’s no need to struggle anymore. We’re about to share some excellent meatless dinner recipes that you just must try for Easter.
Please note that these are meatless, so suitable for vegetarians. They’re not vegan-friendly, but we do have a selection of vegan Easter recipes available for those who want to get rid of all animal products from their meals.
Even Meat-Eaters Should Go Meatless
Did you know that there is now a social media weekly event called Meatless Mondays? The focus is ongoing a day without eating any meat at all, whether you’re vegetarian or a meat eater. There are just so many benefits to having a meat-free diet, even if it is just for one day.
Meat is full of saturated fats, especially red meats. Too many of us opt for beef and pork instead of choosing skinless chicken breasts, turkey meat, and fish. We fuel our bodies with unhealthy cuts of meat because we think that they taste better.
It’s worth going one day without any meat to focus on the nutrients that you miss out on with other ingredients. Think about how little vegetables or fruit you eat because of your meat-loaded dishes.
So, even as a meat eater, consider a meatless dinner for this Easter. You won’t miss out with these six delicious recipes.
Herby Grilled Vegetables as a Main or a Side
Even if you do decide to have a main meat dish, you’ll want to look for a side dish. These herby grilled veggies can also be eaten as the main. You can add some wild rice or potatoes to fill it out if you’d like. The vegetables will also work well with tofu or another meat alternative on the side.
The vegetables used in this recipe are full of antioxidants to support your body. They’re also fibre-delicious and will leave your digestive system supported and ready for anything. You could choose your own selection of vegetables if you and your family have some firm favorites.
- ¾ cup of oil of choice, olive oil works extremely well
- ¼ cup of red wine vinegar
- 2-3tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (or 2tsp dried mixed herbs)
- 1tbsp lemon pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 aubergine
- 2 courgettes
- 2-3 yellow squash
- 2 red bell peppers
- Mix the oil with the vinegar, herbs, pepper, and garlic in a bowl until completely combined
- Slice up your vegetables lengthwise and then place in a baking dish
- Pour the oil over the top of the vegetables, making sure to coat fully, and then sit for 30 minutes
- Prepare your grill for cooking and take out the vegetables from the marinade, leaving the oil mixture to one side
- Grill for 8-16 minutes, until they are tender, turning now and then
- Return the vegetables to the oil-filled dish and coat with the remaining oil
This is a delicious dish when it’s served warm. You can also allow cooling to room temperature.
You could also use tomatoes and potatoes within the herby mixture if you want to create a fully and more nutritious dish. Sweet potatoes would work well with the squash since they have similar textures and tastes.
Slow Cooked Vegetable Chillie
Chillies are popular options, especially if you can make them in the slow cooker. Who doesn’t love the slow cooker? You can turn it on before you leave the house and have dinner ready for when you get home. When it comes to Easter, you can put it all together in the morning and get on with your Easter activities and see family members without thinking about the dinner you need to cook later.
Chillie is usually made with meat, but that doesn’t mean it must be. Why not create a vegetarian-friendly option instead? This is the meatless dinner recipe that you want to follow for this Easter.
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 cup of frozen corn
- 1tbsp chili powder
- 1 can chopped tomatoes with garlic
- 1 can of tomato sauce, without added salt for a healthier option
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 can of beans of choice, ranch style beans are good, leave them undrained
- 1/2tsp ground red pepper
- 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
This recipe couldn’t be any simpler!
- Put everything into your slow cooker and mix to combine it all together
- Cook for 1.5-2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low
It will be ready for you before you know it. You’ll just have to put up with the delicious aromas cooking while you wait!
Serve on a bed of brown rice or with some tortilla wraps. Your kids will love putting it all together and won’t even realize it’s missing the meat.
Mediterranean Pasta with Chopped Greens
It’s time to bring a taste of the Med to your home. This is a very simple dish that will be perfect for Easter dinner. It makes eight servings, so a choice if you have family coming over.
- 12oz of pasta of choice, cooked according to the packet
- 1-2 cups of greens of choice, chopped
- 1 packet of snow peas/sugar snap peas
- 8oz of cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 red/yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
- ½ red onion, chopped into strips
- 1/3 cup of black olives, sliced
- ½ a cup of Italian salad dressing
- Parmesan cheese, grated, optional
- Mix everything together in a bowl without the cheese and make sure it’s all combined
- Serve in bowl or on plates and top with the cheese
You can make your own or buy store-bought garlic bread to work as an accompaniment to this dish if you’d like. The kids will certainly enjoy this. Another option is a Mediterranean salad on the side to serve. Don’t forget the feta cheese for this!
Add of each of the ingredients if you’d like. They amount are just a guide and will depend on tastes.
Cheesy Vegetarian Lasagne
What about trying out a meatless lasagne? This is something that many people would usually steer away from, but it’s a delicious and simple Easter recipe. It’s one of those that the family will love and won’t realize there’s no meat unless you tell them!
- 1lb of ricotta cheese, whole milk option is better
- 1 egg
- 1/8tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- 3/4tsp salt
- 1lb of mozzarella
- Marinara sauce
- Fresh lasagne sheets, chopped into strips and cooked (or you can use dry sheets)
- 5oz of parmesan cheese, grated
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Mix the ricotta, nutmeg, egg, and salt together in a bowl and season with the pepper
- Grate half of the mozzarella and then stir into the ricotta
- Shred the rest of the mozzarella into 2in strips and put to one side
- Spread half a cup of marinara across the bottom of a baking dish and layer your lasagne sheets on top
- Spread a third of the ricotta mixture, sprinkle with a third of the parmesan, and then add another layer of lasagne sheers
- Spread a cup of marinara over the top and repeat this layering until it’s all used
- Finish with the marinara on top and then sprinkle with the reserved mozzarella
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and the cheese, turns golden
- Allow standing for 15 minutes before serving
Serve this with a side salad and some garlic bread. Don’t forget to enjoy a glass of red wine with your meal as you wind down from the exciting Easter day.
Delicious Potato Pie
You’ve heard all about steak or chicken pies, but what about a pie for a vegetarian? How about a potato pie? This is the recipe that you want to try when you want something a little different for a change.
- 3 Yukon potatoes, peeled and chopped into rounds
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 5 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- 2tbsp butter
- 1 leek, halved lengthwise and then sliced
- ¼ cup of parsley, chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Flour for dusting
- 1 ½ cups of cheese, grated
- In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with some water and allow to boil on a high heat
- Add a pinch of salt and cook for 13-15 minutes, before draining and cooling
- Pour in ¾ cup + 3tbsp of cream into another saucepan and add the garlic and nutmeg, boiling to reduce the liquid by half
- In a skillet, melt the butter and then cook the leek, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes
- Remove from the heat and then add the parsley, seasoning and stirring well
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Whisk the yolk with the last tbsp. of cream in a bowl and put to one side
- Divide your pastry into two rectangles and place one rectangle on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
- Place half the potatoes on the pastry, leaving a half-inch border, and then top with the leek, ¾ cup of cheese, and some seasoning
- Repeat the layering of potato, leeks, and cheese and then use the egg to brush the sides of the pastry
- Cover with the second rectangle and press the edges together with a fork
- Slice slits into the top and then brush with the egg wash
- Place in the fridge for 30 minutes and then bake for 35 minutes
- Pour the cream directly into the pie vents and bake for another 10 minutes
This is one of those recipes that you may find a little tricky to make at first. Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out perfect at first. We never get things right the first time! Just enjoy making it with your kids and try the next time again.
The last of the recipes is a delicious mushroom risotto. You likely have this in a restaurant, but you’d never even consider making it at home. It unfairly seems like one of the most difficult dishes in the world. It’s going to be much easier than your pie and is something that even smaller kids will absolutely adore for their Easter dinner.
- 3qts of water
- 1oz of dried porcini mushrooms
- 1tsp black peppercorns
- 1 stick of butter
- 8oz of fresh mushrooms, mixed types and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups of Arborio rice
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
- Place the water, dried mushrooms, and peppercorns into a pot and allow to boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for an hour
- Strain off the water and remove the solids, returning the stock to the pot and covering to keep warm
- In a saucepan, melt 3tbsp of the butter and then cook the other mushrooms until browned, transferring to a plate
- Melt another 3tbsp of better in the same pan and cook the onions until tender for about 5 minutes and then stir in the rice and cook for another 2 minutes
- Add the wine and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the wine is absorbed
- Pour a cup of the mushroom stock over the rice and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, and then repeat with another cup at a time until the rice has just lost its crunch (about 30 minutes)
- Remove the risotto from the heat and season, before stirring in the last of the butter and the parmesan cheese
- Top with the mushrooms (reheating if necessary) and garnish with some extra parmesan if you’d like
This kid will absolutely adore eating this risotto, and they’ll feel like they’re in a restaurant. It can take time because of the dried mushrooms, making it the perfect option for those special occasions like Easter.
Make Your Special Meatless Easter Dinners
You don’t have to put up with finding vegetarian substitutes and hoping the nut burgers are affordable this year. You can make your own delicious meatless recipes for Easter dinner.
The recipes above offer a range of preferences. There are pasta dishes and those that work extremely well with vegetables and potatoes. You could even mix a couple together, such as some herby mixed vegetables with the vegetable chili or Mediterranean pasta.
Enjoy your Easter dinner your way. Don’t worry about what everyone else is having or worry about putting on a special dinner for your whole family. You’ll certainly benefit from the range of nutrients in these meatless dishes, and they’re fun whether you’re vegetarian or a meat eater!
If you want to follow a vegan diet, there are some that will work for you. However, you’ll want to check out our other vegan-specific recipes as well.
What do you think?