Whether you’re a full-blown vegetarian or simply scaling back on your carnivorous ways, there are plenty of healthy and budget-friendly big-batch meatless feasts that will last you and your family well past Monday. Consider this a more casual form of vegetarian meal prep.
And if you’re concerned about serving the same meal over and over again, not to worry. Many of these options can be adapted over subsequent servings: a main one evening, a side the next, then repurposed into a brand new dish. They’re truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Start saving time and money with our favorite big-batch vegetarian recipes:
Ah, bread pudding, also known as the no-brainer option for many a frazzled “Chopped” contender in the all-important final dessert round. But it’s just as good as a savory showstopper particularly with the irresistible combo of mushrooms, Gruyère, and challah. Feature as a main event with a salad starter one night then serve alongside roast chicken for a fabulous fall dinner another evening. Get our Mushroom and Gruyere Bread Pudding recipe.
Pyrex Deep 9x13-Inch Dish with Lid, $14.97 from Walmart
Perfect for assembling, storing, and baking your dish.
Dinner and a movie, anyone? Here’s a great opportunity to engage your Pixar-obsessed kid with not only the art of cooking, but a slow-cooked assortment of veggies that has the Remy seal of approval. For future installments, serve your ratatouille as a side, fold into a quiche, scoop onto crostini, or even toss with pasta. Get our Ratatouille recipe.
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Yes, you will need to hover over the stove for about 30 minutes, constantly stirring, to get your risotto to the desired texture and consistency. But ensuring your rice is suitably al dente is worth every second. The addition of dried figs may seem unorthodox, but the Newton filler offers an unexpected touch of earthy sweetness. Form your leftovers into patties and fry them up for crispy cakes. Get our Brussels Sprouts and Lemon Risotto recipe.
If you’re looking to graduate from boxed mac and cheese, here’s your dish. A quadruple dose of dairy—feta, yogurt, and parmesan with either crème fraîche or sour cream—fuses with spinach and sends this baked pasta dish soaring. This tastes just as good on day three as on the first night. Get our Baked Penne Pasta with Spinach and Feta recipe.
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There are multiple ways to tackle this decadent vegetarian lasagna. Raid your fridge and freezer for ready-made ingredients if you want to keep things simple. But if you have the time, add a level of luxury to your layers by using freshly-shucked peas along with homemade pesto and ricotta. Get our Pesto and Pea Lasagna recipe.
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Wild rice and edamame may get top billing for this salad but a honey vinaigrette plus a sprinkle of dried cranberries and chopped scallions offer a well-balanced contrast of textures and flavors. It’s a filling protein-packed, low-fat, high-fiber meatless entree that also shines as a side, especially for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks. Or stuff it into roasted squash. Get our Wild Rice and Edamame Salad recipe.
If you prefer the firmer texture that comes with dried beans (as opposed to canned) but are less excited about the time it takes to cook them over the stove, bust out your pressure cooker. In less than an hour (after an overnight soak) they’ll reach plump perfection in this rich and hearty meatless chili. Enjoy solo and break out those leftovers to use a topping for veggie burger night. Get our Pressure Cooker Vegan Black Bean Chili recipe.
Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, $79 from Walmart
The miracle machine.
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Curry powder, coconut milk, garlic, basil, and fresh ginger combine for a fragrant and flavorful bowl of soul satisfaction. Don’t forget the red pepper flakes and brown sugar which bring the heat and the sweet. Try pureeing leftovers for a creamy, veggie-heavy sauce for seared tofu. Get our Curried Potato and Carrot Soup recipe.
One cheese just isn’t enough for this easy-to-prepare fall favorite. If the trio of Gruyère, Monterey Jack, and parmesan seems a bit too indulgent, the low-calorie, high-fiber spaghetti squash beneath all that melty magnificence will offset some of the guilt. It’s rich enough to be a main course but goes with almost anything as a side on subsequent evenings. Get our Three-Cheese Spaghetti Squash Gratin recipe.
Brunch will never be boring if you serve up some baked eggs. Crunch comes courtesy of the asparagus (thin, preferably) while horseradish, which is featured in the frittata as well the sour cream topper, adds a welcome kick. Grab some bread and serve as a sandwich the following day, with more of that tangy sauce spread on the inside. Get our Asparagus Frittata with Horseradish Sour Cream recipe.
Stews often require hours on the stove but this healthy one-pot feast takes a mere 45 minutes to cook. Honey, golden raisins, and preserved lemon offer sweet and sour notes that allow the root vegetables to truly sing. Ladle it over fresh couscous and finish with almonds and cilantro. Roll the leftovers in flatbread for a veggie wrap. Get our Beet, Squash, and Radish Moroccan Stew recipe.