15 Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters That They Won't Even Complain About
Whether you're considering a vegetarian lifestyle or you simply can't find any meat at your local grocery store, if you have meat eaters in the house, a meal without their favorite main ingredient will be a hard sell. But don't give up: There are so many great meatless meals for meat eaters that are both delicious and filling. You may not convert them to total vegetarianism, but you can at least keep the peace until the grocery store is stocked up again.
It's not uncommon to automatically associate "meatless" with "meat-replacements" like tofu, which can be a real turn-off for a meat and potatoes kind of person. This is fair, because it's like trying to tell a regular pasta eater that zoodles are the same thing. (They are most definitely not the same thing and you need to go into the meal understanding that or you'll be sorely disappointed.) So, instead of trying to replicate the meat portion of a meal, get rid of it altogether by serving a dish full of the same nutrients meat provides, which, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include protein, iron, and zinc.
Meals featuring eggs, whole grains, beans, nuts, and peas will leave a meat eater feeling full and satisfied, even without their usual serving of chicken, beef, or pork. Here are a few great recipes to get you started. Who knows? You might even end up finding a new family favorite.
1. Vegan Chili
Any recipe that you can dump into an instant pot is amazing because it requires very little work on your end. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen came up with a recipe for chili that is vegetarian, filling, and prepared in an instant pot. It's full of hearty beans, quinoa, tomatoes, and basically all things delicious.
2. Crispy Chickpea Banh Mi Pizza
Pizza is rarely a hard sell in any home, but if you live with someone who typically orders a meat-lovers pie, Pickles & Honey has a meatless option that will keep them satisfied. Their Crispy Chickpea Banh Mi Pizza is full of flavor (thanks in part to the jalapenos) and has ingredients that will keep everyone full and satisfied until the next meal rolls around.
3. Wheat Berry Salad
Steph from Lick My Spoon came up with a delightful "salad" recipe that is much more filling than a bowl of lettuce with croutons. Her Wheat Berry Salad features cranberries, pecans, and cubes of feta cheese, making it way more filling and satiating than a typical salad. Plus, it's great for a meat eater with a sweet tooth.
4. Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burritos
6. Cucumber & Avocado Sandwich
Meat eaters don't walk around in food comas after every meal; sometimes they just want something light and filling. This recipe for a Cumber and Avocado Sandwich from Good Life Eats is just that. The whole grain bread and avocado will leave you feeling full while the cucumber adds a freshness factor that's perfect for a light lunch.
5. Eggplant Parm
If you can't have chicken parmesan, eggplant parm is a great substitution. Lick My Spoon features a recipe for what they call "one of the best things" they've ever made. You will not only learn how to perfectly cook your eggplant, but also how to make the dish without using marinara sauce from the store.
7. Minestrone White Bean Pasta
Jen, from Jen Elizabeth's Journals, came up with this recipe for Winter Minestrone White Bean Pasta which she calls, "hearty, satisfying, and so tasty!" It's full of white beans, tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, and pasta. You will feel much more satiated after this dish than after the classic soup version.
8. Oatmeal Bowl
Nothing can replace bacon, it's just a fact. So, instead of trying to find a way to replace it go for something sweet and filling instead like the Healthy Oatmeal Bowl recipe from Public Lives, Secret Recipes. This recipe calls for gluten-free oats, but you can use whatever kind works best for you or your family, as well as berries, bananas, yogurt, nut butter, and chocolate. Move aside, bacon.
9. Loaded Potatoes
Ella, the genius behind Naturally Ella, came up with a nutrient-rich, filling, and delicious vegetarian alternative to classic loaded baked potatoes. Instead of sour cream and bacon bits, she makes Loaded Potatoes with Spiced Chickpeas and Yogurt. They're full of flavor with cumin, paprika, and garlic and will leave you feeling full thanks to the chickpeas, whole milk yogurt, and (obviously) the delicious russet baked potato.
10. Skillet Lasagna
This Simple Vegetarian Skillet Lasagna from Half Baked Harvest is not only delicious (with all the cheese!), but it also only takes about 35 minutes to make from start to finish. It includes zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and lasagna noodles. It's arguably better than the meat sauce version.
11. Black Bean Breakfast Tacos
Tacos for breakfast? Yes, please. These Black Bean Breakfast Tacos from Pickles & Honey include onions, avocado, spinach, scallions, salsa, and (of course) black beans. There's also a recipe included for a creamy garlic sauce to drizzle over the tacos. Your meat-eater will quickly forget about that sausage biscuit once these tacos are on their plate.
12. Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers
Honestly, you can just offer up some regular mac and cheese and chances are good you'll get a positive reaction, but these Italian Mac and Cheese Stuffed Peppers from The Comfort of Cooking are sure to be a hit. All you need are some bell peppers, macaroni noodles, and delicious cheeses. You can serve these as a main dish or a side, either way even the most die-hard meat-eater will devour them.
13. Chickpea Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo is one of those dishes that just about anyone will eat, especially if you toss in some chicken. Cynthia from Two Red Bowls went a little different way to add protein into her dish, Chickpea Alfredo with Watercress and Chives. She uses chickpea flour and cashews to help make up the sauce and then adds some chives as a garnish. It's definitely not your average Alfredo sauce, but it's an equally filling take on a classic.
14. Kale, Black Bean, & Burrito Bowl
To be clear, a salad and a "bowl" recipe are different, especially this Kale, Black Bean, and Avocado Burrito Bowl from Cookie and Kate. The majority of the dish is protein-rich and satiating ingredients like black beans, avocado, brown rice, and cherry tomatoes, with a little kale mixed in for texture and to balance out the flavors. If the fact that it's in a bowl turns your meat-eater off, wrap it up in a tortilla as a burrito instead.
15. Asparagus Quiche
Eating Richly focuses on food that the whole family (including kids) will eat, like this Asparagus Quiche. The breakfast dish features eggs, asparagus, onion, cheese, and seasonings to taste all on a flaky pie crust. There is so much nutrients and filling ingredients piled into this quiche that no one will miss the ham or bacon that goes into classic quiche dishes.
With so many delicious vegetarian recipes, even a meat-lover will find something they love. The key is to focus on finding recipes for meals that are filling and satiating.