Delicious vegetarian alternatives to 8 classic meat-based meals

Take a walk on the veggie side

Let’s cut to the chase – not every meal needs to be about meat. And, just because dishes were made with it, doesn’t mean they can’t be reimagined as vegetarian knock-outs. A little plant-based inspiration and willingness to go meat-free are the only ingredients you need for a winning makeover recipe:

Bolognese

It’s difficult to imagine where we’d be without this glorious Italian classic. While some ardent fans stick to the original recipe containing beef mince, others can opt for a veggie version that uses legumes to achieve that famous chunky consistency or, pasta with a stodgy filling.

Lentil and chick pea bolognese
Tortellini with tomato sauce

Burgers

For burger purists, the thought of a plant-based patty hardly elicits edge-of-the-seat excitement. Because, you can never achieve that same texture with veggies… right? Well actually, you can. Root vegetables like sweet potato and nutrient-rich black beans were made for mashing and sandwiching between a pillowy bun.

Veggie bean burgers with salsa relish
Sweet potato polenta burgers with halloumi and red pepper relish

Steaks

Those who favour hearty cuts like sirloin, rump and tenderloin find it hard to believe that vegetarian alternatives can compete. But there’s always room for a little persuasion, especially when you get that same winning bite with hardy ingredients like cauliflower or aubergine.

Cauliflower steaks with pumpkin purée and tahini butter
Grilled aubergine steaks with pearl barley salad and labneh

Wraps

With wraps there are no rules or restrictions on ingredients or flavour, just a simple request to experiment. You don’t need to include meat to have fun (and get a little messy).

Spicy vegetarian chilli wraps
Tofu wraps with spinach noodles and cheat’s kimchi

Skewers

You may equate this no-hands style of dining with the barbecue… and as soon as the grill is mentioned, meat springs to mind. But the beauty of piling food onto a stick is that you can use whatever ingredients take you fancy. Oh, and there’s no washing up.

Grilled halloumi, fig and mint skewers
Achari paneer (Indian curd cheese with pickle marinade)

Curry

There are two ingredients every curry should have: vegetables and spice. Get thrifty and make big batches to freeze for a later date. Protein-rich chick peas and lentils give the dish satisfying bulk.

Lentil curry with spinach
Chick pea and mixed vegetable coconut curry

Quiche

The good old fashioned quiche – picnic friendly, easily shareable and tasty both hot and cold. Roasted veggies are a perfect slice of the Mediterranean but if that’s not your bag don’t worry, you can add pretty much anything you like; we’re talking asparagus, peas, spinach, cheese, leeks.

Herby potato quiche
Mediterranean tart

Roasts

The quintessential British meal – think lazy Sundays, glorious feasts and comforting flavours. But just because you’re opting for a plant-based plate, doesn’t mean you have to sit by and watch while the rest of the table gorges on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. There are plenty of veggie alternatives that’ll have everyone reaching for a portion.

Spiced bulgur pilaf stuffing
Roast parsnip, blue cheese and onion tart

And you need not stop there on the quest for veggie meals. If you’re tired of the stove, why not following the raw food diet? Here are the 6 reasons why we love raw vegetables.