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25 Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Beginners

It's National Vegetarian Week and a great time to try some easy meat-free dishes. Below are 25 easy breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes to get you started.

National Vegetarian Week

Vegetarian week runs for one week each May in the UK and it's the perfect time to change to a meat-free diet or to dip into the diet a few days a week. Following a vegetarian or vegan diet, even a few days a week is good for your health, your wallet and for the planet.

National Vegetarian Week 2019 logo

Going Meat-Free

It's so easy to eat meat-free these days. When I became vegetarian nearly 30 years ago, it wasn't so easy. You had to search out ingredients in speciality stores and be really creative with your cooking. Now there are so many vegetarian and vegan products and meals available in every supermarket, all labelled to make it easy.

What should vegetarians avoid?

There are a few things that might trip you up when you become fully vegetarian, that you might not think of. 


When you are eating out you may need to ask what stock is used in soup. Don't assume it is vegetarian because the soup sounds vegetarian, they may use chicken stock or even add a ham hock.


Cheese is always well labelled if it is vegetarian. Be aware that parmesan isn't vegetarian as it is made with animal rennet, which many cheeses are made with. There are vegetarian and vegan versions of parmesan, they are often called hard cheese or pasta cheese. Sometimes pecorino is vegetarian and it has a similar flavour.

Fish Sauce

Look out for fish sauce in sauces. Worcestershire sauce is one you might not realise contains fish sauce, look out for a vegetarian version.


Gelatine is made from animal skin, bones and tissue. You need to look our for it on labels. You can find it in jelly, jelly sweets, some yoghurts and puddings and marshmallows. It is even found in vitamins. Don't despair, there are lots of vegetarian versions of each of these and they really don't taste any different.

Chip Fat

When you head to the chippie you will find vegetarian options like pizza, breaded mushrooms and onion rings, but don't buy the chips until you find what kind of oil they are frying in. A lot of chip shops fry in beef dripping.


Here are 25 family tested vegetarian recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner. They are all easy to make and will satisfy the most hardy meat-eater.


Creamy Blueberry, Banana and Coconut Porridge in a bowl topped with fresh blueberries

Creamy Blueberry, Banana and Coconut Porridge

A creamy bowl of porridge made with blueberries, cinnamon and coconut with mashed banana added for sweetness. This healthy breakfast will see you through the day and keep you full longer.

Apple & Cinnamon Overnight Oats in a glass bowl beside a glass of orange juice

Apple & Cinnamon Overnight Oats

An easy recipe for apple pie flavoured oats. These apple and cinnamon overnight oats can be made in a few minutes before you head to bed, then they are ready to eat when you get up in the morning.

Scottish Tattie Scones on a plate with a fried egg and baked beans

Scottish Tattie Scones

These are traditional potato scones, made in Scotland. A simple scone made from mashed potato, flour and butter. Once cooked they can be kept in the fridge and re-heated in a toaster or under a grill.

Jamie Oliver's Baked Eggs & Beans on a white plate

Jamie Oliver's Baked Eggs & Beans

A nutritious vegetarian breakfast from Jamie Oliver's cookbook Everyday Super Food

A stack of Scotch pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and served with sliced banana on a blue plate

Scotch Pancakes

An easy recipe for traditional Scotch pancakes. These are also called drop scones and are very similar to American pancakes, but smaller. 


Fridge lentil soup in a ceramic grey bowl on a grey cotton napkin with spoon

Fridge Lentil Soup

A warming lentil soup, made to use up salad drawer stragglers. Healthy, nutritious and very, very tasty.

Parsnip, Carrot & Lentil Soup in a white ceramic pot

Parsnip, Carrot & Lentil Soup

A thick winter soup spiced with cumin and coriander to bring you warmth, comfort and a full tummy on cold winter days.

The Leerdammer BLT

A fresh sandwich of Leerdammer, beet, lettuce and tomato, with spicy chutney on tiger bread.

Stuffed Picnic Loaf

A bright and colourful picnic loaf, layered with delicious sandwich fillings and wrapped overnight for a self-contained picnic lunch that will bring a smile to everyone's face (with veggie and vegan options). 

Falafel, Beetroot and Goats Cheese Wraps

A filling wrap full of crisp salad, peppery hummus, spicy falafel, the tang of pickled beetroot and the salty creaminess of goats cheese.

Spicy Bean Lunch Wrap

A delicious spicy bean wrap, both creamy and tomato spicy. A very, very addictive copycat lunchtime sandwich wrap, from a Tesco wrap.

Vegetarian Picnic Egg cut open next to a small bowl of chutney

Vegetarian Picnic Eggs

Vegetarian picnic eggs also known as vegetarian Scotch eggs. This traditional picnic food is brought up to date with a filling of veggie haggis, oats, peanut butter and spices. perfect served with a green salad and some chutney or pickle for lunch.

Mini Margherita Muffin Pizzas topped with basil leaves and jalapenos

Mini Margherita Muffin Pizzas

Quick but delicious mini pizzas made on an English muffin base with simple margherita toppings and a kick from jalapenos.

Rocket & Mozzarella Pasta Salad on a victorian printed plate

Rocket & Mozzarella Pasta Salad

A fresh and filling pasta salad topped with a honey mustard dressing.

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25 easy vegetarian recipes for beginners.. Simple meat-free breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes including pasta, pies, burgers, pastry and soup #vegetarianweek #vegetarianrecipes #easyvegetarianrecipes #veggierecipes #easyveggierecipes #vegetarian #veggie


Beanballs on top of spaghetti in tomato sauce, topped with shavings of veggie parmesan

Spaghetti and Beanballs

A scrummy vegetarian meatball to serve coated with tomato sauce on top of spaghetti.

Pasta with Cheese and Spinach Sauce in a bowl

Pasta with Cheese and Spinach Sauce

Pasta coated in silky cheese sauce and flecked with vibrant green spinach. I love this dish!

Veggie Spaghetti Bolognese

A rich bolognese sauce for pasta, filled with lots of veggies to help with your five-a-day and enriched with red wine. Make a big batch, eat some and freeze the rest for anther night or two. Serve over freshly cooked spaghetti.

Veggie Shepherds Pie

A comforting vegan version of shepherd's pie with extra vegetables. This is a traditional British dish of savoury mince and vegetables in rich gravy, topped with creamy mashed potatoes, then baked until crisp and golden.

Cheesey Vegetable Puff Pie in a pie dish

Cheesey Vegetable Puff Pie

A gloriously golden puff pie filled with a selection of vegetables in a rich cheese sauce.

Spicy Bean Burgers stack in a bun with cream cheese, avocado and burger relish

Spicy Bean Burgers

Quick and delicious bean burgers made in 10 minutes from beans, oats, spices and herbs. These are dairy free and have no added salt, sugar, fat or additives that supermarket burgers contain.

A stacked layered burger of halloumi, red pepper and courgette

Grilled Halloumi & Red Pepper Burgers

A stacked halloumi and red pepper burger layered in a bun with courgette, salad leaves and salsa. The vegetables and cheese are grilled for extra flavour and texture.

 Layered Veggie Burger Pies in puff pastry, cut open on a board

Layered Veggie Burger Pies

A simple layered puff pastry pie filled with well-cooked veggie burgers, cream cheese (veggie or vegan), mustard and herbs.

Spinach & Onion Puff Tart on baking paper

Spinach & Onion Puff Tart

An easy and tasty seasonal tart that will delight both children and adults. It's good for lunch or for dinner with a green salad and baby new potatoes.

Easy Mediterranean Tart

A simple colourful and delicious puff pastry tart. It's a doddle to make and will delight your family. It's easy on the bank balance too.

Brie, Potato and Mushroom Tart on baking paper

Brie, Potato and Mushroom Tart

A simple puff tart topped with pesto, brie, potatoes and mushroom. Good served warm or cold.

For more vegetarian and vegan recipes check out my recipe index. For more information on National Vegetarian Week and how to eat healthily as a veggie check out the NHS vegetarian diet page or the Vegetarian Society website.


  1. What a great roundup of quick and easy recipes! I will be giving some of these a try this week!

    1. Enjoy any or all that you try Beth. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  2. I'm always looking for new meat-free Monday recipes so this roundup is so perfect for me!

    1. Oh good and yes if you do meat-free Monday then these recipes are perfect for you. Tasty veggie recipes that are easy to make.

  3. We try to eat plant based several days a week and this is giving us lots of options!

    1. I hope you try a few of them and enjoy them Pam.

  4. I was a vegetarian for over 10 years and still prefer to eat that way often. This list is full of so many great ideas - can't wait to try a few!

    1. Thanks Lauren and yes it's a good way to eat. I hope you try some of the recipes.

  5. Sooo many options, I love it!! I'm always on the look for yummy vegetarian recipes as I mainly eat vegetarian at home so this round up is just perfect for me - thank you!!

    1. You are welcome Sylvie. Enjoy and happy veggie week.


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