- Food and Cooking
Meatless Meal Ideas & Recipes for Lent
Observing the Lenten Season
I grew up in a family that observes the Lenten season leading up to Easter Sunday. As young children, my sisters and I would take seriously the decision of what we will “give up” for Lent. Usually we would try to abstain from something like candy or soda. We’d also make an effort to be “good;” for example try to refrain from fighting or name calling.
But no matter how us kids did with our "fasting," as a family during the Lenten season, we would always go without eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays in between.
What Constitutes Abstinence from Meat During Lent?
There are varying definitions of what it means to refrain from eating meat during Lent. In some regions of the world, people abstain from all forms of meat and animal products. Other regions have exceptions such as eating fish.
The custom that I am used to, growing up Catholic, forbids us to eat meat but fish is okay as well as eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat.
Meatless Meals During Lent
Do you enjoy coming up with creative meatless meal ideas during Lent?
Lenten Menu Ideas Without Meat
Thinking of my childhood during Lent really makes me miss my Mom even more. Some of my favorite meals she made were during the Lenten season. It seemed like those “Lent meals” were special, different, and something we really looked forward to.
I’d like to share with you menu ideas for meatless meals during Lent beginning with my favorites that were my Mom’s specialties.
Potato Pancakes w/ Shredded Zucchini
Potato Pancakes for Lent
One Lenten meal that my family always looked forward to was Potato Pancakes. Not only is it a meatless meal, it is an inexpensive meal as well.
Mom made the best Potato Pancakes. She would try to quickly fry them up and place them in a casserole dish in the oven to keep warm - and away from the rest of the family - so that we could all sit down and eat together. But somehow, we always "stole" a pancake or two before they made it to the table.
Here is my recipe version of Potato Pancakes with Zucchini. Check it out!
Another meatless recipe that I make quite often and so did my mother is Cauliflower Soup. It is a perfect meal for Lent.
NOTE: If you prefer not to use the chicken stock or bouillon, substitute vegetable stock instead.
Click below for my
A Family Favorite
Pierogi remains a staple for my family during the Lenten season and all year long.
My grandmother used to make dozens and dozens of pierogi, especially during Lent. They freeze well for about a month, so we would always have them on hand for our Friday meals.
Here is my article that includes my grandmother's recipe for
Salmon Patties Just Like Mom's
Salmon is a great option for a meatless menu.
My mom often made Salmon Patties (also called Salmon Cakes) during Lent. This was one of my favorite meals. She would also make an awesome white sauce with peas to top it off.
I haven't mastered my mom's salmon pattie recipe yet, but I found a great recipe from janshares for
Applesauce Pancakes (Crepes)
One of my favorite meatless meals that my mom would make was what we called Applesauce Pancakes. Times were tough financially and this meal was cheap and extremely kid friendly.
Mom's Simple Recipe
Mom would use pancake mix but add more water to make the batter thinner. She would fry "crepes" like you see in the picture above.
She would spread applesauce on it, sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar, and then roll it. That's it! That was our dinner. And we loved it.
Mac & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
Mac & Cheese is always a great option for a meatless Friday, especially if you have children.
Be creative instead of simply making it from a box. Kids will love macaroni and cheese muffins. Check out this great recipe from Kelleyward for
There are an endless number of ways to make chili and certainly, it does not have to contain meat.
Check out cclitgirl's great healthy recipe for
the entire family is sure to enjoy. She even includes an easy recipe for homemade sopapillas.
Meatless Stir Fry
Just like the endless number of ways to make chili, the same goes for a stir fry.
Check out randomcreative's
Depending on what you include in your salad, it can certainly be a meal in itself.
Miss Olive has some great recipes using avocado including a delicious
Cheese Tortellini Pasta
There are many ingredients you can add to spaghetti or pasta that are meatless and would make a hearty meal. Check out Just Ask Susan's great recipe for
Tuna is a great option for a meatless menu. You could make a cold salad or even warm tuna melt sandwiches.
Sholland10 has a special recipe for what she calls
More Meatless Meal Ideas for You to Consider
- Egg Salad
- Veggie Pizza
- Vegetable Lasagna
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
I look forward to being creative during Lent with meatless meals, and I hope you do too. I've mastered some of my mother's favorite Lenten recipes. This year, I'm hoping to master her Salmon Patties with White Pea Sauce.
What are your favorite meatless meals to make during Lent? Let us know in the comments section below.
This is Sharyn's Slant