Meatless Meals for Lent don't have to be complicated! Here's a list of my top 10 meatless mains and 8 meatless soups, all completely gluten-free and plant-based.
It's that time of year again - Lent! We spend 40 days before Easter preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Lent usually involves prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Traditionally, Catholics give up a bad habit or take up a good habit for Lent. It's a beautiful way to connect more fully with the Lord and unite yourself with Him.
Regardless of what you might be "doing" personally for Lent, all Catholics practice a specific fast from meat during the Fridays of Lent as well as Ash Wednesday.
This leads a Catholic to ask: what should I cook for dinner during the Fridays of Lent?
I've rounded up my favorite meatless meals for Lent to answer that exact question! Most of these dishes are very quick - perfect for Friday night dinners. There's no need to get stressed about making anything elaborate.
This post is separated into two sections: main dishes and soups. All of the recipes can be complete meals, but just in case you want to make a soup for lunch on Fridays, you can skip right to that section.
I've gathered my 10 favorite meatless mains. These dishes range from a super simple salad that you can throw together in just a few minutes to a delicious falafel recipe that's a bit more involved. No matter how much time you have, you'll find a tasty dish that's perfect for you and the fam!
Vegan Broccoli Chickpea Curry is a quick and easy recipe with a deep flavor from turmeric and coconut milk. It’s a perfect meatless dinner recipe!
There are definitely varying degrees of difficulty with curries, as there are with many foods. But, not all of them are hard. In fact, this curry is particularly easy.
It only has a few ingredients and minimal spices (yet still tons of flavor!). And the preparation and cook time are both very quick. This curry is definitely something you can make for dinner on a busy weeknight.
Plant-Based Cauliflower White Sauce is a great sauce to elevate pasta. High in protein and fiber, and completely gluten-free and vegan!
Bring on the pasta! I used to be the person that avoided pasta because it’s ‘unhealthy’. I fell prey to the myth that pasta is all carbs and therefore isn’t healthy at all.
It’s true, pasta does have carbs. BUT there are so many ways to make sure that when you want to enjoy some noodles you are still getting all the nutrients you need for a balanced diet.
One of the things I like to do is eat bean-based pasta. This takes some of the “carb fear” out of the pasta. Knowing that I’m eating noodles that are actually made out of high-protein, high-fiber beans helps ease my mind.
Regular pasta is totally okay too though! Especially when you pair it with this cauliflower white sauce. This sauce has beans and veggies, allowing you to eat a complete meal without a second thought. So easy!
Oil-Free Vegan Spinach-Mushroom Pasta is an easy pasta dish. Sauté spinach and mushrooms and stir them into pasta for a quick, healthy dinner.
Another way to make pasta healthy is pairing it with healthy foods for a well-balanced meal. That’s exactly what I did with this Oil-Free Vegan Spinach-Mushroom Pasta recipe. When you add vegetables, you’re getting some of the nutrients that the pasta isn’t providing.
Oil-Free Authentic Falafel is a healthier version of traditional falafel. A delicious mix of chickpeas, herbs, and spices, you’ll love these healthy falafels!
Is anyone else absolutely obsessed with falafel? I LOVE falafel and I feel no shame about ordering it whenever I find myself at a Mediterranean restaurant.
There’s something about fried chickpeas that is just incredible! And yes, I will eat fried food as a treat, but I don’t want to make it a part of my regular routine. Hence, this tasty falafel recipe was born. It’s just as delicious as traditional fried falafel, but it’s baked instead. So much better for you!
This Miso Mustard Protein Bowl is a plant-based and gluten-free dish, perfect for a quick and healthy meal. It’s simple yet full of flavor!
The base of this bowl is fresh kale, massaged with a miso mustard dressing. Top the kale with tofu marinated in the miso mustard dressing, butternut squash roasted with curry powder, and cooked buckwheat. Sprinkle sesame seeds and sprouts on top to add some extra texture and color. And drizzle with additional dressing, as desired.
Zucchini Tomato Spaghetti Squash with Pesto is a fresh, tasty meal. Packed with vegetables, this dish is a healthy plant-based dinner.
A dish full of veggies is the best kind of dish!
I love when it’s easy to eat vegetables. For me, that means a meal that makes a lot (read: tons of healthy leftovers) and a meal that is flavorful.
If it tastes incredible, I’m more likely to eat it. And if it makes a large volume then I have servings for days.
This dish meets both those criteria. Spaghetti squash produces a TON of volume. And the fresh basil in the vegan tofu pesto is so tasty.
Tempeh Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a tasty, filling meal. They are a great way to stock up on plant-based protein and healthy complex carbohydrates.
These beautiful gems have vegetables, fiber, protein, and FLAVOR. All the things you need in a good meal. And they are perfect for Lent because they are completely meat-free!
Tempeh Stuffed Sweet Potatoes aren’t hard to make either. You just have to bake/steam the sweet potatoes (which can be done in advance) and then cook the tempeh for a few minutes. Simple, simple, simple.
Eat the rainbow for dinner tonight with this plant-based, vitamin-filled, protein-packed, filling, and nutritious Simple Rainbow Salad. I hope the name gives away the awesomeness of this salad.
It’s simple. No weird ingredients and easy to prep ahead of time.
It’s rainbow. All the pretty colors you can imagine, providing the different antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in a variety of foods.
It’s a salad. You know, greens, veggies, dressing. Yum!
These easy oil-free black beans are completely plant-based, gluten-free, quick to prepare, and, most importantly, delicious. Perfect for dinner tonight!
This recipe saves time without compromising on flavor with two simple tricks:
1. Canned Beans. You could definitely cook your own, but the process involves a pre-soak and active cook time. For busy people (who isn’t?!) canned beans are the way to go. Look for an organic, low-sodium, BPA-free can.
2. Spices. Using spices to create flavors of fresh foods shortens prep-time immensely. If you don’t already have a large spice collection, now’s the time to invest! So. Much. FLAVOR.
Balsamic Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato is a simple dish that’s filling and delicious. Completely plant-based, oil-free, and gluten-free!
In this simple dish I jazzed up some sweet potatoes with balsamic vinegar and added cauliflower as a veggie. Cauliflower doesn’t have much of a flavor on its own, but when you combine it with sweet potato, it adds a neutral flavor to balance out the sweet potato’s intensity.
There are only a few other ingredients in this dish, making it a super simple, easy to throw together recipe for any day of the week.
Soups are so great! You can serve them for dinner on the Fridays of Lent or make them ahead of time to eat at lunch. All of these meatless soups are hearty and will be filling enough to eat as a main dish.
Plant-Based Chickpea Yogurt Soup is a warm, comforting dish with creaminess and deep flavor from a vegan cashew yogurt sauce.
It’s hearty – with rice, chickpeas, and cashew yogurt sauce you’ll be completely filled with just one bowl. No need to cook another main dish.
It’s healthy – beans, check; grains, check; greens, check. This soup has vegetables, protein, and fiber!
It’s tasty – I can’t quite put my finger on why this soup is SO good, but all I know is that it took me about three days to eat the entire batch. I had bowl after bowl after bowl.
Plant-Based Hungarian Potato Soup is hearty and flavorful. It’s the perfect simple cold-weather dish. Gluten-free, oil-free, and vegan!
This particular dish is pretty simple. It’s potato soup at it’s core. Just some diced potatoes and a few vegetables for flavor. Plus paprika, of course.
A Hungarian cook might add sausage or some sort of meat to this simple soup, so I decided to add a plant-based version of sausage. I used tempeh, which naturally has that sausage texture. And it tastes amazing!
Hungarian Pinto Bean Soup is a simple, yet flavorful dish. This plant-based version has a few healthy swaps to make an authentic and good-for-you dish!
Hungarian cooking is a little difficult as a vegan – many Hungarian recipes feature game and lard. But that’s the fun of cooking! I get the opportunity to take a dish and make it plant-based, while trying to preserve the authenticity of the original recipe.
Plant-Based Curried Parsnip Soup with Pita Chips is a tasty, fall-themed soup with an Indian flair. Made with whole food ingredients.
This uniquely flavored dish features, root vegetables like parsnips and potatoes. The veggies make the soup thick, creamy, and rich. And curry powder adds an earthy spice, and creates a deep flavor.
Serve this Plant-Based Curried Parsnip Soup with crisp, crunchy curried pita chips. Simply coat fresh pita in a lemon juice and curry mixture and toast it in the oven.
Plant-Based Hungarian Mushroom Soup is rich, with deep flavor. This oil-free, vegan soup is light yet creamy.
Hungarian Mushroom Soup is a brothy soup, with chopped onions and mushrooms as the predominant texture.
It has TONS of flavor. Besides the umami of the onions and mushrooms it has several strong spices that build to create layers of flavor.
Paprika, a classic Hungarian spice, makes an appearance. There’s also dill and parsley. And, if you’re feeling a bit extra, you can add mushroom powder for even more umami flavor.
Traditionally, Hungarian Mushroom Soup uses butter to sauté the onions and mushrooms. But, of course, this plant-based version will omit the butter.
This soup also traditionally has sour cream. It was important to me in developing this recipe to retain the creaminess and tang that sour cream would give the soup. So I used a whole-food secret ingredient that adds the perfect flavor and texture.
Sweet Potato Miso Mushroom Soup is thick, creamy, and full of flavor. Made with whole food ingredients, it’s the perfect healthy comfort food.
This soup is SO tasty.
The sweet potatoes blend to create a thick and creamy consistency. But don’t worry, you’ll leave some of the potato in chunks for a bit of added texture. The soup also has quartered mushrooms which add that umami flavor as well as another texture component.
Then there’s the miso. Miso adds saltiness, of course. But it also brings all the health benefits of fermented food. And there are plenty!
Finally, there’s a bit of kick in this soup. Completely optional, but I find adding some spice really brings out all the flavors. YUM.
Jackfruit Lemon Quinoa Soup is a simple yet delicious dish that is hearty enough to serve as a meal on a cold day. It’s lemony and packed with flavor.
Creamy and delicious, this Potato Leek Soup is a hearty meal that will keep you warm and satisfied. Made with 100% whole food plant-based ingredients.
I'm very excited about this soup! It only has a few ingredients and it's just as creamy and delicious as the original version.
Wanna know the secret? Cashew cream.
The cream I use in this Potato Leek Soup is similar in concept to my Cashew Coffee Creamer recipe. The coffee creamer is sweet, so for this soup I just left out the date syrup and vanilla and voila -- savory cream!
The other ingredients are potatoes (of course), a carrot, a leek, and some veggie broth. It's so simple but so delicious.
The meatless mains and soups above are some of my absolute favorite recipes, but I have TONS more just waiting for you to try.
You can use the search feature at the bottom of this page if you're looking for a specific recipe. Or you can go up to the top and browse through all my recipes. Every recipe is completely plant-based!
I am praying for you this Lent. I hope you have a fruitful season in preparation for the death and resurrection of our Lord.
a daughter of the Lord who eats lots of plants. I’m glad you’re here! On The Plant-Based Catholic I bring you nutritious, plant-based (vegan) recipes, explore the relationship between food and faith, and share my unique lifestyle.
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