Give your rotation a Mediterranean-style upgrade with these flavorful, satisfying, and healthy vegetarian dinner recipes! Includes our best easy vegetarian dinner recipes, soups, stews, pastas, vegan recipes, gluten-free recipes, and more.

Zoomed in Side shot of a cauliflower steak on a white plate with a metal fork.
Photo of Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula by Elana Lapkowski

In this collection, you'll find our most-loved vegetarian dinner recipes–from easy vegetarian dinner for busy weeknights to hearty soups, stews, and pastas, including vegan and gluten-free options. Each recipe is packed with bold Mediterranean flavors and plant-based proteins. They're sure to please a crowd, or simply nourish you when the day winds down.

If you go to the market with a Mediterranean grandma–or nonna, abuela, yaya, anneanne, or teta depending on where you are–you will likely see her grab as many bags as she can hold and fill them to the brim with vegetables of every color. You see, one of the basic principles of the Mediterranean lifestyle is how much we love our vegetables! 

As an essential part of the Mediterranean Diet, we give them the full treatment, loading them with as much comfort and flavor as they deserve. We eat with the seasons so their natural perfection shines bright! 

A graphic for the Vegetarian Dinner Recipes round up with a collage of 4 pictures of the vegetarian stuffed peppers, roasted cauliflower, lentil salad recipes and sheet pan gnocchi recipes.

Easy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes

Turn to these vegetarian dinner recipes when you have little time to get food on the table but still want a healthy, satisfying meal. Faster than takeout!

Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası in a blue bowl.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası)

Creamy, comforting, gluten-free and completely vegan! Red lentils are a rich source of plant-based protein and essential nutrients. What’s best: they’re inexpensive and they get luxuriously velvety in just 15 minutes. Here, they simmer with veggies and Mediterranean spices like cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper. Simply delicious! Serve on its own, or with Simit (Turkish Sesame Bread Rings) for dipping.

a serving of sheet pan gnocchi on a teal plate with a silver fork and white wine on the side.

Sheet Pan Gnocchi With Roasted Vegetables

Did you know you can bake gnocchi on a sheet pan straight from frozen? And you can certainly use homemade gnocchi, but we give our list of favorite store-bought options as well. This nutritious recipe, with spinach, onions, and peppers, only takes 15 minutes of hands-on time! You don’t need any sides (the beauty of a sheet pan meal!) but you can throw together a lemon parmesan lettuce salad in the final 5 minutes of baking for an easy side. 

Cacio E Pepe

You only need 20-ish minutes and 4 ingredients (including salt and pepper) to make this beloved Roman classic! Oh and a little elbow grease, so to speak–a strong, vigorous stir makes all the difference. Serve with an easy side like Roasted Broccoli with Lemon.

Side shot of butter beans in a white pan with bread and lemon wedges on the side.

Butter Beans With Garlic, Lemon And Herbs

A protein-packed pantry meal that takes less than 15 minutes! And you can use any white beans you have on hand, including Cannellini, Navy, or Great Northern. I like to serve this one with crusty bread to sop up the juices. If you’re avoiding gluten, serve with a crunchy salad like bell pepper salad or Greek salad.

stuffed portobello mushrooms web story poster image.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

These Italian-style stuffed mushrooms are generously filled with a blend of creamy ricotta, fresh spinach, and sliced tomatoes, then topped with crispy breadcrumbs for that perfect crunch. They’re a hit with vegetarians and meat lovers alike! And they take just about 15 minutes of hands-on time. While the mushrooms roast and soak up all the decadent flavor, make a crunchy Panzanella salad to round out the meal.

A skillet with mushroom pasta

Garlic Mushroom Pasta

White wine, garlic, and a touch of butter make this pasta so decadent without any heavy cream! Parmesan and mushrooms bring restaurant-level umami flavor in just about 30 minutes! Very weeknight-friendly, but if you're making this for company start with a peppery radicchio salad


Protein-Packed Vegetarian Dinner Salads

Adding grains and legumes to salads give these vegetarian dinner recipes enough oomph for a full meal, no meat necessary!

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe

Balela Salad

In this childhood favorite of mine, layers of fresh veggies, chickpeas, and herbs come together to make a flavor party in a bowl. It's healthy, and filling, takes only 15 minutes to make, and is great for packing in workday lunches or bringing to your next get together.

butternut squash salad on a serving platter with gold serving utensils.

Butternut Squash Salad With Farro, Kale, And Creamy Goat Cheese

Farro is an ancient whole grain that’s high in protein, fiber, and iron. And it’s great for getting ahead! It keeps its pleasantly chewy texture and nutty flavor for days. Serve on its own as a satisfying dinner salad or alongside soup. 

Close up of eggplant salad with lentils, cherry tomatoes, onion, herbs, arugula, feta cheese.

Lentil Salad With Roasted Eggplant And Pomegranate Dressing

This stuffed eggplant “salad” is pretty enough to be a dinner party main! And it’s filled with nutrient-rich lentils and sweet-tart Mediterranean flavor. Serve with taboon (Palestinian flatbread) or pita bread.

overhead shot of wild rice salad on a rectangular serving platter with a small spouted pitcher of dressing on the side.

Wild Rice Salad With Apples, Pomegranate, Cranberries, And Walnuts

This colorful salad is the epitome of a festive holiday salad, but I love it all winter long. Wild rice is rich in protein and naturally gluten-free. And this satisfying salad is vegan (you can swap the honey for maple syrup if you'd like). It's a great option for satisfying a wide range of dietary needs. 

Overhead shot of Roasted Vegetable Salad on a blue serving dish with two wooden serving spoons.

Roasted Vegetable Salad With Halloumi

This roasted vegetable salad finds that sweet spot where light and healthy meets satisfying and hearty. Fresh veggies and chickpeas are roasted in the oven until tender and bursting with flavor, then topped with savory fried Halloumi cheese.  

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Barley Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy, satisfying vegetarian barley recipe, prepared Mediterranean style. Tons of flavor from fresh herbs, spices and a simple zesty dressing. Perfect for meal prep. Recipe from TheMediterraneandish.com #barley #barleysalad #roastedvegetables #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables with Barley

This filling, fiber-packed salad recipe is great for meal prep! My spices of choice for this recipe are all-natural harissa spice and smoked paprika, which adds depth and plays up the sweetness of the roasted veggies and the earthiness of the barley. 


Vegetarian Soups & Stew Recipes

The key to vegetarian dinner recipes that are satisfying and comforting is to pack in plenty of heft. Plant-based protein like chickpeas and lentils and herbs and spices to build deep flavor without an all-day simmer. (Be sure to check out our Vegetarian Soup Recipes round up for more!)

a close up of roasted cauliflower soup in a bowl garnished with dill.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Made with whole milk, this vegetarian soup is nice and creamy but not heavy. With two whole heads of cauliflower, this simple recipe easily feeds 6 with no sides needed. But I like to start with a fresh and tart orange beet salad to balance the richness of the cauliflower. 

Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger, Mediterranean spices, and fresh mint garnish.

Roasted Carrot Soup

Carrots are oven-roasted to add an intensely delicious depth of flavor in this otherwise simple recipe. Warming Mediterranean spices like coriander, allspice, and freshly grated ginger add a good kick! To start the meal, I usually add a big Fattoush salad–the crunch goes nicely with the creaminess of the roasted carrot soup.

tomato basil salad web story poster image.

Tomato Basil Soup

Spiked with fresh aromatics and warming spices, it this flavorful, vegan soup is fragrant and delicious. Serve with mozzarella and feta pita grilled cheese for a Mediterranean-style twist on the classic combination.

cooked ratatouille in a pot.

Easy Ratatouille (One Pot Vegetable Stew)

In this easy recipe, I adapted the famous slow-simmered Provençal stew to fit a busy weeknight! I keep all the flavor and veggie-packed goodness but it’s ready in 45 minutes or so. And it just gets better the next day! Serve any way you like–hot, room temperature, straight from the fridge, with a fried egg on top or on its own. 

a close up of a bowl of potato soup with a spoon topped with green onions and parsley.

Healthy Potato Soup

A healthy twist on classic cream of potato soup! Fresh herbs and warming spices bring a welcome depth of flavor and whole milk adds a velvety quality without weighing it down. Serve this vegetarian soup with a bright and crunchy salad like our radicchio salad.

lablabi tunisian chickpea stew in a bowl, next to bowls of various toppings.

Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Stew)

This vegetarian version of a hearty North African stew is made with chickpeas, rustic bread, warming spices, and harissa is traditionally served at breakfast, but I love it any time of day. Serve on its own for an easy vegan meal. 

vegan lentil vegetable stew in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon, next to a bowl of chopped parsley and an empty bowl with two spoons.

Hearty One-Pot Lentil Stew

A medley of vegetables and warming spices make this vegan stew so cozy and nourishing. Potatoes and lentils are very filling, so a sprinkling of fresh parsley and lemon juice just before serving is all you need. But if you’d like to round out the meal, crisp salad like Maroulosalata and pita bread go well alongside.

homemade vegetable soup in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon next to a bowl with two silver spoons.

Homemade Vegetable Soup

This easy homemade vegetable soup is packed with zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It's a textbook Mediterranean diet recipe and an easy way to increase your vegetable intake! It’s cozy, comforting, vegan, and gluten-free, but carnivores will love this vegetable soup as much as veggie lovers do.  

Minestrone soup in a pot with herbs and vegetables.

Simple Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

This Italian-style vegetarian minestrone soup is brimming with vegetables, beans, and a little pasta. The draw here is in the flavorful tomato broth with lots of fresh herbs. Minestrone is meant to be adapted, so feel free to make this recipe your own by using what vegetables you have on hand, and use gluten-free pasta or leave it out to fit your dietary needs.

Ribollita served with a garnish of Paremsan

Ribollita (Tuscan White Bean Soup)

Tuscan bean and vegetable soup thickened with day-old bread. Ribollita is a hearty and especially flavorful vegetarian soup thanks to the use of one secret ingredient: Parmesan rind. I like to use kale in this soup, but you can do spinach or another leafy green.

One bowl of red lentil soup

Easy Greek Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils combined with onions, garlic, and sweet carrots in a tomato-based broth. It's infused with oregano and rosemary and finished with lemon juice and fresh herbs. Keep it vegan, or add a sprinkle of creamy feta!

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. A simple and succulent vegetable stew, flavored Morrocan-style with warm spices, aromatics, and dried apricots. The best vegetable tagine or vegetable stew you'll have. See it on TheMediterraneanDish.com #vegetablestew #tagine #mediterraneanfood #moroccanfood #veganrecipe #onepot

Easy Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

One of my new favorite one-pot meals! This simple stew is vegan, gluten-free, and packed with so much flavor thanks to bold Moroccan spices and dried fruit. Serve on its own or over a bed of fluffy basmati rice.


Centerpiece-Worthy Meatless Mains

These vegetarian dinner recipes are show-stopping enough for a dinner party–the perfect way to make the vegetarians at the table feel just as special! And many of them are easy enough for a simple weeknight dinner.

7 vegetarian stuffed peppers in a baking dish.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers With Basil Vinaigrette

Finished with a vibrant green basil vinaigrette, these stuffed peppers look absolutely beautiful on a platter! Warm orzo, pine nuts, and chickpeas give them plenty of heft, and tangy Kalamata olives and creamy feta cheese bring a delicious Mediterranean flair. They take just about 40 minutes! Serve with a lemony arugula salad on the side for a fresh, healthy, and satisfying vegetarian dinner. 

Three stuffed acorn squash quarters on a serving platter with large spoons.

Acorn Squash Stuffed With Tomatoes, Spinach, And Goat Cheese

With its combination of creamy and crunchy textures and sweet, savory, and tangy flavors, this squash recipe is a total crowd-pleaser! It’s healthy and keeps well, making it great for healthy dinner meal prep. Gluten-free and easily vegan if you leave off the cheese! For balance and an added layer of freshness, serve with a simple green salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

butternut squash risotto topped with sage leaves in a pot next to a blue linen napkin.

Butternut Squash Risotto

This creamy, rich risotto is like a big, warm hug on a chilly autumn evening. Sweet butternut squash is scented with just a hint of rosemary and sage–it's Northern Italy in a bowl! Like our mushroom risotto, this vegetarian dinner recipe does require some attention–you have to stir for 30 minutes or so to get the perfect texture. It’s a labor of love! And it transforms simple ingredients into something truly special. I love a roasted Brussels sprouts salad on the side to balance the rich risotto.

Zoomed in Side shot of a cauliflower steak on a white plate with a metal fork.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks With Harissa And Chermoula

These big slabs of cauliflower pack a smoky, spicy, and citrusy punch! A North African condiment called harissa paste transforms the humble cauliflower into a juicy, gluten-free, and vegetarian delight. And you can use store-bought chermoula to save time (red or green chermoula both work). Serve with a hearty salad, like Mediterranean couscous salad or loaded chickpea salad

a slice of zucchini parmesan topped with basil leaves on a plate with a fork.

Zucchini Parmesan

In this lighter vegetarian twist on classic chicken parmesan, slabs of sliced zucchini are layered with rich tomato sauce and cheese and baked until bubbly, tender, and delicious. With no breading or frying involved, it’s just as satisfying and surprisingly simple to make! A bright, vinegar-forward salad goes well with the velvety, cheesy baked zucchini. Marinated cherry tomato salad and freshly baked focaccia for dipping would be delightful.  

a whole roasted cauliflower with feta and yogurt sauce topped with pomegranate dressing and mint leaves on a plate being cut into by a fork.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Lemony Whipped Feta

This simple vegetarian dinner recipe turns the humble cauliflower into a wow-worthy centerpiece fit for a special occasion. Glazed with golden turmeric and saffron, finished with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, and resting in a bath of creamy-tangy whipped feta, this vegetarian main is as delicious as it is visually striking. Serve with pita bread to take full advantage of the whipped feta.  

Classic Eggplant Parmesan Slice Served

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Gluten-free, vegetarian, and SO comforting! All of the comfort with no breading and frying! Make a crunchy panzanella salad with juicy tomatoes to serve alongside in the summertime, or a crisp fresh fennel and orange salad in the colder months. 

Eggplant stew with chickpeas and tomatoes in Dutch oven

Easy Greek-Style Eggplant

One of my most beloved vegetarian dinner recipes! This simple vegan recipe with tomatoes, chickpeas, and globe eggplant cubes is comfort food at its finest. With warming spices and other pantry staples, this wholesome one-pot stew is a must-try. Serve over couscous or with a side of warm pita bread. For a creamy element, add a dollop of Greek yogurt or tzatziki sauce

moussaka web story poster image.

Vegetarian Moussaka

Moussaka is pretty much the epitome of Greek comfort food! And this meatless version of the classic bursts with flavor and heft from roasted eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, and a chunky tomato-lentil sauce–all topped with creamy bechamel. Keep the Greek theme by starting with a traditional Greek salad!

Briam Greek Roasted Vegetables with a side of olives and fresh parsley

Briam: Traditional Greek Roasted Vegetables

Greek Briam takes roasted vegetables to a whole new level of deliciousness. You need just a few simple pantry ingredients: potatoes, zucchini, red onions, and tomatoes. But the Greek flavors from spices, fresh garlic, parsley, and a generous drizzle of excellent olive oil make all the difference. For a vegan entree, just add a side of farro

Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie) | The Mediterranean Dish. The best tutorial for how to make spanakopita. Greek spinach pie with crispy, golden phyllo and a soft filling of spinach, feta cheese, and herbs. A holiday recipe for make it for dinner! So easy. See it at TheMediterraneanDish.com

Spanakopita Recipe (Greek Spinach Pie)

This beloved classic is one of Greece’s most famous dishes, and for good reason! Simply fill store-bought phyllo dough with spinach, feta cheese, and herbs. The crispiness of the pastry contrasts beautifully with the creamy, herby filling, and you’d be surprised how easy store-bought phyllo dough is to work with. This savory pie never fails to impress! 


Vegetarian Pastas 

You won't miss the meat with these decadent vegetarian pastas! These vegetarian dinner recipes span the Mediterranean, with Italian classics, twists on Greek favorites, and more.

roasted red pepper pasta web story poster image.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

You can roast the peppers yourself for vibrantly red and super flavorful sauce, or use store-bought and this lightly smoky, bright, and luxuriously creamy vegetarian sauce is ready in less than 10 minutes! 

Spoonful of Gnocchi alla Sorrentina with a small basil leaf on top.

Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (Baked Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce And Mozzarella)

This cheesy, comforting baked gnocchi is layered with so much delicious flavor–it’s a hit with the whole family! If you're looking for a fun project on a rainy Sunday, try making the gnocchi from scratch. You can even make extra and freeze for it to use later. Mix gnocchi with basil pesto or spaghetti sauce, and more.

2 pieces of baked manicotti topped with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese on a plate with a salad and a fork in front of a baking dish with the rest of the manicotti.

Manicotti (3-Cheese Stuffed Pasta)

In this Italian-American classic, big beautiful manicotti pasta shells are stuffed with a creamy three-cheese filling and baked until melted and bubbly. I love this recipe for a cozy Sunday night in, but it's great for a weeknight too–use your favorite store-bought spaghetti sauce and it's on your table in 40 minutes. And you don't need a pipette (or anything fancy for that matter!) Just a zip-top bag and a pair of scissors.

Side shot of Spanakopita Mac and cheese in a baking dish with a piece that has been removed.

Spanakopita-Style Baked Mac And Cheese

Classic mac and cheese but with my Mediterranean makeover! You'll love how tangy feta, creamy bechamel, loads of spinach, and fresh herbs bring baked mac to the next level. Serve with a crisp Greek salad (I would just leave off the feta on the salad.) 

Two bowls of pasta e ceci with rosemary garnished on top.

Pasta E Ceci (Pasta With Chickpeas)

This comforting Italian dish lives somewhere between a soup, stew, and pasta. It's loaded with veggies, protein-packed canned chickpeas, and both kids and adults love it. Serve with a side of Caprese salad in the summer and lemon parmesan lettuce salad in cooler months.

a close up of spaghetti aglio e olio topped with grated parmesan, red pepper flakes and parsley in a bowl.

Spaghetti Aglio E Olio

This traditional Italian dish is made with just a handful of pantry staples: pasta, garlic, simple seasonings, and extra virgin olive oil. And it takes just 20 minutes! 

a close up of creamy orzo in a blue skillet.

Creamy Orzo With Garlic, Parmesan, And Blistered Tomatoes

This one-pan dinner reminds me of risotto with half the time and effort. Fresh tomatoes cook in garlicky olive oil (I used our buttery Italian Nocellara EVOO) until they burst. Then stir in Greek yogurt and grated parmesan. It's luxuriously creamy (but uses no cream).

pasta primavera web story poster image.

Pasta Primavera

Al dente pasta and a lighter primavera sauce let the tender roasted veggies do all the talking in this perfectly simple recipe. The best part? I make it year-round with seasonal vegetables so it’s never quite the same way twice! 

baked lasagna roll ups in a baking dish topped with basil leaves.

Vegetarian Lasagna Roll Ups

My family calls this "fancy lasagna," but it's actually so easy to make. It's way lighter than traditional lasagna but still feels like a treat! I use easy homemade spaghetti sauce when I have it on hand, or store-bought when I don't. 

one plate of pasta pomodoro topped with grated parmesan and basil with a fork.

Pasta Pomodoro (Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce)

This pantry pasta packs on delicious basil and parmesan flavor with just 5 minutes of prep work! Allow yourself an hour to let the pasta happily bubble while you relax. Or, toss together an easy spinach salad to serve on the side.

A bowl of creamy tomato pasta with chickpeas, garnished with parsley. Another bowl to the side

"Date Me" Creamy Tomato Pasta with Chickpeas

This rich, velvety tomato sauce uses just pantry staples and a touch of cream. And it’s highly customizable: Use milk instead of cream or go vegan with unsweetened oat creamer and vegan cheese. 

Vegetarian Baked Ziti in Blue Casserole Dish. Serving spoon on the side

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

Think of ziti as lasagna’s more relaxed cousin. Just as delicious, with much less effort! This is a great recipe option if you’re looking for something hearty to cook without meat. If you can’t find ziti pasta, penne works just fine! (It's actually what I use, because I don’t come across ziti very often.)

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for so many vegetarian recipes! I am a new vegetarian and am dragging my husband along. I'm sure that these recipes will please him. I use your cookbook a lot also.

    1. You are very welcome, Dee! We're adding new vegetarian recipes all the time. Hope you continue to come back for more!

  2. Thank you,thank you ,thank you. You have wonderful recipes that can be changed to be Gluten free, and so I appreciate it. My friend has Celiac disase, and it really has helped out. Plus all of your recipes are awesome. I ended up sending your cookbook to my sister in law , she raved about some of the dishes I made when she and my brother visited.

  3. I don’t enjoy cooking and until I found your site, I didn’t think I ever would. I am Italian heritage and finally feel like I found recipes that I love to cook and love to eat but also healthy! I just wanted to leave a comment to express my gratitude ♥️

  4. Yours is my favorite Mediterranean cookbook...I was so excited to find you have a newsletter and recipes online. Thanks for sharing!