10 Easy Vegetarian Meal Menus

Planning meatless menus is easy with these quick vegetarian meal ideas.

Vegetarian meals do not have to be any harder to prepare than a meat and potatoes meal. Most can be put together quickly and served in an hour or less.

1. Summer Garden Spaghetti

1 pound spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup carrots, sliced

1/2 cup onion, diced

4 cups zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 medium tomatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti as directed on package.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add carrots, onion, zucchini (or squash) and garlic, and cook until crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes, peas and basil and cook until all is heated thru. Serve over cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

2. South of the Border Mac and Cheese

6 ounces uncooked pasta, macaroni, shells or spiral

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 red bell pepper, small, chopped

4 ounces green chilies

4 ounces cheese - You can use American, Velveeta or Cheddar

Cook pasta as directed and drain. In the same pot, combine pasta with remaining ingredients and cook on low for approximately 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.

3. Quicker Lasagna

2 cups ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (1 1/2 tablespoon if dried)

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

12 lasagna noodles, pre-cooked

2 jars spaghetti sauce (28 ounce size each)

Mix ricotta, Parmesan, parsley and oregano. In a 13x9x2 pan, spoon 2 cups of the prepared spaghetti sauce. Top with 4 lasagna noodles. Spread half of the ricotta mixture on top of noodles. Spoon 2 cups spaghetti sauce over mix. Repeat twice for addition layers. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese evenly last layer. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over top. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, uncover and bake approximately 30 minutes longer. Sprinkle remain mozzarella over top and add extra Parmesan if desired. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

4. Lasagna Alfredo

For the sauce:

1/4 cup butter

4 cups milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. In an empty jar, combine milk, flour, salt and pepper, shake to mix. Gradually add milk mixture to butter, heat to boiling, stirring continuously. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

For the lasagna:

3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

2 cups carrots, shredded

1 can diced tomatoes, (14 1/2 ounces) drained

2 medium bell peppers, diced

15 ounces ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 egg

3 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (14 ounces) shredded

12 lasagna noodles, pre-cooked

Prepare the sauce. Cut mixed veggies to bite size pieces. Mix all vegetables together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan and egg.

Spread 1 cup sauce in a 13x9x2 baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Spread half of the cheese mixture on top of the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the vegetable mixture on top of ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Repeat for remaining layers. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella.

Bake covered 30 minutes in a 350 degree over. Remove cover and continue baking another 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

5. Pita Pizzas

4 six inch pita breads

1/2 cup hummus

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 small onion, sliced

2 cups spinach, shredded

1 large tomato, chopped and seeded

1/4 cup black olives, sliced

Place pita breads on a large un-greased jelly roll pan. Spread hummus on each pita. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 -10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Top each pita with onion, tomato, olives and spinach.

6. Black Bean Burritos

15 ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained and mashed

2 teaspoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped and drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 six to eight inch tortilla

1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1 large tomato, chopped

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Cook onion and garlic until onion is transparent and soft. Add beans and peppers, cook until hot.

Place 1/4 of the mixture in the center of each tortilla. Add 1/4 of the cheese and tomatoes to each. Fold up bottom of tortilla about 1 inch. Fold each side of the tortilla to the center and overlap. Serve.

7. Caesar Wrap

16 small romaine leaves (no more than 7 inches in length)

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded

1/4 bottled Caesar Salad dressing

4 eight inch tortillas, garden or herb flavored

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

2 plum tomatoes, sliced

Toss together romaine, onion Parmesan cheese and dressing. Place 1/4 of mixture into center of each tortilla. Top each with 1/4 of the tomato slices and eggs. Fold up bottom of tortilla about 1 inch. Fold each side to the center and overlap. Secure with toothpick if desired. Serve.

8. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

8 ounces Rosamarina pasta, cooked and drained

2 cups cucumber, sliced thin

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing

1 medium tomato, chopped

15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained

4 ounces black olives, sliced

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Mix pasta with all ingredients except cheese in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. Top with feta cheese and serve.

9. Vegetable Cheese Soup

4 ounces Velveeta cheese

3 1/2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 cups brown or white rice, cooked

16 ounce package frozen vegetables, thawed and drained

Heat cheese and milk in a Dutch oven over low heat until cheese is melted. Add chili powder and stir until mixed. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook until hot.

10. Vegetable Scramble

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups cooked potatoes, cubed

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

4 eggs

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and bell pepper and cook approximated 5 minutes or until hot.

Mix the remaining ingredients and pour into skillet. As the egg mixture begins to set, gently lift up the sides with a spatula to allow the uncooked egg to flow beneath. Cook approximately 4 - 5 minutes or until eggs are completely set but still moist.

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