ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Confessions from a Meat-eater: Favorite Filling Vegetarian Recipes

Updated on August 16, 2017

Over a year ago, my then fiancé (now husband) came home one night and declared that in his efforts to lose weight he’d like to go vegetarian, at least to some extent. At first I was shocked, he is the definition of a meat and potatoes man. When I got over that I was excited by the idea- I went vegetarian for a period of time in high school and since then have always favored vegetables to meats when picking my meals. It never occurred to me to make a vegetarian meal for my meat-loving guy so I took on the task with gusto. Our loose plan was to make vegetarian meals during the week but eat meat on the weekends, particularly when dining out. Now after about a year and a half of making yummy vegetarian meals I present to you our top picks for filling meals. No side dishes here.

  1. Stacked, Roasted Vegetable Enchilada Casserole (from Red Sky Food found on Pinterest) – The major reason I like this recipe is because it made me think of sweet potato and cauliflower in a new way. Honestly before this whole vegetarian experiment started I didn’t think I liked either of the two, but the way they are prepared-the vegetables are roasted in the oven- and the spice used-Cumin- really makes these veggies shine. With vegetarian dishes there is often a lot of prep work with chopping up the veggies and that is true with this one, but once they are in the oven the first go around it is smooth sailing. After the veggies are roasted you assemble the layers- salsa, roasted veggies, spinach, cheese, corn (or flour) tortilla- then throw it back it the oven. A dollop of sour cream and/or guacamole is good but not necessary. This is such a pretty dish, it’d be a nice one to serve to guests.The orange of the sweet potato, the green of the spinach, and the red salsa make for a vibrant, visually enticing meal.

    Make it your own- The recipe calls for half a head of cauliflower but I use a full head. Also sometimes when I make it I use a Poblano pepper as indicated, other times I use green bell pepper instead.

Ingredients for the enchilada casserole.
Ingredients for the enchilada casserole.
Vegetables going in the oven to roast, drizzled with olive oil, cumin, and garlic powder.
Vegetables going in the oven to roast, drizzled with olive oil, cumin, and garlic powder.
After the majority of the vegetables are roasted, the casserole is assembled in a second dish, here the spinach is added to the veggie layer.
After the majority of the vegetables are roasted, the casserole is assembled in a second dish, here the spinach is added to the veggie layer.

2. Vegetarian Green Chili (from Better Homes and Gardens)- now unlike the first recipe, this recipe when prepared does not look like anything special-at all. But wow can looks be deceiving because it is so yummy. Also unlike the suggestion to add a dollop of sour cream to the first recipe, I insist you add a little sour cream, as well as layering this chili on a bed of white rice. You don’t need much of the rice and the sour cream but they really make the whole chili come together as a meal. Also the fresh avocado chunks are great, I always add it to mine but leave it off my husband’s since he doesn’t like them. The recipe calls for one jar, 16 ounces, of green salsa. The green salsa at my grocery store only comes in one variety HOT so I add it cautiously, approximately 1/3 of the jar, but it definitely elevates the chili so I recommend adding at least a few tablespoons. This is one of those meals that I make a large amount of and then we enjoy as leftovers for weeks afterwards.

Make it your own- I always add a bonus green vegetable, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sugar snap peas, Kale- a different special guest each time I make this recipe.

Seriously the look of this meal doesn't do it justice, it is so yummy!
Seriously the look of this meal doesn't do it justice, it is so yummy!
Always lots of chopping for vegetarian recipes.
Always lots of chopping for vegetarian recipes.

3. Carrot, Potato, Zucchini Pancakes (from Better Homes & Gardens)- Ok I don’t know how healthy this vegetarian dish is seeing as the veggies are cooked in oil but still when a dish features three veggies how bad can it really be for you? This one is high on the prep work- you need to matchstick each of the three veggies but I cheat a little. I recommend using a peeler for the carrot and making long thin slices instead of making matchsticks of it. It changes up the prep and I find it’s easier to peel the carrot. The zucchini and potato are pretty easy to matchstick and take it from this amateur chef- they do not need to be perfect. Throw them all together in a bowl with the one of the eggs, the flour, and spices and cook them in the oil in a skillet. Now it’s a little tricky to actually make a pancake out of this especially if your cutting skills aren’t perfect (as mine are not). You can put all the ‘batter’ into the skillet at the same time and then form the pancakes on the sheet pan. Ultimately the egg will cook on top of each individual pancake and that will help hold it together. My husband and I make enough for two pancakes since leftovers don’t really work that well for this meal and one pancake per person is filling enough for a meal. We use one full zucchini, one potato and one carrot which gives us enough for two large pancakes. (This way you only need three eggs-one for the batter and then one for the top of each pancake).

Make it your own- After making this recipe several times, I have opted for a slightly easier way out. First I use the pre-sliced carrots that come in a bag at the grocery store. One less thing to chop! Also I now use a veggie spiralizer for the zucchini. Also I have had success making this recipe into a hash in a cast iron skillet instead of trying to make individual pancakes. Cook the hash on the stove top, crack a few eggs on top and pop it in the oven until the egg is cooked.

Vegetable Spiralizer, a good investment for a vegetable-focused diet. I use mine for cucumbers and zucchini mostly.

This particularly batch my husband decided to put the egg on, then add some additional 'pancake' on top of it to make more of a sandwich.
This particularly batch my husband decided to put the egg on, then add some additional 'pancake' on top of it to make more of a sandwich.

4. Quinoa Chili (from Damn Delicious found on Pinterest)

The genius of this recipe is you could actually serve this to meat-eaters and not tell them it is a vegetarian dish. The quinoa tastes like ground meat when it soaks up the classic chili flavors-tomatoes, chili powder, paprika, onion etc-it really plans a trick on your mouth. Add in the corn and beans and this meal is hearty, you will not miss the meat! Serve with a little cheese on top if you would like but honestly you don't need it. This is another meal you can make a big pot of and have for leftovers for the week. I usually make a huge batch and give some to my meat-loving dad and brother, they know it is meat-free but they don't care, they love it!

Make it your own- we add a half red pepper and a half green pepper as well. I don't usually add the avocado as suggested in the original recipe but I am sure it is delicious with it. I just don't feel like it needs it.

This vegetarian experiment has really become a lifestyle for us, however we continue to eat meat and now we have re-incorporated meat recipes among our vegetarian recipes. Generally I try to do a one-to-one meat recipe to vegetarian recipe ratio when I meal plan. This experiment has allowed us to make vegetables the star of most of our meals. Even when I find a meat-centered dish, I often add a second vegetable to it to make it more veggie-centric. Overall we've had fun trying out new recipes and incorporating more vegetables to our diet. It can be a bit of a challenge to find filling vegetarian meals but these four are filling and fantastic.

Where do you fall on the Vegetarian Scale?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)